Tag Archives: employees

The Most Common Employee Lawsuits

All managers, business owners and human resource professionals worry about civil litigation suits from past or current employees. Civil litigation suits are costly and cause a great deal of stress within the company. There is also the risk that one legal suit will spur other employees to bring cases against the company whether they are justified or not. Even frivolous suits cost the company money in terms of legal fees and time and energy. The better your company understands the most common types of employee lawsuits, the better you’ll be able to avoid these suits and prevent them from occurring.

harrassmentSome civil litigation cases occur due to misconduct on the part of management. These are the easiest types of court cases to avoid. Common examples include sexual harassment and unpaid overtime. Some employees file suit due reasons such as discrimination based on age, race religion, nationality, sexual orientation and disabilities. If an employee’s career stalls based on these issues or he or she is terminated for these reasons, a lawsuit is likely.

To avoid civil litigation, it’s critical that your company have expertise on the laws that protect employees. There are a wide variety of protections including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other important federal labor laws. You should also be aware of state laws that affect employer-employee relations.

How can you prevent these types of civil litigation suits? The most important strategy is training. Your human resources or training department should ensure that all new managers, team leaders and supervisors attend training on issues including sexual harassment, appropriate performance review practices, approved company practices and avoiding discrimination. Often, people who are new to management roles are unaware of appropriate practices and aren’t conscious of how their actions may appear to employees. New managers should also receive mentoring and feedback on their actions.

You should also ensure that company standards are in line with practices that prevent employee litigation. These include having employee advocates, an employee-friendly work environment, harassment prevention training for all workers and appropriate training on employee warning, discipline and dismissals.

Setting up Good Human Resources Practices

Why are good human resources practices important? Some company assume that they can deal with human resources issues such as hiring, firing, conducting performance reviews and promoting employees without help. It seems like these issues could be handled with plan old common sense.  However, it takes more than common sense to keep businesses in order. Appropriate human resources practices allow you to assist your employees and management.

human-resourcesWhat are some examples of good human resources practices? One is budget control. Human resources professionals can help reduce management costs, excessive spending. They can also address salaries to ensure that they are both competitive and realistic. Health insurance is another concern. It can be extremely time consuming to search for health plans and get the plans in place.  Human resources staff members can also help with the hiring process to make sure it is in compliance with business law.

When it comes to conflicts, a human resources expert can make the process less stressful for everyone. These professionals are training in conflict management and can help resolve conflicts before they become serious issues. They can address the conflict and help all parties involved to restore a positive working environment.

Human resources departments can help put in place good practices in a variety of areas including corporate image, performance improvement, training and development, consistent practices among management teams and much more.

Another subject human resources department can address are the business law topics that affect your company. These can include break schedules, sexual harassment concerns, hiring, firing and assisting with performance reviews. If these tasks aren’t addressed properly, the company can be exposed to serious business law violations.

Why is E-verify and why is it important to setting up a good human resources department? Business law regulations determine who is eligible for work in the United States. The country’s business law mandates that companies can only employ workers who are legally able to work in the United States. Employees must either be U.S. citizens or foreign born citizens who possess the necessary documentation. E-verify is an internet system that allows human resources departments to verify the eligibility of job candidates quickly. The service is free.

The Pitfalls of Wearing Too Many Hats

One of the pitfalls that many business owners face is “wearing too many hats.” That means the business owner tries to do everything. They take on part of all the company’s issues including human resources, vendor management, money issues, accounting, customer service, marketing and many other duties. Business owners can quickly get overwhelmed and make mistakes or overlook important concerns. It’s exhausting to try to do everything and businesses sometimes fail when the owner is overworked and exhausted.

business rolesA business law specialist can help you manage the many duties that are involved in operating a business. Running a company is tricky and there are many rules and regulations that an owner can easily break. Important regulation topics include human resources, taxes, franchising, contracts, vendor relations and a multitude of other issues. A business law professional may seem like an expense, but in most cases, a good lawyer can help save business owners money.

Human resources policies help companies run smoothly. They address hiring, firing, warnings, wages, employee complaints and sexual harassment issues. A business law attorney can connect you with a HR service or person to help you draft appropriate policies that are in compliance with applicable laws. The policies will also be thorough and will help other employees take on duties such as hiring and managing the business. This will take many duties off of your plate. Many of your workers may be eager to take on additional tasks. Creating policies is one way you can involve workers while ensuring that your business runs smoothly.

Contracts with vendors and customers can be extremely complex. If you don’t have expertise in contract law, it’s easy to get confused. Many business owners lose money or miss opportunities because of their lack of understanding of business law. You can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous suppliers or buyers if your contracts aren’t written correctly. You may want to control every aspect of your company but a business law attorney’s advice is critical when it comes to creating agreements. Your business law attorney can help you understand the terminology and point out issues that you may not have noticed. This can save you a great deal of money and frustration in the long run.

 

Putting Policies in Place as Your Business Grows

A growing business presents new opportunities and concerns on a daily basis. There are employees to hire and train. You may need to find larger space for operations. Customer requests blossom and you need to increase your resources and production to keep up. Growth is exciting but it’s also a critical time for company management. They need to put appropriate policies in place to make sure that the company is functioning properly and following applicable regulations.

business-growingMany growing companies understand that they need to find a qualified business law attorney to help them navigate the growth process. When one or two people are operating a company, they can usually handle most situations themselves. As the staff grows, things become more complicated. Hiring policies need to follow state and federal regulations. Wages and overtime pay become critical issues. The management needs to insure that new workers are properly trained. The company needs appropriate disciplinary policies in place. Workers need human resources contacts to help them in certain situations. Someone has to deal with health insurance, worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, sexual harassment complaints and myriad other human resources issues.

