Many employers are looking for tips and advice to survive the maze of employment issues that come with having employees. While there are many important factors to consider, the following is my Top 10 List of ways to avoid litigation.
- Take a good hard look at your employment application, as well as all other employment work related documents that an outsider may look at and say the documents seem to be biased or slanted.
- Your applications and any offer of employment should not only outline the job but should be signed, so make sure you have the candidate sign both of them.
- Do not hire over-qualified individuals as they will most likely become bored and will probably not stay engaged. On the flip side, don’t hire under-qualified individuals if you don’t have a way to bring them up to the standards you are working at or if you cannot train them effectively.
- Insure against charges of “I was never told” by requiring every new employee have an orientation that includes the reading of the company employee manual and the signing of an acknowledgement form.
- Let employees know that you want to hear their complaints and want to resolve any problems in a timely manner by letting them know the company communiction process .
- Put in place a formal review program and commit to it. Don’t rush through the process and hand out ineffective evaluations, but be honest and help develop the employee’s performance.
- If it becomes necessary to discipline or terminate an employee, make sure you review his or her personnel file and look at length of service, other infractions, how their evaluations have been in the past, and how serious is the infraction they are being disciplined for now.
- Be especially careful if you are going to be laying off employees. You need to consider the age, sex, or race of those being laid off and if your company is of a certain size (100 employees) you may be required to follow government layoff requirements, also known as WARN.
- Respect and courtesy go a long way in fending off litigation. Treat your employees the way you wish to be treated.
- When in doubt, get professional assistance from an employment lawyer. Most offer free or reduced fee consultations and may be able to help you in your quest to stay out of court.
There are probably many more tips. If you have more, please share them with us.
Another great tip I was told once, if you have an employee injured on the job, don’t treat them like the plague trying not to offend them so they don’t sue. Send flowers or a get well card. Call to find out how they are. Stay in contact letting them know how much they are missed and valued. Keep the lines of communication open.
Great list. I think this needs to be read by many employers, especially in today’s economy with all the layoffs. You never know when a financially strapped former employee will file a suit.
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I like Toms ( Comment #1 ) tip. Show your employee how you miss them and how important they are. This is very important today.
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Blazing Bumblebee says
Number nine is so important, something I have discovered as both an employee and an employer. Treat your employees as you would like to be treated!
Great list, thanks for sharing. Number 3 is an interesting point, and one that I have come across before. Over qualified but bored lawyers, are just as bad, If not worse than under qualified ones. At least they are working twice as hard to make sure that no one spots that they are under qualified! Great post, thanks for sharing, and I look forward to seeing other additions to the list.
.-= Clive @ Melbourne Personal Injury Lawyer´s last blog .. =-.
These are some great tips…thanks for the article!
I think that from all those points number 5 is the most important. Without comunnication you’ve got nothing..
Nice tips, and I like the one about doing the orientation tour and having the new employees sign off on the papers. That is one of the safest things an employer can do for his company.
If you put in place a formal review program as you’ve listed in # 6, the importance of professionalism and courtesy of the hr-person go a long way. It is more the attitude or the spirit of intent that the employee picks up on either negatively or positively during the evaluation which often leads to misunderstanding or frustration
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Really Nice Tips. Thanks for sharing. I Believe that number 5 is the most important:
“Let employees know that you want to hear their complaints and want to resolve any problems in a timely manner by letting them know the company communiction process .”
Celexa Injury Lawsuits says
Great advices! Thank you