In addition to the “Twelve Common Employer Mistakes That Make Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Happy,” I’ve compiled a list of seven things employers should do, regardless of company size.

1. Update standard employment documents

  • Employee Handbook
  • Offer letter
  • Confidentiality Agreement (with appropriate additional restrictions)
  • Application forms
  • Evaluation forms

2. Train managers how to identify personnel issues and the importance of reporting them to HR and/or senior management in a timely manner.

3. Make sure that all employees are being fully and properly compensated at all times.

  • Pay accrued PTO leave upon termination unless all statutory requirements for non-payment have been satisfied.
  • Generally, do not condition bonuses on the employee being employed with employer at time of payment.
  • Do not withhold monies from an employee’s pay unless specifically authorized in writing by the employee to do so. Even when the authorization is provided, be careful not to deduct in a manner that would reduce pay below minimum wage levels.

4. Create job descriptions and update them to reflect changes in work actually performed. Include discretion and independent judgment factors where appropriate.

5. Identify and address performance issues early and be consistent in disciplining employees.

6. For organizations with 15 or more employees, conduct in-person anti-harassment training. If the training prevents one claim it will pay for itself 20 times over. Also, the odds appear better than 50-50 that training will unearth “hidden” employment issues.

7. Consider Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI).

Marc Engel is an employment attorney experienced in providing successful strategies for managing employees and preventing employment claims. For more information, contact Marc at (301) 657-0184 or [email protected].