Employee’s refusal to sign handbook acknowledgement form

Author: BLR


We have an employee who does not want to sign the new Employee Handbook acknowledgment form. What can we do?


It is not possible to force an employee to sign a handbook acknowledgment, but there are various options to consider following such a refusal. First, you can have the employee write “I refuse to sign the acknowledgment” or have a representative and another witness write “employee refused to sign the acknowledgment” and sign and date it. These options provide documentation that the employee was asked to sign and was also aware of the handbook. The employee should be informed that the refusal to sign does not mean that they are exempt from the policies and procedures in the handbook.

It is also possible to make the acknowledgment of the handbook a condition of employment, in which case discipline may be pursued. If acknowledgment of the handbook is not already a condition of employment for your organization, that can be implemented through a policy in the handbook itself or as part of the hiring process. It must be implemented consistently for all employees.

Whichever approach is selected, it must be applied uniformly and without discrimination to all employees.

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