Q: “My question is about employee handbooks/agreements. I’ve heard of one tanning salon owner losing an unemployment challenge because the reason she terminated the staff member’s employment – not showing up for a shift on time – wasn’t listed in their agreement. I have an employee who keeps going barefoot in my salon. To win an unemployment challenge, do I need to write down every reason an employee could be fired and have it in my Handbook? Also, do I need them to sign something saying they read it? My tanning salon is in a right-to-work state.”
A: Great question, and you are not alone on this one! As a tanning salon business consultant, I often have to advise my clients on the legal matters that can adversely affect their businesses. Fortunately, I have a very simple answer for this one.
For the record, you do NOT have to list every reason a person could be terminated as long as you don’t terminate for any state or federal discriminatory reasons. Your handbook must simply state that the reasons listed “are not submitted as a complete or exhaustive list of potential reasons for termination.” This leaves the door open for other and inevitable situations that can arise from time to time.
Your question about an employee being barefooted: If you have a dress code and appearance code that should include the proper shoes required or accepted. If this employee continues to show up not in compliance, you could write them up for violation of the policy or even for insubordination. The word “insubordination” means that an employee refused to follow a direction from you given to them that is both moral and legal.
Lastly, always have employees sign an acknowledgements page for their review and receipt of a copy of the salon handbook. Keep those pages on file if you are challenged. Remember that there are always going to be unemployment challenges from time to time. Our society is only getting more litigious every year. The best way to avoid lawyer’s fees is understanding your legal defenses against potential trapdoors.
Would you like to know more about the various employment law affecting tanning salon owners? Just poke around the various sections of The Vault. As you know, we feature many documents designed to help you avoid these legal trap doors, including a template for a handbook that covers termination scenarios, and a no charge copy of one of my book, The Burning Issues of Employment Law. This and other Vault contents are an invaluable resource for tanning salon owners just like you!
I enjoyed answering your question. I hope this information gives you some peace of mind regarding your recalcitrant tanning salon employee. If you or anyone else has more questions, don’t hesitate to ask this tanning salon business consultant.