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Labor Law Issues Done By Organizations
Labor Law Issues Done By Organizations
The contemporary American workplace is susceptible to numerous federal, state, and local legal guidelines that impose strict obligations on businesses (e.g., wage and hour laws, nondiscrimination legislation, etc.). A lot of companies, especially smaller organizations, tend not to know the scope of such obligations and, because of this, frequently (albeit inadvertently) violate legislation. These violations can cause costly lawsuits, and also civil and criminal penalties. In my experience as being a defense attorney in addition to being a plaintiff's lawyer, the most typical employment law mistakes done by corporations are these (in no particular order):
- Misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Normally, only workers who operate their unique separate organizations are "independent contractors." Few workers meet this test; the truth is, most personnel are considered "employees" for the law, this means they're eligible to the complete variety of workplace protections.
- Misclassifying non-exempt staff members as exempt. Generally, all workers are eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay, unless they're "exempt" under state and federal law. The exemption rules (e.g., for executive, administrative, and professional workers) only apply in limited circumstances, however; therefore, many employees who're claimed by businesses to become "exempt" actually have entitlement to minimum wage and/or overtime pay.
- Not complying with state wage payment legal guidelines. i.e. New York imposes several specific rules regarding how businesses be forced to pay their personnel. These rules include providing new employees with written notice of these rate of pay and regular pay date; prohibiting deductions from wages unless for that employee's benefit and authorized in writing; requiring written contracts for commissioned salespersons; and providing terminated staff members with written notice of the last day's work, their last day's benefits, and their right to make an application for unemployment benefits.
- Not owning a personnel handbook. A personnel handbook is a crucial tool for effective employer-employee relations. It notifies staff members of the company's values, policies, and procedures; promotes compliance with labor and employment law regulations; so it helps create an orderly, efficient, and transparent workplace.
- Not documenting employee job performance. A well-managed organization clearly communicates its employees' duties and responsibilities (e.g., through written position descriptions), trains and supervises workers to be sure they are meeting these requirements, and offers regular, objective, consistent feedback (e.g., through written evaluations and, where necessary, disciplinary actions). A deficiency of accurate, complete, contemporaneous documentation can cause liability in case of a case by a worker.
- Not training supervisors regarding EEO laws. Federal, state, and local equal employment opportunity (EEO) legal guidelines prohibit businesses from taking adverse actions against employees (e.g., demotion, termination) for reasons not linked to an employee's job performance, including those according to an employee's race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, and marital status ( to mention the most typical "protected characteristics"), plus retaliation for an employee's good faith complaints of discrimination. It is imperative that supervisors learn the way to manage workers without violating (or appearing to violate) these laws and regulations.
- Not providing reasonable accommodations for disabled staff members. Most EEO laws and regulations prohibit businesses from taking adverse actions against employees depending on certain protected characteristics, but disability discrimination laws also impose an affirmative obligation on businesses to "reasonably accommodate" disabled workers to be able to make them perform the primary functions of these jobs. Such accommodations can sometimes include restructuring job duties, modifying work schedules, or providing assistive devices. Businesses must give a disabled employee with needed accommodations unless doing this would cause an "undue hardship" for the business (e.g., very costly, too disruptive).
- Not obtaining releases from terminated workers. When terminating a worker, businesses need to get a release that waives the employee's potential legal claims against the business. The easiest way to get a release is in exchange for an offer of severance (where appropriate). Generally, businesses are not essential to pay for severance to workers (unless necessary for an employment contract or possibly a collective bargaining agreement). If they opt to achieve this (e.g., associated with layoffs), they ought to require personnel to sign a release in substitution for the payment.
- Not protecting confidential organization information. Every corporation depends upon certain vital, often confidential, details about its organization operations, including trade secrets, marketing and advertising practices, and customer and client lists. Access to this information ought to be tied to workers with a "need to know" and may be protected by appropriate non-disclosure, non-compete, and/or non-solicitation agreements (depending on the nature of the information along with the employee's position).
- Not consulting an experienced employment law attorney. Perhaps the only most critical point to take away from this discussion is businesses must consult a professional employment lawyer to ensure they are in compliance with all the increasingly numerous and complex laws and regulations that carpet work just like a minefield. Large businesses normally have attorneys and hr professionals within the company to help them in this field. Small- and medium-size companies often don't. Their biggest mistake is intending to navigate this minefield by themselves.
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