Employment Disputes can Arise in the Pursuit of Work-Life Balance

Rocks Balance.jpgDid you know that millennial professionals value work-life balance over the accumulation of wealth and the appointment to leadership positions? This is the case, according to a recent survey by World Services Group.

According to the survey, young workers rank achieving work-life balance as their highest priority with regard to their careers. This can be important for Minnesota employers to consider, especially in terms of what they do to support or challenge this priority. In some cases, an employer’s efforts — or lack thereof — could spark a legal dispute.

Employee categorization disputes

Flexible hours are reportedly the most desired fringe benefit for younger employees. However, employers who attempt to provide a flexible hours option could run into problems with unpaid overtime and employee misclassification allegations. Before establishing policies to reflect flexible or non-traditional hours, examine the legal ramifications of such decisions.

Leave disputes

Young professionals may be eligible for varying leaves of absence (e.g., parenting leave for both men and women), which most people who place a high value on work-life balance will utilize. As such, employers should clearly communicate the nature of the company’s unique leave policies, including who is eligible and the process for requesting leave. Employers should also understand what types of leave are legally required and which are optional, as well as how to process requests for leave, once they are made.

Wrongful termination

According to the survey, 81 percent of the respondents said they plan to build their careers at the company where they are currently employed. This sense of loyalty may not necessarily go both ways, making it important for employers to clearly communicate the nature of at-will employment and the reasonable expectations that follow. Doing so may avoid having to respond to misguided claims of “wrongful termination” based purely on mislaid assumptions.

Finding the balance

Employers and employees have different priorities when it comes to professional goals and expectations, but they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. As an employer, you can create policies and workplace guidelines that support your workers, but you can also take steps to protect yourself and your business by ensuring your policies are lawful and enforceable.