As an employer, you are bound to experience conflict arising from your employees. There are normal workplace issues that arise as a result of usual disagreements that tend to arise when people from different backgrounds spend time together. Some of these are beyond your control, and at times it is better to let them work them out on their own. However, there are conflicts that are a result of you as an employer, and such kinds of disputes can lead to serious lawsuits that might affect your business. We are going to discuss how you can prevent such conflicts and maintain a peaceful work environment.
7 Ways To Prevent Employee Lawsuits
Some of the most common reasons for employee lawsuits include unlawful termination and harassment in the workplace. In some instances, issues arise due to salary disagreements, employee discrimination, and workplace injuries. As an employee, it is important to take control of your workplace and avoid such problems.
Understand Employment Laws
Before making your first hire, it is advisable that you understand all the rules and regulations regarding employment and adhere to them. Ensure that you seek legal counsel from a qualified labor attorney in order to get all the little details that you are bound to miss on your own. Have your attorney help you draft your first employment contract and take you through each and every clause so you can understand what you are getting into.
Workplace injuries are one of the major causes of employee lawsuits. As an employer, it is your duty to ensure that your employees are safe while in the workplace. The most common cause of injuries in the workplace arises from electrical accidents.
You can avoid such kinds of accidents by investing in a ul listed enclosure to prevent electric shocks in the workplace. Other injuries arise from falls, slips, and distractions in the office. You can prevent the spread of the coronavirus in your company by providing your employees with masks and hand sanitizers.
It is also a mandatory requirement for you to provide safety training for all your employees in case of emergencies in the workplace. This will help you reduce the chances of injury-related lawsuits in the workplace. Ensure you document the training every employee gets.
Detailed Job Description
Letting your employees be aware of their duties will help you minimize conflicts in the workplace. A job description provides an employee with a list of all their responsibilities, a hierarchy of reporting, and the acceptable practices in the organization. This document allows you to be on the same page before you start working together.
Follow Due Process
This basically means that you should avoid the element of surprise in the workplace. One of the worst mistakes you can make as an employer is terminating an employee without notice. If an employee is underperforming, they should be taken through a review process and be issued warning letters before being terminated.
This gives the employee a chance to improve failure to which the termination process can begin. This way, they cannot claim that they were given unwarranted termination. As long as you document everything, then you will have tangible evidence to defend yourself in case they go ahead to sue you.
Open Door Policy
Allow each and every one of your employee’s easy access to your office. This will enable them to come to you in case they are experiencing any challenges in the workplace. This way, you are also able to keep tabs on every issue in your office and take the necessary actions before things get out of hand.
This helps you avoid surprise lawsuits that could have been avoided if you had just been more approachable. Being a friendly boss encourages your employees to be friendly towards each other and prevents intimidation among co-workers.
Lawsuits that occur as a result of employment discrimination are taken very seriously by labor courts and might get very heavy fines for such offenses. The most prevalent forms of discrimination in the workplace include racial discrimination, gender inequality, and age discrimination.
Train your business unit heads to be careful when handling employees and ban certain workplace banters that might get out of hand. Some of them may not mean harm, but an employee might take it as an attack towards them, and according to the labor laws, they have the right to report mean comments in the workplace.
There is one thing that I can assure you of as an employer; these lawsuits are bound to happen no matter how hard you try to avoid them. So the best thing to do is to get a suitable insurance cover for your business. It is also advisable to provide a medical cover for your employees to ensure that they get medical attention whenever they need to.
Even as you strive to provide the perfect work environment for your employees, do not forget that you also have rights as an employer. It is important for you to put your foot down and run your organization the best way you can without allowing rowdy behavior from your employees. After you have done your part as an employer, you should also do your part as an employee. In case of any disputes, they should be able to follow due process of reporting and resolution.