Employment and labor litigation has become more common in recent years, and the most unfortunate part of that is the fact that many of these lawsuits can be prevented. Not only can many disputes be resolved outside of court with mediation or arbitration, but there are also numerous measures that employers can implement to either discourage lawsuits or eliminate legitimate legal concerns within their company. Here, we’ll go over a few tips for preventing employment litigation in your company.
1. Communicate Your Policies
Sound policies are key to making sure managers and supervisors are fully compliant with the law. However, just as important as having clear, legally sound policies in place are making sure they are properly communicated to personnel. This will ensure awareness of what is and is not allowed in the workplace while safeguarding yourself against potential litigation if something goes wrong.
2. Effective Training
Often, a careless word or action on the part of a supervisor may be all that is needed to spark accusations of discrimination, harassment, or other wrongful workplace conduct. To prevent these problems, train your managerial staff on the proper way to handle difficult situations in the workplace and follow the correct procedures for hiring, firing, disciplining, and providing feedback to employees.
3. Hire the Right People
Many employment lawsuits can be prevented simply by hiring people you won’t have to fire or discipline. This is done by using legally compliant application forms, solid recruitment strategies, and proper background and reference checks. Effective interviewing is also important. The right methods and documentation in this area will help you make sure you are selecting candidates who will be low-risk to your company and avoid litigation.
4. Keep Thorough Documentation
Correct documentation of the events and reasons surrounding employee discipline or discharge will allow you to back yourself up if a conflict arises. This evidence, in many cases, can help prevent a lawsuit by showing the true reasons why your actions were necessary. Otherwise, you could face litigation if the employee claims they were fired for reasons of discrimination.
5. Use Proper Language, Contracts, Etc.
Along with documenting the actual events, you will want to make sure the paperwork you use in hiring and managing employees is drafted properly. This will ensure your policies match the documentation you have on hand. For example, if someone you hired is an at-will employee, the language in the application they filled out should reflect that. Otherwise, firing them without giving them a reason could result in a lawsuit.
6. Get Legal Assistance
Properly drafting documents and policies as well as maintaining full compliance with employment and labor laws will require a sound knowledge of how the law works in these areas. An experienced employment lawyer can assist you in developing contracts, policies, and other documents in order to help you avoid employment litigation. In addition, you’ll get assistance in maintaining compliance with federal and state regulations. To learn more about how you can prevent employment litigation in your company, contact the labor attorneys at Hart & David today.