By Chesley Payne
If you own a business and are successful you will eventually have to hire employees.
Hiring employees means your business has reached a point in which clear policies and procedures are required for the efficient operation of your business. Alabama is an “at will” employment state, meaning that your employer can fire you at any time without cause and an employee can leave employment at any time.
Most employees are employed this way. The other option is to be employed through an employment contract. An employment contract can set out the terms of your employment, including how long you will be employed, the reasons you can be terminated, and your benefits and compensation.
However, even if you hire employees on an “at will” basis, it’s important to have policies and procedures in place for such things as compensation, benefits, vacation, sick days, and all other issues that may arise during the course of operating your business. Your policies should also cover an employee’s and supervisor’s duties in the event of a sexual harassment claim or in the event an employee alleges there has been a violation of the company’s policies and procedures.
An employer who has these policies and procedures and follows them greatly reduces his/her liability that may arise from a lawsuit based on a discrimination or breach of contract action. If you’re at the point in your business where you have employees or are going to hire employees, see an attorney of your choice to draft these items for you. Taking the time to do so will avoid tremendous issues that will only cost you time and money in the future.