Your Employee Handbook Is A Shield & Sword

Mindy Chapman & Associates has a national reputation for drafting effective and strategic employee handbooks, policies, and procedures that stand up in court. Your employee handbook is a critical business sword to fight off employment-related lawsuits and a key business shield to proactively protectyour organization from battles in the courtroom.

Exhibit A: Your Employee Handbook
In today's litigious environment, your employee handbook is often the first place a plaintiff's lawyer will look to prove the case.  Recently, employee handbooks were the major piece of evidence in 600 state cases and 200 federal cases. Employee handbooks are “living documents” and as such must be regularly reviewed to remove obsolete policies, revised to delete newly deemed unlawful language, and audited to add new policies to keep up with current laws and best practices.  It must also be based on your specific business and incorporate your unique culture to successfully set the right tone about your organization’s workplace standards.

Every Word Has A Legal Impact
Poorly worded policies can trigger employment lawsuits and be the evidence plaintiffs use to prevail on their claims.  There are legal nuances associated with many commonly used words and using them unknowingly may obligate a company to employees beyond the requirements of compliance standards.  Also, if a policy uses “overly restrictive language,” it can violate federal and state laws. Yet, policies can err on the other side of the pendulum by unknowingly using language that over extends legal rights to employees.  In these situations, employers are stuck having to grant their employees unearned legal rights which can be very expensive to the bottom line. Employers must be mindful about having nimble policies that not only comply with federal laws, but the state laws in which they operate, too.
Missing Policies Must Be Identified, But Not Always Added
Just because an employee handbook is thick doesn’t mean it is comprehensive. What you don’t have in your employee handbook can hurt you or at least make you vulnerable to an employee lawsuit. On the other hand, there are some policies that are not always in the employers best interest to include unless the employer has an effective strategy to implement, monitor, and enforce them.

Let us X-ray your current employee handbook to see if you
have a case of liability lurking inside. 





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