Lawsuits are unfortunately common, so it is essential that you understand the areas where most of them stem from. Learn how you can take action to prevent lawsuits from happening.
Common Legal Issues in the Workplace
Lawsuits can damage your productivity and keep you tied up in a court case for long periods of time, all while suffering the risk of severe financial loss. Protect yourself with EPLI and by eliminating the risk of a lawsuit wherever possible.
Most of the reasons that an employee may sue you fall within one of the five categories:
- Personal injury
- Hourly and compensation violations
- Wrongful termination
While it isn’t possible to prevent all possibilities of legal actions, you can drastically reduce the chance of a lawsuit.
Prevent Employment Lawsuits
The first step in preventing most lawsuits before they even happen is knowledge. Education yourself on federal and local laws. Purchase an EPLI policy. Draw up company-wide policies to address issues and make sure all your employees are aware of them and in compliance.
- Personal injuries of employees while on the job are normally handled through workers’ compensation, however, if you are found to be knowingly negligent, you could also be liable. To prevent injuries, set up safety guidelines for the entire office to follow. Inspect the office and grounds and address any safety concerns as soon as they come to light.
- Harassment involves any unwelcome or inappropriate verbal or physical action. This includes jokes, insults, and unwanted contact. As the employer, you are responsible for all instances of misconduct on your premises, no matter who the harasser is. Educate yourself and your employees on what constitutes harassment, establish a zero-tolerance policy and method to safely report any harassment. If any employee comes forward, address the situation immediately and take appropriate action against the harasser.
- Discrimination or unfair treatment based on age, sex, disability, skin color, gender, race, nationality, pregnancy, religion, citizenship, or veteran status is a serious issue. Employees that face discrimination can file a claim with the EEOC. Familiarize yourself with the law and enforce the policy in all of your management and staff.
- Hourly and compensation violations are commonly found through an audit, but can still pose the risk for a lawsuit. Failure to compensate your employees for time worked, or denying breaks, is a violation. Know the laws and hold all supervisors accountable for upholding them.
- Wrongful termination means that an employee believes their firing was illegal, by breach of contract, or other violation. Protect yourself by keeping detailed records so you have proof to present.
If you discover that an employee is mistreated in any way, take immediate action to address the situation and attempt to resolve the matter before it goes any further. You may be able to reach to stop legal processes from happening, and you set an example to all your staff that you do not tolerate violations of policy.
About Cochrane & Company
For more than six decades, Cochrane & Company has been proudly at the forefront of the insurance industry. Our experience has enabled us to innovate in powerful ways, reimagining the E&S market, and providing technology solutions that make it easy to do business with us. Licensed in all 50 states, we proudly serve clients across the nation, providing personalized and powerful solutions to help you become an even better partner for your clients. Speak to one of our experienced professionals today by calling (855) 967-0069.