Tips on Ensuring Compliance with Holiday Hires
With the holidays upon us, businesses are preparing for the holiday rushes by hiring seasonal employees. Due to the brief employment process, many seasonal employers overlook proper training for their seasonal hires and can even unintentionally avoid complying with labor laws. Here are easy ways to ensure seasonal hires are properly trained and that your company is in compliance with labor laws.
- Train Your Managers: Your managers are going to be the direct point-of-contact for seasonal employees, so it’s critical they understand how to properly train and work with seasonal employees. Ensure that managers are clear on all company policies and are familiar with discrimination laws. Make sure they conduct thorough background checks and complete seasonal employees’ tax forms. A quick conference call is an easy and effective way to communicate this to your managers.
- Provide Holiday Handbooks: Upon hire, provide a revised copy of your employee handbook that only contains information and policies relevant to the seasonal employee. To avoid unemployment claims, there should also be a document signed by the seasonal employee, indicating that the position is temporary, has an end date, and yet still leaves the employee “at will.” Ensure that the employee is reading over all policies, guides, or handbooks on paid time, and offer to answer any questions they might have.
- Conduct Harassment Training: It’s crucial that employers provide information about who to contact in case of harassment or other employment-related issues. This can easily be accomplished by verbally communicating it to your employees when they start, providing a policy that employees must sign, or including it in a concise employee handbook for seasonal employees (learn to craft a regular employee handbook here). Non-harassment and nondiscrimination policies should always be provided to seasonal employees and include at least the title of the person to whom they report complaints, as well as an alternate person.
- Remain Compliant with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Perhaps the most significant compliance issue is with the FLSA. Most holiday hires will be considered “nonexempt” employees, and because of this, employers will need to accurately track seasonal hours and confirm that they are being paid the proper amount and for any overtime they work. To avoid misclassification liabilities, businesses should refrain from classifying seasonal workers as independent contractors and apply the same compensation policies as they do for full-time employees.
Providing the proper materials to seasonal employees goes a long way in guaranteeing they are efficiently trained and securing your compliance. It is critical that you document everything during the hiring process, provide copies of any applicable policies, and require employees to sign a form acknowledging that they have received, read, and understood the employer’s policies and rules.
If you have any questions about employee compliance or seasonal workers, don’t hesitate to contact your local LBMC Employment Partners representative!