If you are a small business owner, you likely fear the idea of litigation. One of the primary areas of exposure for businesses is employee litigation. We all know lawsuits are expensive, but they are also costly to your business’ reputation. Thus, it is important to be proactive in taking steps to minimize your risk of employee litigation including the following:
● Treat your employees equally. While this seems like a simple concept, an employer must ensure there is no favoritism being shown in the company. This can be difficult when employers are also encouraged to diversify in who they hire. In short, business owners must enforce equal employment benefits, opportunities and treatment among both the majority and minority segments.
● Ensure managers and employees are properly trained. In fact, your attorney can assist you with conducting trainings on a yearly (if not more frequently) basis. Employment training is important because the laws are constantly changing. Additionally, employers should create an employee handbook and update it regularly
● Incorporate to protect your personal assets. Many small business owners do not understand that their personal assets can be put into jeopardy if they have not formed a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) for their business. Conducting business as a sole proprietor subjects you to personal liability if an employee files a lawsuit. Confer with your lawyer to determine which type of corporate entity makes the most sense for your business and provides the most protection for your personal assets.
● Distribute company policies. A business owner must make sure that everyone is made aware of company policies related to issues such as anti-discrimination, equal employment opportunities, anti-retaliation policies, sexual harassment, a
materials during training sessions, you should also hang posters and find other means for circulating the information.
· Immediately Contact Your Lawyer. When an employee (or his/her attorney) makes a demand (request) to review his or her employment file, you have a statutory deadline (limited time) to respond. A failure to timely respond results in mandatory fines. Talk to your lawyer immediately to protect your company,
The above tips are a few examples of how business owners can reduce the risk of employee lawsuits. These measures can also assist in your defense if an employee should file a lawsuit against your company. To learn more or to obtain help in your business litigation matter, contact Mailly Law. We are experienced in a wide variety of business litigation matters and we stand ready to fight for you.