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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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California new hire offer letter: should the letter refer to

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California new hire offer letter: should the letter refer to the Employee Handbook? Should it say that the handbook binding in some way? Please provide some model language or rationale as to why referring to it is unnecessary
Hello.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

The offer letter should make mention of the company handbook, however, it should definitely NOT say that it is binding in any way, assuming that you want to ensure that the employees are still at-will, and can be terminated at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice.

This mention is sufficient:

"As a Company employee, you will be expected to abide by the Company's rules and standards. Specifically, you will be required to sign an acknowledgment that you have read and that you understand the Company's rules of conduct which are included in the Company Handbook."

This comes from this sample offer letter, which is very useful, and also contains lots of references to at-will status to ensure there wouldn't possibly be any misunderstanding:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/15ZeT6a2s5qO6RoQoWkmUEH0fHUNgf9_AMzjs6dHNC8A/edit

If you were to state that the handbook is binding, the employee could sue you for wrongful termination or breach of contract if you were to violate any provisions in the employee handbook, and it could create a contract, requiring you to go through a particular disciplinary procedure or have good cause for termination.

Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you! Do you practice in California?

Hello Jeff,

Happy to help. Yes, I practice in California.
Hello Jeff,

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions regarding the above information.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Thanks and best of luck!

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