Any employment dispute can have a long-lasting impact on your company. Disputes can bring productivity to a halt, damage your reputation in the public eye and impact your bottom line. Taking preventative measures that keep your business out of legal battles can be essential to your long-term success. How can you proactively prevent employment disputes?

Have clear policies in place.

Many disputes between employers and their employees begin with a miscommunication. Unclear policies in your employee handbook could make it difficult for employees to understand the requirements of their workplace. They can also create loopholes that may leave your business vulnerable. Clarity, on the other hand, ensures that employees know what they need to do and how to report an issue in the future.

Document the necessary details.

Clear and comprehensive documentation could provide you with the foundation for your defense if an issue arises in the future. Keeping a clear record of employees’ work hours and pay shows that you have followed legal requirements. Maintaining documentation about discrimination issues and how your company responded can help your company defend itself if these issues escalate. Recording an employee’s performance issues or conduct violations ensures provides you with a record of these incidents if they result in termination of that employee’s job.

Make sure to classify employees correctly.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) requires employers to classify employees as exempt only if they are independent contractors. When employers misclassify their employees, they may find themselves facing a lawsuit about minimum wage law, overtime law or other serious violations.

Periodically review your policies.

Employment law may have changed since you established the policies for your business. Periodic review allows you to update your documents to reflect changes in the law. It also allows you to respond to any miscommunication that caused conflict in the past.

By carefully preparing your company’s policies and legal strategy, you can protect both your business and its bottom line.