Employment Law for Business Owners, Managers & HR – Avoid Getting Sued
Employment law is a complex field that can be difficult to navigate for business owners, managers, and human resources professionals. With numerous subcategories, it’s easy to accidentally break the law and open your business up to lawsuits from disgruntled employees.
In a recent YouTube video, employment lawyer Michael Tracy provides an overview of modern employment law, offering actionable insights on how to avoid getting sued in every major area of employment law. Tracy emphasizes the importance of treating employees with dignity, respect, and fairness, as most lawsuits arise from employees feeling mistreated by their employers.
One area of employment law that Tracy covers is employment contracts. While most employees in the United States are at-will, meaning employers can fire them for almost any reason at any time, salespeople often have commission agreements that can result in disputes. Tracy advises against tinkering with these agreements during a sales cycle or sales agreement period, as salespeople often don’t like the rules changing.
Another area of employment law is torts in the workplace, which refers to the infringement of a right. The four big areas where businesses can get in trouble in this category are wrongful termination, defamation, privacy, and misrepresentation. Tracy suggests doing due diligence and researching state laws before firing someone, avoiding making false statements about former employees to prospective employers, respecting employees’ privacy rights, and ensuring job advertisements are accurate and correct.
Wages and hours are a major focus of employment law, with unpaid overtime being a significant issue for many businesses. Tracy recommends familiarizing yourself with your state’s laws on overtime and ensuring employees are properly compensated for off-the-clock work, bonuses, tips, and reimbursed expenses. Businesses can also run into problems when they hire someone for a salaried position that should be treated as an hourly position under state law, which can result in employees missing out on overtime pay.
In his video, Tracy offers additional insights on discrimination, harassment, leaves of absence, workplace safety, unfair competition, unemployment, layoffs, collective bargaining agreements, and everything else businesses need to know to avoid getting sued.
While Tracy’s video provides valuable insights, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not intended as legal advice. Each state’s laws on employment differ, and businesses should consult with an employment lawyer in their state for advice specific to their situation. But by following Tracy’s actionable insights, businesses can take steps to avoid getting sued in areas where the law is most commonly broken.