Let’s talk about handbooks. Specifically, employee handbooks. I know – they’re long and annoying to review and sometimes even contain legalese that make them painful to read. Indeed, they can be unpleasant – but they are still important. Employee handbooks serve as guidance for employees to know what to expect, what they are entitled to, what is expected of them, and how to handle certain difficult situations. Also, handbooks serve as guidance for employers who need to know what they can expect of employees, what employees are entitled to, and what channels employees can take in difficult situations.
Handbooks are also a tool in the toolbox for the defense-mindful employer because typically, employees acknowledge they have received the handbook, understand the handbook and have no questions about the contents of the handbook. This acknowledgement by the employee’s own hand serves as a useful response to an employee’s allegation that they did not know what to do when faced with a difficult employment situation, or perhaps when they allege not knowing their rights in certain circumstances.
If you have received the first draft of a handbook from your employment lawyer and aren’t too excited to open the pages, give your lawyer a call and set up a time to go over the handbook together. If the process of handbook review has stalled, now is a good time to open it up and begin from the top. Your business will thank you!
As always, let me know if you have questions or concerns.