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CONDUCT AN EMPLOYMENT LAW AUDIT OF YOUR BUSINESS

    We are reminded every day to check our health to minimize the risk of disease, evaluate insurance policies to ensure that we and our families are taken care of in the event of a health care issue, and even pre-plan for our burial.  As you are chided to take care of your personal life, a prudent business owner mut also give thought to minimizing the risk of the finding themselves faced with yet another threat – that of an administrative charge or lawsuit by virtue of an alleged violation in the minefield of labor, employment and discrimination laws.Just as in… Read More »CONDUCT AN EMPLOYMENT LAW AUDIT OF YOUR BUSINESS

    HOW TO MONITOR YOUR EMPLOYEES

      As a Northeast Indiana business owner, you are too busy to monitor your employees on a regular and ongoing basis. However, what can you do if you hear a key employee is looking for another job, or viewing porn with regularity which could create a “hostile work environment”? Then there is the employee who is playing poker or is he also engaging in corporate espionage or divulging trade secrets? Employees in the workplace, utilizing your modes of communication, have as a rule, no expectation of privacy. Each form of monitoring has its own “rules” as to how courts treat the… Read More »HOW TO MONITOR YOUR EMPLOYEES

      PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF EMPLOYEE TERMINATION (2 of 3)

        Review and Investigation Procedure The idea of an employee being fired on the spot for any offense should not even be a possibility. The maximum authority any supervisor should have is to suspend an employee pending further investigation. Immediate supervisors should be given the right to recommend termination but should not be permitted to fire an employee. Frequently, the immediate supervisor is too emotionally involved with the employee, and the termination decision, to be objective in reviewing the facts. Also, supervisors frequently are not well enough versed in company policy and legal considerations to assess whether discharge is an appropriate… Read More »PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF EMPLOYEE TERMINATION (2 of 3)

        PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYER’S NEW DUTY – “MEET & CONFER”

          Many public sector employers are raising questions about a new state law, effective January 1, 2008, which requires, under certain circumstances, cities and towns to sit down and discuss wages and working conditions with the “Exclusive Recognized Representative” of full–time police officers and firefighters. Business People public sector readers need to prepare for and understand the new law before an “Exclusive Recognized Representative” knocks on their door. For the first time in Indiana, public safety employees covered by the law have the right to meet freely on their own time to discuss their interests to form, join or assist an… Read More »PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYER’S NEW DUTY – “MEET & CONFER”

          WHAT YOU AND LADY GAGA MAY HAVE IN COMMON

            Chances are you have never thought of Lady Gaga as an employer, but she is. Like you, she employs administrative assistants and, perhaps like you, she did not pay one properly per the terms of The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). You however, differ from the pop star because you will continue to read this article and learn how to not end up being sued by a former administrative assistant for $400,000. A common practice in the entertainment industry is to hire personal assistants, which Gaga did, paying one $75,000 per year. The two had a falling out and the… Read More »WHAT YOU AND LADY GAGA MAY HAVE IN COMMON

            PLAN B: PRE-BANKRUPTCY PLANNING

              Like many of you, I am an old-school businessperson. I was taught to pay my debts. I did not respect, and neither did you, the efforts of those who sought to dodge their obligations to us. However, in this unique and unsettling economic climate, bankruptcy is becoming a tool of economic necessity, not just for the family that ran up credit card debt or bought a home they could not afford, but for the otherwise honest businessperson who finds himself squeezed and surrounded by creditors because his clientele cannot or are not paying him. The small to mid-sized business, frequently… Read More »PLAN B: PRE-BANKRUPTCY PLANNING

              TIPS TO DEFEAT WRONGFUL DISCHARGE CLAIMS

                Employment discrimination suits are a part of the explosion of litigation in Northeast Indiana. Generic wrongful terminations are a smorgasbord of claims and a source of indigestion for employers! How do you navigate the minefield of federal and state laws, and manage to keep your company afloat? 1. Document everything Consistent with your employee handbook (You have one, don’t you? Have you read it lately?), you need to document transgressions as they occur. The work required to ensure a well documented termination is nothing compared to the hours and days you will pay an attorney to in defend a claim… Read More »TIPS TO DEFEAT WRONGFUL DISCHARGE CLAIMS

                PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF EMPLOYEE TERMINATION (3 of 3)

                  Alternative To Termination Sometimes termination may not be the appropriate penalty. For example, a long-time employee with a good record may have developed attendance problems in the preceding months. A leave of absence, therefore, may be more appropriate than termination. If the attendance problems do not resolve themselves, it will appear before a judge/arbitrator that you have gone above and beyond the call of duty in giving the employee one final chance. In other words, it is better to back down today and live to fight and discharge another day. Employee relations is like playing chess; make goods moves and… Read More »PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF EMPLOYEE TERMINATION (3 of 3)

                  PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF EMPLOYEE TERMINATION (1 of 3)

                    No business owner relishes the termination of an employee. In this litigious society, you end up in an unemployment compensation hearing or, at a minimum, with an Equal Employment Oppurtunity Commision (EEOC) charge or a lawsuit. Did you do it right? Do you have enough documentation to protect yourself? This and the next two issues of Business People can save you unproductive time and money while dealing with a disgruntled ex-employee. Consistency Discipline must be meted out on a consistent basis. Two questions that employers should ask before deciding upon what discipline to mete out are: (1) What actions have… Read More »PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF EMPLOYEE TERMINATION (1 of 3)