Because we get so many questions about what an employee handbook should cover, we thought we’d share a negative example with you. Examples of what not to do can be illuminating and memorable learning experiences. Indeed, “I should probably do this” doesn’t always stick as well as “nope, never going to do that.”
The following document is an illustration of what not to include in your employee handbook. It contains a few unsound workplace policies—can you spot them all?
We will no longer accept a doctor’s statement (note) as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
Each employee will receive 105 personal days a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.
- Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy.
- Normal-sized people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.
- Overweight people get 5 minutes for lunch because that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast.
- It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing $350 Prada sneakers and carrying a $600 Gucci bag we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise.
- If you dress poorly, you do not manage your finances well, and we assume you need to learn to manage your money better so that you may buy nicer clothes. Therefore, you do not need a raise.
- If you dress in-between, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives, or coworkers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.
Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. There is now a strict 3-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, and the stall door will open. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the “Chronic Offenders” category.
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternations or input should be directed elsewhere.
Did you catch all the mistakes in this employee handbook? That’s right: they misspelled “bereavement,” miscounted the number of Saturdays and Sundays (there are 104, not 105), and underestimated the price of Prada sneakers.
Kidding, kidding. This is an old, old joke handbook that has been circulating around the internet since the early 2000s—and probably before that. Whether you remember reading this in a chain email sent to your AOL or MSN address back in the day, or have never seen it before, we thought you’d appreciate some oldie-but-goodie compliance “humor.”
That said, satire has a strange way of aging, and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a few of our readers have seen policies resembling these in genuine employee handbooks. Would you like to avoid Draconian policies like the above? Want to know what to actually include in your handbook? Download our Employee Handbooks Checklist right now, for free.