There are a bewildering amount of training topics that new managers and supervisors need in order to do their jobs! These topics should come first if you want to stay out of court:
1. Wage & Hour/FLSA. This is a challenge because managers and supervisors think they know the rules, but the rules are more complex than they think they are. Typical manager/supervisor blunders:
- Not paying for unauthorized overtime. In most cases, you must pay for all hours worked even if have not authorized overtime. You can discipline them for disobeying but you have to pay them.
- Not paying non-exempt workers for time worked after hours. If non-exempt workers are spending more than a de minimus amount of time answering business phone calls after work hours, they probably need to be paid.
- Not recalculating overtime for bonuses. Overtime must be paid at the “regular rate” which includes many bonuses and other payments. If the bonuses are awarded after pay for the period has been made, you must recalculate and pay the additional amount.
2. Hiring. This is a challenge because most managers are uncomfortable, unprepared, and untrained in interviewing and end up just having a “chat” instead of an interview. They may ask questions that are forbidden and set the company up for a charge of discrimination. The manager may say that he or she was just making conversation but courts will assume you asked the question for a reason and what reason could there be other than discriminating.
3. Retaliation. This is a challenge – It’s natural for managers to feel upset when someone complains about their department or their management style so they try to “get even” with that employee by not giving that employee the raise and/or promotion after all. Frankly, juries really don’t like that sort of thing since it appears to be unfair.
4. Appraisals. This is a challenge because managers and supervisors are uncomfortable giving bad news or criticism so they fail to clearly describe performance failures. They may rate the employee “satisfactory” because they feel it’s a low score but it won’t seem that way to a jury. Managers need to be honest in their appraisals.