The number of lawsuits against employers has increased significantly over the past 10 years and one small HR mistake could cost a company a great amount of time and money.
Below are some of the most important HR mistakes to avoid.
1. Using the wrong wording in job ads and interviews. It is very important that managers and supervisors are aware of the topics they should avoid in job postings and during interviews. Statements or questions that relate to race, religion, age, disability etc. could expose the company to a hiring-bias lawsuit. The main question should be: "How well can this candidate perform the job duties?"
2. Wage-and-hour errors. Employee-pay lawsuits have increased by 300% over the past 10 years. Employers must ensure that workers are properly classified (exempt vs non-exempt). It is recommended that employers create a policy regarding unauthorized overtime, and to apply progressive discipline for employees working off-the-clock, but they must be paid for any time
worked whether or not it was approved. It is also important to make sure that overtime pay is calculated accurately.
3. The beginning and end of an employee's tenure are the most legally risky. Employers should avoid making any legally binding promises to workers. Also, without the proper documentation, the company cannot defend that the business decision to terminate an employee was not based on a discriminatory reason (race, religion, sex, age, disability or retaliation for voicing a legal complaint).
4. Giving the impression of electronic privacy. Employees should be informed that their computer usage and data can and will be monitored.
5. Lack of supervisor training. Employers should make it a priority to properly train supervisors and managers so they are aware of their legal limits when it comes to interviews, hiring, daily management and terminations.