Three Things Businesses Should Know When Hiring EmployeesJan 29, 2024
Hiring employees is a highly regulated by federal and state laws. The employment laws provide protections to individuals who are not yet employed by the company- in other words, individuals who are applying for a job and participating in an interview may be afforded similar protections as current employees for a particular business. Best practices dictate that employers should not necessarily rely on “at will” employment, but rather should be aware of and comply with the employment laws. The laws vary by state, so it is also important for employers to be aware of the specific laws relative to the location of its employees.
Hiring employees in Florida is a critical process for businesses, and the businesses’ ability to navigate legal requirements and obligations is essential to ensure compliance and avoid potential pitfalls. Here are three key legal considerations that businesses should be aware of when bringing new talent on board.
- Employment Contracts
Businesses should craft clear and comprehensive employment contracts outlining the important terms of the work relationship. This is not always necessary, but under certain circumstances (such as a substantial amount of training, upper level executive, etc) either the business or the employee may want to have an employment contract in place. Employment contracts can outline terms such as job responsibilities, compensation, benefits, confidentiality or non-compete agreements, requirements for training, terms for separation, etc. Ambiguities in contracts can lead to disputes, so Florida businesses should partner with Florida employment counsel to draft a customized employment agreement to meet the needs of the company and the employee.
- Anti-Discrimination Laws Apply to Job Candidates
Businesses must also be aware of and adhere to anti-discrimination laws when hiring employees. Again, these laws apply to job candidates who the company does not ultimately hire. Anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, and more. During the hiring process, it’s crucial to focus on an applicant’s qualifications and skills rather than irrelevant personal characteristics. Businesses can get into trouble for comments made during the hiring process which are meant to build rapport (such as where are you from, I like your accent, do you have children, etc.) but can be deemed to be discriminatory- especially if the candidate is not hired. Employers should implement fair and transparent hiring practices to avoid legal consequences related to discrimination claims and train hiring managers on what is permitted and what should be avoided during an interview.
- Job Descriptions are More Important Than You May Think
More on this shortly.
Navigating the legal landscape when hiring employees is crucial for businesses to establish a solid foundation for employer-employee relationships. By focusing on creating clear employment contracts, adhering to anti-discrimination laws, and staying compliant with employment regulations, businesses can mitigate legal risks, foster a positive work environment, and contribute to long-term success.
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The Wannos Law Firm, P.A. provides legal advice to Florida businesses. Karly Wannos is a workplace investigator for claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, Florida employment law mediator and provides training to businesses on employment laws.
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