Avoiding Employee Lawsuits

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Avoid employee lawsuits and keep your
business growing.

If there is one thing your business doesn’t need, it would
be a lawsuit ? for a lot of obvious reasons. For one, going through a lengthy
legal battle will cost you a lot of your hard-earned dollars and divert your
attention away from running your business. Who needs to go through all that?

However, you need to know that small businesses are
susceptible to the same worker complaints that are prevalent in the corporate
world. More employees are filing complaints against their employers for
violating wage and hours rule, wrongful termination, discrimination and sexual
harassment. How can you avoid all these? Here are some rules to live by to make
sure you don’t get entangled in a messy legal battle.

Tips to Avoid
Employee Lawsuits

1.??????
Define
work expectations.
Small business owners are not mandated by law to document
performance issues and progressive disciplinary measures but you need to
conduct performance
reviews
and keep a written record of any unacceptable workplace behavior to
avoid lawsuits based on wrongful termination.

2.??????
Abide by
the wages and hours rule.
Generally, you should give overtime pay if your
employees work more than 40 hours per week unless they are classified as exempt
employees (those who hold executive, professional or administrative positions).
Remember, working off the clock is
illegal
and will make you vulnerable to employee lawsuits. You should
likewise keep in mind that exempt employees are not eligible for overtime pay
but you should not dock their pay for missing partial days.

3.??????
Be aware
of discrimination laws.
You should not discriminate based on race, age, gender,
national origin, religion, disability and pregnancy status, among others. You
should likewise provide all your employees a written policy that unlawful
harassment and discrimination
are unacceptable in the workplace.

4.??????
Don’t
create unnecessary rules.
Be careful when creating company rules, even if
you have the best interest in mind. It might just open you up for a host of
lawsuits. Focus on what matters most for your business.

5.??????
Do
everything by the book.
Aside from following all the things mentioned earlier,
you should post all labor and employment related materials in the workplace as
required by the state and federal governments. In addition, you should seek the
help of a trusted employment lawyer or human resources consultant in drafting
an employee handbook for your company. These can help prove that you did
everything by the book and improve your chances of winning or quashing a
lawsuit, if ever one comes up.

? ? ? Avoid employee lawsuits by all means. It wouldn’t be good
for your business.