10 Tips to Help Avoid Employee Lawsuits
Employee lawsuits for unfair dismissal, bullying in the workplace, and other issues can be time-consuming, costly, and disruptive to your business, as well as have a negative impact on morale. Employee lawsuits should be avoided at all costs, and you can limit the risk of employee lawsuits by taking safeguards, enforcing uniform hiring and management policies, and developing an employee evaluation system.
1. Recognize the rules and regulations that pertain to you
Employment-related lawsuits are challenging to navigate: Emotions are strong, and personal matters are frequently brought up. Defense costs can be high even when claims are without merit. It can also have a big impact on morale and reputation. Take some time to learn about all the requirements you’ll need to follow before hiring your employees, and obtain legal advice to help you start on the right foot. There are laws governing hiring procedures, workplace safety norms and regulations, anti-discrimination statutes, and so on.
2. Invest in a handbook for your employees
Employment-at-will, abuse, and bias should all be included. While a handbook may appear to be a waste of money, having procedures in place to deal with terminations, discrimination, and harassment can help to reduce the risk of legal action in employment-related issues. Include an employment-at-will language in the handbook, as well as a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment. Even if example policies are available, make sure that all policies are compliant with applicable state and federal legislation. Make sure an employment attorney looks at the handbook.
3. Make sure you’re insured
Determine your company’s risk exposure and consider purchasing an employer’s liability insurance policy that covers all of your bases. A potential insurer will do a risk analysis to determine the exact coverage you need to defend yourself against a lawsuit brought by an employee.
4. Keep a Record of Everything
Employment disputes frequently boil down to one person’s word vs. another’s. It’s a far better defense in any following claims if you keep extensive documentation made close to the situations in question. Documentation should be clear, simple, and free of emotion or superfluous commentary, and it should contain performance concerns as well as the implications of those issues. To recognize that issues were brought to his or her notice, the employee should sign the documentation. All employees’ performance should be evaluated, honestly. While it may be simpler to merely offer average or above average ratings, it becomes impossible to defend any employee activity.
5. Have a Job Description for each Role
A detailed job description gives employees a list of responsibilities, a management structure, a list of best and acceptable practices, and other information that helps them understand what is expected of them each day. Before a candidate is hired, a well-written, detailed job description ensures that both the employee and the company are on the same page.
6. Keep an eye out for workplace jokes and chatter
Most folks spend a significant portion of their waking hours at work and desire to have positive relationships with their coworkers. While a collaborative environment is desirable, it can easily devolve into actionable behavior and your words could be used against you in a lawsuit brought by a current or former employee. Maintain a high level of professionalism and appropriateness in employee interactions.
7. Restrict Internet and Email usage
Employees in most companies have access to email and the Internet. Keep an eye on how these tools are being used. Consider implementing a policy forbidding access to pornographic or unsuitable websites, as well as software that blocks such sites. Employees should be made aware that emails are never actually deleted, and that every email correspondence should be handled professionally.
8. Be mindful of the dangers of an unsafe workplace
As an employer, you must be alert and safety conscious, realize that you need to ensure a safe workplace and take reasonable efforts to safeguard employee safety while on the job. In the event that an avoidable incident occurs, it may provoke the anger of your employees. If you are in manufacturing, employ the use of handling robots in your production line’s most tedious and unsafe tasks. If your firm deals with large scale installations of industrial plumbing systems, make sure that you source high quality valves from the best industrial valve manufacturer in China whose valve systems are designed for the safety of your operators. Check xhval.com for more information.
9. Make the Process of Filing a Complaint Clear
You simply cannot solve a problem if you are unaware of it. Employees will be more likely to bring their grievances to light if they have clear and simple options. Provide a separate email or hotline for reporting concerns, or inform employees that if they have a problem with their manager or supervisor, they can report it directly to the HR director. This information should be posted in the break room so that employees are informed of their options.
10. Make management training a priority
Every day, your management team is on the front lines, dealing with their employees and ensuring that corporate policies are in place and followed. Instruct them to remain objective, to spot problems, and to follow the proper methods for dealing with them. They may be able to avoid time on the witness stand later if they manage their time wisely now.
Keeping up with today’s competitive business environment necessitates ongoing attention and effort. Whenever an employee presses charges, though, even the most thorough business strategy might be thrown off. Even if you win the lawsuit, it will likely cost you thousands of dollars and divert your attention away from other important business problems. Fortunately, you may avoid this unpleasant occurrence by following these measures and getting the latest business tips and insights.