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Is Your Business Facing Any of These Legal Landmines?

Posted on: November 21st, 2017

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.
 
Privacy Issues
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.

Concerned that any of the above legal landmines may apply to your business? Contact us for a consultation so we can discuss how 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.
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