The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Employee Handbooks

Do you have an employee handbook? Some legal counsel believe handbooks are fraught with potential pitfalls and opportunities for legal challenges. If you do have a handbook, when was the last time you and legal counsel reviewed it? Here are some things to consider.

Include your institution’s mission statement, ethics statement and your commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.

Include a disclaimer that nothing in the handbook should be interpreted to be a violation of any federal or state law.

Include in your handbook content that clearly and simply states rules, regulations and policies.

Make certain that alternate language handbooks are made available to employees whose primary language is not English.

Avoid making promises, especially with regard to continued employment. If “at will” employment is permissible in your state, specify that all employment with your institution is at the pleasure of the employer.

If policies and procedures are not included in the handbook, identify your website location where policies can be found.

Include information on where employees should go for help with whistleblower, harassment or discrimination concerns