What does a business owner need to know to make sure they are protecting themselves from possible employee issues or lawsuits?
It really is a sad day when I get a call from a business owner saying, “I’m being sued. I’ve had a complaint from an employee with a state agency. I’m being sued by a customer via clients.”
Some of the things that people skip are making sure that they’re treating their employees the way that they’re supposed to be treating them, depending on the industry. This includes making sure that their training is up to date and making sure they have policies stating rules that are being signed.
If your employees come into information that you have that you want confidential, whether it’s trade secrets or clients’ information, make sure that they’ve signed an agreement saying that they’re not allowed to take that information. This could be nondisclosure agreements or confidentiality agreements. Your clients will appreciate this. It is protection in case somebody wants to try to go down the road and take clients from you, start-up another shop, or things like that.
Also, make sure that your workplace is set up so that it’s compliant with things like the Americans with Disabilities Act. Make sure older buildings are compliant. Most are just working and building the business while not even thinking about compliance because they don’t want to pay a lawyer to tell them this stuff.
Gaudy Law makes it affordable and easy. There are probably four or five little tweaks that you can do tomorrow to start protecting yourself. There is so much value in coming in and talking to us to make sure that your business is in the right place to be protected and be safe from lawsuits or other problems. You can’t be lawsuit-proof, but there is a lot you can do to make it a lot harder.
It is like medicine, you’re taking care of yourself and you’re eating right and you’re exercising, then bad things are less likely to happen. But you can’t prevent everything from happening. Just like a business, if you’re willing to take those steps, including some of the stuff we do on the business consulting side like asking, “How are you hiring employees? Is it your cousin’s friend’s butler that you just happen to meet one day and you thought he was nice?” Most of us know that doesn’t usually work out.
So, what process do you have when you onboard an employee? What are you having them sign? When there’s a separation, did you know you needed to give them a letter of that day, pay that day? These are things that most business owners don’t pay attention to. We pay attention to the business owner, and at a rate they can actually afford.