Employees today are well aware of their rights in the workplace. As an employer, are you aware of their rights?
Unfortunately, what you don’t know can hurt you when it comes to employment laws and regulations. Ignorance is not bliss nor is it accepted as an excuse when in violation of the law. If you are caught not following process/procedure/law it can be costly. It is imperative to have the proper “blocking and tackling” in place as an employer to prevent frivolous lawsuits from occurring.
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) is the state’s Chief Civil Rights Agency. Essentially, this government body ensures that all businesses within the State of MA are compliant in their employment of employees. Any employee who feels they have been discriminated against may file a “Charge” or a “Complaint” against that employer at MCAD. Most all complaints must be filed within 300 days of the alleged infraction.
There are attorneys who would be thrilled to take on a case where employee rights have been violated. They take the case on “contingency” which means the employee has legal representation at no cost to them. The attorney is confident enough in the case that he/she will represent the employee on a percentage of the settlement. The employer has to pay for their own legal representation, which can cost thousands of dollars and settlements can be in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
Here are 3 key tips:
Obtain proper training. Business owners and any staff that supervises employees should be enrolled in an HR training program. The program should teach key components of effective management of employees and employee rights.
Obtain an HR Audit for your small business. A complete and thorough HR Audit will identify where an employer is not compliant or is at risk. This audit should review your employee handbook, process, procedures for hiring, firing, interviewing, reviews, job descriptions and much more.
Consider Employment Practice Liability Insurance. This is the only liability insurance that will protect an employer from lawsuits in the workplace as discussed in this article. Without this insurance the employer stands alone in claims made against them.
For more comprehensive guidance on all things HR, please contact Jeff Garr at HR Knowledge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-339-1300.Button Text.