Can HR Software Help Defend Your Company in a Lawsuit?
As a business owner, every potential job applicant, employee and former employee represents a potential plaintiff in a lawsuit against your company. HR software could be your best bet for avoiding litigation or increasing your chances of a successful litigation outcome. If your company finds itself in a lawsuit, will you be prepared with the important documentation needed to defend your business?
Protecting Against Failure to Hire Claims
In addition to being able to electronically manage the recruiting, interviewing and hiring processes, applicant tracking systems can help companies implement a more consistent application and interview process.
Brian Ussery of The Law Office of Brian Ussery LLC says with these types of cases he’s often trying to prove that the employer treated the applicant in the same consistent manner as they did with other applicants.
Employers can enforce a company-wide online application and consistent interview processes based on objective criteria for evaluating candidates.
Protecting Against Wage and Hour Claims
According to Ussery, discrimination, harassment and retaliation have been the most common claims when dealing with the employer-employee lawsuits. However, wage and hours claims as well as leave of absence benefits claims are becoming more common.
“When you’re dealing with these types of claims related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), oftentimes you’re just dealing with simple math and being able to identify and calculate the number of hours an employee has worked in a given work week to determine if you owe them overtime pay, or the number of hours worked to be entitled FMLA benefits.”
Workforce management applications help HR departments keep better track of employee scheduling, attendance and hours worked, which could be key in determining if a plaintiff is entitled to additional compensation or leave.
Protecting Against Wrongful Termination Claims
If a company decides to let go of an employee based on poor performance, they need to be able to prove the employee was consistently evaluated and unable to meet the position requirements, even after communicating that feedback to the employee during performance reviews.
Employee performance evaluation applications can help by automating the time consuming task of regularly evaluating employees. These systems can track performance, help supervisors track and schedule monthly or yearly reviews and then share the information with users across the company.
Tips to Start Minimizing Risk Now
Workforce management, applicant tracking and employee evaluation systems are some HR applications that could minimize an employer’s risk in regards to wage and hour, failure to hire, and wrongful termination claims. But according to experts in the areas of employment law and HR systems, there are some simple steps companies can take using HR software to further mitigate risk.
“Companies need to make sure their employee handbooks or policy manuals are up to date,” says Benedetti. “And they need to review them annually as employment laws are always changing.”
Another tip for companies to minimize overall risk is to follow their application and interview process, even if that requires extra time and energy to make sure they’re hiring the right candidates.
“I think a good HRMS will prevent companies from hiring people too quickly,” says Ed Mills, co-founder of Omniprise. “If you have a good process in place that hiring managers have to follow, you reduce wasted time and money spent hiring the wrong people.”
The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue related to employment law.
This article is by Jennifer King, HR Analyst for Software Advice. She writes about trends, technology, and best practices in HR. Read her full article about how companies can use HR software to minimize the risk of a lawsuit on her HR blog.