As a business owner, it is crucial to understand the legal implications that come with terminating employees. Wrongful termination, in particular, can be troublesome. Here are some ways you can be proactive to protect your business from wrongful termination lawsuits.
Comply With Labor Laws
The best way to prevent wrongful termination lawsuits is to ensure that your business is complying with labor laws. This means understanding federal and state employment laws, including anti-discrimination laws, wage and hour laws, and labor union regulations. Review and update your employment policies and procedures regularly, and train your HR staff and managers to implement them consistently.
Avoid Arbitrary Terminations
Arbitrary termination refers to firing an employee for no justifiable reason. To protect your business from wrongful termination lawsuits, you must have a legitimate reason for letting go of an employee, even if you do not share the full reason with the employee. This could be poor performance, violation of company policies, misconduct, or any other valid reason. Ensure that your business has proper documentation of an employee’s poor performance or policy violations so you have evidence that can be used to defend your decision to terminate the employee.
Be Prepared for Termination
When termination is necessary, handle it with care and be prepared. Conduct the termination meeting in private and have a witness present to document the conversation. Be clear and concise in your communication, and avoid making personal attacks or comments that could be used against you. Provide the terminated employee with written notice of the termination, their final paycheck, and their entitled benefits. Consider offering outplacement services or support, such as career counseling or resume building, to help the employee transition out of the organization.
Implement Clear and Concise Policies
Having a clear set of policies in place is essential to avoid wrongful termination lawsuits. Start by establishing a clear code of conduct that employees must adhere to. This can include rules and regulations about acceptable behavior and performance standards. By providing your employees with well-communicated rules and clearly defined job responsibilities, it will be easier to hold them accountable to those standards. That way, if you eventually have to take action against an employee, you will have a solid foundation to support your case.
Document Employee Performance and Conduct
Documentation is critical for fighting wrongful termination lawsuits. Make sure that employee documents, such as disciplinary actions, performance reviews, and attendance records, are kept safe and secure. In case of a lawsuit, the documents will serve as evidence and back up the reason for the termination.
Document every conversation you have with an employee regarding their job and conduct. If an employee is underperforming or behaving negatively, take note of the date, time, and details of each infraction. Having a compilation of these details helps to provide tangible evidence when you are faced with a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Seek Legal Guidance
One of the best ways to protect your business is by seeking legal guidance. You do not have to wait until you are facing a lawsuit to look for legal advice. Instead, have a lawyer on retainer to review policies and procedures and provide guidance on how to deal with potentially risky situations. This provides an additional layer of protection and ensures that, if faced with a lawsuit, legal professionals can provide the necessary guidance to protect your business.
Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Protect Your Business From Wrongful Termination Lawsuits
Protecting your business from wrongful termination lawsuits starts well before any litigation. Get the legal help you need today by speaking with our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.