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Must we translate our handbook?

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Q. If an employee speaks Spanish and doesn’t understand English, am I required to have my handbooks and other policies translated into Spanish? Is the handbook valid if the employee signs but does not understand the content?

If you were aware that certain employees speak a language other than English and do not understand English, it would be wise to make all policies available in languages they can understand.

Otherwise, it will be virtually impossible to argue that the employee was aware of the policies contained in the handbook (making the handbook basically useless with regard to that employee). Moreover, if certain employees are being treated differently, you could open yourself up to a claim of national-origin discrimination.

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