Be Prepared: How to Protect Your Business from Wrongful Employment Practices Claims
Small business owners may not be aware of the potential risks associated with wrongful employment practices claims. While many small businesses may think that they are exempt from such claims, this is simply not the case. These claims can have significant financial and legal consequences for a small business if left unchecked.
One of the most common wrongful employment practices is discrimination. This occurs when an employer treats an employee differently because of their gender, race, age, religion, or sexual orientation. For example, failing to promote a qualified female candidate due to her gender would be a form of discrimination against that individual. Other forms of discrimination include harassment, such as unwelcome physical contact or verbal abuse based on any of the previously mentioned characteristics.
Employers must also be aware of laws governing hiring processes. Unlawful Interview Practices involve asking questions which are directed towards certain protected classes and could lead to a claim of discrimination if acted upon in the decision-making process. Additionally, employers should familiarize themselves with labor laws which ensure fair working conditions such as minimum wage requirements and overtime pay regulations.
Employees should also be provided with a safe work environment free from violence or other potentially dangerous activities. Employers are held accountable for providing protection from hazards in the workplace as well as creating appropriate policies for handling grievances and complaints. Furthermore, there are additional safety standards required by industry regulations which should be complied with at all times to avoid any potential employee claims arising from injury at the workplace due to unsafe working conditions or hazardous activities such as operating heavy machinery without protective gear.
Finally, employers must also take measures to ensure that employees are compensated appropriately for their labor according to state and federal wage laws and regulations regarding time off for illness or vacation time etcetera. Employees should also receive payment for unpaid overtime hours worked and meal breaks in accordance with applicable wage laws which vary by state. Failure to comply with these particular laws could result in several costly lawsuits being filed against their company thus exposing them to serious financial losses along with untold emotional stressors created by prolonged court proceedings and legal fees among other things..
Ultimately it is important that small businesses strive to create a positive work culture which nurtures employee growth and development while properly adhering to all relevant state/federal employment rules & regulations pertaining to wrongful employment practices claims so as not to expose themselves unnecessarily & unwittingly subject themselves to potentially debilitating financial losses resulting from lengthy court cases & settlements due same matter being taken up in court by aggrieved employees.