Five More Ways to Guarantee a Lawsuit
How often have you heard about all the things you can't do? "You can't fire him; you'll get sued for sure" or "If you write her up, she's just going to bring a claim against." If you are in business, you should be thinking about the risks involved. Here are the last five of 10 common - but often forgotten - pitfalls that lead to liability and lawsuits for business owners, as well as tips to help avoid them.
- Treat everyone differently - inconsistent treatment of employees can cause feelings of unfairness or arbitrariness.
- Fire them when they get sick - employees with medical problems are protected by a number of federal and state laws.
- Let them use your computers for anything - some of the problems caused by improper use of computers in the workplace include harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims; loss or theft of intellectual property and trade secrets; licensing issues; electronic fraud or forgery; invasion of privacy claims; blogging; and even union problems.
- Fire them without any warning - although employers should be cautious about promising "progressive discipline," they should be reluctant to terminate employees immediately and without warning.
- Just make up reasons for firing them - employers should not risk their credibility by giving false reasons for terminations.
This article appeared in the November 7, 2008 issue of the Daily Journal of Commerce - Portland, OR.