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Want to avoid lawsuits? Make your own case in advance so you can be more confident a law firm won’t want to take your ex-employee’s case. Plaintiff attorneys assess the opportunity before choosing to represent a client: your company’s policies and practices can discourage their interest. You can make sure it would be a bad investment for the attorneys.
Every employer has a legal duty to exercise due diligence in hiring. What If you don't do background screening? According to a recent California survey, employers lose 60 percent of negligent hiring cases with verdicts averaging about $3 million, and average settlements around $500,000 plus attorney fees. An employer can be sued for negligent hiring if it hires someone who it knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, was dangerous, unsafe, dishonest, or unfit for the particular job. Courts tend to assume that if you could have known, you should have known. So how much checking should you do? The jury will tell you.
Recently the American Bar Association released their statistic on Employment Related law suits. 127% increase in 2014 over 2015. But the more impressive number is that it is 900% increase over 5 years ago. This number isn’t driven by employers who have gone out of their way to purposefully do something expecting to get sued. Employers make mistakes and given how litigious we are, employees sue. Terminations are the spark to many employment lawsuits. And for each of the six kinds, there are some common steps employers can take to defend themselves if a termination is challenged in court:
Negative employee attitudes and less-than-professional behavior can poison the workplace atmosphere. Here are six solutions for real-life issues from subscribers on handling problem employees before morale suffers.
Many companies either have a progressive discipline policy in place or follow one in practice. And it's not hard to see why: Used properly, progressive discipline gives managers the tools they need to make fair, consistent, and legally defensible disciplinary decisions. Because it's based on communication and collaboration, true progressive discipline also helps employees improve, which is the ultimate goal of any disciplinary system. But how do you use progressive discipline to get results? How do you decide what type of discipline is appropriate in a particular situation? And how do you deliver that disciplinary message in a way that produces actual improvement?
Lawsuits by employees against their employers have grown tremendously in the past decade. Sometimes those lawsuits have merit, sometimes they don't. But, either way, those lawsuits cost time and money to fight-money that is better spent on product development, training and raises. Even worse, some laws-including federal overtime law and the Family and Medical Leave Act-allow employees to sue their supervisors directly, meaning a manager's personal bank account could be at stake.
There is nothing like a gentle reminder or a “cheat sheet” to look at when counseling or disciplining employees. The key thing to remember is that although nothing can absolutely insulate you from claims of discrimination or wrongdoing, there are steps you can take to get to the ultimate goal of improving an employee’s performance or, alternatively, terminating an at-will employee when counseling and discipline haven’t facilitated acceptable improvement.
The hiring process has a way of creating a lot of paperwork. A single job opening can bring a flood of resumes, cover letters, and applications from a horde of hopefuls. Once the decision has been made, the question becomes what to do with the pile of documents the hiring process generates.
Many employers rely heavily on “at-will” laws to terminate employees. In theory, if at-will employment applies, you can fire a worker at will, which means for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. However, if a termination decision is challenged, it can be difficult to show that a bad reason or no reason was not discriminatory, particularly if the affected employee belongs to a protected group.
Over the last few weeks we have covered some of the biggest topics in trends we are seeing in employment litigation. These are issues that you can take precautions to protect yourself. This week we cover E-Cigarette Use in the Workplace, Reasonably Accommodating Pregnant Women and Wellness Programs Conflicting with ADA, GINA and FMLA . In 2015 employers will face a number of challenging issues when it comes to managing, monitoring and maintaining their workforce. An employer that does not comply with its legal obligations faces numerous costs, including the time spent preparing and responding to litigation, investigating potential claims as well as harm to its business reputation.