Navigating a workplace lawsuit can be time-consuming, disruptive, and costly to your business. It can also negatively impact the morale of your workers, thus lowering the productivity of the company. Avoiding employee lawsuits, such as personal injury lawsuits, should be a primary objective of any business. The employer should initiate fair hiring practices, standardize an employee evaluation system, and develop working policies to reduce the risk of employee lawsuits.
When an employee feels wronged or victimized by company negligence, suing becomes a solution. Management mistakes may cost you precious financial resources and limited time. It may even impact your employees’ dedication and loyalty to the company, resulting in declining sales.
If an employee sues your company, it’s essential to avoid the mistakes listed below and minimize damage whenever possible. These mistakes include the following.
Responding improperly to a charge
As an employer, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will contact an employer regarding employee complaints. It’s essential to respond to these claims courteously and promptly. Responding improperly to the charges may lead you to more significant problems, such as the case landing in court. If your company has to go to court over the employee complaint, the consequences may be more financially significant.
In the response phase, it’s wise to treat the complaining employee courteously. Staying calm and open to criticism will enable the employee to seek justice without any sense of intimidation. He or she can opt to utilize a court setting to give him or her the opportunity to discuss their concerns with his or her employer openly. In this case, the best strategy is to recruit the services of an attorney like Schwartzapfel Lawyers, a construction accident lawyer in NYC, to assist with the process.
Failing to document everything
The employer needs to maintain and file records and all performance reviews pertaining to the employee. During the legal proceedings, employees should be treated with respect and made aware of some of their job requirements. To further prioritize transparency, inform an employee about their position’s policies. Reviewing these requirements and procedures acts as a safety measure for the employer if an employee decides to sue the company for any wrongdoings or acts of discrimination.
These documents can be presented to the court by the employer as a mode of defense. The employer should ensure that all the documents and records are updated regularly to safeguard the company from future lawsuits.
As an employer, it’s also essential to focus on improving the employees’ performance and maintaining a sense of transparency in your expectations. Keeping a thorough record of your interactions with employees may reduce the likelihood of engaging in lawsuits in your business practices.
Firing with no reason
Many employers think that they can fire employees at any time for any reason. Even if you reside in an at-will state, you should note that there are laws designed to protect employee interest. Any wrongful firing can force your company into costly and time-consuming lawsuits.
Most employees fire employees without providing the employee with a justifiable reason. Many issues may arise in your company at the fault of your employees. You should resolve these issues and reach a consensus or point of understanding. If an employee decides to retaliate and sue your company in response to their firing, it’s not wise to sack the employee without disclosing the reason behind the termination. Cutting ties with the employee out-of-the-blue may leave the company to face the consequences, such as liability that falls on you as the employer. Note that the complaining employee will continue to enjoy their benefits until a judge hears the case, and the jury reaches a verdict.
Failing to establish a clear complaint procedure
Establishing a written complaint procedure is one of the best defenses you can employ as an employer. This procedure enables the employer to present evidence regarding the employee’s failure to abide by the implemented policy.
Following termination, many employees seek out a company’s weak points to demand compensation. With this in mind, pushing for the establishment of a clear complaint procedure should be a top priority. Without clear parameters, it may result in the employer losing the case if the firing isn’t justified.
Failing to document issues and misconduct of the employee
A responsible employer should document any misconduct and issues concerning an employee. Record these incidents as they occur to avoid misreported information and inaccurate portrayals of the conflict. Thorough documentation allows the employer to weaponize these reports in any legal battles, such as employee claims in court. If the employee complains of unfair termination or discrimination, the documents will justify their wrongdoings, thus protecting the employer. It’s wise not to let a minor mistake cost your company time, money, and resources in a lawsuit. Picking your battles will serve you in the long run.
However, this does not mean the employer shouldn’t document this misconduct and any conflicts. Any reports should be rooted in fact and should reflect the real character of the employee. Employers should avoid exaggerating or misreporting any misconduct for the sake of protecting the company.
Many organizations take action haphazardly when trying to resolve workplace conflicts, but what they don’t know is that these actions may cause financially-draining problems if the employee files a lawsuit and takes them to court.
It’s essential to establish practices that aim to resolve challenges encountered in the company’s day-to-day operations. If you’re a business executive or a manager, you may run into these challenges, which can distract your employees from their obligations and negatively impact productivity.
Purchasing insurance coverage can help you tackle these legal challenges when they arise unexpectedly, helping you reduce accompanying costs. Sometimes, employees sue the company because management didn’t take proper steps in protecting the business in the case of a termination, leaving the company exposed to unfavorable rulings. Being prepared is the best way to mitigate the damage related to an employee lawsuit.