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February 2015 Archives

Compliance, organization is important for smaller businesses

When many people think about employment law, they think of it simply in terms of lawsuits. However, there are many other processes and rules that matter in the world of employment law than just the lawsuits that come about as result of these processes and rules.

For bigger companies, it can be much easier to get a handle on these rules and regulations. But for smaller or mid-size companies, may they be in the Pittsburgh area or not, this journey towards compliance and organization can be much trickier. Consider these areas of employment law, and how they impact smaller businesses:

  • Human resources: Many smaller companies may struggle in this area. They may not be able to attract the talent they want, or a small business owner may be a bit naive and try to manage this by himself or herself.
  • Compensation for employees: Establishing the financial backbone of your company is obviously critical. But there are some other major things that may not be considered by smaller companies, such as unemployment compensation.
  • Contracts and compliance: Contracts need to be created and you have to uphold these precious documents. That's not always the easiest task for smaller companies. In addition, you have to comply not only with your contracts, but in every aspect of your business. Getting organized and knowing how to do this is not as easy as it seems.

Any smaller company needs legal help to ensure that these aspects are running smoothly, and if your company is in need, don't hesitate to give us a call.

Restaurant industry suffers from rampant sexual harassment

While the following story is a few months old, the topic and the issue that it brings up is important at any time. A report by The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and Forward Together found that sexual harassment is basically part of the job for people in the restaurant industry. It's a damning report, and it reveals one statistic that may not be as stunning as it is disturbing: 35 percent of sexual harassment claims that are made to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission are from women in the restaurant industry. 

All forms of sexual harassment were discovered in the study, including teasing and prying questions about sexual topics, social media behavior, and physical behaviors that including patting, groping and sexual assault.

This statistic and this study may surprise you, but there are so many people that work in the industry that the "surprise" of this figure needs to be replaced with "outrage." People who are subjected to this behavior in a professional atmosphere can be embarrassed to the point that they don't feel comfortable at work anymore. They risk ostracization. The behavior can even be used against them to force them to perform sexual acts, lest they be punished for not complying.

None of this is acceptable, and anyone who is subjected to sexual harassment at work -- regardless of their industry -- needs to get legal help right away. Not just to help them with any sexual harassment lawsuit they pursue, but to protect themselves from a wrongful termination or retaliation.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Study blasts restaurant industry over 'normalized' sexual harassment," Melissa McCart, Oct. 8, 2014

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