Shielding your company from litigation starts during the onboarding process. In addition to the tax-related documents that you’re required to distribute by law, it’s wise to give your employees some version of the following:
A detailed employment agreement sets forth the terms of the work relationship in writing, so both parties have a clear understanding of their obligations to each other moving forward. It should address compensation, benefits, and confidentiality requirements.
It should also include a brief overview of all anticipated job duties, with the caveat that it’s not an exhaustive list as roles and responsibilities can evolve over time. As long as this document contains unambiguous terms, it can serve as a reference for the duration of the arrangement, thereby mitigating disputes when questions or concerns arise.
Depending on your industry and the scope of your operations, you may need some or all of your employees to sign a confidentiality agreement. Such an agreement will keep workers from disclosing proprietary information to third parties, including competitors.
The employee handbook might contain a lot of the same information as the employment agreement, but it’s not tailored for each individual position. Instead, it serves as a resource for all your workers.
This document, which should be distributed in booklet form during the onboarding process and should also be readily available on the local network, can address everything from company policies to standards of conduct. For example, there should be sections on taking leave, using fringe benefits, and reporting harassment or discrimination.
Once you’ve brought in a new employee and they’ve completed the probationary period, it’s wise to conduct periodic performance reviews. Record the results of these evaluations on paper, and have each worker sign theirs confirming they’ve read it before placing them in the appropriate files.
You should also handle all disciplinary actions on paper, no matter how minor the transgression. Whenever an employee violates the code of conduct set forth in the handbook, have them sign a document acknowledging as much, and place it in their file. This will ensure a legitimate paper trail logging their offenses, which can protect you immensely if they ever take issue with how you adjust their responsibilities to account for any lapses in judgement.
If your company winds up tangled in some kind of legal dispute despite your best efforts to avoid litigation, you can count on Ball Eggleston for strategic representation. Since 1950, our firm has been protecting businesses while also ensuring they don’t violate their employees’ rights.
By letting us handle any disputes that arise, you can focus on your bottom line. Call (765) 742-9046 or fill out our Online Contact Form to schedule an initial consultation with an employment lawyer in Lafayette.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.