Holidays - particularly the year-end Holidays, are supposed to be a time for relaxing and disconnecting. However, in the business world, that doesn't always happen. Between the end-of-year demands and the stress of trying to accommodate employee holiday needs and wishes, it can be a lot for employers to manage.
However, there are some basic steps every employer can take to minimize the disruption and conflict that can arise during this time of year.
Revisit holiday pay and hour expectations
Do you give your employees the New Year's holidays off? Do you pay them for certain days, or offer extra pay for anyone who works on Christmas? Under California law, there is no requirement that businesses close or provide extra compensation to workers on either secular or non-secular holidays. However, many employers establish policies that provide such benefits to employees. Review your company's policies and make sure you make your employees aware of the policies.
Consider hiring and firing decisions carefully
The need for workers can change drastically during the year-end holidays. Be cautious when it comes to hiring seasonal workers or terminating employees. Such decisions have financial and personal ramifications, and a business owner can face legal complaints if these processes are not in line with state or federal laws.
Reinforce your technology policies
As noted in this article, roughly 56 percent of Los Angeles employees plan to shop online at least a few times a week during work hours. This is particularly true during the year-end Holidays. If you have strict policies on personal use of a work computer that prohibits employees from shopping online, make sure you remind your workers of this. And if you do allow some amount of such activities on the clock, discuss with employees what is reasonable and how to avoid exposing the company to security breaches when shopping online.
Respect your employees' rights
During any State, Federal or religious holidays, be respectful your employees' rights regarding discrimination and leave. This means addressing and preventing acts of harassment stemming from a person's gender or religion as well as refraining from any retaliatory acts against people who take time off for medical or family reasons.
Reviewing these policies with employees during this time of year can go a long way in preventing disputes that could otherwise arise.