Minimizing Chances of Getting Sued by your Employee

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By: Earth Shah, Esq.

If you are an employer, especially in California, you are likely familiar with headlines about flurry of lawsuits and might fear that your company is next.  Employee dissatisfaction can lead to lawsuits – and an expensive headache for you.  In California and other employee friendly states, you don’t want to be sued by your employee because even if you win, you will lose. You lose productivity, valuable time, money, maybe suffer reputational damage within industry, and invariably your employee morale.

Much like other uncertainties of life, there is no way to guarantee that your organization will avoid lawsuit but there are some preventive steps you can take to minimize your chances of getting sued.  Studies suggests that employees who are motivated are happier and more productive and less likely to sue for any perceived or actual harm they suffer.  Here are some ways to keep your employees happy:

  • Listen to Employees: Research shows that employees who feel that they are valued are often loyal and satisfied with the organization. While you do not have to adapt or implement every employee’s idea, your organization should have avenues to make sure that the employees are heard and willingness to implement their ideas if applicable. Employees who feel that their ideas are valued develop more loyalty and satisfaction. Encourage them to speak and listen when they do.
  • Inspire Solidarity: Workers who feel a sense of purpose and camaraderie with fellow co-workers tend to be more productive and satisfied. This can be promoted via group solidarity activities such as lunch get-togethers or team building exercises. The trust and friendship created through these activities often translate into employees who go above and beyond their duties for the organization.
  • Recognize and Reward Work: Contrary to popular belief, employees are not solely motivated by compensation. Countless studies have shown that while compensation is a big factor in employee’s satisfaction, other factors often contribute to their sense of belonging.  One of the top motivating factor for employee is appreciation of work well done.  When an employee does a good job, reward them with public praise and appreciation.  Communicate with them (and others at the organization) that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.  For many employees, this provides a sense of satisfaction in the organization that often substitute for compensation.

While following the best practices might not insulate your organization from an employee lawsuit, it will minimize chances.  And if your organization does get sued, we at Chugh, LLP are here to help.

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