Using a purchased or free employee handbook template sounds like a good alternative to writing one yourself. Unfortunately, many templates are “one-size-fits-all.” They’re made with the lowest common denominator in mind, to cast the widest net.

Generic or low-quality employee handbook templates can obliterate your ability to defend a claim, result in hefty fines or settlements, and cost you tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. And since hundreds of state and federal employment laws are changed or created during the course of each year, a one-size-fits-all template cannot possibly be kept up to date. (This is even more true in states like California, New York, or some others, where the legal provisions employers must comply with are especially numerous and strict.)

Plus, how many employees you have, your industry, and your office culture also matter when it comes to what policies and protections you need to have in place.

In order to gain all the benefits and protections available to you as an employer, you need to have an up-to-date employee handbook that’s been professionally written and customized for your business. You also need access to HR experts and employment law consultants who can keep your policies up to date and help you solve tough issues in accordance with those policies. Besides, there’s no substitute for working one-on-one with real people whose knowledge and understanding you can trust.