COVID-19 has brought about many first time entrepreneurs—many people who quit, or were let go of, due to the pandemic. While some started solo companies and sold products online, others are reaching points of success where they may soon need an office and employees as support staff. Prior to reaching the latter stage, employers should educate themselves a bit about employment law, and tried and true workplace policies. Employers should also make sure that someone in the office is keeping good records of incident complaints, in the event that an HR department is not in place, so that the business owner is never on the wrong side of the law and an employee’s welfare is never put at risk.
Any contract is supposed to represent a meeting of the minds. When an employer begins to hire employees, they must make sure to have a standard employment contract in place which details the job description (expectations of the employee,) the compensation for that job (including benefits,) repercussions of not fulfilling the expectations, and privacy policies so that customers do not have to worry about sharing codes with employees who may try to use them for their own personal gains. This contract should also include statements pertaining to workplace equality that should be enforced by the owner and all of the other employees. It is important that both parties show an understanding of that contract, as both parties must sign it.
Some of the basic concerns faced by business owners are the result of them not taking the right steps in the beginning to protect themselves and their business. For one, using a personal bank account for small business may have been okay in the beginning, but as the business grows, it is vital to have separate accounts and to log expenses for each of these accounts. As the level of income and expenses grow, you will be thankful you set this routine in place prior to things getting out of hand. Another tip is to protect your intellectual property by filing for as many copyrights, trademarks and patents in the beginning. No attorney can protect you if you did not take the steps to protect yourself.
When to hire an employment lawyer.
That being said, any employer who did take the correct steps prior to starting their business have courses of action to take when facing any of the abovementioned dilemmas. Not just in those cases, but anytime an employer is faced with a lawsuit, they must hire a licensed attorney. If possible, it is best to address complaints as they come, rather than allowing matters to escalate to the point where the employee feels they have no other option but to sue. For example, employers sometimes try to ignore complaints in the office pertaining to employment disputes, discrimination claims and/or wages and hours claims. It is important to note that ignoring such issues will only result in more time, money and stress down the line, when the issue or the employee reappear.
In general, employment attorneys are knowledgeable in hour and wage claims, whistle blower claims, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA,) retaliation claims, trademarks and the Copyright Act, contract disputes, The Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights act, sexual harassment and discrimination claims, Unlawful termination claims and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, just to name a few. If an employee has decided to sue you for any of the above matters, or any issue pertaining to employment law, it is important to hire an attorney as soon as possible.
In the event that an individual is looking for assistance in a situation where they feel they have faced a certain type of discrimination in the workplace, or an employer is being sued in regard to an employment law matter, we have Employment Law Specialists who are here to help. At Dsouza and Strachan law, you will find a team of well-versed attorneys who can help you walk through options when dealing with employment law. When faced with such a situation it is best to consult an attorney who can review your case in detail and help you choose to understand the best possible steps to ensure the best outcome for you and/or your company. For a consultation, give us a call today (Phone number).