As an employer in Oklahoma, you know that your interests and your employees' interests often coincide. After all, you need their help to keep the business running, and they need the company to do well so they can remain employed and possibly advance in position and wage. Unfortunately, there are times that conflicts arise between management and labor, and sometimes those conflicts end up in court.
As we all know, litigation is time consuming and expensive, for everyone involved. If it can be avoided, you are usually better off, especially since, as an employer, you will usually be the defendant in any claim filed by an employee. As the old adage goes, a "stitch in time saves nine," and prevention of claims by employees or former employees is going to usually be the most cost effective way to deal with potential problems.
The best way to prevent claims by your workers is to know the law and regulations that govern employer-employee relationships, and to ensure that your company is in compliance with all applicable rules. Knowing the federal and state minimum wage and overtime laws, and understanding if and how they apply to your business is the first step to avoiding potential suits.
Understanding which types of employees are exempt and which must be paid time-and-a-half for work over forty hours will save headaches down the road. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as just putting all your workers at a salary. Also, avoiding the appearance of discrimination or retaliatory action is just as important.
So, you could spend hours researching the various federal and Oklahoma statutes and regulations, and finding case law that interprets how those law and regulations apply in various situations. The problem is, you have a business to run. So, perhaps you might consider finding an experienced legal professional who has worked on both sides of employment cases, and therefore is aware of what plaintiff's attorneys are looking for when taking employment law cases. Having the counsel to make sure you are in compliance with applicable law could save you headaches down the road. If you have questions about your specific situation, feel free to peruse our employer website. This could help outline the situation for you and help you with your decision-making process.