What are the biggest employee-related mistakes businesses are making these days? How can you defuse these potential time bombs before they explode into costly disputes? Here’s an overview of the top five employer mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Failing to establish an effective sexual harassment policy. Recent Supreme Court decisions have held employers liable for their supervisors’ actions unless complaining employees fail to take advantage of company complaint procedures. In light of these rulings, it’s more important than ever to implement policies and procedures for dealing with sexual harassment.
- Failing to pay overtime to nonexempt employees. All too many businesses pay employees a salary regardless of the number of hours they work and whether or not they’re subject to wage and hour laws. Unless employees are exempt as administrative, executive, or professional workers, you must pay them time-and-a-half their regular hourly pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week.
- Failing to complete I-9 forms for new employees. Some employers photocopy employee-produced documents without filling out the parts of the forms that describe the documents. This can be a costly mistake if you face an audit from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Failing to take and document disciplinary actions. Employees who have been discharged for poor performance often have glowing evaluations in their files. This can expose the employer to lawsuits.
- Failing to discharge poor performers quickly. If you’ve retained employees for many years despite poor attendance records, multiple infractions, and even several “final” warnings in their files, you’re asking for trouble. These employees are the most likely to sue when they’re finally discharged.
It makes sense to implement these policies — and to supplement them by carrying Employment Practices Liability Insurance. Our employee benefits professionals would be happy to offer you their advice. Just give us a call.