Employment law plays an important role in the workplace. With the many laws enforced through different Acts, Policies, definitions, and protections to employees, employers must be aware of all of these that pertain to their state and take precautionary steps to ensure compliance in all areas; hence they receive large fines and possible imprisonment for non-compliance, incorrect labeling of an employee vs. an independent contractor, and so forth.
A few of the biggest considerations that should be taken into account by an employer include:
- Properly labeling the employee or independent contractor
- Ensuring no promises are made to the employee, either in writing or implied
- Ensuring adherence to all applicable nondiscrimination, wages, work hours, and child labor laws
- Ensuring that even if the employer is an at-will employer that no violations of the law exist when terminating an employee, up to and including discrimination and wrongful termination
If an employer does his or her due diligence to research all laws applicable in that state, adheres to the laws, and employs best practices throughout business dealings with employees, the employer will be better off all around. What I used to teach entrepreneurs about employment law is that it is always best to document, document, document. Ensuring fair employment opportunities, ensuring all laws are abided by, and always taking the ‘safe route’ is essential to staying out of court or arbitration with an employee. However, this is not always full-proof, but the employer will be in a much better position to handle any unwanted situations that arise.
Out of the list above, which do you think is the most important in your organization?