Translating an Employee Handbook


 I'm new to the BLR and I was browsing through the threads for an answer, but I didn't find it. I would really appreciate if any of you could provide me with some feedback.

In the state of California certain mandatory employment law posters must be translated into other languages if more than 10% of the workforce speaks a language other than English. Does anyone of a law or standard tha exist regarding employee handbooks in otehr languages?



  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I'm not aware of any law, but if a significant number of your workers cannot read the handbook, it would probably be a good idea to get it translated.  If you terminate someone in a protected class (e.g., national origin) for violating a policy and that person says they weren't able to read the policy (and you knew it), you may find yourself being sued for discrimination.  Even without the risk of litigation, you probably want your employees to be able to understand your policies, rules, etc.  
  • Thank you. That is the path we were headed down, but I wanted to find out if anyone else had dealt with a similar situation. What I was worried a bit was whether or not once you translate for one you may need to translate for all and that would be a challenge. My company was previously family owned and the owners hired many employees who barely speak any English.
  • Translate for all is the safest course.

    In research methods, where you might want to design a survey for use in multiple language populations,  the accepted practice is to have one person translate to the other language and have a second person translate it back, and then compare the original document to the back-translated document for content equality.

Sign In or Register to comment.