The key for a business to win employee-related lawsuits is to avoid them in the first place. Litigation not only takes time and money, but it can have a negative effect on your business altogether. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take in order to avoid many different types of lawsuits stemming from current and former employees.
Above all, it is essential for any business owner to follow all pertinent federal, state, and local employment laws. Violating these laws will only bring you trouble. Furthermore, you must ensure that all of your managers and supervisors are aware of these laws and regulations. It does no good for you to educate yourself on these laws if your managers are unaware of them and do not follow them. It also is useless to have workplace policies that mirror relevant laws if your managers don’t know how to follow them.
Pay your employees for all of the hours that they have worked, and pay them overtime when you are required to do so. Allow your employees to take breaks as required. Properly classify employees as exempt or non-exempt, and follow the laws that relate to that classification. Furthermore, don’t treat employees as independent contractors, and vice versa.
Laws related to disability and other types of discrimination are important, and you need to know what you can do and not do as an employer. Aside from federal laws, if you work in a locality with unique or additional laws, like San Francisco, you have a duty to abide by those laws and regulations, as well.
Keeping meticulous records about employees and any workplace disputes can be essential to prevailing if a lawsuit does occur. Additionally, you always should maintain an up-to-date employee handbook that your employees are aware of and to which they have access. Following your own policies, as outlined in your handbook, also is essential to preventing lawsuits.
Disputes with current and former employees are an all-too common occurrence when running a business, and these disputes sometimes can result in lawsuits and judgments against your business. While our goal is to help you avoid this situation, altogether, there are times when lawsuits are an inevitable consequence of doing business. When a dispute develops between your business and an employee, Heit Law Group, P.C., is here to help. We care about you and your business, and, as a result, our California business law attorneys stand ready to represent your interests and give you the advice that you need. Contact your California business lawyer today and learn how we can advocate for your business in whatever legal matters arise.