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Required Employee Handbook Policies by State and Municipality

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

When employers are creating or updating their handbooks, there is often little guidance on which policies they should or must include. And the decision on what to include comes with potential consequences: If an employer includes a policy they are not legally required to, they may be legally bound to provide certain benefits to an employee in the event of legal action.

The following chart provides a brief overview of the policies that are required in a handbook if you have one. The chart also details what is required to be included in such policies, for example, specific language, definitions, processes. Policies that do not have such requirements are marked with N/A.

This chart does not include:

  • Alternative distribution requirements (such as notice-posting requirements) for employers that do not have a handbook or whose written benefits communications are not in handbook form.
  • Policies for which the legal requirement to appear in a handbook has been challenged in court (such as New York's Reproductive Health Decisions Handbook Statement in CompassCare et al. v. Cuomo).

States that do not have any policies that are Required in Handbook are marked with N/A on the chart.

For information on additional policies that are either recommended or voluntary for an employer to include in their handbook, visit our Employees Handbooks resource.