Generally, in human resources, companies find themselves in legal hot water because they inadvertently make mistakes with their employees.
It’s important to triple down on preventative measures and responses to legal hazards when necessary.
Here are important strategies:
- Think and act pre-emptively. Stay vigilant. If you see even a hint of a problem, don’t ignore your instincts. Deal with potential problems right away. Be aware of the salient trending issues in HR.
- Take seriously any reports of sexual harassment and workplace bullying.
- Don’t hesitate – keep detailed records – remember to create a paper trail … paper trail … paper trail. Use best practices with HR records. In the event of problems, if you aren’t able to supply relevant documentation, you’ll pay a heavy price.
- Even if an employee asks what appear to be innocuous questions, especially medical questions, document every conversation. Even apparent odd questions can result in legal danger as many employees will be disingenuous or later act disingenuously. (Many seemingly harmless questions need your attention as they sometimes crop up and develop as problems months or years later.)
- Be cognizant and comply with all relevant federal and state laws. If you have any doubts, find out what you need to know. Stay current on all laws.
- Consider finding a good attorney who specializes in employment law. Trust your counsel and follow recommendations.
- In complying with all laws, use best employee-handbook values to avoid legal issues. Neither you, nor your company and nor should your employees be relying on an employee handbook with illegal or antiquated policies. (Also seek input from managers in policy-making.)
- Make sure your policies stay current and that your practices are consistent.
- Train your managers and supervisors on all relevant laws and policies. Make certain your company is a place for learning.
- Train managers how to coach your workers. When managers become coaches, you get a higher-performing workforce. You will replace mediocrity with strong performance. Therefore, optimize your talent management with a coaching culture.
- Stay proactive in communication with employees. At least twice a day, find ways to engage your employees in your daily operations. (Your employees most value your visibility and engagement.)
- Be fair and treat all employees equally.
- Be sure to say the right things in difficult situations with employees. Careful planning is necessary before you give an employee an appraisal or in advance of terminating the person.
- Despite taking precautions, understand you’re in a potential minefield. Stay composed, relaxed and respectful. Meantime take the right steps to enjoy your job even when managing difficult employees.
- Should a workplace investigation be necessary be honest and polite, and timely comply with all investigative requests. As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. So, use best practices in workplace investigations.
- Recruit and hire the right people especially for emotional intelligence. Admittedly, there’s a myriad of ways to recruit great employees. But no recruitment option surpasses a well-executed, strategic employee-referral program.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant articles:
Employee Records: Which Ones to Save and for How Long — You don’t want to keep unnecessary employee records. Nor do you want to make a rash decision on whether to destroy records. Here are the laws you need to know.
10 Best Practices for an Online Employee Handbook — Companies that don’t convert their employee handbooks into electronic documents are missing noteworthy opportunities in human resources. Conversely, businesses that switch to a digital format accomplish at least five HR goals.
Employer Tips: How to Deal with a Visit from ICE — A visit from ICE – the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement – is a cause for concern. Your response sets the stage for communication, either effectively defending your company or possible negotiations and a settlement with ICE.
Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements — You might want to review your current human resource policies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
How to Increase Conversion Rates of Online Job Applicants — Your business is not alone when it comes to the high costs incurred in the recruitment of job applicants online. Most job seekers get frustrated and quit in the middle of their online applications.
“Business is a bed of roses but need to remove thorns all the time”