It's better to have a history of treating people respectfully and fairly.
Mesa / Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) August 13, 2009
For business owners, navigating the waters of state and federal labor laws and their corresponding nondiscrimination regulations can be dangerous if not disastrous for those unaware of lurking hazards.
"To keep pace with rapidly changing employment laws, business owners must put prudent employment practices into place early on," says attorney Scott F. Gibson, founding partner of Gibson Ferrin & Riggs, PLC. "Those practices begin before you hire your first employee."
Gibson says business owners need to be aware of applicable labor laws, understand general equal employment opportunity issues and avoid what could be deemed as discriminatory practices.
Discrimination issues alone can be confusing to employers, he says. Lawsuits can arise from alleged discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or age. Some states and even municipalities have recently enacted protections based on sexual orientation, status as a parent, marital status and political affiliation.
"It's unrealistic to expect an employer to understand all the detailed nuances of discrimination laws," says Gibson, who has more than 20 years experience in commercial litigation, "but by being aware of what the categories are can help to avoid problems."
In his new e-book, "Ten Fatal Mistakes that Business Owners Make (And How to Avoid Them)," Gibson identifies that failure to follow prudent employment practices could lead to disastrous consequences for companies of any size. He gives real-life examples that illustrate how such mistakes can land a business owner on the wrong end of a lawsuit and offers specific advice on how to prevent them. The free e-book is downloadable from the firm's website at http://www.gfrlaw.net/firmpublications.aspx.
Gibson says it is critical for companies to have well-drafted employee handbooks with comprehensive policies and procedures, followed by thorough and continuous training to ensure that those policies are followed. While large companies rely on human resource specialists or departments, even small companies should designate an employee that will stay informed of current laws and make sure those are applied to company policy.
"Review practices and procedures regularly to ensure that they meet the ever-changing legal requirements," he urges.
He says it's also important to implement appropriate disciplinary procedures and, when necessary, dispense discipline even-handedly and fairly.
"Don't overreact to situations that arise," he says. "It's better to have a history of treating people respectfully and fairly."
Call attorney Scott Gibson at 480-633-8100 with any questions on employment law, business law or to schedule a confidential and comprehensive consultation.
The attorneys at Gibson Ferrin & Riggs, PLC concentrate their practice on serving individuals, families and small business owners with business-related issues, family law and estate planning. They can help identify and assess the things that matter most to their clients and work to preserve, promote and protect them. Visit their website at http://www.gfrlegal.com and their blog at http://www.biziboom.com. The firm's expertise in commercial litigation and business, family and estate law is recognized throughout the Mesa / Phoenix area.
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