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Reviewing Handbooks with Employees

It is generally a good practice to review the employee handbook with employees. The handbook is a crucial document that outlines the policies, procedures, and expectations of the company, and ensuring that employees are familiar with its contents can be beneficial for both the employer and the employees.

It is a common practice for employers to ask employees to sign an acknowledgment form indicating that they have received, read, and understand the contents of the employee handbook. This signed acknowledgment serves as evidence that the employee has been made aware of the company's policies and procedures outlined in the handbook. While the specific process may vary by company, here are some common considerations:

  1. Acknowledgment Form:
    • Provide employees with a written acknowledgment form that includes a statement confirming receipt of the employee handbook.
    • Include a space for the employee's signature and the date.
  2. Distribution and Access:
    • Distribute the employee handbook to new hires during the onboarding process.
    • Ensure that existing employees also receive the handbook when updates or changes are made.
  3. Training Session:
    • Conduct a training session or orientation to review key policies in the handbook.
    • Allow employees the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification.
  4. Retention of Acknowledgments:
    • Maintain a record of signed acknowledgment forms in the employee's personnel file.
    • Retain these records for the duration required by applicable employment laws.
  5. Updates and Re-Acknowledgment:
    • If the handbook is updated, request employees to re-sign an acknowledgment form.
    • This ensures that employees are aware of any changes to policies.

The acknowledgment process helps protect the employer by demonstrating that employees were aware of the policies in place and agreed to adhere to them. Additionally, it can be a valuable tool in case of disputes or legal challenges related to employment policies. If you have are interested in learning more or want to ensure your business is protected, give us a call at (605) 275-5665.