In addition to the cost of defending an employment lawsuit (one employee claim could reach $100,000 attorney fees and costs), a suit will cost hours spent in gathering documents and taking witness depositions. Having lawsuits on public records and possible media publicity can decrease employee morale and/or company reputation.
Obviously, the best lawsuit is the one that never happens. Attorney Patrick Kitchin has posted his tips to avoid being sued. Although his post is specific to California, his advice is applicable everywhere.
- Be familiar with applicable labor laws. Legal summaries are available in required posters, websites of federal and state governments, agencies like the EEOC or local chambers of commerce.
- Design or adopt appropriate employment policies and procedures.
- Disseminate employment laws and company policies to your employees. Let them know their rights and responsibilities and how they can report violations.
- Monitor compliance through periodic evaluations.
- Keep informed of new laws and regulations, and update policies as needed.
- Have severance agreements designed to minimize suits by departing employees; be sure wording is reviewed with a knowledgeable attorney.
Finally, be sure you have Employment Practices Liability insurance in place as a backup. Reach out to our experts today to discuss your current policy or disucss putting one in place.