By Nik Donovic, Special for US Daily Review.
Congratulations! Your small business or startup has grown to the point where you need employees. This is a big step and entails trusting those you’ve hired to stay true to your vision and goals. Part of making sure your business is a success is to create a fair workplace – which is comprised of dignity, respect and labor protections on the job, according to the AFL-CIO.
The UK even has a “Dignity at Work” bill to prevent bullying. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines dignity as “the quality or state of being worthy, honored or esteemed.” Fox News suggests these steps for promoting dignity in the workplace:
- Make a company-wide commitment to learn about the role dignity plays in establishing a healthy and productive (and profitable) work environment.
- Make a conscious effort to honor the dignity of your employees, both in everyday interactions and in the policies you create.
- Create a work environment where your employees feel safe to speak up about the dignity violations they are experiencing. Make it easy for them by inviting them on a regular basis to talk to you about ways that you or company policies may be unknowingly harming them.
- When it is reported to you that other managers and supervisors are violating the dignity of others, take action to address the situation. Make it company policy to take responsibility for the harm one causes others. No one should be above accountability.
Being the boss, the owner, the entrepreneur means that you set the tone for the rest of your workplace. Treat your employees with dignity and see that others do, too.
“A feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.” We all wish we had this definition of respect shown to us in the workplace. Respect in the workplace could also be defined as valuing others’ contributions and differences and recognizing these as valuable. Showing respect and appreciation is one of the best ways to get more high-quality results from these employees. In fact, a Harris Interactive poll conducted for Glassdoor shows that 81% of employees feel motivated to work harder when they are appreciated by their boss.
Labor protections in the U.S. are detailed and enforced by the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Here are a few of the most important policies.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The FLSA details standards for wages and overtime pay. It requires employers to pay their staff at least federal minimum wage unless employees are exempt. It also requires overtime pay of 1.5 times the regular rate. Other details include protecting children under 18 from working too much, at certain hours, and at dangerous jobs. It also prohibits children under 16 from working in agricultural positions during school hours.
Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act
Public and private sector employees are mandated a workplace free from recognized serious hazards. Employees can’t knowingly create unsafe workplaces and are subjected to OSHA workplace inspections and screenings.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
This federally mandates workers’ compensation coverage for longshore and harbor workers (ship repairer, shipbuilder, shipbreaker). Rules for general workers’ compensation insurance vary by state but all states have some sort of policy. The National Federation of Independent Business lists each state’s policy. If you have been denied benefit claims, you know how very important good workers’ compensation insurance is. Regardless of your state’s policy, providing quality workers’ compensation for all of your employees is a great step to creating a fair workplace.
Nik Donovic finds happiness in the simple things in life. As a resident of Arizona, he spends most of his free time outdoors hiking, walking, or enjoying the occasional cool breeze instead of indoors (except in the summer, of course!)