Legal policies are fast-changing, and it can be difficult for employers and employees alike to keep up. Let’s take a look at some of the important aspect of legal issues you need to pay attention to. You can also consult a knowledgeable employment law attorney in your area (click here to learn more) to ensure that your claim is filed on time and meets all administrative requirements. 

1. Employee Classification

It is important to define the status of employees in the organization. Are they full-time, part-time employees, or independent contractors? This will make it easy to define different aspects of employment and employee entitlements. Things like job details, employee remuneration, paid overtime, minimum wage, and so on will be easily defined. This will help prevent some common legal complications. 

2. Termination of Employment

Termination of an employee’s employment contract can raise legal issues if not properly handled. It might lead to a “wrongful termination lawsuit” or a hearing.

Reasons for rightful employment Contract termination can include:

  • Underperformance on the part of the employee.
  • Employee Misconduct.
  • Retrenchment/redundancy.

Employers are expected to draft a Notice of Termination and provide an adequate notice period, depending on how long the employee has worked with the organization. An employee could be dismissed instantly if the employee committed an assault, theft, fraud, or failure to follow company instructions.

The company needs to state its mission and expectations regarding performance, employee, and client treatment, to prevent unlawful dismissal of an employee. Terms of employment should also be clearly stated in the employment agreement.

3. Discrimination

Former, current, or prospective employees can sue based on discrimination associated with unlawful firing, hiring, or working in a hostile environment. Discrimination allegations are gender-based, ethnicity-based, or age-based. A manager can only find out that there’s discrimination or harassment on a smaller scale in a company (among employees) through general meetings.

An employer should ensure a healthy work culture and environment that encourages diversity among the workforce. The company should draft an Equal Opportunities and Anti-harassment Policy to ensure all employees refrain from any behavior that might be considered discriminatory.

There are two types of discrimination:

  • Direct when one person is treated less favorably due to their age, race, descent, color, ethnic or national origin, marital status, (potential) pregnancy, immigrant status, disabilities, or family responsibilities.
  • Indirect discrimination has to do with promoting a particular practice among other employees while treating a certain group of people unfairly because they possess the features listed above.

4. Information Sharing

During discussions with prospective business partners, contractors or employees, you’ll share tips about how you conduct your business. Making them sign a Confidentiality Agreement (or NDA) can assist you in protecting your business secrets. A Confidentiality Agreement is a legally binding contract that ensures the parties who sign it keep certain information enlisted within the contract confidential.

5. Health & Safety

Employers must ensure that necessary health and safety rules and guidelines are put in place, especially if employees are expected to engage in hard physical labor that requires the use of specific equipment. Workplace injuries are common and, once they occur, employees may sue the corporation for damages in case of an accident.

To ensure the company is committed to workplace safety and health, an employer must draft a Health and Safety Policy to clearly state the company’s responsibilities and procedures that are followed to prevent injuries and illnesses. This Health and Safety policy should include nominating a representative to ensure the rights of the workers are upheld by managers. The representative might find it beneficial to attend HSR refresher training every three years to keep on top of their obligations.

6. Late payments

In the UK, about 30% of invoices are paid late. A company can encourage on-time payments through a collection lawsuit or by sending ‘Past Due’ notices.

Here are some points on drafting official documentation as proof of the client’s breach of contract:

A well-defined payment plan should be established and signed by customers. This will minimize the risk for unpaid overtime and serve as an official record that the client was aware of the requirements in advance.

When the client is late, send out a First Payment Reminder Letter to remind them of their financial obligations.

In case the payment isn’t processed after the primary reminder, send another Payment Reminder Letter as a follow-up reminder to repay outstanding debt.

Draft a payoff Reminder Letter that briefly explains the clients’ financial obligations and includes the payoff deadline.

How To Minimize The Risk Of Unpaid Overtime:

For Employers

Some necessary steps an employer should take to reduce the risk of unpaid overtime.

Have and disseminate a time-recording policy that defines how non-exempt employees are to report their hours worked. Non-exempt employees should also:

  1. must record all hours worked
  2. get prior authorization from the management about working on their schedule.
  3. Report hours worked without getting prior authorization and hours worked all together.

Ensure that management is aware of the risks and the need to monitor compliance, particularly concerning e-mails and calls received outside of a non-exempt employee’s scheduled work hours.

If an employee fails to comply with these demands, such an employee could be counseled or even addressed with disciplinary action. But, the employee should not be refused payment for unauthorized work even.

Compliance with these expectations should be established as part of the workplace culture. Allowing non-exempt employees the freedom to complete their job responsibilities remotely on their schedule may seem like a good idea from an employee relations/culture perspective. Doing so might create potential liability unless the employer is accurately monitoring the work hours while making payments when due.

For Employees

It is within an employee’s right to demand compensation for unpaid wages. Unpaid wages could be for regular hours worked or overtime.

  • If you have unreceived wages from a Tennessee employer, you should:
  • Contact your employer to request the wages they owe you.
  • Date and submit a written request and keep a copy for your records.
  • File a complaint with the Tennessee Division of Labor Standards (DLS) if your employer has refused to compensate you for the time you worked.

You can also consult a knowledgeable employment law attorney to ensure your claim is filed on time and meets all administrative requirements.

If the DLS claim is not successful, you should file an unpaid overtime lawsuit in state court.

You could recover compensation for your unpaid wages, overtime premiums, attorney’s fees, and so on from a successful lawsuit.

The nature of modern business operations can be hectic and fast-paced and can, as such, bring about legal chaos.

Proper documentation needs to be made to prevent the most common legal issues.