Employers are responsible for understanding and complying with a number of federal and state laws that have been created to protect employees. The laws are designed for the good of companies and individuals, but navigating the sheer volume of statutes and regulations can be complex and overwhelming. Without a good regulation and compliance policy in place, your company could easily become the target in an employment dispute.
As an employer, some of the top employment law considerations you will need to adequately and regularly address include:
- Wages and hours. Employers are required to adhere to regulations on overtime pay, travel pay, exempt and non-exempt employee pay requirements, and rest/meal breaks. Employers are also required to provide paid sick leave and vacation time in certain circumstances.
- Classifying employees. Independent contractors, exempt employees, and non-exempt employees are all separate classifications. Employers are responsible for appropriately classifying all workers and compensating them accordingly. The fines for misclassification can be steep.
- Drug and alcohol testing. Conducting drug and alcohol testing is a common policy for many employers, but employers must comply with rigorous standards to be able to use drug and alcohol testing as a form of employment guidance.
- Sexual harassment and discrimination are often high profile cases in the workplace. An effective employee handbook, policies on harassment, and engaged management/HR personnel can effectively reduce the likelihood of a business being targeted in a discrimination claim.
- Medical leave and compensation. Workers’ compensation insurance, Family Medical Leave Act, and California Family Rights Act are also commonly cited in employment disputes. Having a compliance policy in place for all three is a necessary step for employers to take.
- Anytime you terminate an employee, you must do so on professional grounds and in a professional manner.
- OSHA compliance and workplace safety. Regulations govern workplace safety and can affect the outcome of workers’ compensation claims. Protect your business by adhering to industry standards for creating a safe work environment.
This list includes only the most commonly cited issues employees have with employers. In reality, employers are responsible for understanding and complying with many employment laws at both the federal and state level.
With so many considerations for employers, it is understandable how any-sized business can slip up occasionally. To prevent the likelihood of an accidental mistake or having to deal with the poor choices of a manager or employee, businesses must take a proactive approach to their employment law requirements.
Employment laws change constantly. Knowing when the changes take place and how to update policies on a regular basis can help businesses identify and address any noncompliance situations in the workplace. For instance, some companies can improve their compliance programs and avoid lawsuits by maintaining strict records and personnel files.
Employer-Employee Relationship Management
Employee rights can easily take away from your business’ goals. Having comprehensive, legal policies in place can improve employer-employee relationships for the benefit of the business while reducing the number of claims you must address over the course of your business’ life. Having to address and/or pay penalties on an employment claim can cost a company thousands of dollars per claim.
For contract disputes, employment disputes, and other employer-related legal concerns, having an experienced attorney helping you maintain compliance can prevent costly claims later. Curran & Curran Law in San Diego specializes in employment law, which allows us to advise company management on all aspects of maintaining legal compliance with respect to employer-employee relations. Companies have rights as well as employees, and fighting a false claim may be the only way to protect your reputation. Contact us today for more information about employer-specific employment laws in California.