Why bother to wordsmith and labor over every word in your employment policies? Because sometimes an employer’s own pen can create liability. That was the case recently for an Illinois employer that will now go on trial for allegedly violating federal and state wage laws.
Exhibit A on the list of evidence against the company: its employment policy handbook. The problem: It appeared to establish policies that can be used against the employer in court.
Overtime and illegal withholding
International Merchant Services (IMS) is an Illinois-based electronic bank-card processor. Five employees, who had worked for IMS between three and six years, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court, Northern Illinois. (Ergo v. Int’l Merchant Servs. Inc., No. 04-06789, ND IL, 2007)
The former employees claimed IMS violated overtime-compensation laws by failing to pay them time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 hours per week and withh...(register to read more)