Mayhall Fondren Blaize

Prevention of business litigation is good business for companies

Business litigation can include the vast category of employee litigation that comes up in Louisiana and other jurisdictions under present laws and precedent. A single lawsuit against the company by an employee can in itself involve many months of tedious preparation, the investment of valuable resources and an emotional toll that may linger for a much longer time. In comparison, one can appreciate the far greater toll to the company that may result from a class action representing dozens or hundreds of employees. That kind of business litigation assault can drain a small or medium business in many ways.  

There are some common mistakes and failures with respect to employee relations that a company should strive to master and prevent. Having a master protocol in place to avoid the pitfalls of employee litigation is vital. First, it is highly prudent for the company to know all of the laws and regulations dealing with employee rights, wrongful termination, and discriminatory employment actions that are major vulnerabilities to any small or medium business.

The U.S. Department of Labor provides a list of many relevant laws and regulations that should be known and mastered by the business. It is necessary for a strong and growing company to abide by all civil rights laws and regulations, both state and federal, and to maintain a culture of respect for minorities, women, disabled persons and older workers. All regulations that are relevant should be posted on a prominent bulletin board for employee consumption.

It is necessary for the company to have a proactive human relations department that will act to prevent conflicts and to make sure that employees have outlets at all times to express where there may be legitimate complaints under Louisiana or federal standards. A culture of caring for employee progress and security in their career quests is all-important. In that respect, all employees must be treated equally and managers must be trained in all necessary protocols to have a professional and meticulously fair approach to employee relations. Following this framework will save substantial resources in not having to invest in bitter, demoralizing business litigation matters.

Source: Huffington Post, "Minimize Employee Lawsuits: 7 Best Practices for Small Businesses", William Morrow, Oct. 3, 2016

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