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Every employer has a legal duty to exercise due diligence in hiring. What If you don't do background screening? According to a recent California survey, employers lose 60 percent of negligent hiring cases with verdicts averaging about $3 million, and average settlements around $500,000 plus attorney fees. An employer can be sued for negligent hiring if it hires someone who it knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, was dangerous, unsafe, dishonest, or unfit for the particular job. Courts tend to assume that if you could have known, you should have known. So how much checking should you do? The jury will tell you.
Recently the American Bar Association released their statistic on Employment Related law suits. 127% increase in 2014 over 2015. But the more impressive number is that it is 900% increase over 5 years ago. This number isn’t driven by employers who have gone out of their way to purposefully do something expecting to get sued. Employers make mistakes and given how litigious we are, employees sue. Terminations are the spark to many employment lawsuits. And for each of the six kinds, there are some common steps employers can take to defend themselves if a termination is challenged in court:
Negative employee attitudes and less-than-professional behavior can poison the workplace atmosphere. Here are six solutions for real-life issues from subscribers on handling problem employees before morale suffers.
There is nothing like a gentle reminder or a “cheat sheet” to look at when counseling or disciplining employees. The key thing to remember is that although nothing can absolutely insulate you from claims of discrimination or wrongdoing, there are steps you can take to get to the ultimate goal of improving an employee’s performance or, alternatively, terminating an at-will employee when counseling and discipline haven’t facilitated acceptable improvement.
The hiring process has a way of creating a lot of paperwork. A single job opening can bring a flood of resumes, cover letters, and applications from a horde of hopefuls. Once the decision has been made, the question becomes what to do with the pile of documents the hiring process generates.
Last month the Supreme Court of the United States(SCOTUS) released a decision on a case that affects the HCAOA’s case against the Department of Labor (DOL). Literally hours before the rule went into effect requiring all Caregivers employed by a third party be paid minimum wage and overtime, the DC Circuit Court issued a decision that nullified the DOL’s overtime/minimum wage rule for caregivers. The decision from the DC Circuit Court stated that they DOL didn’t have the right to make these changes and that Congress should be making these decisions. This decision is in great jeopardy and soon.
Many employers rely heavily on “at-will” laws to terminate employees. In theory, if at-will employment applies, you can fire a worker at will, which means for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. However, if a termination decision is challenged, it can be difficult to show that a bad reason or no reason was not discriminatory, particularly if the affected employee belongs to a protected group.
On February 19th, 2015, Walmart announced that it will raise its lowest paid wages to $10 an hour by next year. This is just the latest salvo in the debate over minimum wage. First things first, what is minimum wage and who has to pay it? Federally, any business with employees that falls under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), has to pay minimum wage. The FLSA does contain a handful of exceptions, but state minimum wage laws may supersede any exemption. Currently, federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Tipped employees have a different minimum wage rate, but will not be discussed for the purposes of this article.
This is the final installment. Thank you to all who’ve enjoyed the various challenges that employers will face in 2015 when it comes to managing, monitoring and maintaining their workforce. An employer that does not comply with its legal obligations faces numerous costs, including the time spent preparing and responding to litigation, investigating potential claims as well as harm to its business reputation. Numerous new laws have been passed on the federal, state and local level which will have a significant impact on the workplace and increase the risk that an employer will be subject to a lawsuit, civil fines or criminal penalties.
Over the last few weeks we have covered some of the biggest topics in trends we are seeing in employment litigation. These are issues that you can take precautions to protect yourself. This week we cover Growing Acceptance of LGBT Rights and Same-Sex Marriage, Workplace Bullying and Addressing Domestic Violence. In 2015 employers will face a number of challenging issues when it comes to managing, monitoring and maintaining their workforce. An employer that does not comply with its legal obligations faces numerous costs, including the time spent preparing and responding to litigation, investigating potential claims as well as harm to its business reputation.