Does an employee handbook count as an employment contract?
In many cases, employee handbooks do constitute valid employment contracts, especially if the handbook guarantees a particular salary, a minimum period of employment, regular job evaluations, or disciplinary, grievance, or termination proceedings. In such instances, it is difficult to terminate an employee without following the written procedures. In addition, promises of job reviews, raises, training, and promotions can also be binding, so should be avoided by the employer. Employers should be careful to include a disclaimer prominently in the handbook, stating the handbook should not be considered an employment contract, and that the company has the right to terminate employment as though the employee were an employee at will.