Disadvantages and Pitfalls of the Employee Handbook

An employee handbook can be a crucial tool for employers. However, failure to draft the employee handbook properly can lead to an employer entangling themselves in litigation. Earlier, we focused on the advantages of the employee handbook. Now we will shift focus on some of the pitfalls that can come from an improperly drafted employee handbook. The following are the major areas of concern that employers must recognize:

  • Limitation of Managerial Flexibility
  • Poor Drafting
  • Lawsuits


Limitation of Managerial Flexibility

Uniform application of the rules means that flexibility is sacrificed for management. Employee handbooks should always be drafted with managerial flexibility in mind, while making sure not to make the handbook too discretionary.


Poor Drafting

Many employers think that they are protected by using a standard Handbook downloaded from the internet. They would be wise to think again. Handbooks must always be customized for the particular business. Further, drafting should never be done by anyone other than an Employment Law attorney. Another concern with regard to poor drafting is the lack of completeness of an Employee Handbook. The provisions it has may be drafted properly, however, the document may be missing essential protective provisions.



A poorly drafted Handbook can be just what a disgruntled employee needs to win their legal case. The Handbook is the first thing an Employment Lawyer reviews when they receive a new client. Any mistakes in said Handbook could mean an easy win for the other side. In these cases, it is better not to have a handbook, then to have a Handbook that supports an Employee’s Lawsuit (such as having provisions not adhering to the American with Disabilities Act “ADA”).

Related – Discrimination and Fair Wages: Common Employment Law Issues


Drafting an Employee Handbook? We can help.

Looking to avoid the pitfalls of a poorly-drafted employee handbook? Contact the Employment Law attorneys of The Ticktin Law Group for a complimentary consultation. Our attorneys can prepare a new employee handbook or review your existing one. Further, if you have a potential Employment Law claim or questions regarding your rights, give us a call at (561) 232-2222 or complete our contact form.