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With employment litigation rising steadily, the employee handbook has become an essential tool in the employer's arsenal to defend against liability for employment decisions. A good handbook tells employees what the rules are and how they will be enforced.

For example, an employer being sued for harassment needs to be able to show that it is committed to a harassment-free workplace and that a complaint procedure is available to employees. To establish that defense, an employer should be able to show that it had a workplace harassment policy, distributed the policy and followed it when responding to the employee's complaints. Having an employee handbook that contains a workplace harassment policy goes a long way toward winning employee lawsuits.

Many employers try to take shortcuts, adopting other companies' handbooks or using generic computer-generated templates. Don't do it! Cookie-cutter handbooks may ultimately result i...(register to read more)

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