4 Tips for Construction Managers to Avoid Employment Litigation
Employment litigation is a serious issue in any industry, but construction faces some unique challenges. Business is on the rise, but with a labor shortage. Construction companies have to be extra careful with both how they treat current employees and the hiring process. There are actions managers can take to help avoid employment litigation. Here are four tips.
Follow FLSA Standards
Keeping track of all employee time will go a long way in avoiding employee litigation. After you have accurate employee time recorded, learn what you are legally required to pay your employees.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), enacted in 1938, established minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and youth employment standards. This act affects employees in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments.
Jobs that fall under FLSA guidelines feature two types of employees: exempt and nonexempt. Nonexempt employees are able to work overtime. Even temporary employees, unless they are 1099 Independent Contractors, are entitled to overtime pay.
On the flipside, you don’t pay exempt employees overtime pay. Exempt employees include those making more than $455 per week on a salary basis or perform other exempt duties. For more guidelines on exempt employees, visit the United States Department of Labor website.
To make sure you’re complying with these standards, keep meticulous records of hours worked.
Eliminate Discrimination and Harassment
More women are joining the construction industry than ever before. Some colleges and universities even offer degrees geared toward the industry, which has contributed to diversification of the workforce. If women work at your business, whether it’s in the field or at the office, avoiding discrimination is critical. It’s especially important when it comes to the wage gap and sexual harassment.
When President Barack Obama passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act in 2009, it didn’t force employers to pay women the same as their male counterparts. Instead, it promoted voluntary employer compliance. While the act doesn’t force employers’ hands, it does make it easier for women to file wage gap discrimination cases. Complying with the Act will help keep you out of employee litigation cases.
Another critical step to avoid discrimination litigation is hosting mandatory sexual harassment training for all employees. And if a claim occurs, don’t downplay it – and don’t hesitate to take fast action. Seek help of an attorney, if necessary, to ensure you’re taking the right steps toward resolution.
Enforce the Hire of Legal Workers
The labor shortage in the construction industry has made it challenging for companies to find enough skilled craftsmen. Delaying a job because you don’t have workers can be costly, so some construction companies are relying on foreign-born craftsmen. While hiring foreign-born workers with correct legal documents is fine, using illegal immigrants as substitutes can get you into trouble.
Even though it might be tempting when you need to meet a deadline, hire only legal workers. Never relax your hiring standards, because in the end, it will cause more harm than good. Take the extra time and work with foreign-born workers to ensure they have proper documentation.
Work with a Qualified Staffing Agency
Working with a professional staffing agency will help you avoid costly litigation. Construction Labor Contractors is an elite construction staffing agency that looks out for both the interests of the craftsmen and the company who needs them. CLC stays on top of legal issues and offers safety training for all hires to help you avoid workplace accidents, lawsuits and workman’s comp claims.
CLC can also handle your human resource issues, including payroll. Working with a staffing agency that recruits and pre-screens all skilled craftsmen, pairs you with fully vetted workers.
Ready to get started? Fill out our Contact Form and we’ll match skilled craftsmen from our network to your labor needs.