Breaking Hiring Rules Can Get You in Legal Trouble

Walking the Minefield

Anyone involved in hiring and human resources is aware of the need to regularly monitor the constant changes in laws and regulations in their fields. From federal to state to local governing bodies, these entities often produce changes that affect a wide spectrum of policies pertaining to the hiring process, compensation and benefits, and company work environments.

The frequency and significance of these modifications require that businesses respond and update company policies and practices to remain in compliance at all times. The penalties and consequences that result from ignoring these issues are often quite significant and far-reaching.

To aid in this process, human resources departments and company recruiters have available to them a number of modern tools and resources. Platforms that continually provide updates on these issues are now considered essential to the process. Others, such as effective applicant tracking systems, are also rapidly gaining traction as important tools. A recent article by Fox Business points out some of the ways in which small businesses can avoid some of the tripwires involved in the hiring process.

Essential Hiring Tips

In the article, Charley Moore, the founder of the successful online legal service Rocket Lawyer, shared that a recent survey by his firm indicates hiring issues rank in the top five of all legal concerns of business owners. To help with this process, Moore addressed six points for all small businesses to review and utilize.

The first of these is a good rule for all aspects of business: Put things down in black and white. It is a simple fact that verbal agreements don’t suffice in personnel issues. Every hire should involve a detailed and compliant employment agreement that is in writing and signed by both parties. The details of a proper employment agreement will address all the issues of position, title, salary, benefits and other key items.

Closely related to this is the importance of having a fully-compliant and updated employee handbook. It is the first document that opposing counsel will request in any employment dispute. A constantly updated and effective handbook is specific in providing employees with information about all company policies and attitudes towards the work environment. This document should be written in a clear and concise way and detail all benefits, such as sick time and vacation.

Moore also makes a point in the article that all business owners and their human resources must take to heart. You can’t obey the law without knowing the law. Maintaining a detailed familiarity with the Fair Hiring Practices and Job Discrimination Laws for Employers is an essential discipline for small businesses. There are many proactive requirements, such as keeping the work environment free of racist and sexist elements.  Part of these regulations are governed by the OFCCP (office of federal contract compliance programs) – ensuring that your hiring process runs to offcp regulations is an essential part of smart hiring and recruiting.

The article closes with strong advice concerning the provision of workers’ compensation. Overall, these insights provide real value to any company’s approach to hiring and human resources.

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