When I sort the mail, I often sort into 3 categories.
The first pile is mail that I plan to toss into the recycle bin right away – probably won’t even bother to read, like the latest credit card offer or a promotion that I have no interest in.
The second category is for mail that I may take a closer look at but will likely go into the first category – a promotion that I might be interested it, but need to consider or look at closer.
The third category is the most important – bills I need to pay or a check or bank statement. For business owners and HR folks, this third category should also include mail that you must not ignore. Because ignoring it would probably cause great harm to the business or frustration to my employee. Here are a few things that would be included in the very important category.
5 Documents you might get in the mail that you should NOT ignore
Wage garnishments are sometimes delivered by a process server but often just come in the mail. Garnishments are a court order. Employers are required to garnish wages from your employees for the purpose of repaying a debt. The debt may be owed to the IRS, child support payments, a landlord or other creditor. Employees who have garnishments against them are protected under the law – so make sure you do not fire the employee for the trouble associated with the collection of the wages. Follow the instructions on the garnishment, including the time frame for the garnishment and call if you have a question.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
If your company receives an official complaint from the EEOC do not ignore it – respond in the required time frame. The complaint may be from an applicant that did not get the job and felt they were discriminated against. It may be from a current or terminated employee who felt they were treated unfairly. And it may be a current employee that feels that his manager did not respond appropriately and didn’t know where to go to have the complaint heard. In any event, investigate the complaint and respond with the documentation and position statement. It may be helpful to call upon an outside source to investigate (Wise HR can help with the investigation) and either Wise HR or an attorney to develop the position statement response.
Unemployment Insurance request have a required time limit to respond. Employees who have been discharged will likely receive unemployment pay, even if they were not doing a satisfactory job. However, depending upon the length of time they were employed and the reason for their leaving – you might have a chance to have the claim not be against your company. Answer the questions on the form and return it – you have a short window to return the completed form, so don’t delay!
Department of Labor
Similar to the EEOC claim, a claim from the Department of Labor is serious and should be responded to honestly and within the time limits on the claim. You may need an HR professional like Wise HR or an attorney to help you respond appropriately and in the best interest of your company.
Verification of Employment and Wages
Request for verification of wages and employment. If your employee is buying a house or applying for credit for other reasons, they may be waiting for your response to the request to finalize their plans. Don’t hold up their dream of purchasing a home or even refinancing – complete it and put it in the mail immediately. It is just good for employee moral and good manners.
If the document appears to be “official and important” and you don’t know what to do – don’t set it aside. Instead, reach out to someone who can help you, Wise HR, your attorney or even call a number provided in the document and ask some questions.