Employees and Your Business: Keeping Legal Trouble at Bay

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Running a business can be very scary, so making it as simple as possible is every owner’s or shareholder’s desire. No one likes the idea of getting sued or being in another legal bind. There are some ways you can keep legal trouble at bay when it comes to dealing with your employees. If you take a look around you, you’ll notice many businesses being attacked by their employees through the legal system; here are some ideas on how you can avoid this from happening to you.

Communication is Key

Whenever you enter a business, whether you’re working there or are a customer, you like to be acknowledged and shown respect. The same goes for your employees. Communication is always key in a healthy relationship, but it’s also based on the way you communicate. When you show your employees respect, you have less worries about him or her seeking revenge on you. Say an employee you are on good terms with gets hurt on the job and you offer him or her compensation or other benefits, he or she is less likely to seek legal action against you. But if you mistreated this employee, he or she may become disgruntled and seek to “destroy” you or get you back.

Show no Favoritism or Discrimination

If you show more attention to certain employees or don’t give the same appreciation for good work to all employees; some may get a bit jealous. Small things like this can make one feel unappreciated. Discrimination also fits into this category. Under federal law, an employer is not allowed to discriminate against their employees based on their age, race, sex or disability. So keep slick comments like, “My younger employees can do this job faster” or “Don’t send a woman to do a man’s job” could land you in a law suit that you’ll likely lose. Lesson here is…treat all of your employees equally.

Evaluate Regularly and Fairly

Try giving regular evaluations of your employees every so often to keep in your records. Then if you ever have to let someone go and he or she tries to take you to court, you’ll have evidence of why you terminated him or her. Evaluating your employees will also allow you to point out problems and award good efforts to keep employees on their toes. Just make sure to treat everyone the same and to communicate with respect when doing so.

Keep Your Employees’ Trust

When you’re dealing with your employees, it is a good idea to keep their trust. When they feel like they can come to you without being judged or lashed out at, they will feel more comfortable coming to you. Whenever he or she sees something wrong with the workplace and he or she tells you, make sure not to feel personally attacked. Whistleblowers being punished isn’t a good idea; it can lead to them having a grudge against you and your company. You can even buy gifts for your employees, such as from 1-800-Flowers.

Keep the Safety Levels High

The workplace should be a safe place to work. Take all precautions necessary to keep your place of employment free of hazards. This will prevent accidents from occurring, which could eventually lead to law suits.

Have Sufficient Insurance

Being underinsured could be one of the biggest mistakes you could make as a business owner. Making sure that you are properly insured to handle any situation is vital to avoiding law suits that result from a lack of funds to take care of the expenses involved. It is always good to have enough coverage to take care of injuries and downtime for the employees you have.