10 Oct How to Avoid an Employment Lawsuit
Employees are one of the most valuable assets of a company, but if a legal conflict ever arises, they can also be one of the biggest liabilities to you as a business owner. Employment litigation can be very costly not just in terms of the direct financial costs, but also in terms of company reputation, time spent on the case, and much more. Learning about common examples of employment litigation, and how to avoid it, is very important.
If an employee is being discriminated against, they can demand justice through the courts. Discrimination can come from the company owner, management, other employees, or even contractors. Employers must take active steps to prevent any type of discrimination, whether it’s through company initiatives, training, or through other means. It is possible for anyone to be the victim of unjust discrimination, but the most common types of discrimination are due to gender, race, color, national origin, age, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and more, so you have to be a proactive employer in being compliant.
Issues Related to Pay (Including Overtime Pay)
When an employee has an issue related to their pay, they will rightly take it very seriously. In most cases, disputes in pay can be resolved very quickly and can be attributed to human error. If an employee discovers that they had been deprived of pay over a long period of time, however, a lawsuit is likely. One of the most common examples of this is when an employer requires employees to work more than 40 hours per week, but doesn’t pay out overtime. This can be caused by the misclassification of an employee as exempt when they should be non-exempt. Employers need to be aware of the laws governing employee pay and classification in order to avoid potential lawsuits.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Most employers have their employees working in their building for many hours each day. It is almost inevitable that eventually, an accident will happen where one or more employee will get injured on the job. The specific risk varies greatly based on the type of work being done, but all employers need to be aware of the risk of personal injury lawsuits. Employers are primarily at risk when the injury was foreseeable and avoidable, and if specific preventative actions were taken to address it beforehand. To avoid this type of lawsuit, employers need to take steps to ensure their facilities are in proper working order at all times. Responding quickly to any reports of problems is also very important.
Wrongful termination is a blanket term that is used to describe a wide variety of potential legal issues that can arise when employment is terminated by a company. While employees typically don’t have any binding employment contract in place, they can still file a lawsuit if their termination was due to a violation of public policy, whistleblowing, fraud, or other illegal actions. To avoid this type of lawsuit, a company needs to keep accurate documentation on all employees, and what steps led up to their termination.