Are you doing the right thing?
Gloria Williams, SHRM-CP
In some of our past newsletters, we have referenced some recent cases across the United States where companies have been fined or otherwise penalized for various violations of state or federal employment law. But this hit home in the MId-Ohio Valley this past week, as many of you may have seen reported in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, when a local restaurant chain was ordered to restore $190,000 in back pay to employees who were not properly compensated as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. And the U.S. Department of Labor gave the company only until the end of March (Today) to pay the 67 workers involved in the action.
For many small businesses, that could be a devastating blow to have to outlay that kind of cash in such a short period of time, for a situation that was avoidable. And, this is not the only case of this kind that has affected a local business over the past. It does happen here, as it does across the country.
It is important to note that in the first case cited above, the Department of Labor also requires the company to provide additional training and education for managers AND EMPLOYEES about the Fair Labor Standards Act, among other remedies.
It is really important that small businesses, especially ones without a full time Human Resources professional on staff, consult with an HR professional or labor law attorney to review their Employee Handbook and all of their personnel policies and procedures. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse that the courts accept when it comes to employment law violations.