What You Need To Know
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 • 11:36am
Knowing appropriate workplace behavior versus assuming appropriate workplace behavior can be the difference between employment nightmares and a well-functioning work environment. Misconceptions can quickly become the norm, creating unnecessary problems. One of the best ways to deal with issues in the workplace is to stop them before they start. Knowing appropriate standards and enforcing them in the workplace can often be the way to do this.
Do you know or do you assume? Let’s look at a few scenarios where knowing what’s appropriate makes all the difference.
1-TRUE OR FALSE - When an employer requires an employee to have a Smartphone the employer does not need to pay the employee for it.
While the employer does not need to pay for the phone they do need to pay a nonexempt employee for anytime they work during nonworking hours. This includes work on the phone. Time working must be documented and compensated for.
2- TRUE OR FALSE - Management styles differ from person to person. If someone tends to yell, as long as they don’t target anyone out it’s an appropriate style of management.
Not only can yelling in the workplace open up employers to lawsuits, it also sets the tone for the rest of the staff and can have a trickle-down effect. This type of management style can cause tension and allow for litigation issues as well.
3- TRUE OR FALSE - At Will employment allows for the employee/employer relationship to be broken at either time by either party, which means an employer can use this as a reason to fire someone.
While “At will” employment can be dissolved at any time by either party without reason or cause, a firing should never break any labor laws or show signs of discrimination.
4- TRUE OR FALSE Probationary employees have all the same “legal rights” as non-probationary ones.
Employers must adhere to the same laws; such as minimum wage, discrimination, and worker’s comp laws with a probationary employee as they do with a long term employee. Whether an employee is placed on probation at the beginning of employment or placed on probation due to disciplinary action all the same “legal rights” apply.
By taking just a few key workplace situations we quickly see why it is so important to KNOW versus what we ASSUME. Assumptions in the workplace of any kind can lead to all kinds of problems and even possible law suits. Protecting the workplace environment can be a challenging job but knowing the difference between what is appropriate and what is not can sometimes thwart an issue before it even arises.
Helen M. Sorrentino is the owner and Managing Member of HR Practices, LLC, a Human Resources consulting firm. She started the company is 2009 to respond to the needs of the small business owner with an employee base between two (2)-fifty (50) employees in New Jersey and New York City.
Helen has 20+ years of experience in Human Resource management working within diverse industries such as engineering and manufacturing, apparel, biotechnical, printing, music and telemarketing. In past her HR roles she provided support to all levels of management in training, organizational development, coaching, planning and all areas of Human Resources. These companies ranged from an employee base of less than forty (40) employees up to seventy-five hundred (7500) employees and represented such industries as engineering, apparel, telemarketing and biomedical.
Helen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kean University; a Master of Arts from Montclair University and a Master’s of Science degree in Human Resources Management from Upsala College. Helen stays current by taking continuing education courses via seminars and webinars encompassing state and federal labor law compliance, policies/procedures, health care reform and all areas of employee relations to recruiting and background checks to terminating employees to responding to EEOC, DOL, Wage & Hour, OSHA and ICE audits
HR Practices LLC is currently a member of the below professional organizations:
- The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM)
- The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)
- New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO)
- Business Networking International (BNI)
- New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
- New Jersey Association of Professional Women
- Gateway Chamber of Commerce
- Cranford Business Alliance
A few of the industries represented by HR Practices’ clients are; apparel, medical billing; doctors’ offices; biotechnical; printing; electrical contractors; non-profit organizations, day care business; cosmetics, physical therapy and other consulting businesses.
The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.