If you are in business, you will understand the importance of keeping up to date with what is current in the law as it relates to business, and one area that needs to be focused on is employment law. Of course, being in business means that your attention is pulled in all sorts of directions at the same time and sometimes a business law scenario arises unexpectedly, while needing to be dealt with urgently. The good news for you is that professional assistance and advice is readily available to deal with and successfully resolve any business case issues, including those relating to employment law.
It is to be recommended, nonetheless, that you do familiarize yourself with employment law and stay up to date with what is happening with changes in legislation and regulations. It may be that, as an employer, you are in breach of particular regulations and if this is found to be the case you should move toward a position of compliance before your employees take the type of legal action they would be entitled to take under a scenario of noncompliance, accepting that you may not even have been initially aware that you were in breach of the regulations. Common areas of noncompliance with employment law can include the following:
Family and Medical Leave Act: A commonly misunderstood law among employers, this act requires that employers with a staff of 50 or more give eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and fully protect their jobs until their return if certain family and medical situations arise over a 12-month period. If employers want to ensure the employee’s reasons for leave are genuine, a mandatory system of employee request forms and medical certifications will help.
The National Labor Relations Act: Even if you as an employer do not have unionized workers among your staff, this act will likely require you to give employees the right to join a union, conduct collective bargaining and enforce what are commonly known as Section 7 rights, including the right to discuss employment terms and conditions.
The Fair Labor Standards Act and employee classification by the IRS: Many business owners have come to depend on independent contractors in their businesses, but these contractors may actually have to be classified as employees by the federal government.
If an employment law issue arises, then one of the first things to acknowledge as a business owner is that you may not have sufficient in-house expertise or mechanisms to resolve the situation. Bob Bratt on Tumblr gives you an overview of the type of expertise available for the resolution of employment law issues. As CEO of DLA Piper, Bob Bratt oversees a firm that can help you with any employment law issues that may arise. DLA Piper has expertise across the employment law sector, from diversity, discrimination and equal pay and employee and labor relations to dispute resolutions and workforce restructuring and outsourcing.
The important thing to remember as a business owner is that you do not have to deal with challenges in the area of employment law on your own, and professional advice is always available to you. If you have any concerns about possible noncompliance with employment law, consult with an experienced attorney.