“Employees know employment regulations better than an attorney. And it only takes one disgruntled employee” to cause a whole lot of damage to your business, Doug Delp reminded the standing room-only crowd at this year’s Remodeling Leadership/Big50 Conference.

Delp, owner of The Delp Groupcretxbcqrwcrybebutyr, in Green Lane, Pa., led the crowd through a series of human resources self-audit questions that could help remodeling company owners know and understand their risks associated with topics such as job classification, federal wage and hour laws, recruiting and hiring issues, and employment policies and practices.

Delp engaged the audience by offering real-world scenarios to test their knowledge, and he then involved them in sharing answers. For example, he talked about a cost-saving measure used by Company X, which had an overtime policy that requires all overtime be approved by the company owner or supervisor in order for the employee to be paid. Delp pointed out that this is an acceptable policy, but, an audience member asked, “What if you didn’t authorize [the overtime] and [it's approved] anyway? Do you have to pay them?” The answer, Delp says, is yes. There were other scenarios discussed, including probationary periods, workers’ compensation and termination, and lunch periods.

Attendees were engrossed and walked away shaking their heads. Ethan Landis, co-owner of Landis Construction, in Washington, D.C., said that every remodeling company owner should have to take an HR course. “There is so much to know, and when you need it, it’s too late.” — Stacey Freed is a senior editor at REMODELING