Q. Our handbook has a bold and conspicuous disclaimer stating that everyone is an at-will employee and that nothing in the handbook alters the at-will relationship. Is that sufficient to protect the company from claims based on the handbook?
A. No. It might be effective with regards to claims that the company had to have just cause to fire an employee. However, an employee claiming discrimination might point to your equal employment opportunity policy and say the company breached that policy, and assert a breach of contract claim based on that.
Courts will look closely at the language in the disclaimer; as long as it is bold and conspicuous, but they will not add terms that the company could have added but chose not to for some reason.
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