Employment Law

Six Tips to Help Avoid Employee Lawsuits

Jun 24, 2014

In today’s world, businesses must take extra precaution to protect themselves against lawsuits brought forth by employees. There are no guaranteed methods of protection against litigation, but there are basic strategies that can be implemented to help protect employers. Six of such strategies are listed below.

1. Written policies

All policies pertaining to employees must be current, clear and followed religiously. Wording must be very specific and should include subjects such as workplace violence, employment at will, discrimination, harassment, disciplinary procedures and business operations. Within such policies you must clearly outline the consequences and disciplinary progression.

2. Training

It is incredibly important for employees to understand what constitutes as misconduct within your particular workplace. Training employees on a regular basis with examples can help ensure understanding on what is acceptable behavior and what behavior will lead to disciplinary action including termination.

3. Documentation

One of the biggest problem areas for employers dealing with employment lawsuits is documentation. The burden of proof often falls on the employer and not the employee and businesses must have documentation to prove compliance. Any and all communication with employees regarding misconduct, attendance, behavior, etc. must be documented thoroughly and consistently.

4. Consistency

It doesn’t help to document some encounters with employees and not others, in fact it can make things even worse and prove your documentation to be unreliable. You have to do exactly what your policy said you would do, and you must do it every time, with every employee, no matter what. Treating similar employee situations different opens the doors for potential lawsuits.

5. Onboarding

When bringing on new talent, there are specific procedures that must be followed in order to ensure your onboarding process is compliant with state and federal employment laws. Each and every applicant must go through the exact same process and employers must make sure that nothing they are doing could be conveyed as discriminatory behavior whether that was the intention or not.

6. ASK FOR HELP

Most of us are not also employment law attorneys and therefore do not know everything required for compliance. There are times when an attorney is the only resource needed, but there are many situations where a tool such as our HR Support Center serves as an affordable alternative to assist with policy development, documentation, training, education and onboarding requirements. Watch our short video clip on the Extra Help, Inc. HR Support Center.