Five Common Mistakes of Employee Handbooks

1.              Containing material that is unrelated to the employer. For example, any policy that the employer does not enforce and any procedure that the employer does not follow should be removed. follow

2.              Inconsistencies with other documents.  When an employee handbook conflicts with a provision of a contract between the employer and an employee, a court may find that the employer has breached its contract with the employee.

3.              Failing to revise the handbook.  Every day, the Legislature and the Courts are producing hundreds of pages of California employment law.  Given how fact California employment law is growing and changing, it’s just not reasonable to believe that an employee handbook from four years still adequately addresses the employer’s needs.

4.              A policy that implements a probationary period for any employee.  Such a policy implies

that any individual who remains with the employer beyond the probationary period is a permanent employee.

5.              Being too specific in describing the kinds of conduct that are subject to discipline.  Specificity limits the employer’s right to discipline employee conduct and increases the likelihood that an employee who is disciplined by the employer will file a lawsuit for retaliation.

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