Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
LEADERSHIP / JAN. 24, 2015
version 6, draft 6

6 Ways to Avoid Employee Lawsuits

justice
istock

A lawsuit throws a business in disarray, leaving it bruised in more ways than one. A lawsuit may turn into a lengthy legal battle which means being distracted from priorities of running your business. It is a time and money consumer, and is the last thing you should get involved in if you intend to achieve your organizational goals.

1. Respect

Respect sounds like the most natural thing to do. However, most employers treat their employees distastefully. Your position does not warrant behaving in a manner that demeans your employees. An employee that is disrespected or humiliated will easily find an opportunity to sue you.

2. Communicate

It is every employer’s prerogative to ensure communication is open at the workplace. All employees should be aware of employment policies of the organization. Work within the policies, since going beyond is one of the easiest ways to get a lawsuit. Let communication involve an open door policy such that employees are free to see you and express their feelings. Handling matters as they come to you is very important. Unresolved delayed issues may culminate in lawsuits you could have avoided.

3. Have a Discrimination Law

In the company policies, ensure to include a harassment and discrimination policy. These will take care of issues based on race, age, disability, religion and sexual harassment. Make it routine to consistently train your employees and those in supervisory roles on matters of harassment and discrimination. Training them once every year is regular enough to keep everyone aware to observe these laws. Stay within the law and pay employees based on their work. Avoid applying favoritism as an employee may find a window to institute a lawsuit against you.

4. Conduct Regular Employee Evaluations

Honest employee assessment is a valuable asset for any employer. In case of a lawsuit, well-documented staff performance appraisals can be used. Saying that an employee was a poor performer with no evidence of his performance evaluations will not be taken seriously. Performance appraisals should be carried out on a regular basis, at least once a year. Always remember that legal procedures work with documented evidence. Keep important documents in a safe place in case the need to use them arises.

5. Make Sensible Rules

Your idea of acquiring your desired results may find you setting ridiculous rules at the workplace. Make reasonable rules that do not leave employees feeling pressured. You may want to have a certain look among employees, but you can’t make rules that get personal. Remember to stay focused on what is important for the business and avoid complications that may cost you unnecessarily.

6. Pay for Every Minute Worked

If you have employees that are paid on hourly shifts, ensure they are compensated appropriately. A worker who works off the clock needs to be paid for every extra minute they work beyond their time. Defense that it is not practiced or allowed will not favor you. Ensure that hours are observed to avoid any misunderstandings that may lead to court battles.

See also: How to Hire a Good Lawyer

As soon as a complaint is brought to your attention, begin investigations immediately. Quick and thorough investigations will save you lots of time, money and a big mess. Find an appropriate person to conduct the investigation. Consider having an employment lawyer to consult with. It is cheaper to have an expert at hand than getting into a lawsuit.

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