The economy is a shambles, and employers are doing everything they can to stay in business. That includes terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs. Nearly every one of those moves carries litigation risk.
With little to lose, more and more employees are willing to stake bias claims, hoping to score a big settlement. Their allies are attorneys who will look for any reason to sue.
What should employers do?
Have your company's personnel policies and practices had a checkup lately? A comprehensive audit is one of the easiest ways to spot problems.
Pay extra careful attention to the following areas during your policy and procedure audit.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a complex statute that contains many categories of exempt employees—some of whom are exempt from both the minimum wage and overtime provisions, and some of whom are exempt only from overtime.
It's your responsibility to classify your workforce by determining who is exempt and who is nonexempt. Sounds simple, but if the Department of Labor finds out years later that you incorrectly classified your workers, you could owe thousands of dollars in back wages, damages and penalties.
FLSA record-keeping is another potential problem. Employers must maintain pay records of all hours worked. Time clocks can simplify this task.
This comprehensive book will save you countless hours coming up with policies on your own — and could save you countless dollars in legal fees and judgments. Available as a PDF download or printed copy: The Book of Company Policies
2. Occupational safety
A review of workplace safety and health issues should include the "OSHA 200” or injury log book that many employers are required to maintain. If you are required to maintain the log, you must post a copy in the workplace each year throughout the month of February.
You must also have appropriate safety measures in place, such as first aid kits, to protect workers. A good audit will review your past OSHA experience and methods of abating hazards that are discovered.
3. Discrimination and leave
An audit will include reviewing your personnel policies, forms and legally required posters, and evaluating personnel practices to determine whether there are any compliance issues.
Protection against lawsuits is just one reason to have complete company policies in writing. Once you implement the wisdom in the Book of Company Policies, you'll wish you'd done it years ago.
Putting your policies in writing may seem like a chore – something you have to do to protect yourself. But once you get started, you'll realize it's something you want to do – for the extra benefits you receive.
Company policies should be carefully worded and put in writing, but that doesn't mean they're carved in stone. Policies are key elements in a company's culture, and cultures must adapt to a changing environment to survive and grow …
…which leads to a bonus benefit. Your policies can not only protect you against legal action but also give you a competitive edge. Smart policies help you run a business that appeals to the kind of employees you want to find and keep. Best practices attract the best people.
You get in-depth analysis and sample policy language for 33 topics in all. So you can substantially reduce risk … prevent problems by keeping your employees informed … attract good people with good policies … and do it all with minimal investment of time and effort.
Order The Book of Company Policies today!
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