Business law attorneys can help company management build a foundation for future growth. They will recommend that managers create employee handbooks that outline appropriate policies and procedures. Business law attorneys can also advise managers on disciplinary procedures so that employee terminations do not cause legal problems down the road.

Sound financial practices are critical to the success of a company long term. A business law attorney can help managers understand their options when it comes to raising capital for growth. There are a variety of options including partnerships, lines of commercial credit score and loans with lendgenius.com, among others. A business law attorney can explain which options make the most sense for the company’s particular situation.

Policies and procedures can’t remain static while a business grows. If your company is experiencing continuous expansion, you will need to consult with your attorney on a regular basis. You may have to follow different regulations as you open new locations, hire additional employees or expand services. Planning should be a continual process so that you can ensure your business’ healthy growth.

How to Dissolve a Business Partnership

business-partnershipPeople dissolve business partnerships for many reasons. Sometimes, one party wants to retire or move on to other opportunities. All parties may wish to close down the business or sell it. In some cases, the business partners may have difficulty working together and decide to go their separate ways.

Dissolving a business partnership is complex. Ideally, at the time you formed the partnership, you created a partnership agreement. These agreements typically have a dissolution strategy that will guide you through the process. Whether or not a business partnership is in place, it’s important to contact an attorney well versed in business law. He can ensure that your interests are protected throughout the dissolution.

A business law attorney can help you draft a dissolution agreement. This agreement will address a variety of issues. You will need to have a third party valuation to determine the value of the business. After the business is dissolved, each partner will assume different liabilities and assets based on their percentages of ownership.

You will need to address some business law issues when dissolving the partnership.

  1. You probably have business licenses and permits in place. These will need to be discontinued or changed depending on the circumstances.
  2. You may need to terminate employees and ensure that they receive their final paychecks.
  3. Then, there will be other steps such as notifying customers and suppliers about changes in the business’ status.
  4. All parties will need to have a firm understanding of their tax liabilities concerning the company.

If you are continuing the business after the dissolution of the partnership, you will need guidance on restructuring. It may be in your best interests to form a limited liability corporation (LLC) to protect you in case of lawsuits or other financial crises. You may need to change policies within the company. It is a good time to create or revise employee handbooks. These help structure the relationship between the company and workers. A business law attorney can help you resolve the issues related to dissolution. He can also help you plan a strategy for the future that will ensure the company’s success.

Can I Hire a Teenager to Work in My Business?

teenager-employmentMany companies elect to hire teenagers, especially during holiday and summer seasons. When managers need a significant amount of workers for a short period of time, teenagers can be a great resource. Other companies hire teenagers for entry level jobs that require basic skills. These employment arrangements can be advantageous for everyone involved. The business owner gets low-cost labor and the workers gain valuable experience. However, before hiring young workers, it’s important to understand how business law affects hiring in these situations. If you don’t understand employment law thoroughly, you could make costly mistakes.

Business law protects teenagers from being exploited in work situations. Regulations such as The Fair Labor Standards Act provide some recommendations and guidelines when it comes to young workers. Some states require proof of age and work permits before the employee can begin work. It’s important to have a thorough understand of the business laws in your area so that you can comply with all regulations.

Many employers turn to a business law attorney to help them establish company guidelines for hiring teenagers. A lawyer will thoroughly understand the issues that affect employers; they can advise you on age restrictions and wage guidelines. In addition, some states have restrictions on the number of hours that teenagers can work. Attorneys can help you plan out a strategy that will enable you to hire teenagers while complying with local, state and federal regulations.

You cannot have teenagers perform hazardous jobs. In most cases, you cannot hire anyone under the age of 14. There are other restrictions that apply when it comes to hiring teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18. Business laws may require different restrictions on work hours during the school year versus the summer. Your attorney can help you understand the state laws that apply to these situations.

There are always upfront costs involved in hiring a business law attorney. Employers find that the investment in a good attorney prevents many problems. They are less likely to inadvertently violate local, state and federal laws when it comes to hiring teenagers. When you have guidance from a qualified attorney, you can be confident that you are doing the right things for your business.

Hiring Family Members to Work In Your Small Business

small businessIf you are a small business owner, you may find it extremely convenient to hire family members. You probably have long-term, trusting relationships with these individuals. Also, you can help relatives by providing them with viable employment. You cannot ignore business law when it comes to these situations. It’s important to understand all applicable regulations so that you can create a mutually beneficial relationship.

If you are hiring minor-age workers, there are particular guidelines that you should be aware of. The Fair Labor Standards Act is a business law that outlines the hiring and employment of teenagers. Minors cannot perform hazardous jobs. There are restrictions on the number of hours minors can work. These may vary between the summer and school year, depending on state business law. If the teenager is a family member, you may be able to hire them at a younger age depending on local laws. A business law attorney can help you understand the regulations that apply to your particular situation.

One way to comply with business regulations is to create an employee handbook. These outline the rules and regulations that cover both you and the employee. A thorough handbook can help you and your workers understand the obligations that are incurred during the working relationship. An employee handbook should address local, state and federal regulations. It’s a good idea to have an experienced business law attorney review your employee handbook. The attorney can tell you what information is missing and bring inaccuracies to your attention.

Tax regulations can cause problems for small business owners, especially when it comes to hiring family members. Tax laws prohibit you from paying employees “under the table.” This means that you need to meet all IRS reporting regulations for wages. If your company is audited, the IRS can easily uncover discrepancies in wage reporting and you could face serious fines. You can avoid these mistakes by consulting with an attorney specializing in business law. The attorney will help you understand the tax laws that apply to your small business. He can advise you on how to set up an accounting system that will report taxes properly so that you don’t make mistakes.