An employment lawsuit is not something that any business wants to consider. However, it is vital to prepare for all potential possibilities. Just as a business buys insurance for possible theft or disaster, they need to proactively try to prevent employee lawsuits. How can businesses avoid getting sued?

Here are 5 things companies can do to avoid lawsuits

It’s impossible to predict what people will do, however, these five practices will lay the groundwork for positive human relations in any company. Companies that practice these principles will be more likely to avoid disgruntled employees and costly lawsuits.

  • Create strong bonds with employees. Treat your employees well. People treated with respect and generosity are less likely to go after their employer. Show them you care in the way you look after them.
  • Handle disputes and issues promptly. If an employee expresses a concern, discuss it with them in a timely manner, brainstorm solutions and resolve the issue. Follow up with them later to see how the solution is working. If someone files a complaint, investigate and document it properly.
  • Be a team player when it comes to performance issues and document appropriately. If there are performance issues with an employee, talk to them about it. Work with the employee on improving the issue and document the actions you take. Coach the employee, if necessary. Give warnings or put the employee on probation next, if the coaching doesn’t seem to be working. The employee should know what’s happening at every stage of the process. Nothing should be a surprise. If termination becomes the only option, discuss it with your attorney and make sure that all the actions you’ve taken have been legal and appropriate.
  • Comply with all Federal, state and local laws relevant to your business. Review the pertinent websites and the Department of Labor guidelines as a refresher.
  • Have a clearly written employee handbook to guide employee actions and your own. If the rules are clear, it makes it that much easier to execute your company’s expectations and policies. You might consider having your employees acknowledge the receipt of the knowledge in the handbook with a signature.

Lawsuits are costly in money, time and reputation. These proactive practices can help prevent most problems.