By: Patricia Thompson, Attorney at Carlton Fields

  1. Post the “5 in 1” poster notifying employees of their rights under federal law and take a photograph each year to prove the poster is up.
  2. Insure that employees track and pay for each hour worked, don’t tolerate off the clock, at home, or other “voluntary” unpaid work.
  3. Pay for all time spent that benefits the employer, even if employee is multi-tasking.
  4. Beware of sending or requiring employees to respond to emails, etc, outside of normal work hours.
  5. If an employee quits, who has made or given notice of a claim, do nothing to harm that employee’s opportunities for re-employment elsewhere.
  6. Keep accurate and all required pay, time and employment records for as long as required.
  7. Preventive Law:  Before you are sued: retain an employment attorney to audit and recommend any changes to your pay practices, policies, employee exemptions, records, and pay calculations.
  8. If you are sued, retain an attorney experienced in this type of litigation; and (once again) have that attorney also audit your pay practices, change what is wrong, if anything, and offer to pay any sums or funds due or unpaid. It may be possible to moot out the claims.
  9. Discuss EPLI insurance with your broker.
  10. Most importantly:  Avoid litigation altogether by instituting a company wide dispute resolution program, including an arbitration agreement to resolve all claims by arbitration, and prohibiting class and collective actions.

Patricia Thompson is a trial lawyer, concentrating her practice in employment, construction, surety, fidelity, and other complex commercial disputes in state and federal courts and in arbitration.  She counsels clients on employment and construction dispute avoidance and resolution, insurance claim investigation and coverage analysis.

– Back to Spring 2012 Newsletter Index


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