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It’s difficult for a well-informed human resource manager to act in compliance with the complex and ever-changing human resource laws and regulations. It’s nearly impossible for a normal line or department manager, who generally has very little training, understanding and experience in dealing with employment law issues, to be effective in such matters. The following list summarizes a few of the common ways mangers can put their organization at considerable legal risk. 1. Acting without understanding the requirements and implications of the law. (All managers and supervisors should have employment law training.) 2. Failing to follow company policies or applying them inconsistently. (Inconsistent treatment makes employees angry and makes the company vulnerable to legal action.) 3. Making quick decisions. (Employees generally don’t become problem employees overnight, yet managers often act quickly and without much planning when they have “had it with the situation.”) 4. Failing to explain the reasons and business justifications for an employment action. (Employees are much more likely to become angry if they don’t understand why a decision is being made.) 5. Failing to document thoroughly and immediately, starting with the first incident. 6. Over-evaluating on performance appraisals. (Inflated appraisals fail to realistically inform employees of their strengths and weakness. Further, they will be difficult to “explain” should you need to terminate an employee later on.) 7. Making promise that can’t be kept such as at the interview or during employment. (Creating unrealistic or impossible expectations can create dissatisfaction and anger. They could also potentially weaken your employment-at-will status.) 8. Failing to involve human resources or senior management as soon as possible when employee problems arise. (Also failing to have management review significant
employment actions, before they are undertaken.) 9. Treating like-situated employees differently. (Such a practice can alienate employees, decrease trust, and make you extremely vulnerable to discrimination charges.) 10. Failing to act immediately to correct employee problems. (Small problems are much easier to solve than larger ones. Employee problems rarely fix themselves, but are much more likely to escalate.) Requiring employees to work off the clock, failing to pay for time worked, and required overtime; as required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Failing to encourage employees to report discrimination or harassment claims or instances of possible unethical or illegal activity by not ensuring that employees know how to make such reports or creating an open door climate. Retaliating against an employee, even subtly, for using FMLA leave, requesting an ADA or religious accommodation, filing a Workers Comp claim, or making a complaint. Asking illegal questions during an interview or reference check. Failing to maintain appropriate levels of confidentiality and sharing information on a need to know basis.
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Don’t delay another moment! Order Your Employee Handbook today at discount pricing. Then sign up for regular notices of special sales and free bonuses sent via email. Visit www.YourEmployeeHandbook.com This publication is intended for informational use only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Although the publisher makes an effort to provide accurate information, state laws vary and change, and the information or forms contained herein may not necessarily conform to the very latest laws or requirements. While you always have the right to prepare your own documents and to act as your own attorney, you should consult an attorney on all legal matters. This publication was not necessarily prepared by a person licensed to practice law in your state.