The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for many companies. Employers are often more susceptible to legal actions from employees during this time. In order to ensure your company does not run afoul of the various laws regarding discrimination, wage and hour, employee classification and more, it's important to keep the following under consideration:
Seasonal and/or temporary employees: Federal anti-discrimination laws must not be overlooked just because your company hires seasonal or temporary employees. Employers must still ensure they abide by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
Wages, reduced hours and breaks: Employers must abide by The Fair Labor Standards Act, which applies to temporary and permanent workers.
The FLSA doesn't require that employees be given premium pay for working holidays, there are many states that have laws regarding such employment issues. Reasonable accommodations must be provided for those covered under the ADA and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Employers are required to pay overtime pay to those workers who are considered nonexempt for the hours worked over 40 hours a week.
Written policies should be in place in order to address work hours, breaks, pay and timekeeping during the holiday season. In addition, it is important that employers classify employees correctly in order to avoid legal challenges over misclassification.
Contracts between independent contractors and employers may not be enough when it comes to misclassification cases that come before the court. It's best to have your attorney review such contracts and give an opinion as to the classification of personnel.
Employers need to be proactive when it comes to protecting themselves from employee litigation over discrimination, wage and hour, misclassification and more. An attorney can provide more information on whether your employment practices during the holiday season are legal under the various federal and state laws.