Employment litigation is a serious matter for any small business. When you have a current or former employee who is making claims against your company, it can cast a negative light on the business even if you didn't do anything wrong. One area where you have to be especially careful is when you have to terminate someone. This event brings up very negative feelings for the person who is being let go.
One thing that all employers must do is ensure that employees always get their correct pay. Issues with pay will almost always cause problems with an employee. Some might understand when there is an error as long as it's corrected immediately, but others won't be so understanding. Business owners should have plans in place in case there is ever an issue over employee payroll. This may help reduce the likelihood that your company will face adverse legal actions.
Having to deal with legal matters is often inevitable when you have a variety of employees working for you.
If you decide to use employment contracts for your employees, they can actually help protect your business in some cases by defining that relationship. For instance, the contract can lay out exactly how many vacation days the employee gets and what the ramifications are for taking too many days. If you then take action based on those stipulations, there is no room for the employee to argue that it was unfair or discriminatory. Those are the terms that they agreed to up front.
Employees in Pennsylvania have the protections of federal and state laws when it comes to their overtime pay. It is imperative that employers understand the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act so they can ensure they are paying workers appropriately. This decreases the chance that they will face legal issues from employees who claim they weren't paid appropriate overtime wages.
Pennsylvania is an at will employment state, which means that either the employer or employee can end the working relationship at any point without a reason. Even though this sounds like employers can terminate employees for any reason, they actually can't. It is possible for an employee to sue an employer for wrongful termination if the reason is illegal.
A company's most valuable asset is the employees who work for it. That is until an employee decides that they are upset with the business and starts to cause legal troubles. When you are in charge of running a company that employs people, you have to ensure that the people who work for you are being treated in a manner that is compliant with applicable laws.
One of the most troubling accusations that your company might face at some point is that you retaliated against an employee. Claims of retaliation are taken very seriously and must be given the attention they deserve. Because of the chance of a current or former employee making this claim, you should ensure that you are keeping accurate and comprehensive records for everyone who works for you.
Employers must be very careful when terminating employees, especially if the person has made a complaint about something like labor law violations. There is a chance that the worker might claim that the termination was unlawful because it was made in retaliation for the complaint.
All employers are expected to handle claims of discrimination in an appropriate manner. Any discrimination or harassment that are based on a person's protected status is illegal. There are several things that businesses need to ensure their managers know. By taking a proactive stance against discrimination, you can protect your business.