5 Strategies to Avoid Being Sued by an Employee

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These five strategies can be implemented immediately to limit risk and exposure to employee lawsuits. Useful tools are provided to use as checklists, tips and worksheets. This is the first part in a five part series. If you desire the entire series immediately at no cost, please contact Harper & Associates, P.C. directly.

These five strategies can be implemented immediately to limit risk and exposure to employee lawsuits. Useful tools are provided to use as checklists, tips and worksheets. This is the first part in a five part series. If you desire the entire series immediately at no cost, please contact Harper & Associates, P.C. directly.

Strategy Number 1 - Make Sure Employees are Taking Meal and Rest Breaks

One way to ensure such is to pre-print the following statement upon on all timecards, “I hereby certify that I have taken all meal and rest breaks for the above pay period.”

It is the employer’s responsibility to track employee’s work hours and to maintain all records, even if using an outside payroll or administrative agency.

Timecards are vital to an employment litigation defense, especially in light of the fact that most outsourcing payroll agencies contain an indemnification and hold harmless clause in their contracts with employers.

The most recent example of litigation against an employer and the pain caused was the $172 million dollar liability against Wal-Mart for its failure to allow employee meal breaks.

California employers must provide at least a 30 minute unpaid lunch break to employees who work more than 5 hours per day, and two 10 minute rest breaks. Employees must be free of duties and free to leave worksite for lunch break.

An employer must pay one additional hour of pay at the regular rate to the employee as a penalty for each workday the employer does not provide the meal break. Additionally, it is a misdemeanor to not allow the lunch break.

Tamara Harper, Esq. has prepared a “Meal Break Checklist,” which identifies seven steps employers should take to ensure compliance with California Labor Codes regarding meal breaks. This Meal Break Checklist will be provided to you at no charge by sending an email to Tamara Harper, Esq., Harper & Associates, P.C. and requesting such.

You cannot rely upon an outsourcing payroll company to ensure your compliance. Not only do their contracts contain disclaimers that they are not able to give you legal advice, they will not defend you in a lawsuit, and most importantly, they will not be the employer named in a lawsuit nor audited by the Department of Labor or Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. You must take your own action to ensure that your company and your assets are protected from liability.

Harper & Associates, P.C. helps employers negotiate the maze of employment regulations, giving them peace of mind and limit their liability exposure. Ms. Harper helps companies to never experience the painful process of employment litigation and shows business entrepreneurs how to protect their assets and preserve their wealth by limiting their liability exposure, registering their intellectual property; and holding property in trust.

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Tamara Harper
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