You hire employees to contribute to the success of your business. Their ideas and hard work are critical assets to your company. However, misunderstandings and disputes among employees can also cause issues for your business, especially if they are mishandled.
There are many ways to prevent employee problems before they begin by working with a South Carolina employment lawyer. At Sparks Law, a skilled attorney could draft agreements defining employees’ specific duties or employee manuals that spell out everything there is to know about the company.
When hiring new employees, it is wise to give them a copy of a detailed employee handbook that discusses policy about everything from dress codes to holidays to overtime pay. It should specify grounds for dismissal and grievance procedures for employees who feel they were wronged. Our South Carolina employment attorneys are experienced in drafting these documents for employers.
Our employment lawyers diligently apply South Carolina and federal law when an employee grievance leads to the involvement of civil courts or regulatory agencies.
Some problems in the workplace are more common than others. For example, when employees are disgruntled and seek resolutions outside the company, they are usually for wage disputes, wrongful termination, discrimination, or sexual harassment.
The federal government, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), has set a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. South Carolina’s minimum wage for non-tipped workers is also $7.25 an hour for 2021, although House Bill 3184 aims to increase the minimum wage beginning in 2022. To date, that bill has not been adopted.
Although tipped and student workers can be paid less than the minimum, employers who pay full-time employees less, or short them on overtime, could find themselves in trouble. Fines, back pay, interest, and other penalties may apply at the state level, and in some cases, FLSA federal regulators may get involved. Our tenacious employment lawyers could investigate these complaints and craft a strong defense on behalf of a South Carolina employer.
Discrimination occurs when a person or group unfairly targets another person or group based on their identity. Discrimination is illegal, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) spells out specific rules for companies depending on the number of employees.
Companies with at least one employee must offer equal pay to men and women performing the same work. With 15 to 19 employees, companies must not discriminate because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or disabilities. In addition to the above, businesses with at least 20 employees cannot discriminate against people over 40.
Sexual harassment most often occurs when someone with power over another makes unwanted sexual advances. Harassment can also include offensive conduct, such as an employee who regularly recounts sexual escapades or tells sexually explicit jokes that make other employees uncomfortable. Employers should adopt a grievance procedure to address these issues with help from a skilled employment lawyer in the area.
No matter your employment issue, from drafting a procedural handbook to being called before a regulatory board for wage violations, one of our South Carolina employment lawyers is ready to help.
Sparks Law is proactive in providing services that stop problems before they fester. We can offer employment manuals, contracts, and grievance protocol. We could also defend you in court or before a state or federal regulatory agency. Call today to set up your initial consultation.