HR in the Modern Era Client Training Event

HR in the Modern Era Client Training Event

Cruser & Mitchell’s presentation covered key issues such as the intricacies of current employment law, employer best practices in the new world of HR, Performance issues and dealing with a problem employee, social media in the workplace, and the top 10 most common employer mistakes.
Thank you so much to the Cruser & Mitchell team!
Here is a condensed recap of one of the topics they covered in the training:

10 Common Employer Mistakes

  1. Ignoring Discrimination and Harassment

    • Take all complaints seriously
      • Extra caution with race, age, sex/gender, religion, medical condition/disabilities
    • Clear guidance on reporting procedure
      • Provide alternative channels to report
    • Investigate ALL complaints
      • Interview all parties: both sides of story
      • Be fair and unbiased
      • Document
      • Written conclusion and corrective action
  2. Not Treating Employees Equally

    • THE BASIS OF A DISCRIMINATION CLAIM…
      • If employees have the same qualifications and are doing the same job, must treat them the same
      • Be cognizant of protective class
  3. Allowing Retaliation

    • Do not treat employees differently based on complaints
    • Timing issues
  4. Failing to Document

    • Get the employees to sign off
  5. Not Conducting Regular Employee Evaluations

    • Be honest
    • Be consistent
    • Objective metrics
    • Document Performance plans
    • Have employee sign evaluation
    • Clear plan of action going forward (PIP if necessary)
  6. Misclassifying Employees

    • Employees vs. Independent Contractors
      • Avoiding social security, unemployment, workers comp
      • If you make a mistake, risk back taxes and statutory fees
      • IRS provides strict guidelines for this classification Ultimate question: Amount of control
    • Exempt vs. Non-Exempt under FLSA
      • Trying to save money and eliminate overtime
      • Paying a salary with an inflated job title is not enough/substance over form
      • Must meet strict criterion set by DOL: all positions must meet salary and job responsibilities before classifying
      • Special case: Non-exempt employees performing work off the clock
  7. Failing to Train Management

    • Representatives of company: What they do/say can create risks for the company
      • Know legal obligations
      • How to respond to complaints
      • Handling requests for medical leave or disabilities
      • Hiring, firing, and managing performance
  8. Failing to Update Employee Handbook

    • Updated regularly
      • Ensures compliance with both federal and state laws
  9. Applying Discipline Inconsistently

    • Clear but flexible policies
      • Follow your progressive discipline policy without skipping steps
      • Verbal
      • Written warning
      • Termination
      • Treat all similarly situated employees the same: No exceptions
      • Focus on positive coaching- feedback
      • Even if verbal discussion/counseling, document contemporaneously
  10. Mishandling Requests for Accommodation and Medical Leave

    • Employee out (surgery, injury, sickness) that extends past what seems reasonable
      • Laws protecting employee rights (ADA, FMLA)
      • BE CAREFUL
      • Engage in interactive process
      • Do not have to hold position open indefinitely, no bright line rule
      • Treat all requests for accommodations as good faith request
      • Is it feasible?
      • Does it cause a legitimate “undue burden”?
It is an absolute pleasure to have you all out to our office, and we hope you are able to make it out to our next training event later this year!

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