As a small or medium business in the U.S., there’s a 12 percent chance your company will be hit with an employment claim – and depending on the state where you do business, the odds may be even higher. For instance, global specialist insurer Hiscox found that California businesses are 40 percent more likely to be involved in an employee lawsuit than the national average.
This is why it’s essential for every business – regardless of your industry, size or state – to stay on top of employment laws. And yes, that includes pest management companies, even the smallest mom-and-pop shops.
“Employment laws are ever-changing and can have significant consequences for employers if not properly followed, so it is important to stay abreast of and adhere to the employment laws governing your company,” points out Melanie S. Griffin, attorney at law with Dean Mead, a full-service law firm with offices in Tampa and Orlando. Griffin practices in Dean Mead’s litigation department, representing clients throughout Florida, the southeast and beyond, and has worked with clients in the pest control industry.
“Pest control leaders sometimes mistakenly believe that certain employment law guidelines are not applicable to their companies or employees if they have a small operation and/or because they employ lower-level technician employees,” Griffin continues. “This is not true – the pest control industry is one that is highly regulated, extremely competitive and very lucrative, meaning that employment laws play an important role in governing the industry.”
This is why it’s critical to determine which employment laws apply to your business and ensure your managers follow those regulations to a T. “Management should be aware of both current and pending regulatory changes,” explains Kylie Luff, senior vice president and managing partner with Seay Management Partners, a full-service human resources management firm located in Orlando. “These positions deal with the entire employee base on a daily basis, and they should know the dos and don’ts of management, both from a regulatory perspective and a ‘best practice’ standpoint. Having a knowledgeable management team helps to eliminate turnover and to create a calm, secure work environment.”
While the U.S. Department of Labor oversees federal employment and labor law, it’s important to remember that individual states also have their own specific laws. If you want to maintain a stable work environment and stay out of hot water, you’ll need to keep up with these ever-shifting regulations at both the federal and state level.
Keep reading for some employment law tips, advice and best practices for pest management leaders.
By Amy Bell