Whether it is an established business with decades of history or it is a recent startup building new experiences with each turn of the calendar, the possibility of legal disputes should be a daily concern. Many organizations believe they should never be shocked by any type of in-house dispute as there are always signs that can be readily identified. With this in mind, employers should pay special attention to the ways in which they can avoid or eliminate wage-hour disputes across their workforce.
- Meticulous recordkeeping: First and foremost, the organization must maintain detailed records. These records can contain job descriptions, hours worked, pay ranges and scheduled shifts. As an organization grows and expands, this might become a cumbersome task, but it remains a necessity. Maintaining correct timesheets can prevent unintentional shift-splitting, multiple worksites and other hazards that can lead to wage-hour disputes.
- Focusing on compliance: Labor laws tend to change frequently with refinements, additions and removals. It is not unlikely that an employer is relying on outdated information or legal knowledge that is no longer accurate. Many organizations counter this by bringing on a compliance expert who will focus their efforts on ensuring the company remains compliant with whatever legal complexity they are tasked with.
- Classification audits: A common theme in many wage-hour disputes centers on the possibility of employee misclassification. Employers must take a careful look at a worker’s organizational responsibilities to ensure they are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt. Among other things, this classification separates employees based on their eligibility to make overtime wages. Over time, job descriptions change, and it is wise to perform regular audits to ensure an employee’s work requirements haven’t altered their classification.
Legal disputes centering on wage and hour claims can derail the efficient operation of a business of any size. From the interruption of normal business processes to declining company morale, a wage-hour dispute can result in several layers of trouble. Fortunately, there are ways an organization can protect itself from legal problems. Should the need arise, it is wise to seek the guidance of skilled legal professionals at every turn.