You are not alone if you have found yourself on the receiving end of legal action stemming from the office. Lawsuits in the workplace are not uncommon, especially in this contentious age. Although an employer might think they are a wonderful person to work for, they might unknowingly be breaking some basic employment laws. Keeping up-to-date with employment laws can prevent lawsuits from happening. If employees feel they are a victim of unfair dismissal, they will most likely open a case against their previous employer. We have outlined 5 of the most common employment lawsuits and how to avoid them.
1. Employment Discrimination
Discrimination is a prominent global workplace issue. Employees who have been mistreated can file a workplace discrimination lawsuit. An employee who is unfairly treated because of their race, disability, gender, religion, pregnancy, or age can file a claim due to one or more anti-discrimination laws. Companies should always be aware of all employee rights and regularly monitor law changes. The proper training can prevent action from being taken against you.
2. Wrongful Termination
Wrongful termination is a term used to describe various causes of action that result in an employee’s firing. An employee can file a wrongful termination case when termination breaches a contract or laws. If an employer is found guilty of wrongful termination, they will need to reinstate or compensate the worker. Always give employees the chance to prove themselves before deciding on drastic measures. Breach of contract lawsuits is also fairly common.
It is considered harassment when someone or a group of people are ridiculed or threatened. Harassment can be defined as inappropriate jokes, innuendos, name-calling, leveraging sexual favors, insults, or unwanted physical touch. If the offending party is not dealt with efficiently, a case of harassment can be filed against the employer. Preventing harassment and building a solid safety foundation should be a top priority in all businesses.
It is in your best interest to establish clear rules and guidelines on harassment and to have zero-tolerance regulations to prevent costly lawsuits in the future. Consider putting together an employee handbook. As well as stating harassment policies and norms, the guide should outline consequences for violating these guidelines.
4. Personal Injury
The most likely scenario when an employee gets injured at work is for worker’s compensation to be filed. Being sued for personal injuries is the worst nightmare for any employer. Preventing these lawsuits can be accomplished by carrying a workers’ compensation fund insurance and responding to any safety hazards brought to your attention. Diligently monitoring safety hazards and ensuring your employees are fully trained with the correct protocols can prevent injury in the workplace.
5. Wage Violations
Laws protecting wages and working hours can be tricky to manage as they are enforced at state and federal levels. Rather than an employee complaint, these incidents are typically discovered after an audit. These cases are often brought up because the employer failed to pay minimum or overtime wages. To avoid these types of claims, stay up to date on current wage and hour rules. If you are familiar with the scenarios that can lead to workplace lawsuits, you will be in a better position to protect yourself and your firm.
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