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How do you protect your business from employment disputes?

While every business owner wants to do everything they can to avoid the possibility of getting into a dispute, the possibility of one happening will always be present. It is simply the nature of working with other companies, groups or individuals.

However, disputes can cause major problems with your business. They can impact your bottom line, halt productivity and tarnish your reputation. Thus, you should work toward minimizing dispute potential and learning how to react to these situations quickly and safely.

Recording incidents and clarifying policies

Forbes takes a look at some of the most avoidable employee handbook mistakes out there. First, you should keep a strong system of documentation in place. If you need to defend yourself in the future, having comprehensive and clear documentation of all events in your business will help you out. Record conduct violations and performance issues, problems with discrimination and the work and pay of your employees.

Next, clarify your policies. Miscommunication often sparks the first moment of dissatisfaction that eventually leads to legal battles, but you can nip that in the bud by keeping all of your expectations and policies crystal clear. This clarity also prevents the creation of loopholes.

Review policies and classify employees

Third, review your policies every so often. Employment law may change, or you might find a certain policy no longer fits your employees or your work goals and flow. Keeping your policies updated will help reduce friction that might otherwise stem from it.

Finally, classify your employees correctly. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) only exempts independent contractors, and false identification of employees as independent contractors can result in legal battles in the future. You want to avoid these potential battles in any way possible, which will ultimately help you preserve your business’ safety.