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Do employee handbooks help protect businesses from litigation?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Firm News |

In today’s business climate, companies of all sizes must navigate legal challenges. An important tool that helps protect Oregon businesses from potential litigation is the employee handbook.

The contents of employee handbooks vary. However, most handbooks outline the expectations, policies and procedures within an organization. Most businesses also make their workers sign them. This helps avoid workers claiming they never saw the handbook later.

Set expectations

Employee handbooks provide a clear framework for employee conduct. They also set performance expectations. When employees are aware of these expectations, they are more likely to adhere to company policies and guidelines.

Prevent discrimination, harassment

Employee handbooks often include anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. These policies help foster a safe and inclusive workplace. By stating a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination and harassment, businesses create a strong defense against potential lawsuits related to these issues.

Promote workplace safety

Safety in the workplace is a top priority for any business. Employee handbooks typically contain safety protocols, emergency procedures and guidelines for reporting accidents or unsafe conditions. When companies enforce these guidelines, it demonstrates a commitment to employee safety. This helps reduce the risk of litigation arising from workplace injuries.

Document policies

Employee handbooks serve as a written record of company policies and procedures. In the event of a dispute or litigation, having this documentation demonstrates that a business took the time to establish clear guidelines and expectations for its employees.

Per the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American businesses spend an average of $1.2 million each year fighting lawsuits.