Advice and Resolution Corner - Common Handbook Issues

Document created by 1052312 on Sep 30, 2014
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Posted: 09/29/2014

Pat Rountree

By Pat Rountree

[Don’t miss the Advice and Resolution Corner Plus members-only webcast scheduled for this Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 9:00 am. Register now at]


What are some common mistakes employers make in employee handbooks?


Laws change, court cases interpret laws and various government agencies (EEOC,DOL) issue guidance documents or administrative opinions that result in the need to update handbook policies to reflect the changes.

There are also changes taking place in society and the workforce that impact handbook policies – technology and flexible scheduling are two major ones currently.

That said, following are some of the issues:

  • Not keeping the handbook current
  • Stating that unearned/advanced vacation will be deducted from final pay at termination (caution for hourly; warning for exempt)
  • Stating that company property must be returned before final wages are paid
  • Stating that employees should keep wages confidential
  • Having overly broad confidentiality policies that don’t define what types of things are company confidential
  • Having a maximum leave policy that does not include a statement about considering reasonable accommodation under ADA
  • Defining an inflexible disciplinary sequence
  • Failing to make employees aware that the employer reserves the right to monitor telephone calls, emails, and other communications using company-provided systems and devices

For further discussion of these issues and questions you may have, attend the Advice and Resolution Corner Pluswebcast scheduled for this Wednesday, October 1, 2014 from 9:00 am until 9:30 am. You can self-register for this webinar at