One of the most important things that managers and supervisors need to know is how to avoid potential lawsuits in the workplace. Many of the lawsuits companies face are easily avoidable, and many are due to simple misunderstandings or failure to adhere to procedures. Hence, knowing some of the common complaints and how to prevent them is essential to being a good manager. It also saves your organization a lot of money, time, and hassle.
Accidents and Injuries
These are extremely common lawsuits, and it doesn’t take much to avoid them. A good start is to hire a professional to do a hazards analysis on the premises. This will alert you to any potential danger in the work environment and any requirements for signs and safety equipment or gear. Establish and clearly mark fire exits and assembly points and perform drills regularly. Keep every floor well stocked with a standard set of fire extinguishers. Make sure all employees are well trained and thorough with safety procedures and processes. If any workers have to perform manual labour or handle dangerous materials, see that they always have appropriate workwear on at all times. You should also regularly check on the employees to see that they are adhering to the rules at all times.
Although complaints of discrimination are sometimes fabricated or even misunderstandings, they are still a huge problem. Discrimination based on race, gender, religion, and age are just some of the kinds of complaints you might come across. Incidents can range from an offensive verbal statement to an act of violence. One way to reduce (and ideally eliminate) such incidents is to hold diversity training sessions for employees, which will educate them on appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. Any reports of discrimination should be taken seriously, and your human resource department should immediately handle the matter.
Similar to discrimination, harassment can take the form of an inappropriate comment or a physical attack. Diversity training can educate your employees on harassment as well, but it is also good to be able to regularly reiterate guidelines through an employee handbook or training videos. Reported incidents should be investigated with care and in a thorough manner, and a resolution must be made. As long as necessary action is taken once the truth has been ascertained, you are unlikely to have any serious problems on your hands.
Hiring, Firing, and Evaluations
These three essential parts of any organization are of extreme importance when it comes to avoiding a lawsuit. You have to make sure that any termination of services, employee assessments, and recruitment is not biased or discriminatory. There are many ways to ensure this, including third parties to perform these duties. Now, doing this would mean more objective decisions, but it won’t be helpful if the third party does not understand your company’s needs and goals. Another good measure to take is to have multiple forms of assessment in the evaluation process, such as self-report questionnaires and behavior rating scales.
These are just a few of the major issues organizations can face with employees, and there are many more measures you can take to prevent each of them. The best thing you can do, however, is to get proper legal advice.