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Webinar: The Special Case of California Employee Handbooks

Christopher Cobey Benjamin Emmert

HR professionals have long since been sold on the value of an informative and current employee handbook, but they can quickly become litigation traps if not created or kept up to date properly. This webinar will guide Golden State employers past potential landmines to ensure they are drafted and used effectively.

Properly constructed and maintained, an employee handbook can serve as a training device for both line employees and supervisors. Equally important is their use as a defense in litigation, arbitration or other ADR proceedings to demonstrate that a written policy existed; show that employees had knowledge of it; and indicate that employees were encouraged to ask questions about the policy.

Yet, it is easy for employee handbooks to become litigation traps. For example if they were revised, but never distributed; or there is no proof that employee ever received or had access to them; or they are not updated regularly to reflect statutory, regulatory and case law changes.

Littler employment attorneys Chris Cobey (pictured top right) and Ben Emmert (pictured bottom right) explore what you need to put in a California employee handbook, what you should exclude and answers to questions such as:

  • Is the handbook a contract?
  • Should you put your arbitration agreement in the handbook?
  • How do you decide what goes in the policy manual, and what goes in the handbook?
  • Should you promise more than the law requires?
  • Do you have to consider what the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has said about handbook contents if no part of your workforce is unionized?
  • What is the legal effect of inconsistent provisions of your handbook?