What Are the Top Ten Issues that Keep Employers Up at Night?

January 16, 2024

Employers encounter unprecedented challenges that demand attentive management and strategic solutions. Below are some of the top concerns that employers face and how they can better manage them.

  1. How Often Do I Need to Update Our Employee Handbook?

Due to the frequency of changes in laws and regulations, handbooks should be reviewed and updated every two years as this allows organizations to stay current and updated with legal or policy changes that affect the workplace. However, it is important to remain flexible and update handbooks promptly when significant changes in the law are made.

  1. How Do I Properly Accommodate an Employee Who Has a Disability?

Accommodating an employee with a disability is a legal requirement under the federal law, Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Like other federal laws, the ADA has a numerical threshold for eligibility, the ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees. To properly accommodate an employee who has a disability, it is significant that employers familiarize themselves with the law and the obligations that come with it. One of the employer’s obligations is to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee with a disability to perform essential job functions. Common examples of reasonable accommodations include flexible work schedules, assistive technology, modification of job tasks, among others. It is important to determine the reasonability of an accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

  1. How Can I Train My Managers on How to Manage Their Staff?

Effective staff management is crucial for creating a positive and productive work environment. Our Firm delivers lively, interactive training program that covers essential managerial skills such as feedback to staff, guidance on performance management, leadership communication, and team building. Further, our Firm provides coaching and counseling training that equips managers or leaders within an organization with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively guide and support team members. The training also includes interactive role-playing in order to allow managers to practice the skills they are learning.

  1. Can You Explain How the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) really works?

The FMLA is a federal law that provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for certain family or medical reasons. For an employee to be eligible for FMLA leave, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months (need not be consecutive) and for at least 1,250 hours within the last 12 months. For an employer to be eligible to provide FMLA leave, the employer must have at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. Further, employers have an obligation to designate family leave to employees and provide employees with the necessary paperwork.

Additionally, there are various qualifying reasons for leave, under the FMLA. Including the birth and care of a newborn child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition, to care for the employee’s own serious health condition that renders them unable to perform their job, and qualifying exigencies arising out of a covered family member’s active duty or call to active duty in the military.

Lastly, other important factors regarding FMLA leave include notice and intermittent leave. Generally, employees are required to provide at least 30 days’ notice to their employer prior to taking FMLA leave. FMLA allows for intermittent leave, which gives employees the ability to take the leave in separate blocks. It is important to note that certain states also provide medical and/or family leave and generally they run concurrently with the FMLA, however, due to the complexity of leave laws, it is important for this to be determined on a case-by-case basis.


  1. What Are the Proper Methods and Paperwork to Onboard New Employees?

Properly onboarding new employees is critical for a new employee’s integration into an organization. First, it is important that the onboarding employee fills out all required documentation for new hires including a W-4 and I-9 form. Depending on the industry, onboarding employees may be asked to fill out other forms like an employee contract or a nondisclosure agreement. Second, dependent on the state, employers are required to give certain documents containing information such as rate of pay, paid time off, sick leave, among other information. Since this varies by state, it is crucial that employers ensure that all required forms are completed.

Following all the required paperwork, onboarding employees should be provided with a clear and readable employee handbook that covers policies such as code of conduct, schedules, compensation and benefits, workplace safety, disciplinary procedures termination policies, paid time off, sick leave, and other relevant information. Further, it is important for management to regularly check in with newly hired employees to ensure that the transition is going smoothly.

  1. What Type of Management Training Classes Do You Offer?

At our Firm we offer training classes in a variety of subjects.  Below we have provided a brief list highlighting some of the training programs offered by our Firm. Note that this is not an exhaustive list, but offers just a glimpse into the range of training material we provide.

In our Interviewing and Hiring practices training, we address:

  1. Interviewing techniques
  2. Information on “legal” interview questions
  3. Arrests and Convictions Under the NYC Fair Chance Act
  4. Identification of disability issues and accommodation concerns, and other matters.

Our training on the intricacies of Coaching and Counseling covers:

  1. A manager’s role as a coach
  2. Methods in providing feedback
  3. Strategies on disciplining employees
  4. How to deliver warnings to employees.

We offer trainings on the nuances of termination including:

  1. Where and how terminations should be conducted
  2. Who needs to be present at the time of termination
  3. Handling communications after the termination, and more.

We cover classes on the complexities of disability-related matters such as:

  1. Necessary Documentation
  2. How to provide employees with proper information
  3. Writing the disability letter.

Additionally, we offer anti-harassment training required by various state laws that include:

  1. Defining types of harassment
  2. Applicable laws
  3. Company policies
  4. Examples and scenarios and,
  5. Prevention strategies.

All these training classes offer a comprehensive approach to better educate your managers and staff. In addition, the trainings can also be conducted remotely if location presents an issue.

  1. How Do I Manage a Difficult Employee?

Usually, a difficult employee is thought of as someone who does not behave in a professional manner at the workplace or someone who causes disruptions and challenges for the team and overall work environment. Effectively managing a difficult employee can be challenging since it requires a strategic approach. First, it is important to communicate with the employee, clarifying that you are critiquing the behavior and not the person. Second, the discussion and the employees’ issues should be documented and can include key points discussed, any agreed-upon actions, and a timeline for improvement. Since each employee is different, the employer’s approach may need to be adjusted for the specific circumstances of the situation.

  1. How Do I Better Control Attendance Issues?

Controlling attendance issues at work helps in continuity and productivity for everyone. To manage attendance concerns in the workplace, employers should have established a clear attendance policy that is documented in the employee handbook. The handbook should make it clear of the expectations for punctuality and attendance in the workplace. Understandably, personal or childcare situations arise that require adjustments, hence, when possible, flexible work arrangements can be allowed when feasible.

  1. How Do I Stay Abreast of New State Law Developments in States Where My Employees Work Remotely?

As the employment law field continues to evolve, it Is important that employers remain aware of any legal changes that may affect in-person and remote employees. Our Firm drafts monthly newsletters containing original content, that provide timely updates on legislative changes dealing with the workplace. We can prepare digests (a comprehensive document summarizing all relevant state employment laws), and state addenda that accompany handbooks. Like employee handbooks, digests and addenda are updated annually to reflect any updates in the law.

  1. How Do I Investigate Allegations of Harassment and Discrimination Brought by Employees or Vendors?

It is a crucial responsibility for employers to properly investigate allegations of harassment and discrimination to ensure a safe workplace. Investigations require prompt action in its critical steps. First, the complaint needs to be taken seriously and a determination needs to be made as to whether the investigation can be conducted by the Human Resources staff, or outside counsel. The investigator must have no stake in the outcome, should have knowledge of employment laws, and needs to be unbiased. After designating an individual as the investigator, an investigation plan should be developed that includes interviewing the parties involved and reviewing the organization’s policies, personnel files, and any other relevant communications. Following the completion of this process, the investigator will issue a written report with a factual conclusion. Our Firm can then counsel the employer as to appropriate remedies.

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