Beauty Store Business

JUN 2017

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66 June 2017 | Prior to this law, a manager might say, "I'm sorry, but since you're now pregnant, we're going to have to let you go. It's not because you're a woman—that would be against the law." And that ridiculous statement would have been legal. Be sure that when it comes to hiring, job assignments and promotions that you are not discriminating against those who are pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant. Also, if an employee brings in a doctor's note specifying light duty or time off from work, follow those instructions to the letter. Age Discrimination in Employment Act Like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act affecting mothers-to-be, discrimination against those of "advanced age" is forbid- den by the Civil Rights Act. However, the exact age at which a person is so old that he or she needs federal protection was not established. Therefore, in 1967, Con- gress set the age at 40 and over. Yes, you read that correctly. The age of 40 is when a person is elderly enough that he or she is considered a protected class. As you recover from letting this sink in, take a look at your staffing practices and examine whether or not you are discriminating against those who are over 40. This means not only your hiring efforts but also terminations, job promotions, scheduling and task assignments. Like all the laws mentioned here, solid documentation is the key to protecting your organization. Just being over 40, pregnant or in a wheelchair does not give one a "free pass" to shirk job responsibilities. Despite protections from the federal government, an employee must still arrive to work on time, perform the job adequately, cannot steal from the business and must provide superb customer service. Documenting transgressions and having discussions with these employees will put you on solid ground if you have to fire or demote a problem employee. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) The final piece of federal legislation you should be familiar with is OSHA, which assures workplace safety. Initially, in the 1970s and '80s, compliance with this law was harsh and draconian. However, in recent decades a more reasonable approach has been taken. Before you dismiss this as only appli- cable to manufacturing facilities, realize that any workplace is subject to OSHA compliance. In other words, every company must provide a safe working environ- ment. The only caveat is that employers with fewer than 10 employees do not necessarily have to maintain injury and illness records that OSHA requires. Therefore, just like a manufacturing plant, you are responsible for ensuring that there are no trip hazards, electrical outlets are appropriately covered, and, when an injury occurs, you properly document it. Taking this a step further, if you set up a safety committee—three to five associates—who conduct occa- sional safety inspections and provide training on proper lifting procedures and similar safety measures, you'll be well ahead of many of your competitors. You are probably already aware of these eight laws—some maybe only on a cursory basis. But, as we get bogged down with the day-to-day aspects of managing a store, it's good to have a quick refresher and reminder of these. As already stated, effective documen- tation is crucial. You have to document incidences, conversations, write-ups and terminations. Relying on memory or just hoping that a lawsuit never occurs is dangerous. Taking a few minutes to write down the pertinent facts about an inci- dent is nothing compared to trying to prepare a court case. Each of these laws should be strictly adhered to year-round, but twice a year, do a full audit of all your staffing prac- tices. Examine who you have hired, fired and promoted, and how you made sched- ules or assigned projects. Make certain you are in full compliance with each of these pieces of federal legislation. And don't assume that a lawsuit will never happen with your store—after all, those horror stories you have heard with sub- stantial fines happened to someone who once felt the same way. ■ Dr. Steven Austin Stovall is professor of management at Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio. He is also a consultant and trainer on all aspects of management and marketing. Beauty Store Business Digital Edition Is Now Available FREE Online, on Your Tablet or Smartphone. Sign up FREE at (You can also access the digital issue directly from our home page.) • Portable • Hyperlinked • Searchable • Archive of Past Editions • Extra Features Not Available in Print • Delivered FREE to Your Inbox Before the Post Offi ce Delivers the Print Issue

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