5 Common Workplace Lawsuits and How to Avoid Them

5 Workplace Lawsuits to Avoid

Employers often assume that by treating their employees well, they are not violating any employment laws. However, there are common causes of action that employees can bring against employers. To minimize the risk of workplace lawsuits, employers should be knowledgeable about state and federal laws that impact their business. Here are five common lawsuits and tips for avoiding them:

  1. Personal injury
  2. Overtime
  3. Discrimination
  4. Harassment
  5. Wrongful termination

While these may seem obvious, the laws can be nuanced and employers may overlook important details that could help them prevent lawsuits. Read on for insights into these common workplace issues.

1. Personal injury

Employers can be held liable for work-related injuries caused, at least in part, by their negligence. In 2012 alone, there were 2,976,400 instances of workplace injury*. To avoid such lawsuits, employers should carry worker’s compensation insurance, promptly address safety issues, monitor hazards, follow safety guidelines, and provide proper employee training.

2. Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets requirements for overtime pay. To prevent lawsuits, employers should accurately track employee work hours and ensure systems are in place for accurate record-keeping.

3. Discrimination

An employee can sue an employer for unfair treatment based on protected classes, such as gender, race, age, or disability. Employers should document protocols, policies, and procedures, and retain records of employee performance, poor behavior, and tardiness to defend against discrimination claims.

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4. Harassment

Creating and distributing an employee handbook with clear harassment rules and enforcing them is an effective way to prevent workplace harassment. Employers should also provide disciplinary actions for violators.

5. Wrongful termination

While not a specific cause of action, wrongful termination refers to various actions leading to an employee’s unfair dismissal. Employers can defend against claims by maintaining accurate records of employee performance, discipline, and communication.

Steps Employers Can Take:

  • Implement systems to track employee work hours accurately
  • Create and review an employee handbook
  • Maintain detailed records of employee performance, discipline, and communication

While these steps do not guarantee an employer won’t face lawsuits, they can significantly reduce the risk. Remember, prevention is key.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice. Consult an attorney before making any legal decisions.

*Statistic source removed to keep the review concise and impactful.

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