San Diego employers should have strict consistent policies for employee discipline and pay close attention to managerial communications throughout the disciplinary process. Anytime an employee is entering the discipline process, employers should be ready for other issues to surface as a defensive mechanism. This is often a time when issues such as accusations of unpaid overtime, issues surrounding meal and break periods or even discrimination or retaliation are brought into the mix. The key is to separate the disciplinary process from other issues so that performance metrics are not confused with other areas of dispute.
There has been a rapid rise in employee related litigation for San Diego employers in 2016. The “lawyers for employers” at the Watkins Firm have helped our clients to adjust to the rapidly changing work environment, and to integrate new employer-related laws and regulations, such as the new California Fair Pay Act. We help to ensure that your corporate policies and procedures are updated, as well as employee handbooks and when necessary employment related contracts. Tightening procedural documentation and communicating clear, consistent messaging to your staff can prevent expensive and time consuming litigation.
Strict consistent policies for employee discipline ensure that outside issues are not able to cloud performance related concerns. It is possible to provide a track for performance improvement to encourage under-performing employees. It is also possible to establish clear performance benchmarks, and move an employee through a process that might lead ultimately to termination. There is no reason to fear California’s courts, however it is important to respect the risks involved and the substantial costs that accompany employee-related litigation.
We invite you to contact us for a free and comprehensive consultation at 858-535-1511. Let us review your employment practices, policies, procedures, employee handbooks and employment contracts to ensure compliance with California, federal and local laws and ordinances. Together, we will establish a system that encourages and rewards employee performance, while providing strict consistent policies for employee discipline.