5 Common HR Mistakes That Can Lead to Lawsuits
1. Using discriminating language in job postings
While most HR professionals probably realize not to put obvious statements such as "no Europeans should apply" – there are a few common discriminating terms that can be overlooked. For example, posting something as simple as “looking for recent college graduates” can imply that you are discriminating against older applicants. It's important to be mindful of this sort of thing when writing job descriptions.
2. Firing an employee for taking a leave of absence
There are certain types of formal leave that employees can take where they can be legally protected by the law from getting fired, such as:
• Family Medical Leave
• Jury Duty
• Military Leave
• Disability Leave
Firing someone for taking one of these types of leave can result in a huge HR lawsuit.
3. Failing to properly document employee terminations
Anytime you have to terminate an employee, it's a good idea to document as much as possible. For example, document the reason for termination, the date, and any vital details you can think of pertaining to this incident. The more information you have on paper, the better. This way, if that employee tries to make a case against you in the future, you will have plenty of documentation backing up your claim.
4. Having an outdated employee handbook or no handbook at all
It is essential you have an employee handbook that your employees review periodically and clearly understand. We would advise you have every employee read the handbook upon starting employment with your company and sign a document indicating they read and understood the handbook. Doing this can help reduce employee violations.
5. Asking an illegal question in a job interview
You must be strategic when asking questions in an interview. Improperly phrasing just one question could cause a lawsuit. For example, if you are wanting to know if a potential employee can speak Spanish, then don't ask what country they are from. If you do, it could be implied that you are discriminating against foreigners. Just simply ask, “Do you speak fluent Spanish?”
Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, and Welch is Here to Answer Your Questions.
Our law firm in Camdenton hopes that this information helps your business to avoid making HR mistakes that can cost you a ton of money. Our Camden County business law attorneys are here to provide legal support for your business. If you have questions about any legal issues related to your business, give Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, and Welch a call at 573-346-7231. Contact us to set up your free consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available. Our firm is conveniently located next to the Camden County courthouse, and we have an open door policy where clients can feel free to stop by and discuss their legal needs.
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