Have you ever wondered why people sue their employers? A lot of the time, people incorrectly guess it’s to do with money. An employer has an obligation to the employee, to look after them, to ensure they are safe, and to ensure that they are treated fairly. It may come as a surprise but they’re for more reasons than money as to why people see their employer. It is vital that as a business owner and a leader you are aware of all of the reasons you could be sued.
If you are an employer, you need to support your staff from the moment they signed the contract until the moment that they leave you. You would expect them to contact the slip & fall accident lawyers if they hurt themselves in the workplace, so why wouldn’t they call for other legal advice if you are mistreating them? Ideally, you wouldn’t be mistreating them at all! Let’s take a closer look at 3 reasons you could be sued as an employer.
- You are a bully. People will sue somebody if they feel they are being mistreated and treated like garbage. People are your most vulnerable asset. As an employer you have to make sure that you are treating every single one of your employees as equals. Nobody likes to go into the office and feel that they are out of place, and you don’t have to make people feel that way. Every employee understands that they are a piece of your business, a cog in your machine. However they are still people, and they deserve to be treated correctly and treated with respect. This is the number one reason people look for a lawyer. If they are emotionally damaged and feeling scared or worried to come to work every day, they will seek legal advice and find where they stand. Take note: always treat your people with respect no matter who they are or what level they are at. The chances of you being sued personally will decrease as a result.
- Because they get fired. Did you know that some employees will sue you if you fire them? depending on the circumstances, of course! Most people don’t know the law but they do know when something seems fishy. For example, if your employees have made a complaint and whistle blown on your company, and then you fire them, they will be within their right to sue you for that because it constitutes a breach of contract. If somebody complained that they were sexually harassed in the workplace, and then they find themselves without a job within the same week you can expect a call from the lawyer; they would be within their rights to sue you.
- You kept their wages. If an employee leaves your business, you are unable to withhold their wages for any reason. This is known as unlawful withholding of wages and you should be paying people for their time – even if you don’t agree with it. The only time this is okay is if you have checked your contract, spoken to your human resource team and spoken to a lawyer yourself. There are very few circumstances where you are able to withhold wages and it should be clearly set out in the employee contract if this is the case.