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The Employers Guide to Getting Sued

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Owning a business in California is complex with the abundant laws and how employee friendly it is. Not to mention, the overlapping federal laws which can make running a business in the Golden State not so golden. Are you confident that you’ve classified your employees correctly? Do you document your meal and rest periods? Are you keeping up with what new labor laws came out this year that apply to your business? Unfortunately, social media has put a spotlight on what’s happening today and there’s no room for error. Business owners need to change their way of thinking from “It hasn’t happened to me yet” to “when it happens, I will be ready.”

Ignorance is not bliss when it could cost you thousands of dollars in fines or a class action lawsuit. Employers need to remember that the government holds them accountable for ensuring they are operating legally and being fair to their employees and “not knowing” certain laws applied to them doesn’t work anymore.

Want to get sued? Here’s a list of ways to make sure of that:

  • Outdated or irrelevant handbooks (or not one at all!)
  • Misclassifying your employees – No, not everyone can be an independent contractor or on salary without a duties test
  • Not documenting meal periods or requiring employees to work through their lunch
  • Forgetting to track or give the required 24 hours of paid sick leave
  • Deducting pay from an employee’s paycheck
  • Off the clock work – pay attention retail, you must pay your employees even when they are setting the alarm and locking up the store
  • Failing to implement a disciplinary or performance program early on
  • Ignoring sexual harassment claims and not taking the appropriate action to investigate
  • Miscalculating overtime pay
  • Use-it-or-lose-it vacation policy
  • Withholding an employee’s paycheck

Employers – if you’re asking yourself “Can this be done” or finding yourself feeling overwhelmed, the answer is yes. Being pro-active in addressing HR matters and investing in your people to build a healthy culture lowers the businesses liability and ensures that running a business in California can, in fact, be done. Don’t want to deal with one more responsibility or have the time to effectively manage your HR? Bizhaven is an affordable and reliable outsourcing HR and Safety resource that can take that off your plate today if you just give us a call!

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