It's a nightmare for a business owner when the company gets sued by an employee, particularly if the company is a smaller business. Unfortunately, many more people in Texas as well as other states may resort to litigation than in years past. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, wrongful termination cases increase every year.
In fact, wrongful termination is one of the top causes for an employee to file a lawsuit, says Forbes. There are no grounds for these lawsuits in most situations, but it doesn't stop a former employee from trying. A business can protect itself from the possibility of a lawsuit by ensuring it does not violate equal rights and safety laws regarding wages and hours, discrimination, dangerous work conditions, harassment and workers' compensation.
There are other common reasons an employee may sue an employer. According to the California Chamber of Commerce, these may include:
- Failing to provide discrimination and harassment training to human resources and management
- Firing an employee who takes a leave of absence
- Using non-compete agreements with terms that are overly strict or unfair
- Classifying every employee as exempt from overtime, even if they aren't
- Allowing employees to choose their own hours and work days
It may not be possible to avoid an employment lawsuit in every situation, but with the proper training and smart employment decisions, businesses can greatly reduce their chances of ending up in the courtroom with a former employee. Consulting with an employment lawyer can help business owners prevent situations that commonly lead to litigation.