Employment-related lawsuits can be an expensive headache for employers, even if the case ultimately resolves in their favor. However, many of the most common types of employment claims can be avoided through consistency and good policies. In this blog, our Houston employment lawyers take a look at five common mistakes made by employers.
1. Improperly Drafted & Inconsistently Applied Policies
Well-written personnel policies can be your saving grace in a lawsuit, but poorly drafted policies can come back to haunt you. It is crucial to make sure that your policies are aligned with current employment law, and acts such as the ADA and FMLA. Furthermore, it is critical that you apply these policies consistently – showing favorable treatment or making exceptions could leave the door open for a major claim.
2. Improperly Classifying Workers
Not sure if your workers are independent contractors or employees? When in doubt, put them on the payroll. You can consult with a Houston employment attorney as well to help you make the determination, but it is always better to err on the side of caution.
It is equally important to properly classify your employees as exempt or non-exempt. Inaccurate handling of things like overtime calculation, deductions, and others can leave you vulnerable to legal action.
3. Improperly Handling FMLA Leave
Navigating the Family & Medical Leave Act can be complex, and mistakes can come back to haunt you. Common mistakes include not properly designating leave as FMLA covered, as well as not running this leave concurrently with workers’ compensation leave.
4. Treating Employee Complaints Carelessly
It is crucial that any employee complaints are taken seriously. Respond to these complaints promptly, and make sure your response is thorough. You should always strive to maintain as much confidentiality as you reasonably can, and it is important to ensure that employees are assured that there will be no retaliation.
5. Poor Record Keeping / Failure to Document
Maintaining thorough records is very important, as these can easily be the difference between success and failure in the courtroom. A lack of proper documentation makes it very tough for you to prove that you had good policies in place, and that you actually followed those policies.
At Toppins Law Firm, P.C., our exceptional Houston employment attorneys can help you protect your business’ interests. From drafting policies and manuals to defending you in court, you can trust our proven team to provide effective counsel. Schedule a case evaluation today.