The Top Ten Issues Discovered When Reviewing an Employee Handbook

The team of HR Experts at OperationsInc has conducted hundreds of Employee Handbook Reviews and Audits for clients over the years. Our goal is to review each policy to ensure all critical ones are present, well stated, and as needed to meet and exceed compliance standards with a special focus on limiting liability.

Here are the Top Ten Issues we have discovered during these Employee Handbook audits:

Policies in the book do not reflect the practices of the company.

What an employer says in their handbook is not what is enforced in real life.

There is no room for flexibility.

Policies are written in a very rigid fashion, leaving the employer with limited ability at best to handle situations on a case by case basis as needed.

Poor adaptations have been made.

The handbook was adapted from another company’s book, which leaves it out of date, lacking in current policies, and in many cases with policies that do not apply to the business it’s meant to represent.

There are policies missing.

The handbook is missing key policies focusing on areas such as Cell Phone Use, Social Media, Overtime, Computer, Email, and Internet Usage / Monitoring, and Emergency Closings.

Employee benefits are communicated improperly.

The handbook has a section on employee benefits that does not reflect the current plans and offerings, or is too detailed for a handbook.

No handbook receipt is required.

The employee should be signing a handbook receipt to acknowledge that they have received and read the handbook. Receipts should be returned in a timely matter.

The receipt language says that “…I agree to read…” instead of “I have read…”.

Receipts should indicate that the employee has read the book prior to signing.

Multiple locations are not accounted for.

The employer has offices in multiple states but the book has been written for only the state in which the headquarters are located, meaning specific state laws for other locations may be missing.

Old contact points are listed.

Specific people are identified as points of contacts tied to specific policies, yet those individuals are no longer with the firm.

Illegal policies are included.

Policies as stated violate federal / state laws and as such are unenforceable.

For more information about OperationsInc’s HR Services, please contact Meghan Hopkins, VP of HR Business Development at or (203) 595-4261.