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Tips to Avoid Employee Lawsuits as a Small Business Owner

 Posted on April 09, 2024 in Employment Lawyer

IL business lawyerOwning a small business can make for a pleasant work environment. You likely know all of your employees fairly well and are able to develop a stronger bond with your team. Small businesses are often able to keep a more casual workplace than larger corporations. You may not have the need for the kind of detailed policies governing the minutiae of your work practices that a company employing hundreds of people might. However, it is important to maintain certain professional standards in your office or workplace to protect your company against potential lawsuits. Small business owners should consult with an experienced Chicago, IL employment law attorney frequently to minimize the risk of litigation.

Ways to Reduce the Chances of a Lawsuit by an Employee

Tips for minimizing the possibility of being sued for a labor or employment violation by an employee include:

  • Make and enforce policies - While you might not feel that you need official policies like a set number of paid sick days if you only have a few workers and have not had a situation where anyone has been out longer than a few days, you should have them. Having uniform policies that apply to all employees equally means that no employee can claim disfavorable treatment due to their membership in a protected class. 
  • No HR? Work with a lawyer - If your company is too small to have a Human Resources department, you should instead have an ongoing business relationship with an employment law attorney. An outside attorney can protect your company just like an internal HR department could by addressing potential employee problems and helping you develop strong policies. 
  • Maintain strict professional behavior guidelines - Close-knit employees may develop more personal relationships that can start to involve joking, pranks, or lighthearted teasing. However, these activities can very quickly cross the line into inappropriate behavior that could open you up to a harassment claim. Do not allow employees to make jokes that are sexual in nature or pertain to a person’s race, religion, or other protected traits, even if the employee does not seem to take offense to this behavior. 
  • Institute fair hiring practices - An attorney can help you create a fair hiring system that reduces any implicit or unintended bias. 

While there are certain practical differences in how a small business operates as opposed to a large corporation, the law applies to both types of entities alike.

Contact a Chicago, IL Employment Law Attorney

The Miller Law Firm, P.C. is experienced in working with small business owners to help them protect their companies against possible employee lawsuits. Skilled Cook County, IL employment law lawyer Richard Miller will work with you to help establish and maintain policies that will reduce the risk of labor-related claims. Contact us at 847-995-1205 for a complimentary consultation.

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1051 Perimeter Drive, Suite 400
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: 847-995-1205

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