Maine Employee Handbooks laws & HR compliance analysis

Maine 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 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 Outdated or erroneous policies can be as dangerous as not having policies at all.
For a Limited Time receive a FREE HR Report on the "Critical HR Recordkeeping”.  This exclusive special report covers hiring records, employment relationships, termination records, litigation issues, electronic information issues, tips for better recordkeeping, and a list of legal requirements.  Download Now
Employers should exercise caution when developing handbooks and related policy statements in order to avoid contract claims made by employees based upon handbook language. To avoid such 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.
Maine 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 the at-will doctrine, however, Maine courts have ruled that an employee handbook may create an employment contract where the terms of the handbook clearly restrict the employer's ability to discharge an at-will employee and limit the employer to the termination procedure outlined in the handbook (Libby v. Calais Regional Hospital, 554 A.2d 1181 (Me. 1989)).
For example, assurances of job security in an employee handbook may convert an at-will relationship into a just-cause employment ...

Read more about Employee Handbooks

Related Topics