When you run a business, protecting your business from employment-related legal claims should be a priority. Employment-related legal claims are not only common, they also can be expensive and detrimental to a business. If you believe that someone has an employment-related claim against your business, or if you want to protect against possible future claims, reach out to an experienced lawyer today.
What Kinds of Employment-Related Claims Do Businesses Face?
Unfortunately, businesses face all kinds of legal claims related to employees and employment. For example, an employee or ex-employee could make claims regarding:
- Payment of wages or bonuses
- Injuries they suffered at work
- Discrimination and retaliation
- Sexual harassment
- Wrongful termination
- Classification as an exempt or non-exempt employee
- Unsafe workplace practices
- Interference with a prospective job
Even if you do not have any employees at your business, you still could face employment-related claims. You may face partnership and shareholder disputes. Or an independent contractor could sue for breach of contract. In addition, an independent contractor could claim that he or she should be classified as an employee under the law. Moreover, even prospective or former employees could have claims against your business. That is why seeking legal help to protect against possible claims is so important.
How Can Hiring a Lawyer Help Protect Your Business?
First, you could ask a knowledgeable business lawyer to review your business practices and documents to determine how you can better safeguard the business. For example, a lawyer could make sure your business documents, contracts, and employee handbooks provide the strongest possible protection for the business. Also, a lawyer might review your hiring and pay process to make sure that it complies with local and national laws. More typically, though, lawyers get involved once a claim is made against a business.
If you believe that you may face an employment-related legal claim soon, reach out to an experienced business litigation lawyer right away. Don’t wait to receive a lawsuit or demand letter. A lawyer can help your business take steps to prepare for the claim. Knowledgeable business lawyers will analyze your business’s risk from the potential claim. They may need to review documents or emails relating to the potential claim to assess your exposure. They also may need to interview your team.
Also, a business lawyer can advise you and other stakeholders on how to respond to a claim. Possible responses will vary depending on the circumstances. You might choose anything from making a substantial settlement offer to doing nothing and ignoring a demand. If the claim is a lawsuit filed in court or an arbitration demand, however, you must respond – and you may only have a short time to do so. In that case, it is even more important to seek competent legal advice right away.
Do You Have to Go to Court for an Employment-Related Claim?
No, often you do not have to go to court. You might be surprised to learn that many employment-related legal cases never go to trial. Reaching a private settlement is extremely common. So is using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as arbitration and mediation.
ADR methods tend to be more informal, less time-consuming, and possibly less expensive than court. In addition, private settlement or ADR provides another advantage for businesses – privacy. A lawsuit in court may bring unwelcome media attention to issues that a business would rather keep private. Settlement or ADR can incorporate confidentiality provisions that protect your business. Ask your business law lawyer which method of dispute resolution would be best for your specific circumstances. You may have options that you had not considered.
As you can see, employment-related claims can be complicated, and they can cost your business valuable time and money. When you face employment-related legal claims, you need an experienced, knowledgeable business litigation lawyer to advise you.
Let Us Help
At Henke, Williams & Boll LLP, we seek the best solution possible for our business clients. As experienced Houston business lawyers, we consider your unique circumstances when working to resolve employment-related claims your business may face. Our advice is not “one-size-fits-all,” but is tailored to your unique situation. To set up a consultation, call (713) 936-5521 or use our convenient Contact Form.