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  • Writer's pictureBoss Consulting HR

Three Compliance Essentials in Every Handbook

Every company should have an employee handbook. I repeat every company should have an employee handbook. Whether you’re writing a handbook internally, purchasing one from your payroll company or a consulting company, or downloading a standard one from the interview, here at three things your handbook should always have.

Employment at Will

You’ll want to ensure the state that you do business is in fact employment-at-will state and if so, ensuring that your handbook contains employment-at-will statement is critical. Employment-at-will statements establish the legal nature of the employment relationship and should be clear and concise in every handbook.

Code of Conduct/Standards of Conduct

Each handbook should contain some form of standards of conduct/code of conduct or work expectations to clearly communicate what is expected of your employees while on the clock. It should be a fluid document that gets updated as new situations arise and it should be in line with your overall company mission and company culture.

Nordstrom had a reputation that their employee handbook was only a 5x8 card that said “Use your best judgment in all situations” and though this is a rumor, it at least brings attention to the Nordstrom philosophy. From a compliance standpoint, your code of conduct should have all the do’s and don’t’s while working.


With everything in HR, it’s no good if it’s not in writing. You’ll want to ensure that your handbook has an employee acknowledgment that your employees have received the handbook. Each time you update it, your employees should sign a new acknowledgment as well.

You can check out more guidance regarding employee handbooks with our other blog post, Don’t Write Your Employee Handbook Without This Information!

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