August 15, 2022

Anatomy of a Handbook

While there is no law that specifically requires an employer to have a Handbook, we recommend that most employers adopt and publish one that meets their legitimate business interests and establishes their business culture.  State and Federal legislatures write laws that govern employment practices.  To avoid unnecessary litigation and corresponding liability, employers are encouraged to implement policies adapting the regulatory guidelines to their everyday employment relationships with their workforce.  To maximize the benefits of these policies they should be published and accessible to all employees.  The entire workforce should be trained as to their applicability and the consequence of violation.  The employer should establish and objectively follow corresponding internal protocol.

Handbooks must be customized to an employer’s size of workforce, scope of work, and breadth of geographic footprint.  While there are templates for most critical policies, they should not be adopted as a “one size fits all”.  Employers should consider, first, the tenor and tone of their culture as expressed through their mission and vision statements and preamble to the Handbook.  Then, employers must consider what policies to include in their Handbook – and why.  Finally, employers should periodically review their Handbook to ensure that it constantly and consistently meets the needs of their business, their workforce, and the law.  As we return to work, post COVID-19, employers should especially consider review and revision of existing policies to adapt to the new employment environment.

To facilitate this review, we have developed a series of articles and podcasts to explain the “why” of critical employment policies.  Participating employers that follow this series will gain access to written narrative provided by members of our Employment Law Group that will explore why specific policies should be included in their Handbook.  These successive articles will explain the origin and purpose of the statutory regulation behind the policy, the options, and the criteria for implementation as well as the benefit of inclusion.  Corresponding podcasts will augment the written narrative by detailing the practical application of each policy.  It is our goal to provide a foundational resource for employers to utilize to make educated decisions about their existing policies and to consider appropriate revisions to their Handbooks to meet the challenges presented by today’s employment environment.

All employers should review their Handbooks for augmentation, advancement, and modification.  The employment environment has dramatically changed in the last two years.  Businesses have been required to adapt business philosophies, protocols, and positions.  Legitimate business needs have changed.  These changes must be codified in the Employee Handbook.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact one of the attorneys in our Employment Law Group at or 1-888-488-2638.



The information in this article is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction.  By reading this article, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and Cipriani & Werner, P.C. or any of our attorneys.  No information contained in this article should be construed as legal advice from Cipriani & Werner, P.C. or the individual authors.