July '20

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8 THE SHOP JULY 2020 go through those devices, or any personal emails that go through the business system. "Your policy should state that your business owns all emails that go over your business system, even personal ones," says Gregg. "Employees should not use the system for anything they do not want company management to see. They should also be informed that even if they hit the Delete key, the emails will be retained on the company hard drive or in the cloud." Overtime The 2004 revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act created a safe harbor from liability for unpaid overtime when employers have adequate policies granting employees the opportunity to request wage corrections. "If you do not have such a policy, employees can sue you for unpaid over- time without telling you first," says Gregg. "On the other hand, if you have a clear, correctly worded policy, you can win the case." Privacy statement "Include a statement of your right to inspect computers, desks and telephones," advises Gregg. "If you don't have it you can be sued for invasion of privacy for looking through what you considered company property." Compliance with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) State that your business will not collect any genetic or family medical history infor- mation from employees. This will give your organization a safe harbor against a lawsuit for discrimination based on such knowledge. Business By the Book Handbooks can be a double-edged sword. While they can help pro- tect you from charges of discrimination or other illegal personnel acts, without legal guidance they can also create legal problems of their own. The employee handbook does not have to be a big, glossy production. It can be as simple as a half-inch-thick three-ring binder of pages covering the core issues.

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