Tips For Avoiding An Employee Lawsuit

As small business owners look to the New Year, most will be considering new goals or practices that will help grow the business and exceed the successes of this year. Some business owners will work on developing new and interesting ways to turn a profit, others will begin brick and mortar renovations that will increase traffic. There’s one thing no business owners should forget to consider at the end of the year, however—employees. Keeping employees happy and healthy is the number one most important thing you can do as a business owner. It’s not just for considerations of wellbeing and loyalty that a business owner needs to maintain good relations with his employees, either. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), “getting sued by current or former employees happens more often than you might think.”

The most common types of employee lawsuit brought against business owners, according to the SBA, are those that regard wage and hour laws. Theses types of lawsuits increased 32 percent in 2011 from 2008. “Don’t be too busy to check in and ensure you aren’t breaking laws or otherwise opening yourself up to a potential lawsuit,” advises the SBA, “no small business owner has the time, or money, for that.”

The SBA has a list of things to keep in mind that can help all business owners avoid legal trouble. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Be sure to vet all good intentions. Certain aims to promote workplace flexibility can actually violate employment laws.
  • Take extra caution on accommodations and hiring. Be sure your building is handicapped accessible. Draw from hiring pools that include women and minorities.
  • Seek advice from other business owners.
  • Encourage open communication with your employees, within all levels of management.
  • Read the actual laws via the U.S. Department of Labor.

No matter how cautious you are, some small business owners will still run into trouble. The importance of having a business attorney on your side cannot be overstated. If you are facing an employee lawsuit, contact The Gierach Law Firm today.