While being an employer is no doubt fulfilling, it does come with its fair share of troubles, such as dealing with workplace issues and employee litigation. With state and federal employment laws that are constantly changing, you need to do your due diligence and ensure you comply with all necessary rules and regulations. By observing such rules, you’ll be able to avoid employee litigation for common issues such as workplace harassment, wrongful dismissal, or unwarranted termination.
But how best do you avoid expensive and time-consuming employee litigations? This must be one of your main goals as an employer, and here’s a guide highlighting useful tips on avoiding employee litigation.
Have a Written and Strict Policy on Desired Employee Conduct
It’s your duty as an employer to make sure none of your employees get discriminated against or harassed based on their gender, race, age, color, disability, religion, or national origin. But for you to achieve this, you need first to lay down proper rules and regulations. Consequently, you can implement these rules and regulations in the company’s policy to govern the daily operations of your organization.
In this policy, you need to have a set of written rules that forbid discriminatory behavior and highlight the consequences for engaging in such behavior. It should also highlight the methods through which the employee should report any issue relating to employee harassment or discrimination. You should avoid situations where you need to hire an employment lawyer due to litigation by an employee, and it’s best to make sure all of your staff have been trained about discrimination.
Train Employees and Management
Employment laws are dynamic and are continuously changing. Therefore, you need to ensure that both your employees and management are well-versed with these new changes to lower the chances of employee litigation.
Ideally, it would be best if you enlighten your staff about such changes by conducting annual training. This training includes hour regulation training, sexual harassment and discrimination training, and safety training. Thanks to such training, you’ll considerably lower the chances of your company having to deal with a possible employee lawsuit.
Make It Easy to Report Complaints
It’s your duty as a business owner or employer to ensure your employees have a way of submitting their complaints anonymously. After all, you want to learn as soon as possible about any possible discrimination or harassment in the workplace rather than hearing from the employee’s lawyer.
To attain this, you need to offer your employees more options to let their complaints be known to the management. This promotes transparency and accountability by ensuring the employee’s direct supervisor doesn’t take advantage of them. You also should have a system where the employees can submit their complaints anonymously.
Hire the Right Employees in the Correct Way
Your company’s success or failure hinges on the employees who are responsible for running its day-to-day operations. And if you employ bad employees, there’s a higher chance of finding yourself in employment-related litigation. You should avoid this by making sure to hire the right staff to work within your company.
To gauge the employee’s character, you need to go through the correct paperwork and make use of legitimate recruitment sources. This means doing reference and background checks, using personalized and legally compliant application forms, and clearly describing the available position.
Documenting everything from remediation training, performance reviews, or anything else of value is vital. This is more important when you want to record conduct and performance violations by an employee. With everything documented, you’ll stand a greater chance of winning the litigation case in court. This is because you’ll have proof that you didn’t act in bad faith due to possible biases such as religion, race, or gender, but have instead made certain decisions due to the employee’s terrible performance.
It’s your duty as an employer to enforce company policies equally and without bias. This means ensuring that all the staff follows the employment policy stating matters such as attendance and performance. If you don’t do this, some of your staff will slowly start to feel as though you’re favoring other individuals and this not only breaks up teamwork but also increases the chances of employee litigation.
With this in mind, it’s your mandate to consistently enforce company policies evenly across all employees to ensure nobody feels mistreated. By doing this, you can avoid possible disputes.
As an employer, you’ll constantly be concerned about possible employee litigation for alleged wrongdoing against one of your employees. Therefore, it would be best to take proactive measures to avoid all this altogether. Highlighted in this article are excellent ways of preventing employee litigation as this process would negatively affect your company’s smooth and efficient operations.