Between clown sightings and Presidential debates, we have enough scary things to deal with this Halloween season.
Don’t let Human Resources also turn into a nightmare. There are 6 simple practices that businesses need to implement in order to avoid employee issues turning into HR nightmares.
Worker misclassification can be an expensive problem. Avoid this by classifying employees correctly from the beginning. The FLSA provides clear guidance on classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt for overtime pay.
In order to qualify for exempt status, there is a salary test and duties test that must be considered. And remember, the exempt salary level increases on December 1st.
Misclassified Employment Status
Misclassifying the employment status of individuals can cause serious penalties as well as possible back pay and taxes. Is a worker considered an employee or independent contractor?
The Department of Labor has standards that help employers answer this question. Factors such as who controls the individual’s work and who provides the tools necessary to complete the work are key when determining employment status.
Using Pay As Leverage
Don’t mess with pay. Employers sometimes use pay as a leverage to get other things accomplished. For example, a supervisor might hold a paycheck until an employee comes in to sign a document or turn in a uniform. This practice could have serious consequences.
Employees are to be paid for the time worked on the designated pay date regardless of personal feelings or a lost uniform shirt.
Outdated policies are a recipe for disaster. Even worse are policies that are inaccurate and not being followed. Handbooks and policies should be reviewed regularly by experienced HR professionals and/or legal counsel. Once the policies are in place, they should be communicated to employees and followed by everyone.
RELATED READING: Human Resources Checklist for Fall 2016
Failing to Document
Document properly and often. When issues arise in your daily work, document what is happening. If an employee is consistently late and you have warned them about this, document the tardiness as well as your counseling.
Documentation does not always have to be a formal process. You can write notes on calendars stating the date and time late or send an email to the HR department.
Just keep documentation centered on the facts and leave out your personal feelings.
Most importantly, remember that employees are not monsters, they are people. The most important piece of advice to keep away the HR nightmares is to treat employees with the respect they deserve.
Listen to their concerns, work to resolve issues, and develop them to become productive employees who make a difference in your organization and for the rest of their career.