Don't Trust "Employee Handbooks"

Most non-union hotels hand their employees an "Employee Handbook," and usually, somewhere in the handbook, management has inserted a “management escape clause” that states that the employee handbook is not a contract between the employer and the employee and that management has the right to change or ignore anything in the handbook, whenever it wants to.

This “management escape clause” means that you can’t trust any of the promises management makes in your employee handbook because the handbook explicitly gives management the right to ignore (or change at any time) anything it promises in the handbook. Employee handbooks are written by the employer and they're not negotiated with the employees. So you shouldn't be surprised that employee handbooks don't give you any enforceable rights.

Read through the employee handbook your employer handed you and try finding the “management escape clause” inside. It's there.

The main reason hotel owners and managers don't like having a union is that they don't want to sign a legally-binding contract with their employees. Non-union hotel workers have no contract – just a worthless employee handbook – and that means management can do pretty much anything it wants to them.

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