Nebraska Employee Handbooks laws & HR compliance analysis

Nebraska 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 Outdated or erroneous policies can be as dangerous as no policies at all.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.
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Nebraska 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, Nebraska courts have recognized that definite statements in an employee handbook or policy manual may create an employment contract.
For example, the Nebraska Supreme Court has held an employer to a “promised” grievance procedure contained in an employee handbook (Morris v. Lutheran Medical Center, 340 N.W.2d 388 (NE 1983)).
On the other hand, an employer's policy included in an employee manual that conflicts with state or federal law is void and unenforceable (Roseland v. Strategic Staff Management, Inc.,

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