Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Atoning for employers’ biggest sins #employmentsins

Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, the day on which we make peace with God for all of the sins we’ve committed over the past year. On Rosh Hashanah God writes each person’s name in Book of Life. Over the next 10 days, Jews seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God and other human beings. During Yom Kippur, each individual makes their personal petitions to God, and hopes for forgiveness for the upcoming year. If all goes well, when God closes the Book of Life at the end of Yom Kippur, your name remains and your soul is safe for another year.

I explain it to my Catholic children like this. Catholics (are supposed to) confess their sins each week. Jews save them for Yom Kippur and get it over with all at once. I haven’t broken the chicken swinging to them yet; they’re not ready it (I’m not sure I am, or ever will be, either).

In the spirit of today’s holiday, I thought I’d share some common sins I see employers committing all of the time. Think about those of which you may be guilty, and use today as your time to commit to fixing your ill(s) in the coming year.

     Failing to regularly review and update your employee handbook.

     Not having an employee handbook at all.

     Omitting regular anti-harassment (and other) training.

     Not advising employees of their at-will status.

     Assuming that labor laws do not apply to your non-union shop.

     Allowing subpoena-less federal agents to enter your business voluntarily.

     Going it alone (i.e., without counsel) in agency investigations.

     Failing to investigate all harassment complaints.

     Ignoring the reasonable accommodation interactive process.

     Capping an employee’s medical leave.

     Assuming that you understand the FLSA.

     Assuming that you understand the FMLA.

     Failing to lock down key employees with restrictive covenants.

     Believing that only big businesses get hacked.

     Hiring without background checks.

     Firing without reason.

     Firing without severance.

Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter with the hashtag #employmentsins, the labor/employment sins for which you are atoning this year.