No matter what industry you work in, the construction industry being no exception, your business is exposed to risks every day. In a society that is increasingly seeing lawsuits coming from employment practices claims, it’s important to review your own hiring and firing practices to ensure you are using best practices. Of course, you can protect yourself financially with the right type of NJ Construction EPL Insurance policy, but following best practices to begin with could potentially reduce your legal risks all together.
Appropriate documentation is one of the most important factors in designing good hiring practices, which can help you later if you need to terminate an employee. A written agreement should be signed by both you and your employees that state the employee understands the hiring terms and the “at-will” nature of employment. This is especially true for construction companies that often hire sub-contractors on a per-project basis and don’t plan on keeping them on. This must be defined and documented.
Just as you should document your employees’ terms of employment, there should also be a written documentation of standard work policies in order for your employees to understand exactly what is and is not expected of them while employed. Having this in place provides you with a referral point to look back at if a disgruntled employee or former employee intends to sue.
In the state of New Jersey, employers are not required to provide a reason to employees if they choose to fire them. However, this does not mean that they shouldn’t have a legitimate reason to fire them. In fact, you should always have a legitimate reason to terminate an employee if you want to avoid a discrimination lawsuit. The most common discrimination lawsuits that come up from employee terminations include age discrimination, religion, gender, and disability.
The above mentioned hiring and firing practices are not the only factors you should be aware of, however are some of the most important. Other hiring practices to consider include not taking too long to make a decision, as the employee may catch wind of what’s going on and start slacking off, telling co-workers or other employees of your plan to fire a worker, and getting into a heated argument with an employee over a termination.
At Tri-State Insurance Agency, we understand that adding more employees to your business inherently means adding more risks. In addition to commercial general liability coverage, we offer coverages for errors & omissions, business owners policy, NJ Workers Compensation, and much more, for a variety of specialty industries. For more information, please contact us today at (888) 990-0526.