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Navigating the Complexities of Employment Law: Insights from Alan Crone

Hello everyone, I’m Doug Thorpe, your host for the podcast “Leadership Powered by Common Sense.” In one of our recent episodes, we had the pleasure of hosting Alan Crone, an expert in employment law. Today, I’d like to share some of the key insights from our enlightening conversation.

Understanding Employment Laws: A Necessity for Business Owners

Alan and I kicked off our discussion by emphasizing the importance of understanding employment laws. As business owners, it’s crucial to protect ourselves from potential risks and costly accidents. Alan shared his journey into employment law, revealing his interest in the courtroom drama and his passion for helping employers navigate the complexities of employment law.

We delved into the different levels of business law, including federal statutes, state laws, and even city ordinances that can impact employment relationships. We highlighted the significance of wage and hour laws, emphasizing the need for employers to comply with minimum wage requirements and overtime regulations.

The Consequences of Misclassifying Employees

Alan warned about the potential consequences of misclassifying employees as independent contractors, which can result in significant financial penalties. He estimates that the majority of individuals labeled as independent contractors are actually employees based on factors such as working full-time at one location and being directed by the employer. His advice? Be conservative in your classification to avoid potential legal issues and costly lawsuits.

Employment Laws: Not Just for Large Businesses

Alan dispelled the misconception that certain employment laws only apply to businesses with a certain number of employees. Laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act can apply to businesses with as few as eight employees in Tennessee. He recommends that businesses with more than 25 employees have dedicated HR personnel to handle compliance and benefits.

The Importance of Record-Keeping and Consistency

Alan stressed the importance of record-keeping and documentation in personnel matters. He warned that inconsistent treatment of employees or a lack of documentation can lead to legal complications. He shared a personal anecdote about a termination case where his leniency with an employee’s chronic attendance issues resulted in penalties for his business. His advice? Seek early legal counsel, develop clear policies, and document your actions to strengthen your defense in potential disputes.

Hiring and Retaining the Right Employees

Alan and I discussed the importance of having a clear mission and job descriptions in order to hire and retain the right employees. We emphasized the need for thorough onboarding and training processes to align new hires with the company’s values and expectations. We also highlighted the significance of creating a protocol and standard for performance expectations, and being willing to let go of employees who consistently fail to meet those expectations.

A Successful Example: High 5 Plumbing Company

I shared an example of a plumbing company in Denver that has implemented an extensive 18-month training program for new plumbers. This program covers not only technical skills but also customer service, policy and procedure, and other aspects of the business. The company’s commitment to training has resulted in high customer satisfaction and a successful $10 million business.

Common Shortcomings in American Businesses

We discussed the common shortcomings in American businesses, such as hiring too quickly and not providing adequate training and support for employees. We stressed the importance of being intentional and methodical in the hiring process, as well as providing ongoing training and support to ensure employee success.

Reaching Out to Alan Crone

Alan provided his contact information for listeners who may need legal assistance with employment law. The best way to reach him is by googling his name, Alan Krohn, along with the keyword “attorney Memphis.” He also has a website called Crone Law Firm PLC, where people can find more information about his services.

Wrapping Up

I expressed my gratitude to Alan for joining the show and sharing his insights. He reciprocated the sentiment, stating that he enjoyed the conversation. I then reminded listeners that there is a video version of the podcast available on our YouTube channel, “Leadership Powered by Common Sense.” I encourage you to check out the archive and other videos posted there.

If you have suggestions for future show topics or referrals for potential guests, or if you believe you would be a good guest for the show, please reach out to me through my website, dougthorpe.com.

Remember, understanding and navigating the complexities of employment law is not just common sense—it’s good business sense.

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Small business owners will hit an invisible wall that can stall the growth of the company. The key reason there is a wall is that owners need to shift from manager to leader. The question is, how to do that?

Doug Thorpe. Doug is a coach for CEOs and Senior Leadership Teams with 30 years of leadership experience. He is the president & CEO of Doug Thorpe Group. Doug is also a podcast host.

He helps owners understand the ways they need to reshape their thinking and attitude to make a successful break through the wall.

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