Employee Workplace Violations | 4 mins read

How to Properly Manage Employee Workplace Violations

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Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

Introduction to Employee Workplace Violations

Labor regulations and company policies can be confusing and complicated for some. This can lead even the most responsible and reliable employee or manager to accidentally not comply with standards. To effectively manage employee workplace violations, business owners need to inform their staff members about their rights regarding pay, vacation time, and breaks. Doing so will promote safety and enhance overall workflow productivity.

Examples of Employee Workplace Violations

Employee workplace violations pertain to when team members or management do not comply with legal and company regulations. The following are the most common violations that businesses across all sectors may experience.

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Not Paying Compensable Time

Depending on the industry and position, employees may have to wear a uniform or protective gear. They may also have to conduct inventory counts, supervise their teams, or attend meetings. These events are compensable time and employers must compensate their staff members who proceed with these activities. If necessary, the company must pay overtime if the staffer is working beyond 40 hours per week to complete these tasks.

Vacation Time

Although employers do not need to compensate employees for their unused vacation time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), some states do require it. Business operators should assess their local laws to mitigate any legal troubles in the future. In most cases, employees are entitled to be paid their unused vacation time upon termination.

Unpaid Bonuses and Commission

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Some employees may receive extra compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions for meeting quotas. This form of payment is not regulated by FLSA. Generally, it is established based on employer and employee agreements and is upheld by state laws. If managers say that a staffer will receive a bonus, they must follow through and compensate the employee. Any unpaid bonuses and commissions are considered a violation of workplace law.

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Employee Exemption Classifications

Certain employees are exempt from workplace rules, such as overtime pay. Managers need to clearly classify employee classification by delineating their salaries and work responsibilities. For example, independent contractors are not covered by wage and tax laws. This means they do not get overtime pay and are not eligible for company benefits, such as unemployment and health insurance.


According to the FLSA, employees that work over 40 hours in a week must be compensated 1.5 times their regular hourly pay. Typically, the standard week is Monday through Friday. Business operators that do not pay their staff members overtime are violating federal laws.

Discrimination in the Workplace

Treating employees unfairly and unequally due to their gender, race, age, nationality, or religion is workplace discrimination. This is prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also covers hiring processes. Staff members who have experienced discrimination at their job can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Retaliation Against Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers are people who report wrongdoing or activities that violate workplace policy. These people can be anyone from a customer, supplier, to employee. There have been cases where an organization fires or stops doing business with whistleblowers. In other instances, whistleblowing employees keep their jobs but are demoted, reassigned, blacklisted, or denied benefits. These forms of retaliations are subject to lawsuits under most state laws, allowing employees to receive compensation or redress.

How to Effectively Deal with Employee Workplace Violations

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The following are some best practices managers can use to deal with workplace violations.

Inform Employees

Inform employees about their rights from the start of their employment. Managers should also communicate company and state policies regarding the workplace. It may be helpful to create a handbook or have posters that outline everything that is expected from staff members and managers.

Act Quickly

In the case that a supervisor or employee engages in workplace misconduct, business owners need to take disciplinary action as soon as possible. This may entail setting up a private meeting and discussing which policy was violated. It is important to document the meeting and ensure a resolution is reached.

Encourage Reporting

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Companies should encourage their employees to report any workplace violations they notice. This will promote transparency and allow owners to foster an honest and safe work environment.

Conclusion to Employee Workplace Violations

  • Workplace violations are when employees or managers do not follow established company policies or labor laws.
  • The most common forms of employee workplace violations include discrimination, unpaid overtime, and whistleblower retaliation.
  • To deal with these instances, businesses need to inform team members of their rights and encourage reporting so that owners can remedy issues promptly.
  • Preventing and resolving workplace violations will promote productivity and ensure a safe environment.

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