Relatively few legal claims arise from poor policies or failure to comply with complex statutory obligations. Rather, simple carelessness contributes most often to employment problems and resulting lawsuits.
Here are five preventive actions you can take:
Create an employee handbook that is properly drafted and regularly updated. An employee handbook should be thorough, yet brief, and disseminated to all employees. Employers should obtain a signed acknowledgment that an employee understands and agrees they are bound by the policies, terms and conditions of employment set forth in the handbook. (See page 21 for employee handbook guidelines.)
Develop hiring protocols. When advertising for jobs, make sure your posting is consistent with the job description and require all individuals to submit a written application, regardless if they are a new hire or a transfer. Become familiar with unlawful questions commonly asked during the interview process and when performing a background check, make sure you comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Perform annual employee evaluations. Make sure that employee evaluations are in writing, systematic, objective and accurate. Be sure to identify future performance goals and suggest avenues for improved performance. The evaluation should include an opportunity for employees to respond and it should be signed by both a supervisor and the employee.
Conduct supervisory training...