Here’s a list of 9 mistakes a trucking company can make that can end up causing a lawsuit. This list focuses on Employment Law – Please read this carefully and ask yourself how your company stacks up.
1. Classifying employees as exempt when they are not.
The bottom line is to make sure you know which employees are exempt and nonexempt.
2. Lax Enforcement of lunch breaks.
3. Not having harassment and discrimination policies in place.
4. Terminating an employee who takes a leave of absence.
5. Withholding final payment when employees do not return company property.
If an employee is terminated or quits and gives at least 72 hours notice, the employee’s final check must be ready on the last day of work. If an employee quits without giving at least 72 hours notice, a company has 72 hours to prepare the final check. If the employer does not provide the final check to the employee, waiting time penalties start accruing. The penalty is one day of wages for every day that the check is late up to 30 days.
6. Thou shall not make illegal deductions.
California Labor Code section 224 permits deductions authorized by law and those authorized by the employee for benefits such as health insurance or benefits. No other deductions are permitted.
One example of an illegal deduction is for a loan made to an employee, with loan payments deducted from the paycheck. This is an illegal deduction. If you loan an employee money, you should have the employee sign a promissory note and have that reviewed by a lawyer. The employee should then make payments to you according to the specified payment schedule.
Generally speaking, noncompete agreements are prohibited in California, with only a few exceptions. There are ways to protect trade secrets, such as customer lists and pricing information, however, the law is very strict in this regard and this requires careful compliance.
8. “Use it or lose it” vacation policies are illegal in California.
If an employee has accrued vacation, it is considered a form of wages and cannot go away. Employers can place a reasonable cap on the accrual of vacation, but you cannot take away what the employee has already accrued. All accrued and unused vacation must be paid out at termination at the current rate of salary. There is no limit on how far back in time the employee can make a claim for unused vacation. Generally speaking, it is safe to cap vacation accrual for up to 20 days per year. If this is what your company does, the accrual stops until such time as the employee takes vacation and falls below the cap.
9. Thou shall not misclassify employees as independent contractors.