Corporate compliance is more than policies, procedures and training. Employment law expert Clarence M. Belnavis, a partner at Fisher & Phillips, LLP, spoke recently at our Northwest Seminar, on the issues organizations commonly face that effect their overall compliance. Given his substantial experience handling various types of employment litigation – including disability, racial, and gender discrimination; retaliation; sexual harassment; and wrongful discharge – he drove home the importance of documentation and the inaccurate perception of many organizations that they are covered.
Avoid Hot Water: 10 Simple Rules
Keeping this list of ten simple rules in mind can minimize legal risks and maximize your organization’s ability to successfully deal with employment law challenges this year:
1- Juries only seem to believe what is in writing.
2- Document early and often; this establishes the event occurred.
3- Document FACTS, use your senses – what did you see, hear or smell – not conclusions.
4- Be objective, simple, consistent and specific: Who, What, When, Where and Why.
5- Record exact quotes; avoid generalizations and labels.
6- Keep comments appropriate and objective.
7- Record any ultimatum(s) given.
8- Preserve the at-will status of an employee’s work relationship.
9- Give the employee a chance to rebuttal a warning and have them sign it.
10- Document reasons for termination or resignation.
Whether or not you have a person designated to handle your HR compliance, these rules are important for your management teams to follow. A well-rounded workforce compliance management system that records and documents all employee issues will assist with following the rules, allowing your organization to be efficient and effective.