1. Are your managers well-versed in strong interview questioning and have you circulated some sample questions and do’s and don’ts?
2. Are you checking out gaps in employment history or “consulting” gigs that attempt to explain such gaps?
3. Is your employment application clear that you will be conducting drug/alcohol screens and requiring applicants to sign arbitration agreements?
4. Have you had your arbitration agreement reviewed lately to ensure compliance with the latest court opinions?
5. Are you including your arbitration agreement with the offer letter (and NOT with the first day hiring packet; too late!)?
6. Do you have your Safety Plan (fancy name: Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP)) up to date, including the final heat requirements promulgated by Cal/OSHA?
7. Have you audited your I-9 forms for all the small mistakes that could cost you? [Hire a consultant for this; you won’t believe the things you will discover wrong!]
8. Is your performance review form actually used and useful, and prepared on time by managers? Are there questions designed to elicit meaningful input from the employee being reviewed? Are the managers required to provide substantive comments and examples, rather than just numbers or letter values?
9. Do you managers know how to handle a disability situation and are they trained to contact HR immediately? Do they understand they can’t ask “What’s wrong?” and that they may have to reasonably accommodate with time off, holding the job open, or possibly provide light duty?
10. If you have 50 employees working with 75 miles of each other, do you properly give FMLA/CFRA notices at the outset of all leaves, including workers compensation leaves?
11. Are you aware that you may discontinue paying the company’s share of medical insurance premiums after the FMLA leave has run out, including during a worker’s compensation leave of absence?
12. Do you have a system for periodic half hour reviews with managers about their employees to discuss behavior, attendance, skill set, cross-training, interpersonal skills and anything else that might impact proper documentation, overall employment or properly implemented discipline?
13. Do you have a plan for periodically reminding employees about their ability to come forward with harassment claims, such as through email blasts or as part of the pay envelope? Do you periodically re-circulate the harassment policy as a reminder?
14. Are employees clearly aware of the procedure for submitting harassment complaints, and to whom they are submitted? [Post this information and don’t just bury it in the handbook that they receive the day they begin work and never look at again].
15. Have you reviewed your exempt employee job descriptions (and the work they actually perform) to ensure that they are truly exempt, including whether they spend more than 50% of their time performing exempt functions.
16. Do you have any production bonuses or other non-discretionary bonuses in place that might create a legal issue if you also pay the recipients overtime during the relevant pay period? [You may owe money based on the overtime and the bonus].
17. For commissioned salespersons, are you clear about the inside sales exemption and whether your company or employees qualify, and what the rules are?
18. For commissioned salespersons, have you reviewed with the sales management team whether their commission plans address post-termination commissions, i.e., “tail commissions?”
19. Do you have a handy checklist for termination decisions and the termination meeting, collection of company property, locking out of the computer system, final pay, pamphlets and other documents that must be presented, etc.?
20. Have you considered Employment Practices Liability Insurance?
21. Does your accounting department have a clear procedure for detecting embezzlement, such as through phony vendors [one client just this week contacted me about the $485,000 that his cousin siphoned out of the company over several years through this method].
Jonathan Fraser Light has formed LightGabler LLP, devoted primarily to employment consulting and related litigation. He may be reached at email@example.com