New business owners in New York who plan to have employees must take proper precautions to ensure they do not face a lawsuit down the road. Wrongful termination is one of the biggest reasons ex-employees sue, so it is worth taking the time to put systems and regulations into place to prevent this from happening.
According to Forbes, there are six major reasons employees bring lawsuits against their former employers. One is they do not understand why they faced termination. Another related one is being fired for bad performance when there was no documented proof. Failing to follow the company's policy is another reason employees sue. Other reasons have to do with the treatment of complaints. Employees expect employers to investigate their complaints in an expedient manner and, when they are not, they can use this against the employer in court.
FindLaw outlines some procedures and policies employers can implement to help prevent these lawsuits from occurring. One is to construct a thorough employee handbook that outlines how management deals with disciplinary issues and other detailed policies regarding employment. It is always a good idea to have an attorney look this handbook over to make sure legal safeguards are in place.
It is important to document all communications with employees, especially those that relate to disciplinary measures, warnings and personnel decisions. Other things employers should do to minimize future litigation include:
- Conduct on-time employee reviews and use narrative evaluations
- Review terminations that involve long-term employees or employees in protective classes
- Standardize termination and communication procedures
- Use at-will language