Disclaimers In Employment Manuals
In an effort to protect themselves, employers often will rely on employment manuals. These must be carefully written, and they absolutely must include disclaimers. This firm has represented clients who were able to recover against employers because the employers relied on very sloppy employment manuals. Disclaimers are particularly important because they may prevent employers from being contractually bound inadvertently.
And effective disclaimer must be clearly worded and placed in an easy-to-find place in the employment manual. If the disclaimer fails in one or both of these respects, it may fail. It may also fail if it is contradicted by other parts of the employment manual. Again, this is why employment manuals must be written very carefully and why they shouldn’t simply be haphazardly pulled of the Internet.
The following should be observed with employment manual disclaimers:
- They should be conspicuously placed in large, bold headings.
- They should emphasize that employment is at-will.
- They should expressly state that they don’t create a contract.
- They should state that the employment manual exists only for information purposes and the manual may be changed at any time at the exclusive discretion of the employer.
- They should have a statement that the employee’s at-will status may not be changed by any other employment documents, statements or procedures of the employer.
- The employee should sign a separate document that is an acknowledgement of the disclaimer.