Every day there are hundreds of legal cases tried in U.S. courts that involve employers being sued by former employees for a wide variety of reasons– discrimination, illegal pay practices, mishandling of harassment complaints, FMLA violations, and a multitude of other violations. These cases often cost the employer thousands or even millions of dollars in losses.
What can you to do to keep from ending up in a courtroom? The answer is simple – ensure that your management goes through regular compliance training on these subjects and make certain that your policies are up to date.
Having a regular compliance training program (in conjunction with the proper policies and processes) that is documented and up to date, will lessen the chance you will end up in court and it will help you to defend yourself should the worst happen and you are sued.
There are literally dozens of compliance topics for you to choose from when deciding what areas to focus your training efforts.
Here are some of the most litigated topics:
- Workplace Sensitivity – this is a critically important area to ensure your managers fully understand. This subject includes discrimination (both intentional and unintentional), sexual harassment and hostile work environment, and workplace bullying. Violations here are likely to lead to significant financial exposure in a lawsuit.
- FLSA – the Fair Labor Standards Act governs pay practices across the US and provides legal requirements for areas such as contractor versus employee, salaried versus hourly, minimum wage violations, overtime policies, and more. Not understanding the laws can lead to audits, fines, and significant financial costs.
- FMLA – the Family Medical Leave Act is a law that provides unpaid time off for qualifying employees who have personal situations that meet the criteria of this law. Not following this law and its requirements (including proper documentation and tracking) will lead to lawsuits and financial penalties.
- Employee Records Completion and Retention – making mistakes when completing new employee paperwork – more specifically, the I-9, can be very problematic for any employer and will lead to IRS or ICE audits and significant fines (in the case of I-9′s it can actually lead to incarceration). Staying out of court is an important part of owning and running a business. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but taking the right steps to ensure that you can defend yourself will be critical to your success. For more information visit us on the web at www.unemploymenttracker.com.