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The Employment Law of your Business

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Christine M. Reger Employment Attorney

As it turns out, you absolutely should not just pay someone to do some work for you in your business.  For operations big and small the hiring of any person to do any work should have a well thought-out plan with a keen eye on the law.

I recently listened to Christina Reger, an employment attorney at Bazelon, Less,  and Feldman.  You can connect to Christina on her LinkedIn profile.  

According to Christina – here are the 10 things you should consider when hiring:

  1. What is the job and how is the employee classified?  The Department of Labor mandates that employees be paid for every minute they are working.  Is an employee going to be considered full-time…salaried?  Hourly?  With limited exceptions, employees need to be paid overtime, measured by the week.
  2. Write your job description first.    What specifically are they going to be doing for you in addition to general tasks.
  3. Are you posting your job on your website?  Is your website ADA compliant?
  4. Where else can you post/advertise your job opening? Post in two places – at least – one should be print.
  5. Job application – does it comply with Ban the Box?  Is it an off the shelf application  and has it been checked by a local attorney?
  6. The interview – who gets called in?  How do you choose? Are you weeding out a protected class?  Think about who you are calling in and why – are they all business reasons?
  7. The interview part 2 – ten questions to never ask – this one I’m putting in a separate post it is so good.
  8. Background checks – FCRA requirements – you must inform the applicant of the background check – they must sign acknowledging it will occur – and the applicant should have the opportunity to review it and rebut anything you find. Running them often on your employees – they have to know so it is best to have a company policy.
  9. Social Media checks – you can do them – but you cannot ask applicants for passwords and you cannot stand over their shoulder while they sign into their accounts, and you better do the check on the applicant pool or at least your top 5 candidates.
  10. You’re hired!! Have a handbook, set of policies and clear explanations of hours and benefits.    If you have no handbook, you have no defense against any lawsuit.  For instance, if an employee sues becuase he was sexually harrassed, you best have a formal policy stating that behavior is not tollerated.

The biggest issue in the arena right now is paying people for their time…what happens when an employee takes your call at night, answers emails on the weekend, drives to the airport  to catch a flight for a business trip…that flight is cancelled…they wait in the airport…eeeegadddsss….as you can imagine, I was able to think of lots of scenarios where there are grey lines…and Christina wisely warned us, make sure anything an employee needs to do for work is clearly spelled out in your handbook, job description, and company policies.

Christina is a powerhouse of information.  Her knowledge and expertise in this area is not simply a career.  You can see she has a passion to protect the small business owner and would rather work with you now before you need her to defend you in court.