Four important clauses to include in an employee handbook

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Four Important Clauses To Include In An Employee Handbook

If you are a small business owner in New Jersey, such as the sole owner of a small manufacturing company, you may want to make sure your employees understand their rights and duties. One way to accomplish this is by executing a comprehensive employee handbook. Doing so can help prevent legal claims, such as a sexual harassment suit, before they arise. The following is an overview of some important clauses that you may want to include in your employee handbook.

The handbook is not a contract

It is important to make sure employees understand that an employee handbook does not constitute am employment contract, expressly or implicitly, and it does not guarantee employment. Unless a separate employment contract or collective bargaining agreement exists, at-will employment still stands.

The handbook replaces previous policy documents

Your business may have issued documents regarding workplace policies prior to executing an employee handbook. It is important to include language explaining that the new handbook supersedes and replaces any previous policy documents.

The handbook is subject to change

No one can predict the future, especially when it comes to relationships between employees and employers. Even after executing an employee handbook, new issues may come up that were not addressed in the existing document, necessitating a change or addition to the employee handbook. It is important to include a clause explaining that the handbook is subject to change.

Include an employee acknowledgement clause

It is important for business owners to ensure that employees are aware of company policies. Therefore, it is important to include an acknowledgement page for employees to read and sign stating that the employee understands they are responsible for reading and following the provisions in the handbook. This acknowledgement should be placed in the employee’s personnel file once signed.

Learn more about business law

These are only a few examples of important clauses to include in your employee handbook. All businesses are different, and the needs of one business may be different from those of another. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those interested in drafting an employee handbook or who have questions about other business law issues may find the guidance of an experienced attorney helpful in establishing and enforcing a strong set of policies.


Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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