Legal Issues: Owning a business is very rewarding, but it’s also a complex position to be in – apart from making sure your business is growing and staying competitive. You also need to ensure that the business is running smoothly on the inside as well. And a key way of doing that is making sure you’ve protected your business legally. The good news is, there are some useful tips that can help you prevent legal issues in the workplace and make sure you and your business are protected.
1. Drug Awareness
No matter what anyone’s personal stance on drug use is, it’s important to be aware of the laws surrounding the issue. Depending on where your company operates, there are different substances that might or might not be considered illegal. However, in most cases, if something bad were to happen due to employee negligence. You could not only be risking losing a customer or a business partner. But if the negligence was due to the employee’s drug use. It could also leave you open for legal action to be taken against the company. When ensuring the workplace is drug-free, you might want to look into employee drug awareness training.
Depending on the industry you work in, this might be a legal requirement for your business as well. So it’s important to find a course that complies with the federal and state legislation. Make sure your employees know not only how abusing drugs could affect them personally. But how it can negatively influence the way they do their job and act towards their colleagues is important not only. Because it can help them realize everything that drug use implies. But it will also mean that your business can’t be held accountable for the actions of that person. Because you’ve done everything on your end to prevent employee drug abuse at work.
No matter what rules and policies you put in place, it’s important that you’re consistent in regards to them. It will not only protect your business from a legal standpoint, but it will also increase productivity, which is always a good thing. Whether you do this by creating an employee handbook or in another way is up to you. But making sure you and all of the managers in your company constantly ensure that the policies are being followed will mean that, again. The business cannot be held accountable for the actions of an individual since you’ve done your due diligence to make sure the procedures are being followed. That means that you should keep an eye out for any infractions, take the proper steps to correct them. And reaffirm that those kinds of things are not executable in the workspace.
3. Respect And Communication
The way you communicate with your employees, and the way they communicate with each other is incredibly important for any business. Making sure that your employees know that you respect them is very beneficial for your company. It will motivate them to work harder, complete tasks more efficiently and in general. They’ll feel good about themselves when they’re at work. Of course, that also means that employees need to respect one another, too. Bullying, discrimination, and showing disrespect, in general, have no place in the workplace. Not only will showing respect and ensuring proper communication create a good working environment, but it will also prevent potential legal issues.
The last thing you want is to leave the impression that you’re running a company that doesn’t care about how their employees are treating each other amongst themselves. The only thing worse than that would be getting sued because a person in a position of power within the company was abusing his or her authority to treat people poorly and unprofessionally.
4. Document Employee Performance
Promoting employees, firing them, and everything in between needs to be done based on clear criteria. By documenting employee performance, you’ll be able to prove you’ve based the decision on the way they have worked, treated others, and what they’ve done in their position. This information will make sure that the decision is not only documented but will also help ensure that there are no misunderstandings on either side of this interaction. It’s not improbable that someone will try to take legal action if they’re not happy with a decision like this.
They may try to claim that another person was promoted over them due to some form of discrimination, or that they were fired without just cause. A good way to ensure you’ve protected the company is to simply have everything in writing. That way, you’ll be able to prove that the decision was made based on facts and that it was well thought out, instead of being arbitrary.
5. Employee Rights
You need to be aware of employees’ rights, and take steps to ensure you’re not infringing upon any of them.
- Employers are required by law to provide employees with breaks during the day for rest, eating lunch, and other needs. For every five consecutive hours your employees work, they’re entitled to a 30-minute unpaid break.
- Working overtime is not uncommon in most work environments. But employees are required to be paid at least one and a half times their regular hourly rate for every hour they’re scheduled to work after eight hours in a day. Or 40 hours in a week.
- When it comes to paid leave, an employer must provide paid vacation leave, paid holidays, and sick leave. This means that for every three months of employment, the employee is entitled to a day’s worth of paid vacation time. That increases slightly after five years until they are entitled to two days per month worked up to ten years.
While these are only some of the rights – and they will vary depending on your state’s laws. They are the ones that are often being violated by employers. Other forms of discrimination, abuse, and harassment are also common lawsuit topics. So it’s best to stay away from any decision that could even look like you’re being unfair.
When setting policies and rules in place, make decisions that influence your employees in a big way. Or making public statements, it’s important that you always talk with your legal team beforehand. By doing everything you can to prevent legal issues. You’ll be able to prevent a lot of unnecessary problems and focus on making your company even more successful.