Littler Mendelson attorneys work with clients daily to manage any issues that may arise during the employment lifecycle. From hiring to termination, employers are at risk for any missteps that could lead to litigation or other charges.
When employers do need to hire additional workers, they have decisions to make about who and how they want to hire. Clearly they want the most qualified employees, but do they want them as permanent hires or as temporary or independent contractors who might be hired through an agency? Littler’s attorneys work with clients to draft and review appropriate applications and offer letters, and guide them through any background and reference checks that might be used. They work with companies to train managers and others who will be conducting interviews to ensure that all questions asked are lawful and elicit the information needed to place the right person in the right position. They also provide guidance on any privacy issues that might be breached as a result of online reference checking vis á vis the Internet and social networking sites. They will also work with human resources to ensure that current employees are appropriately notified and considered for positions when they are available. If pre-employment screening tests are required, Littler will review them to ensure they comply with state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
Companies that hire unqualified candidates run the risk of working with problem employees who fail to meet needs and expectations. A more serious consequence is inadequately screening employees who turn out to be violent or dangerous, thereby opening the employer up to charges of negligent hiring practices. Littler helps companies protect themselves by developing and reviewing employment applications and background check procedures and training people to use proper interview and hiring techniques.
Once hired, employees may need to be trained. Littler works with companies to evaluate their training needs and develop and implement appropriate training programs.
Many companies perform evaluations of their employees. Issues can often arise when employers provide incomplete or inaccurate reviews of an employee’s performance. Littler works with companies to train supervisors on how to conduct evaluations fairly, consistently, lawfully, and in a timely manner.
Performance evaluations need to be documented, as do incidents of employee misbehavior and concerns. If an employee’s performance is lacking or if he or she demonstrates inappropriate behavior in the workplace, employers need to document the incident to prevent later denial of the event, create a record of the problem, use the documentation to record patterns of unacceptable behavior and minimize misunderstandings in the future. Littler offers training to help employers determine how to document effectively gives them the tools they need to keep accurate records as a potential affirmative defense.
Eventually, an employee may need to be terminated because of performance problems or other legitimate business justifications. Prior to the termination, there are steps employers should take to protect themselves from potential claims of wrongful termination. An employee’s performance evaluations and documentation should be reviewed, as well as any compliance issues the employee may have had with company policies. Employers may desire to offer verbal counseling, training, and verbal and written warnings where appropriate prior to the termination. Littler works with employers to guide them through the termination process. This includes drafting severance agreements and releases of claims and working with employers to ensure they are prepared for any questions or problems that may arise during the termination process as well as ensuring compliance with post-termination legal obligations.
Littler guides employers through the entire employment lifecycle with training and compliance audits. Littler offers training through in-person manager and employee sessions, seminars, webinars, and online through NAVEX, the only E-learning company with Littler’s employment law knowledge and experience built into their products. Littler’s HR assessment audit reviews an employer’s handbook, employment applications, offer letters, policies and procedures manuals, employment agreements, review processes, and procedures for discipline and termination. The audit will include templates and checklists for many of the situations that arise throughout the employment lifecycle.
No matter where a company is in the hiring process, Littler helps them develop and implement best practices to address any concerns that arise during an employee’s tenure with the company.