Facing a lawsuit from an unhappy employee can cost you a lot of time and money. Not only that, but it can reduce staff morale and tarnish your reputation with customers and others in the business community.
Therefore it is worth spending time and investing money in measures that reduce the risk of litigation. This does not mean making employees sign contracts with clauses that effectively publish them for trying to raise issues with you. Rather it means measures such as comprehensive training and an employee handbook.
Here is how an employee handbook can help you:
Your set out what each side can expect of the other
If your employees understand their responsibilities and the limits of your responsibilities to them, it helps avoid confusion. For instance, if you state how holiday entitlements work, employees should not mistakenly accuse you of cheating them out of days when you refuse time off because they have already reached their limit for the year or they didn’t make a request for time off early enough.
You tell them how to seek help
Let’s say an employee has an incident at work with a co-worker, a supervisor or a client that has left them disturbed and feeling sexually harassed, but they do not tell you anything about it. If the employee manual told them they must report such incidents right away and where to start, that can protect you from liability if the employee later decides that you’ve failed in your duty to provide a safe working environment and wants to sue.
Employee lawsuits can be uncomfortable for all involved. Seek legal help to deal with them, or better still, to take measures that could prevent them.