Employees play one of the most crucial roles in business and are essentially the lifeblood of all businesses, big and small. Being able to effectively manage those employees is not only critical to your business' growth and success but prudent to effective management and employee retention. Below are some notable tips to incorporate into your business regimen:
1. Make sure you have an Employee Handbook that is up to date and complies with federal, state and local employment laws. Failing to provide your employees with a resource which identifies what is required of them and most importantly, which outlines your company's policies on discrimination and harassment (and how to report it), may subject your company to strict liability and punitive damages if you are sued for a violation of employment law(s).
2. Ensure proper training of all employees, both management and staff. In order to ensure compliance with your Employee Handbook, mandatory annual trainings to emphasize workplace policies and company practices are critical. Failure to provide continuous and adequate training can render your Employee Handbook moot and subject your company to strict liability and punitive damages in the event of a lawsuit.
3. Ensure you have an Internal Investigation Procedure in place. The law requires employers to conduct an internal investigation in the event of receipt of a complaint by an employee especially in the event of alleged unlawful harassment or discrimination. Internal investigations of all employee complaints are one of the most crucial and proactive tools an employer can enforce to address workplace complaints-to ensure transparency in the workplace, prevent litigation as well as mitigate your damages in the event of a lawsuit. Your company also has an affirmative duty to ensure every worker knows how to raise a complaint and when appropriate, for the Company to take effective remedial measures to stop the harassment/discrimination.
4. Make sure your employees are appropriately classified. In order to ensure that your company is compliant with the IRS, Department of Labor and various state agencies, it is strongly recommended that you provide all employees with a job description for each position held that accurately reflects their job duties and responsibilities and which lists if they are exempt or non-exempt. There is no "one-size fits all" stamp on classifying exempt vs. non-exempt employees. There are certain federal requirements distinguishing exempt from non-exempt employees from the provisions of law dictating the payment of overtime. Failure to appropriately identify your employees, whether unintentionally or not, may result in substantial tax liabilities as well as exposure to wage and hour lawsuits.
5. Ensure adequate record-keeping practices. It cannot be stressed enough that keeping accurate time records for all hours worked by your employees is imperative especially in the event of an audit by the Department of Labor or if sued for a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). Equally important, I-9 records verifying employment eligibility and supportive documentation may be properly maintained and on file for each and every employee on your company payroll. Failure to comply with federal requirements for I-9 records and documentation can result in substantial monetary fines.
Whether you're a small or large company, juggling the everyday responsibilities of managing a business can undoubtedly be cumbersome. However, it's important not to neglect one of the most fundamental aspects of your business-your employees. At Danz & Kronengold PL, we can assist in ensuring compliance with federal and state laws, provide strategic planning, HR consulting, risk management and effective training of management and staff.
You can reach the Danz & Kronengold P.L. law firm at:
954 - 406 - 7535 or toll free at 866 - 640 - 1040 (www.danzlaw.net)