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Your employees are a large part of the puzzle that is your business model. Essentially, they are the life force of your business. Think about it; they are who your customers and clients are going to be interacting with. They are going to be the people pushing your product. If your company fails to make an impression, it could be because you don’t have the best employees. On the other hand, if your business wins big it might be due to the work of your employees. That said, when you hire employees they immediately have rights in your company that need to be upheld. Not knowing these rights or failing to protect them could lead to major issues for you as a business owner. Let’s look at some of the issues that are covered here and how to approach them correctly.
Discrimination and Prejudice
The danger of discrimination begins before you hire your employees. It starts when you pick potential candidates for interviews. As soon as you open a position and accept applications you have taken on a responsibility for those candidates. You need to be fair when making decisions, particularly when choosing who to hire. For instance, you can’t deny a candidate an interview because you don’t like the look of their last name. You can also not discriminate when selecting based on age, gender or any other social status. If you get caught doing this, you could be looking at a big legal battle for your business.
To avoid this, it’s best to hire and use a recruitment agency. They know exactly who you should be hiring and how to avoid a discrimination case. They’ll present the candidates that are ideally suited for the position. At the very least you may want to use an HR team to ensure you stay on the right side of the legal line.
Once you have hired your employees, the threat of discrimination does not end. You must be careful not to treat employees differently, based on anything other than their work performance. For instance, you can not refuse someone a promotion based on their personal beliefs. You would have to show these beliefs affect their work performance. Even then, you would be walking a dangerous line.
Safety In The Office
As a business owner with employees, you are held under the law of premises liability. Essentially, this means you are responsible for any accidents or injuries that take place on your property. Although we are specifically talking about employees, understand this includes everyone. It could be a member of the general public, an investor or client. If anyone is injured, you are responsible.
Regarding employees, you need to think about compensation. If an employee is injured in your business what they are entitled to might differ depending on the location of your company. In some areas, an accident attorney will ensure a worker gets at least their pay while they are off absent. This will happen no matter who’s fault the injury was. Thus, a worker could be directly responsible for their own injury. In this situation, they will still receive sick leave pay. In other situations, a worker might get more. They might get compensation and then seek out further damages. This tends to happen if you have not covered them for compensation. Or, if their injury will have a lasting impact on their life. For instance, they may have been left unable to walk. At that point, you could be looking at a hefty payout.
As an employer, you need to know how to protect yourself from these types of legal damages. Our recommendation is that you look into business insurance. With business insurance, you can all but guarantee that you’re covered for any injury in the office. The right coverage will pay for your legal fees and any other issues with your employees that might have. For instance, it’s possible that they are suing for more than just a physical injury. Some may suggest that you have caused them emotional pain. If proven, these lawsuits can amount to thousands in legal damages, and you want to avoid that.
However, it is important to realize that every time an employee makes a claim, your premium rises. Ideally, you want to avoid claims completely. That’s a possibility if you just make sure you’re looking after the needs of your workers. Mainly, they need to know they are working in a safe environment. As such, you should make sure that the work environment is checked regularly for any hazards. The littlest thing could cause an injury. For instance, there could be a loose wire on the kettle in the office kitchen. It might not seem like a major issue. But if that loose wire gets wet it could electrocute a worker.
Pay And Benefits
One thing that you must make sure of is that you are paying your workers fairly. You should look at their job and compare it to the average wage of the position on the market. We suggest that you pay a little extra as this keeps your business competitive and attractive to new employees. You can not pay your workers under the average. If you do this, you’ll earn a poor reputation on the market. You could also lose valuable workers by not looking after their interests.
Although not a responsibility per say, benefits are another issue that you should think about. You are not obligated to provide employees with benefits and many businesses simply don’t. It is one way to save money. However, one of your responsibilities to your employees is making sure that they are happy at work. Giving them benefits would certainly fit the bill here. You should look into the possibility of providing things like health insurance. This will make your business incredibly attractive to new, young workers. Giving your workers something like this will ensure they are loyal to you and always give their best on the job.
We hope you take your responsibility for your workers seriously. It is an important part of owning a company.
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