Avoid Employee Lawsuits
September 27, 2019 | Freya Allen Shoffner, Esquire

Avoid Employee Lawsuits

No business owner wants to be sued by their employee. It can be very expensive and time consuming. There are many steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of such a suit.

It is vital to have an Employee Handbook. It is very important to have the policies and procedures of your company documented.


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Adequate Anti-Discrimination Polices are a must. Understand all the relevant laws. The lack of anti-discrimination policies that address all the provisions leaves employers very vulnerable to a lawsuit.

Accurate and thorough Performance Reviews are important tools and go a long way in preventing potential employee lawsuits. These reviews range from probationary assessments to yearly reviews. They help to provide legal compliance and documentation. They are also important administrative and developmental tools.

Personnel Decisions must be well documented. If it isn't documented, it is only hearsay. No matter how many times the employee was verbally warned about their performance the employer is vulnerable if the warnings weren't documented.

Objective Investigations are critical. Companies are continually rebuked for not conducting objective investigations for complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. This is a very big problem in litigation. Know the laws and processes regarding who should conduct the investigation, when it should be conducted, and how it should be conducted.

Apply Company Policies and Procedures consistently. Many employee lawsuits stem from employees feeling they were treated differently than their coworkers regarding the enforcement of policies and procedures.

Respond to Initial Claims properly. Lawsuits can be prevented by handling initial claims properly and promptly. An inappropriate response can also result in increased damages with a subsequent lawsuit.

There is a lot you can do to prevent the ugliness of a lawsuit. Have comprehensive policies and procedures instituted. Consult with your attorney to review human resource policies and related matters. These efforts will be well worth your while to avoid a lawsuit and the attendant time, money, and stress that they exact.

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