Workplace violations are one of the greatest hindrances to productivity, efficiency, and growth. Whether it is safety violations or other infractions, employers should always be wary of potential lawsuits. According to the Department Of Labor (DOL), employers must make sure that employees understand their rights under the law. They should also ensure that they provide a safe and healthy work environment. This way, the potential for workplace violation is decreased. Employers should always make sure that they are fully aware of the law and their rights as an employer.
How To Avoid Workplace Violations
The following are the top most common violations of workplace regulations. They will help you avoid them and be aware of how to deal with them if they happen. They include:
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was implemented to protect individuals’ medical information privacy. Business Associates must use appropriate safeguards when using or disclosing any Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). As a business associate, you are directly responsible for complying with HIPAA in your work. You must know a HIPAA violation by the employer can be costly. Hence, you should review the privacy practices of your customers to ensure that they are compliant with HIPAA requirements. You should have this information readily available for employees to reference if needed.
Courts have ruled that companies keep accurate records of time worked and wages paid. Not just since the Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938, but also since even before then when the laws were still developing into current laws regarding wage and hour issues. Employers should be aware that most courts will hold the employer accountable for any wage payment issues, including back pay, no matter how long ago they occurred under these rules. There can be legal implications to inaccurate payroll record-keeping, too, whether done by computer or on paper (e.g., Sections 11(c) & 15(a)(3) of The Fair Labor Standards Act). When it comes to record-keeping, the courts will generally allow you to use whatever records work best for your company; but that doesn’t mean automatically using payroll reports just because they are convenient.
The use of “free samples” can leave employers open to non-compliance regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees must be paid at least minimum wage and overtime compensation for all hours worked when performing activities related to their job. “Free samples” is considered an integral part of an employee’s regular duties, requiring at least minimum wage and overtime pay. Individuals who give out free samples do not meet the definition of “volunteer.” The company must therefore track their work time and payment just as they would for any other employee.
Unemployment Insurance Access And Discrimination Laws
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee about any term or condition of employment because they are a member of a protected class under State and Federal laws. Although most employers are aware that they cannot discriminate based on race, color, age (if the individual is at least 40 years old), sex, national origin, religion, or disability, there are many other “protected classes” defined by law. Employers should be aware that they cannot discriminate against individuals on the basis of pregnancy or sexual orientation, as well as many other legal categories.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Specific state laws prohibit discrimination based on which military branch employed an individual or veteran status. Employers should ensure they do not discriminate in hiring individuals who have served our country because of this protection afforded them by law. A basic summary of veterans’ rights under federal law is found here. Every employer must abide by all applicable workers’ compensation laws administered by their State Department Of Labor agency.
Minimum Wage Violations
The FLSA requires that all employees be paid the minimum wage established by Federal law, currently $7.25 per hour, effective July 24, 2009. Although Congress has allowed states to set a higher rate than the federal one (and many do), an employer cannot pay you less than the minimum wage even if the State’s rate is lower than $7.25/hour. If you believe your employer owes you back wages because they failed to pay you at least minimum wage for all of your hours worked, contact us immediately to help arrange payment as soon as possible.
Take the time to conduct a self-audit of your personnel records and workplace practices. Know which forms you are using, how they are being used, who has access to them, what information is contained within each document, and how it will be used. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to audits.