Employee Related Service Lawyer Dallas, TX
If you recently started a new business or are transitioning your company’s existing employment model in any significant way, it is important to understand that the ways in which you classify your workers can have significant ramifications for both your business and your workers. The government insists that when businesses hire workers, they classify them according to specific criteria. If you misclassify your workers, not only can it cost them valuable benefits and legal protections, it can leave your business vulnerable to significant governmental fines and penalties. Misclassification can also leave your company vulnerable to legal action by your misclassified workers. As a result, it is important to consult with an experienced Dallas, TX employee related service lawyer when creating or revising a hiring model for your company. Seeking legal guidance proactively can save your company significant time, money and other valuable resources down the road.
Differences Between Employees and Contractors
In general, workers fall into one of two broad categories. Most workers are either classified as employees or contractors. This distinction is important because employees are granted access to greater legal protections and financial benefits than contractors are. Due to these distinctions, employers will sometimes intentionally misclassify employees as contractors in order to save their companies money and legal responsibility for these workers. However, misclassification is a serious infraction of American business law and can result in fines and other penalties from the government and legal action from the misclassified workers. Working with an experienced Dallas, TX employee related service lawyer can help to ensure that your company is not unintentionally misclassifying its workers.
In a nutshell, businesses control the jobs that employees do, but do not generally control the jobs that contractors do. For example, if a temp agency has provided you with a worker who is paid through that agency and whose position is controlled by the agency, that worker is probably a contractor. By contrast, if a company controls all aspects of a worker’s job and that worker is both paid by the company and hired indefinitely, that worker is probably an employee.
We understand that as a business owner you may be shocked to receive an employee complaint, but rest assured, an employee related service lawyer in Dallas, TX from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can help you work through the issue. Claims about wrongful termination, harassment, or another unlawful behavior can be startling, leaving business owners unsure about what to do next. If you get legal advice promptly and take the issue seriously, then you can decrease potential risks.
Consider Company Policy and Procedures
Before even receiving a complaint, an employee related service lawyer from Texas suggests reviewing your company’s policies and procedures. Does your employee handbook explain harassment and how to report it? Do you have an employee handbook? We recommend that you do. If business owners have a policy that bans behavior like harassment, then it can help them avoid liability for certain types of cases. In addition to that, it is vital that you have an organization that is free of workplace harassment or other forms of inappropriate behavior.
Advice When Investigating a Complaint
We can imagine that receiving a complaint can surely put a damper on morale, for both employee, employer, and others that work in the company. There’s perhaps nothing worse than thinking your business is running smoothly, then getting a complaint that accuses you or someone else within the company of something terrible. Even with your emotions high, we emphasize how important it is to remain calm and consult with a Dallas, TX employee related service lawyer as soon as possible. During a consultation, we may suggest doing the following when evaluating the complaint, so you can handle the situation with grace and ease:
- Don’t make assumptions and try to eliminate judgement. Practice being more of an observer and collecting information, versus jumping to conclusions or reacting with defensiveness. Once you get all the information you need, you can meet with a TX employee related service lawyer for advice on how to respond.
- Do not permit retaliation from any of the employee’s coworkers, and be careful in how you act towards the employee who complained. It is illegal to punish an employee for filing a complaint or claim against the company. Retaliation can only make the situation worse.
- Look for proof related to the complaint itself. You may need to interview the employee along with those who are involved in the complaint. There may be witnesses who either support or deny what is described in the complaint.
- Take notes and document every interview that you conduct, including the date and time. We can help you put together a report of what you did, who you interviewed, what questions were asked, what you determined, and why.
As a business owner, we can reasonably assume that you are probably proud of what you have created and want to protect it to the fullest extent. When it comes to employee complaints, we can suggest how to respond with tact and promptness. Please call us today to book a free consultation with a Dallas employee related service lawyer in Texas from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC at your earliest convenience.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you are either starting a new business and need to make new hires or you are revamping your company’s existing hiring model, please consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced Dallas, TX employee related service lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC today. Classifying your workers properly is a critically important task. It is one that is truly consequential for both your workers and your company. Please, let our team of Dallas, Texas employee related service lawyers make sure that your company is handling classification of workers during the hiring process correctly. Being proactive about this issue now will almost certainly save your business significant headaches, time and money later on. We look forward to speaking with you.