Imagine that you are the owner of a business. You have great relationships with your employees. Everyone gets along better than you ever would have hoped. When things get really busy, you have your employees work extra overtime. They’re good sports about it, and sometimes they end up missing breaks.
But they don’t complain. After all, you understand each other.
This behavior continues for a few months at a time. Whenever there’s a need, your employees pick up the slack. Years go by with on-again off-again overtime without breaks.
But then something happens. One long-term employee with years of experience gets into a dispute with the foreman on the job. You happen to be very good friends with this foreman outside of work. You take his side in the argument, resulting in your long-term employee confronting you publicly over the dispute. You fire the long-term employee for insubordination.
A few days later, you discover you’ve really opened a can of worms. You didn’t give him his final check on time. He goes to the labor board and explains that hasn’t been getting breaks when required, including meal breaks after working 12 hours. He hasn’t even been paid for the breaks, and overtime has been paid incorrectly. That’s how you get audited for wage and hour compliance. Your company now faces multi-thousand dollar fines plus back wages owed to employees.
Here’s what should have happened: The confrontation should have been handled behind closed doors with you and the employee. You should have called your HR experts at PEO select, and they would have walked you through the process of either A) Resolving this issue or B) Terminating the employee correctly.
If Done Right:
– Once the employee is fired, you have peace of mind that everything was handled correctly and you are legally obligation-free.
If Done Wrong:
– You risk an audit by the Labor Board
– You will likely have to pay fines
– You can be sued
This is an extremely common issue.
For good relationships, you need the following:
– How to find the right candidates for any position (Entrepreneur)
– Use written job offers when hiring (Inc)
– Tight, clear, thorough job descriptions (SBA)
– Up-to-date and complete employee manuals (SBA)
– Drug testing and background screening (AFSCME)
– How to properly interview a prospective employee (Forbes)
– Dealing with conflict in the workplace (Forbes)
– Ways to properly discipline an employee (Entrepreneur)
– Wage and hour compliance rules (U.S. Department of Labor)