Today's company cultures and workplaces are more relaxed than they were just one generation ago. Co-work spaces, working from home and gig economy trends are just some workforce shifts most companies have had to adjust to. Within the evolving workforce, your company should take extra caution to uphold labor laws regarding worker wages, hours and conditions.
Invest in Comprehensive, Updated Manuals
Hiring arrangements are social contracts between employers who provide payment and workers who provide services. When your company has poorly written contracts, such as training documents and policy manuals, you break legal responsibility to keep employees properly informed. Additionally, you put your company at risk for filing and defending lawsuits if disagreements arise in nebulous areas you should have been crystal clear about.
If your company has the budget, invest in outside consultants to refine all employee manuals and training materials. At the very least, replace outdated policies and procedures with the actual current content and practices employees can expect at the company. Charge HR Managers or Team Leaders with the distribution of updated policies and procedures every worker must sign off on receipt of.
Stay Within the Laws For Salaries
The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of Congress established a minimum wage United States workers are entitled to. This powerful act gives employees rights against companies who previously could impose brutal, ceaseless working hours. It guarantees no employer can justify tactics like withheld paychecks and docked hours to punish workers or make up lost profits.
Federal and state minimum wage codes are not simply guidelines for what companies must pay workers. They offer a wealth of labor law information on optimal workplace conditions and employee treatments.
For instance, employers who take advantage of subminimum wage payments should know the difference between "Student Learners" and "Full-Time Students." Special provisions also exist when workers' disabilities and impairments affect their productivity levels. For any special cases, check the law in your state to be sure you pay on the right side of it.
Take Employee Safety Seriously
Safety conditions for workers are as regulated as the number of hours you can expect them to work and their pay levels. You must keep an Occupational Safety and Healthy Administration (OSHA) poster on display in employee common spaces. If your state has an OSHA approved plan with its own guidelines and verbiage, post that as well.
Failure to do so could result in high-cost lawsuits for improper warnings and hazardous conditions. This legal mandate extends beyond known high-risk industries such as construction, manufacturing and medical care. Even schools and office buildings carry occupational risks employers are responsible to keep workers abreast of.
Respect Temps, Entry Level Workers and More
Every worker has the right to protection under labor laws. Your company can not give full-time employees respect to their legal rights but deny them for others.
A company's specific hierarchy system has no bearing on its workers' rights. Apply blanket labor laws to all employees including temps, entry level trainees and part-time staff.
Labor laws carry just as much protections for employers and companies as they do for employees. When company leaders refer to labor laws often they stay one step ahead of the interrupted focus, productivity and profits which can arise from breaking them.