Once upon a time in Texas, a disgruntled employee might settle a dispute with their employer with a gun. Nowadays, most choose a lawsuit as their weapon of choice.
As an employer, you need to be alert to this danger. While a lawsuit won’t kill you, it could certainly do a great deal of damage to your business and your personal reputation, as well as cause you a lot of stress and sleepless nights.
The best way to fight a lawsuit is with forethought
You cannot predict everything, but many lawsuits could have been avoided if the employer had done more to prevent them in the first place. Here are some proactive things you can consider:
Do not take your employees by surprise
If you need to fire an employee, they should be able to see it coming. Either they know they have done something that is such a serious violation of your rules that they expect it. Or you have called their attention to the problem various times before.
Well-written employee handbooks make your expectations and rules clear. Recording every disciplinary action and outlining consequences in the handbook reduce the chance an employee can claim wrongful dismissal.
Take a stance against harassment and discrimination
If an employee claims they have suffered harassment or discrimination, you need to show what you did to prevent it and how you reacted to their reporting it.
If an employee feels you have turned a blind eye to previous incidents or protected workers accused of harassment, they are more likely to decide the only option is a legal one. If they believe that you will take their complaint seriously, they are more likely to let you deal with it.
However hard you try, you could still face employee litigation. If so, you will need legal help to know what steps to take.