Employment Mistakes to Avoid

No matter how large or small your business is, you are bound by state and federal hiring laws. Deciphering these laws can be tricky, but noncompliance can be costly. You may find yourself facing large fines and other punishments for a simple mistake. Here are some common areas where employers make mistakes that can cost them.

Application Forms

Employment application forms are useful to employers to gather information about applicants. They are required to contain specific information, such as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) procedures, notices of at-will employments, and criminal background check questions. If your application forms do not contain the necessary information, you risk liabilities and penalties for non-compliance. Be sure to have accurate job descriptions as well, including any physical requirements.

I-9 Forms

The I-9 form, or Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 is used to verify employees’ identities and eligibility to work in the United States. These forms must be filed within 3 days of a new employee starting work, and must be complete, including signatures and dates. It must be filed with a copy of the appropriate identification documents from the list provided on the form. A digital system can help save time and make it easier for you to quickly file new I-9 forms.

W-4 Forms

IRS Form W-4 determines the amount of taxes an employer will need to deduct from employees’ paychecks. This form must be completed before new hires can receive their first pay check. These forms need to stay up-to-date as an employee’s personal situation changes, such as a marriage, a divorce, or having children. Employees may amend their W-4 at any time, but if they neglect to do so, the employer can be the one penalized. Mandating employees to resubmit a W-4 each year can help keep records up-to-date and in compliance.

Employee Status

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that employees be classified as exempt or nonexempt, depending on their salary and type of work they perform. Misclassifying employees prevents the US Department of Labor from determining if job duties and salary meet employment regulations. If you misclassify employees, you are subject to fines and penalties, and you’ll be required to pay back wages to the misclassified employees.¬†Attorneys can help you understand the law, and identify any issues.

Harassment Prevention Training

Employees deserve to be treated with respect. Providing harassment training for your employees as part of your onboarding process can help create a workplace that feels comfortable, and protects your company from violating anti-harassment laws. Conducting training is not required in every state by employment law, but making it mandatory for your company can go a long way in protecting your employees.

Employment law is complex. Small mistakes are easy enough to make, but can end up costing your business in fines, penalties, and back wages. Contact a lawyer who is experienced with employment law to confirm that your business meets all employment laws and regulations.

Washington D.C. lawyers at John P. Mahoney, Esq. can provide the legal guidance you need to keep your business compliant with employment laws. Contact them today at (202) 759-7780 to begin your free consultation.