Are you a small business owner that is facing an employment-related litigation filing from a current or former employee? Due to a downturn in the economy and stricter government enforcement, discrimination and wage hour violations are becoming more common for businesses. Save yourself from the potential fines,penalties, and judgments and speak with an employment litigation attorney for advice on the best methods of handling these situations. Through a customized approach, proper counsel can assist you with an individualized strategy specific to your business objective.
The wage and hour violations often stem from incorrect employee misclassification.Is an employee exempt or non-exempt? Just because someone is on salary does not make them exempt. Similarly, the definition of an independent contractor is established by statute and court cases, and cannot be altered by an employer.
Some common examples of California Wage hour violations include:
Unpaid straight-time wages: If you ask y9our employees to work off the clock, your business can face severe penalties in addition to unpaid wages.
Unpaid overtime wages: If the a non-exempt employee works over 8 hours in a day OR over 40 hours in a week, your company is compelled to pay time and a half for excess time.
Independent Contactor Status: Employers frequently misclassify workers as independent contractors, and face penalties that could put them out of business.
Some examples of Employment Discrimination include:
Excluding potential employees during recruitment due to their background/demographics
Denying compensation and/or benefits to certain employees.
Unequal pay for equally-qualified employees in the same position.
Non uniformity in disability leave, maternity leave, or retirement options
Employers are also required to inform their employees about their EEOC and DFEH rights,and must not retaliate if they do file a discriminatory complaint.
When looking for an attorney that best suits your needs, it is important that they are offering the most practical and cost-effective solution to the dispute you may be involved in. An experienced attorney will be able to properly asses the risks you are facing and propose the best litigation options well before trial.Even while you are facing a legal case, as a business owner, there are other matters that need to be focused on to keep your business properly functioning.With the help of an employment litigation lawyer, you can be sure that the best approach to your case is being taken so that you can concentrate on the other important aspects in running your business.
The main goal for any business attorney is to effectively manage the strategy they will employ for the case, as well as achieve the desired goal that the business owner is aiming for. In some cases, it may be appropriate to negotiate a settlement with the plaintiff, while in others, it may be necessary to vigorously defend the business owner against the claims set forth by the employee. An expert attorney will have this strategy set out well in advance so that you, the business owner, are fully prepared on what to expect.
Going through a dispute with a current or past employee is something that no business owner wants to go through. Although it may be unavoidable in some instances,there are some preventative measures that you can take to ensure that you are following the best practices as set out by the labor board. First and foremost,having an employment handbook set in place is a necessity. However, having just any template handbook can still lead to problems. Having a business attorney custom draft your handbook specific to your business can make sure that all the policies you want to enforce are included. Enforcing an employee handbook is just the first step to avoiding legal troubles with an employee. For additional information about protecting your business from legal woes, contact an attorney at www.SmallBusinessLaw.Org.