Should You Hire an Attorney to Review Your Employee Handbook?

Hiring an employment attorney to review an employee handbook can be a prudent decision for many businesses. An employee handbook is a critical document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both employees and employers. It establishes guidelines for conduct, policies, and procedures within the organization.

Five Benefits of Having an Attorney Review Your Employee Handbook 

In New Jersey, employee handbooks can provide legal protections to employers by setting clear guidelines and policies for employees to follow and reducing the risk of misunderstandings or disputes. Additionally, New Jersey has several state and federal laws that provide specific protections to employees, such as anti-discrimination laws, and wage and hour laws. Employers need to ensure that their employee handbook is in compliance with these laws and does not conflict with or undermine these legal protections.  Here are five benefits of having an employment attorney review your employee handbook.  

1. Remain Legally Compliant 

Legal compliance is a significant benefit of having an attorney review your employee handbook. Employment laws and regulations can be complex. By engaging an attorney who is up-to-date on recent developments in employment law, your business can ensure that its handbook complies with all relevant laws.

By proactively seeking legal compliance through an attorney’s review, your business can minimize the likelihood of legal disputes related to its employment practices. It demonstrates your business’s commitment to upholding the rights of its employees and ensures that a business is providing a fair and legally compliant work environment.

2. Reduce Workplace Conflicts 

Reducing workplace conflict is indeed a benefit of having an employee handbook. A well-crafted and comprehensive handbook can provide clear guidelines and policies that help employees understand what is expected of them, how they should conduct themselves in the workplace, and what actions may result in disciplinary measures.

While an employee handbook alone may not completely eliminate workplace conflicts, it can significantly contribute to their reduction by setting clear expectations, promoting fairness, and providing mechanisms for conflict resolution. Regularly communicating and reinforcing the handbook’s policies and procedures can further enhance its effectiveness in minimizing conflicts.

3. Avoid Litigation 

An employee handbook can certainly help a business avoid litigation, although it cannot provide a guarantee.  An employee handbook serves as a documented record of your business’s policies, procedures, and rules. It can include acknowledgment forms or consent statements indicating that employees have received, read, and understood the handbook. These records can be valuable evidence in the event of a legal dispute, demonstrating that your business took reasonable steps to inform employees about their rights and obligations.

4. Minimize Liability

An employee handbook can help mitigate legal risks by addressing various employment-related issues such as harassment, discrimination, and leaves of absence. By clearly outlining expectations and consequences, and providing mechanisms for reporting and addressing concerns, the handbook can help prevent potential legal issues from arising or escalating.

5. Ensure Necessary Disclaimers Are Present 

An employee handbook can include disclaimers to help protect your business from certain liabilities. Disclaimers are statements that clarify the scope and limitations of the information provided in the handbook and can help set expectations for employees.   Many employee handbooks include a disclaimer stating that the employment relationship is at-will, meaning that either the employee or the employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any lawful reason, with or without cause or notice. This disclaimer helps make it clear that the handbook does not create a contract of employment and does not guarantee employment for a specific duration.

Need an NJ Employment Lawyer to Review Your Employee Handbook?

It is vital that all businesses have employee handbooks in place and consistently update them to comply with ever-changing employment laws. The New Jersey Employment Attorneys at CMS are well-versed in drafting and updating employee handbooks. If your business needs an employee handbook or your business needs to update your employee handbook, please contact Curcio Mirzaian Sirot LLC

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