Employee Handbook Law and Legal Definition

An employee handbook is a manual that explains a company's major human resources and employee policies and procedures and describe employee benefits. It is a toll that communicates the firm's policies efficiently and effectively and helps to ensure that office procedures comply with employment laws.

The employee handbook should establishes how the firm adapts to changes in the work environment and employment law, such as: Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; Americans with Disabilities Act; diversity issues; sexual harassment laws; and employee health concerns, e.g., AIDS/HIV, repetitive stress injuries, and second-hand smoke. Employers often use an employee handbook to protect themselves from lawsuits, such as wrongful termination claims, by establishing a code of conduct for employees and other guidelines applicable to employee terminations.