Why Your Pharmacy Needs an Employee Handbook – Today

Category: Client Alerts
Published: October 27, 2023

In the world of healthcare, where precision and compliance are paramount, pharmacies stand as the vital link between physicians and the patients they serve. Yet, in the complex web of regulations, changing laws, and evolving industry standards, pharmacies must navigate a challenging terrain. Just as a carefully prepared prescription ensures the right treatment, a well-crafted employee handbook is the foundation upon which a pharmacy can build a team that not only meets, but exceeds, the demands of this dynamic sector. In this era of heightened scrutiny and rapidly evolving regulations, the need for a compliant employee handbook has never been more critical. Join us as we delve into the essential considerations for creating a handbook that not only safeguards the pharmacy, but also empowers its employees to deliver the highest standards of care.

Please note that employee handbooks are essential for operating a pharmacy. If you have an employee handbook, it is even more essential that it complies with all the requirements in New York. You should also make sure that it complies with Fraud, Waste and Abuse Prevention Guidelines and contains all standard language required by federal, state, and private payers.

Briefly, some examples of critical issues to be addressed in an employee handbook include:

  1. The requirement to pay non-professional employees once per week;
  2. Distinguishing and defining exempt versus non-exempt employees;
  3. An employee acknowledgement page, signed by the respective employee, in order for your handbook to be binding upon such employee; and
  4. Policies and procedures regarding termination and/or change of employment status.

Also, if you already have an employee handbook for your practice, there are several critical questions you must ask yourself when reviewing the information contained within it. Did you know that professional employees (such as pharmacists) are not exempt from overtime and minimum wage laws in New York? Does your pharmacy have a system of retaining records indicating the exact times a person starts and ends their workday? Does your handbook specifically address New York Anti-Discrimination Laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Equal Employment Opportunity, amongst other standard employment law language? If your answer is “no” to any of these questions, it might be time to consider an overhaul of your handbook in order to better comply with the laws of the present.

Lastly of note, it is important to understand that handbooks prepared by commercial services are absolutely not acceptable. Additionally, employee handbook language that’s provided by accreditation companies often does not satisfy the minimum requirements in New York. A professionally prepared handbook by attorneys who specialize in pharmacy law is the only way to ensure compliance with the rigorous employment and labor laws in New York and prevent costly encounters with NY and US Departments of Labor, Division of Human rights, EEOC, and courts.

If you have any questions or require further information regarding this update, please do not hesitate to reach out to our legal team at (212) 668-0200 or via email at We are here to support you in navigating these requirements and ensuring compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Thank you for entrusting us with your legal needs, and we look forward to assisting you in the future.