An internal grievance procedure can be an effective tool for preventing wrongful termination lawsuits. Most employers have some form of grievance procedure in place, but few are used by employees and, when used, they’re often ineffective. Try including some or all of the following elements for an internal grievance policy that will actually work.
Employers not only may be held liable for workplace harassment, but they have the potential for separate liability for not taking reasonable steps to prevent the harassment from occurring. Govt C §12940(k). One step every employer should take is to draft and disseminate an anti-harassment policy. Note that the mere existence of a policy prohibiting harassment isn’t enough to shield the employer from liability. To work as a shield, the policy must be adequate and it must be distributed to employees. Does your client’s policy include all of the elements in this checklist?
Employers often set up an “introductory” or “probationary” period for initial evaluation of new employees. There’s often a performance evaluation at the end of this period, and employers may believe they have every right to let an employee go if this evaluation is negative. But watch out: Unless employers take the proper precautions, probationary periods may create implied contractual rights to employment on successful completion of the probationary period. In other words, employers may be stuck with the employee despite a poor post-probationary period evaluation.
People today can (and do) work from anywhere—connected through the Internet, WiFi, and cloud-based platforms with a variety of mobile devices. This makes preventing confidential and proprietary business information from “walking out the door,” whether intentionally or not, a nightmare for employers. Having a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy may help.
A potential whistleblower need only run a quick Internet search to find many attorneys ready to take his or her case. Knowing this, employers need to be proactive: Any employer handbook or policy and procedures manual should include provisions aimed at educating all workers about the rights and obligations of whistleblowers.
Enjoying vacation time this summer? We all need a vacation at some point, and thankfully many employers provide for paid vacation leave. But as with many wage and hour issues, employers get themselves into legal trouble by improperly handling paid vacation. Here’s an overview of pitfalls and a checklist for employers to get their vacation policy right.
Whether employers like it or not, social networking and social media have found their way into most workplaces. Their appearance has meant many potential landmines for employers to navigate. Luckily, there are several relatively easy steps that every employer can take to decrease potential liability.
Many employers believe in the importance of dress and grooming standards for their employees. For example, a California ski resort stresses a “clean and neat appearance” of employees in its grooming standards. Such reasonable requirements are lawful. But some employers take dress and grooming standards too far, sparking employee resentment and lawsuits for unlawful discrimination.