For many franchise owners, the holiday season means more hours, employees, responsibilities, and stress as they navigate these busy times. Regular staff takes time off around the holidays and shoppers or travelers stop more to eat at all times of the day, resulting in hiring temporary workers to meet the surge in business. With an unemployment rate lower than it’s been in a decade, finding temporary help this time of year may be more difficult than it has been in the past.
With the already present stress of the upcoming holidays, combined with the potential difficulty of finding qualified workers, business owners are at risk of making mistakes. Hectic holiday hiring practices may lead to cutting corners with the seasonal hiring surge and expose your business to a lawsuit well after the season is over. Employers can follow these four tips to avoid common legal pitfalls when hiring seasonal workers.
It’s important to be clear with temporary hires about the expectations of the job, potential length of employment, work schedules, and more. It’s crucial that seasonal workers receive the same training and treatment under the law as regular employees.
While it can be tempting to skimp on training knowing that temporary workers will only be performing their tasks for a short time, lawyers say equal training is a crucial step. Training is not only important for new workers, but for seasoned managers as well. Before the holiday rush, managers should be trained on how to address reports of harassment and discriminated for all employees.
Employers hiring seasonal workers can streamline the process and mitigate their legal risks by distributing an onboarding plan to temporary employees that explains timekeeping practices and policies on harassment and discrimination. Timekeeping errors are common this time of year because employers are tracking more employees than usual and short-term workers are not familiar with the employer’s timekeeping system.
The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that seasonal workers be paid minimum wage and overtime just like year-round workers. If any of your staff are under the age of 18, seasonal or not, be aware of state and local rules for employing younger workers.
No employer wants a surprise lawsuit to pop up months later due to their seasonal hiring practices. As with hiring any employee, well-planned hiring practices that comply with applicable employment laws can help ensure seasonal employees are well prepared for the job and keep your business prepared to defend any possible claims.
The information contained in these articles provides only a general overview of subjects covered, is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation, and should not be relied upon as such. You should consult your insurance and legal advisors regarding specific coverage issues. All insurance coverage is subject to the terms, condition, and exclusions of the applicable insurance policies. Marsh cannot provide any assurance that insurance can be obtained for you or for any particular risk.