Labor law compliance gets more difficult each year… and it is not going away anytime soon. Managing risk to prevent lawsuits is a challenge for every employer.
Unfortunately being kind, allowing variables from policies and sometimes flexibility in work schedules is an invitation to violate employee laws. An act of kindness can sometimes become a business liability.
There are many areas that are governed by some rule or regulation or policy. Here are some of the most common areas where employers can get into a legal situation are:
- Exempt/nonexempt employee classification
- Meal breaks
- Independent contractor status
- Harassment and discrimination
- Hours of work
- Leaves of Absence
- Overtime Pay
- Deductions from wages
- Use of At Will
- Final paycheck
In the for-profit arena be aware of any collective bargaining agreements that may override policies and labor law rules.
Your best protection is knowledge. There is a wealth of information on the internet. Start off by visiting the United States Department of labor web site www.dol.gov/compliance/ and for the state of California labor laws visit www.labor.ca.gov/laborlawreg.htm. When making inquiries regarding labor laws, be sure to ask for the California rule to ensure that you are complying with your state’s laws.