Employment Hanbook or Contract and Consideration…

Most employers now realize the benefit of drafting an employment handbook that specifies the policies that apply to various employees based on their status.  However, what you may not realize is that depending on how your employment handbook is drafted, it may modify the general at-will employment rule.

In some cases, employers and their handbook’s disciplinary and severance policies grant many rights to employees that are not provided under the at-will employment rule.  Moreover, many amendments or updates to an employment handbook or policy are rendered ineffective and inapplicable due to a lack of consideration for the amendment or updated policy.

Often new policies relating non-competition, non-solicitation, and assignment of intellectual property rights are unenforceable for violation of the consideration requirement.  This is particularly an issue when you have turnover of employees or a growth event for the employers.  The growth in the number of employees may require compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act, and a variety of similar regulations.

Thus, consulting an employment law attorney prior to the issuance of an employment handbook or a revision or amendment to an employment handbook may assist in compliance without creating additional litigation risks.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding properly drafting an employment handbook or policy, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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