One of the first things you should do when facing potential lawsuits from an employee is review your employee handbook.
A well-written employee handbook can help in two different ways: It could provide you with evidence to back up your side of the dispute, or it could make you aware that your employee has a valid reason to complain allowing you to take remedies that reduce the chance they take things to court.
How can handbooks back you up?
Sometimes employees think they are right when they are not. They believe they are entitled to certain things. Or they think that they have not done anything worth firing them for.
You can use your handbook to outline policies regarding holiday pay, sick days and similar things. You can also use it to outline your company’s rules and the consequences of breaking them.
You can also use it to outline the protections you offer workers
If a worker tries to blame you for sexual harassment they suffered, a comprehensive section outlining your approach to prevent it and the means through which employees can report it helps to show you have made an effort to stop it from happening.
Sometimes, reviewing the handbook may make you realize that an employee has a valid complaint, and that, too, is fine. It is better to discover that now, since trying to fight a valid claim could cause you more problems.
Whether making your first employee handbook, updating a current one, or reviewing the one you have after an employee complaint, it’s wise to get legal guidance.