The potential for costly errors when managing your workforce is high, but unnecessary if the proper planning is put into place from the start. To make the most of your role as an employer, make sure you understand the following common mistakes and how to avoid them.
At-Will Employment Misunderstandings
At-will employment is a concept recognized by nearly all 50 states. While you can terminate an employment relationship at any time, providing the reason in writing can help prevent allegations of discrimination or illegal firing.
Union Law Violations
Even if you manage non-union employees, think twice before you take adverse action against an employee who acts as an organizer or spokesperson for the rest of the workforce. Even non-union employees have some rights when it comes to organized labor.
Wage and Hour Mistakes
Minimum wage issues, overtime, holiday pay, and comp hours can complicate payroll. Have a business lawyer review your payroll practices to ensure you comply with minimum wage requirements so you can be sure you are properly paying employees for all hours worked.
Hiring and Firing
While most employment contracts are at-will, terminations cannot be motivated by discriminatory or other illegal reasons. Likewise, hiring and retention practices cannot be discriminatory in any way.
Discrimination and Harassment
Discrimination and harassment are hot-button topics. Make sure you aren’t walking the legal line and work with a lawyer to reduce the risk of discrimination or harassment in your workforce by management or the employees.
Safety Code Violations
You have a duty to provide your employees with a safe workplace that complies with OSHA standards. Make sure your safety standards are rigorous, stand up to OSHA regulations, and are clearly communicated to all employees.
Employees have certain rights to privacy. Practices such as drug testing, workspace searching, closed-circuit surveillance, and internet monitoring—while common—can land an employer in the hot seat. Run any monitoring practices by a lawyer to ensure you are within your rights.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Violations
The FMLA can be tricky to navigate. It can conflict with state laws, requiring the employer make judgment calls. The legal standard leans in favor of the employee, but many employers need guidance when dealing with leave issues. Always consult with a business lawyer when unsure of leave policies.
Concerned that any of the above legal landmines may apply to your business? Consult with a trusted advisor to ensure your management practices comply with employment laws and treat all your workers fairly. Not only is this good for your employees, but it will also mitigate your risk of allegations, fines, and lawsuits.
This article is a service of Law Office of Benjamin Diederich, centrally located in Southwest Riverside County, in the city of Menifee, and serving the surrounding cities of Murrieta, Temecula, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Riverside, Corona, and around the country. We offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a Business Protector Audit℠ for new or ongoing businesses, which includes a review of your legal, financial, insurance, tax, and intellectual property foundation to ensure your business operates in a sound manner. Call us today to schedule your Business Protector Audit and mention this article to get this $750 session at no charge.