As an employer, you’re probably aware of your rights and responsibilities to the government as a company or corporation. Since many business owners spend years studying the laws of commerce or hire an attorney who works in business law before they open their doors to the public, you may even have an advanced understanding of the regulations in your area for businesses to operate. It’s crucial for employers to understand business law enough to avoid accidental violations, and it’s also important for you to know what your employees’ rights are as an employer. Otherwise, you may violate their rights and find yourself on the receiving end of an expensive lawsuit.
As the Workers’ Compensation Act outlines, employees possess the right to death benefits for those who qualify as dependents in their family, weekly income benefits that should pay out if the employee is unable to work for upwards of seven days, and some other benefits if applicable, such as vocational rehabilitation training for employees with qualifying conditions or disabilities. Depending on the type of employment you offer, employees may be entitled to other benefits that aren’t listed here. To comply with the Workers’ Compensation Act and other relevant pieces of legislation, you should consult with an attorney who practices business law to make sure that your establishment is following all relevant laws pertaining to your employees and benefits packages.
While employees do not have an explicit right to a stress-free work environment, it is in your best interest as an employer to keep stress to a minimum in the workplace. 40 to 63% of all turnover results from too high of a stress level in the workplace. This amounts to approximately 7 to 11% of employees fleeing from their jobs due to stress annually.
If you don’t want to keep hiring new people because of turnover, you should evaluate whether employees keep leaving due to stress or other problems in the workplace. If you notice you have an unusually high turnover rate for your industry or region, you may want to start conducting exit interviews to get to the root of the problem. Although some employees may be too shy or worried about consequences to share their experiences at your workplace openly, they may be more comfortable completing an anonymous survey after they exit your employment environment. If this is sent confidentially to human resources management, it may give you the information you need while providing an environment that feels safe and supportive for giving feedback to you as an employer.
Depending on local laws and regulations, you may be required to post specific signage for your employees about washing their hands after using the restroom or performing other tasks. Since roughly 80% of the germs that cause disease spread through contact with one’s hands, it makes sense that some regulations in specific industries like food service focus on promoting handwashing to cut down on instances of illness and the spread of disease. Even if your industry doesn’t view handwashing as necessary, it would benefit you and your employees to encourage regular handwashing in the workplace.
If your employees handle food or other items that could spread diseases, they must understand how crucial handwashing is. Holding training on the importance of handwashing and effective handwashing techniques may seem silly to some. Still, it’s better than the alternative of employees getting sick all the time or developing a reputation for making your customers ill.
As you learn about employees’ rights, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Speak with an attorney who understands this area of law. Additionally, consult with other employers nearby to see what they do to protect their workers’ rights and follow the relevant laws. By taking the right steps, you can foster a safe and healthy workplace that encourages employees to work their hardest.