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Pittsburgh Employment Law Blog

What should be included in an employee handbook?

Writing an employee handbook correctly can prove to be one of the most effective ways to prevent employee legal disputes. It means that all standards and company policies can be set straight, and provides a procedure for employees to follow in the event they have any type of problem. This makes it more likely that they will follow a company procedure, and less likely that they will turn straight to a lawyer for guidance.

Employee handbooks should be a comprehensive guide to ensure that all employees know what is expected of them, and what they should do if they wish to make a complaint about an incident that occurred in the workplace.

What are tipped employees’ rights?

As an employer of tipped workers, you may be confused about where the law stands and what rights your employees have in regard to pay. If you accidentally fail to abide by the law, you might find yourself in the middle of a costly lawsuit; therefore, it's a good idea to exercise prevention.

Tipped employees are recognized under the law as any employee that receives over $30 in tips per month on a regular basis. This means that a worker on any salary could be classed as a tipped employee if he or she receives just a small amount of regular tips.

Retirement plans: How employers can avoid disputes

Since 1974, the Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) has been in place. It means that employers have certain legal responsibilities to their employees. Employers must comply with the ERISA regulations, and if they do not, they may find themselves in an expensive legal dispute with their employees.

There are several aspects of ERISA that are vital when it comes to compliance. If these key principles are followed, employers will be able to avoid costly lawsuits in regard to retirement security.

Drafting a noncompete agreement that can be enforced

As an employer, it can be difficult to keep on top of all the paperwork that should be in place to protect you. It is likely that many of your employees hold information that is vital to your company, and it is extremely important that none of this information gets into the hands of competitors.

In order to tackle these risks, you must adopt procedures that ensure all contracts prevent employees from taking company sensitive information and skills elsewhere. This usually can be enforced within a noncompete agreement. When done right, these agreements along with confidentiality agreements can keep your company secure.

How to prevent your business partnership from failing

One step in the process of establishing a business is deciding on its structure, such as sole proprietorship or an LLC. Perhaps you are thinking of switching entities. Either way, you may choose to go with a partnership for its benefits of sharing responsibilities and bringing qualities and experience you lack. 

However, before you ask your spouse, best friend or a professional you do not know to join you, you need to know what to look for in a partner. Making the wrong choice can lead to avoidable business disputes.

How to protect the company when terminating an employee

Running a business, no matter its size, takes a lot of care and compliance. You have to ensure that the company is following all employment rules and regulations laid out by various agencies. One place where companies get into quite a bit of trouble is the termination of employees. Here's how to protect the company when terminating an employee in Pennsylvania.

Either the employee's direct supervisor or someone from human resources should be documenting as much as possible in writing. This includes any meetings held with the employee, disciplinary actions taken or written warnings issued.

Preventing unpaid overtime claims

Employers can often mistakenly underpay workers for the overtime that they worked. This can be often due to the misclassification of employees and what that means for the wage that they are owed.

The following tips are some of the most efficient ways to make your company processes sound enough to prevent unpaid overtime claims from occurring:

Common compliance mistakes that managers make

One of the most effective ways to avoid employment litigation and costly lawsuits is to ensure that all line managers in a company know how to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

There are many aspects to the FMLA, and therefore, it is advisable that all managers have some type of training in regard to what rights employees have in relation to this law. The following are some of the most common mistakes that line managers make when misinterpreting the FMLA.

Does your company's good name help or hurt in a lawsuit?

A good company reputation should help you in a lawsuit, shouldn't it?

Experts say that the research shows that a company's good name does, generally, go a long way in discrimination lawsuits. However, be warned -- that good name can also come back to haunt you if your company is found liable.

3 easy ways to prevent employment discrimination

To create a successful business, you have done everything you can to maximize profits through operations, pricing and customer service. You take care of investors and hire the best people to improve your business. But have you prepared for one of the most common sources of financial loss, business litigation?

The U.S. Small Business Administration reveals that every year up to 53 percent of companies go through a lawsuit, reports Forbes. Is it possible to avoid becoming another statistic? While you cannot eliminate the risk altogether, you can do these three simple things to reduce the chances greatly.

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