For employers, having your employees sue you is never good. Employment litigation can be expensive and very time-consuming. If you are being sued for harassment or failure to provide reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you and other managers or supervisors may have to undergo hours of depositions. You may also have to locate and provide emails, internal memos, and other documents during the discovery.
This can be distracting and unpleasant, removing your focus from your core business. Recent announcements from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have indicated their increased enforcement activity involving harassment in the workplace. This means all employers should review their personnel practices to ensure they comply with all federal labor and employment laws.
While Michigan did not rank in the top ten states for employment litigation, any employer in the state should also review their employment practices for compliance with any applicable state labor laws.
Some employers may attempt to go it on their own, and may believe they understand their duties and responsibilities well enough that they do not need to bother with the time and expense of hiring an attorney to review their hiring practices or employee handbook. They may feel that because they have avoided litigation this far means that their practice and procedures are in compliance.
This can be an expensive mistake, and the costs of a single discrimination or harassment case, which could have been avoided, may exceed many times the cost of such a review. Like visiting a doctor for an annual physical can head off any unforeseen health problems, a regular review of your employment practices can help minimize the risk of costly employment litigation and allow you to focus on running a successful business.
Source: “Employee Practices Lawsuits Continue to Increase,” Denise Johnson, November 17, 2015