Arkansas Employee Handbooks laws & HR compliance analysis

Arkansas Employee Handbooks: What you need to know

Employee handbooks should be drafted according to the particular needs of each individual workplace and in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law. Employers should try to develop policies and procedures that reflect the company's size, employee needs, and company philosophy. Employers should also have an attorney familiar with state labor and employment laws review their handbooks for legal accuracy and timeliness. Outdated or erroneous policies can be as dangerous as not having policies at all.
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Employers should exercise caution when developing handbooks and related policy statements. To avoid implied contract claims, employers should issue only general statements of policy in employee handbooks and should always include an explicit statement reserving the right to alter, amend, or change any handbook policy at any time and for any reason. There are details on Employee Handbooks.
Arkansas is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason unless a collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, existing law, or recognized public policy provides otherwise.
Despite a strong presumption in favor of the at-will standard, Arkansas courts will find an exception to the at-will employment rule where an employee relies upon a personnel manual that contains an express provision against termination except for cause (Ball v. Ark. Dept. of Community Punishment, 10 S.W.3d 873 (Ark. 2000)).
Many courts allow employers to escape potential contractual liability for handbook policies as long as a proper and sufficient disclaimer statement has been included. ...

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