If you’re an executive and have direct reports, you should make sure you have your company’s HR department on speed dial. As much as you may be tempted to handle complicated employee problems on your own, HR is there to help. Not only can HR help make sure your employment practices comply with existing law, but HR can also help you navigate various employment issues with ease.
When should you consider contacting HR?
Contact HR when you hire a new employee
The hiring process can be a legal quagmire. What can you ask about during an interview? What promises can you make in an employment contract? Can you ask your new hire to sign a non-compete agreement? What tax and immigration paperwork do you need? Don’t go it alone and contact HR as soon as you consider hiring someone new.
Contact HR when you discipline a new employee
There are many best practices to follow when disciplining an employee and HR can help. HR can advise you on the type of documentation you need to help support your decision to discipline. In general, the more documentation you have, the better protected from legal liability you may be.
Contact HR when you fire an employee.
Like the hiring process, firing an employee can raise a host of important practical and legal issues. Should you offer a detailed termination letter? Should you offer severance? Do you have to pay an employee for unused vacation time? Should you agree to give an employee a positive reference? Again, HR can help.
The intricacies of management can be complicated enough without worrying about legal problems. Don’t hesitate to leverage your company’s HR department to help keep you compliant.
Photo Credit: Deb Nystrom via Flickr Creative Commons