Handling the discipline and termination of employees is one of the most difficult and uncomfortable parts of operating a small business. As opposed to larger employers with many employees, it’s harder to confront performance or behavior issues in a small workplace because of the negative effect that criticism will have in the smaller environment. So many small employers or managers will tolerate these issues for as long as they can.
The sharp increase in wage and hour lawsuits filed in California has been covered in this column before. These lawsuits can be filed for a wide range of violations of wage and hour laws governing payment of overtime, vacations, meal periods, rest periods, the timing of pay periods and other issues. These laws are highly technical and complex, so lawsuits based on violation of such laws are both expensive to defend and extremely costly to settle.