Sometimes, businesses get sued by their employees for specific reasons. The employer mistreated the employee in some way, which led to the employee seeking the lawsuit. If you’re a small business and you didn’t expect this to happen, you probably have no idea what to do. However, it’s important to be prepared for this type of situation. This way, you’ll know how to handle the emotional and financial effect that this lawsuit can have on you.
This article is filled with advice on what to do if an employee is suing you. So, let’s get into it!
Look for Legal Help
When you find out that you’re being sued by your employee, you need to make sure you seek an attorney. A lawyer knows how to deal with employee lawsuits and will be able to instruct you during the entire process. Even if your business already has a lawyer that deals with legal cases, you will have better chances by hiring an attorney that specializes in employee lawsuits.
Contact a law firm or a professional attorney and listen to all the advice you’re given. Not only will this help you know what to do with the case, but it will also help you prevent more legal problems in the future. Even better, the lawyer might help you come out of this lawsuit, which is probably what you’re looking for.
Jacob from Silver Spring is a great example of this. After finding out he was being sued by one of his employees, he looked into a Silver Spring employment lawyer. Not only did the attorney help him overcome all the stress and uncertainty he had regarding the case, but he also helped him come out of the lawsuit. He wouldn’t have been successful without a good lawyer.
Think about How You’ll Respond to the Complaint
Ignoring the lawsuit is never a good idea because it would help the plaintiff win the case, and you certainly don’t want that to be the case. Consult your attorney on how to respond to the complaint. You have a deadline for sending a response to the complaint when a lawsuit starts, and this is usually a 30-day deadline. However, this deadline may vary from one state to another in some situations.
When you respond to a complaint, you need to make sure your answer is constructed properly and carefully. You need to address whether you deny or admit the allegations of the employee, bring up your counterclaims, and mention whether you seek an alternative resolution or a jury trial.
Don’t make a response before consulting your lawyer, because they might actually help you offer a better response than what you initially had in mind.
Don’t Directly Contact the Plaintiff
One of the temptations you may have after you find out you are being sued is to contact the plaintiff directly. The shock of being sued makes you take this course of action, or you may feel like there was a misunderstanding and you want to clarify it with the employee in a direct conversation.
However, you should refrain from contacting the plaintiff directly. Doing so might only make things worse for you, and this is because you may end up saying something that will give the plaintiff an advantage in court.
This is why you should wait for the communication to be established by your attorney and the plaintiff’s attorney.
Lawsuits make you feel anything but calm, yet staying calm is the best thing you can do. Even if you are suddenly dealing with sleepless nights, you should try to relax and think that things will eventually work out. It’s absolutely normal to be angry thinking of this situation but being agitated will only do you more harm than good.
So, during the case, maintain your calmness and make sure you run all the business operations as effectively as you can so that you don’t lose any money in the process.
Protect Your Finances
You need to make sure your finances are protected, because if there is a trial, it may end up with your finances being taken away unless you safeguard them. Having some protection for your finances is a must if things don’t turn out the way you want. Look into business insurance that will take care of things and secure your income.
You should look into liability insurance, which can be useful in helping save your company from possible lawsuits filed against you. After all, the last thing you want is for your finances to be claimed legally.
Just keep in mind that if you have general liability insurance for the business, it may help cover your legal fees, but you should not immediately assume that the insurance will certainly cover the lawsuit. The best thing to do is to contact the insurance provider, telling them about the lawsuit and discovering whether coverage will be provided to you.
Consider Protection from Possible Future Lawsuits
If you are successful with the lawsuit, you can breathe a sigh of relief. At the same time, you shouldn’t simply stop thinking about lawsuits and their effect on your business. There are still chances that the lawsuit you are dealing with is not the only one you might see. If you want to make sure nothing bad will happen to your business, you need to protect it from future lawsuits.
Ensure you give your employees some anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training, and that you build a strong HR foundation that helps update the handbook of the employees.
The Bottom Line
Getting sued by an employee is not pleasant at all. If you’re dealing with such a situation, though, it’s always important to know what to do and how to avoid making a wrong move. Stay calm and seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. Respond to the complaint carefully and do what the attorney advises you to. If you do this, in the end, you have chances to be successful against your employee.