Employee Handbook Haiku

Often times, policies in employee handbooks are longer and wordier than necessary.  If for some reason your company was required to fit its entire employee handbook into a single haiku poem, here is what I would recommend:

Employment at-will,

We monitor your e-mails,

Report harassment.

This haiku accomplishes three of the primary goals of employee handbooks.  It informs employees that they are employed at-will.  It warns them not to expect their company e-mails to be private.  And by directing employees to report harassment, it preserves the employer’s ability to assert the Faragher-Ellerth affirmative defense.

Takeaway:  While it’s not advisable to fit an entire employee handbook into a single haiku, employers should keep in mind that sometimes shorter policies are more effective and more likely to be read by employees.

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on May 8, 2013, in Employment Policies and Agreements and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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