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Employee Refuses to Sign the Handbook. How Should You Respond?


Employee Refuses to Sign the Handbook

Question: One of our employees refuses to sign the handbook. What should we do with him?

Answer: First things first, talk to him about why he doesn’t want to sign the handbook. There may be an easily resolved misunderstanding about what his signature on this document means.

If that conversation doesn’t solve the problem, and you still want him to work for you, he needs to be told that failure to sign the handbook does not mean he is exempt from the policies and procedures within it. He will be expected to follow the same rules and will be held to the same standards as his co-workers, regardless of whether you have his signature on file.

If he persists in his refusal to sign, ask him to write “I refuse to sign” on the acknowledgement form, along with the date. You should write “employee refused to sign” along with your own signature, and if possible, call in another manager to witness this and sign off as well. Make sure you document (right on the acknowledge form is fine) that you told the employee he will still be expected to follow the policies and would be subject to discipline for falling to do so, just like everyone else.

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