Q: What action can we take when an employee refuses to sign the employee handbook?
A: First things first, talk to the employee about why they don’t want to sign the handbook. There may be an easily resolved misunderstanding about what their signature on this document means.
If that conversation doesn’t solve the problem, and you still want the employee to work for you, then it needs to be made clear that failure to sign the handbook does not mean exemption from the policies and procedures within it. The employee will be expected to follow the same rules and will be held to the same standards as their co-workers, regardless of whether you have the signature on file.
If the employee persists in their refusal to sign, ask the employee 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 they will still be expected to follow the policies and would be subject to discipline for failing to do so, just like everyone else.
You can download an Employee Handbook Acknowledgment Form in our Checklists and Guides Library.