The following is a list of five common issues that regularly occur to trip up employers.
- Training: Failing to train employees is a huge mistake. Regular training is a good way to reinforce company policy and ensure all employees understand what is expected. Furthermore, training on discrimination and harassment policies is a must, as a robust training program is admissible to defend against any discrimination or harassment lawsuits.
- Documenting Progressive Discipline: Employers must clearly and consistently document performance issues leading up to termination. Documenting such discipline ensures the employee clearly understands they are not meeting expectations and, if performance does not improve, termination is likely. Such documentation also makes litigation less likely because the employee knows the company has records of performance failure.
- Managing Employee Health Issues: Assisting employers with the management of employee health issues is a significant part of many employment law attorneys’ practices because of the confusing overlap of workers compensation laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Many employers implement policies to deal with employee health issues that make perfect sense, but actually violate the law. When managing a complicated employee health issue, consult an attorney.
- Restrictive Covenants: Restrictive Covenant agreements are contracts signed by an employee that restricts their ability to work for a competitor, solicit your clients and employees, and use your confidential information after termination. Many employers mistakenly believe such arguments are unenforceable. Consider utilizing such agreements to protect your business.
- Not Paying Overtime: Many employers believe you can avoid paying overtime by simply paying a salary. Not true! To qualify for salary pay, an employee’s duties must satisfy one of a handful of federal exemptions to the general requirement to pay overtime. Employees who are misclassified as salaried can sue for unpaid overtime. Give thoughtful consideration to who is paid a salary in your company and consult with an attorney regarding the relevant federal exemptions.