Resolving Employee Disputes Before You are Sued
Preventing employee lawsuits and other legal claims is more challenging than you might think for a business. When your company is experiencing a staff problem such as an employee who continually comes in late, frequently takes days off, or is not performing his or her job, your first inclination may be to terminate that person.
Confusion Surrounding “At Will” Employment
Many employers believe that because employment is “at will,” meaning an employee may be terminated with or without cause, that their actions against an employee are justified. However, even when the employment relationship is “at will,” some employers hold on to problem employees out of fear that the employee will make a claim against them or sue them for workplace discrimination.
A situation such as this is difficult to resolve without support from legal counsel. If you are facing this challenge, it is important to seek legal advice from an attorney as to the proper way to terminate employment and to understand fully the legal risks associated with such a termination.
Legal Counsel for Employers Resolving Employee Disputes
An experienced California employer lawyer can assist your business by:
- Reviewing your documentation
- Helping you with your discipline process
- Determining whether an employee has a protective status (i.e.: federal and state sick leave laws, disability laws, Title VII laws, etc.)
- Evaluating what types of claim an employee could make, and the status of your company’s documentation to fight such a claim.
Often, we find that employers take action first and then belatedly seek legal advice when the employee makes a claim.
At this point, employers often realize that it is costly to resolve a claim after mistakes have been made. A knowledgeable employment law attorney cannot change the facts but will defend the employer and try to get the best outcome, minimizing monetary and reputational damage.
Relevant and timely legal advice regarding employment issues helps minimize problems before they arise. An attorney can help you understand the various federal, state, and local employment laws and make critical changes to your business practices to avoid further claims in the future.
The Importance of Documentation
Any employment conflict could potentially result in litigation. It is important that you, as an employer, comply with California law in all aspects of your business’s employment policies and procedures, including such items as policy training, complaint investigations, hiring and promotion practices, management development, and employee training. You must also keep documentation of these as proof that you are following California law. Your good faith efforts to prevent employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and maintain a safe working environment may serve you well – creating a shield or defense to employee litigation.
If you are an employer in the East Bay Area including the communities of Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Milpitas, or Newark, California seek legal advice and counsel of a local business lawyer today.