Owning a business isn’t easy, at the beginning you’ll find yourself working long hours to get things off the ground, but when you get things going it will be an incredibly proud moment. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you’ll find you need to expand and you’ll need to hire staff. It’s at this stage where things become a little trickier and you’ll have to implement some fundamental rules so you don’t run into any problems. Especially, to avoid getting sued.
There are many reasons why businesses get sued so understanding those reasons will be beneficial in setting up some guidelines to avoid it. Here we look at some tips to avoid that situation.
Breach of Contract
This is one of the main reasons a business can get sued and a breach of contract can mean literally anything if you’ve written it into your business. If you deliver goods that are damaged or late then it’s technically a breach of contract. If you fail to deliver goods altogether, then there’s another breach. A customer can even breach your contract with them by failing to pay for the goods after you have delivered them.
Mainly you’ll find businesses taking a breach of contract to court and that’s down to more in-depth reasons. Essentially, if you have a contract with someone, then do everything within your power to uphold it. If you think there might be a chance of breaking it throughout the process, then you should contact them and discuss some solutions before it gets any further.
Whilst in the workplace, either a customer or an employee can have an accident, and depending on what causes it, it can end up in a lawsuit. As an employer, you have a duty of care to all that is on your premises. As the Peoria personal injury lawyer explained, even a wet floor without a sign is enough to have a lawsuit placed on your desk. You must keep the place free from hazards for people to hurt themselves.
In this situation, you should have a clear cleaning schedule for your employees to follow with regular checks around the building. You should also have safety processes in place, including a fire alarm drill, and make sure everyone that works for you knows and understands what’s going on. The last thing you want is for someone to hurt themselves to the point where they can’t work.
Watch What You Say
Things have changed in recent years, and they have changed for the better. But some people are still stuck in their ways and don’t think about what they’re saying before they say it. This can lead to several different lawsuits when the intention of your words was nothing but harmless.
Discrimination in the workplace is completely unacceptable, and there aren’t many people that stand for it. Discrimination comes in many forms, including racial, sexual, gender bias, and religious beliefs. Make sure never to discuss these topics whilst in the workplace as those conversations can get out of hand very quickly, and without warning.
When interviewing someone, or when you’re in a meeting, it’s best to get your questions and topics checked over by an expert before going into it. You don’t want to say something that lands you in hot water when you didn’t mean it.
Harassment is another topic that’s become much larger in recent years and you could find yourself with a lawsuit even if you weren’t the one doing the harassing. Ensure you have guidelines for every member of your workforce to follow, and hire a human resources team, so if there are any concerns, they get dealt with professionally and efficiently.
Intellectual Property Rights
If someone you employ has an idea that you believe is going to advance the company and make it more profitable, you can’t just take it. There’s a way around this kind of situation and stealing is not the way forward as it will most certainly get you in trouble. People are very protective of their ideas and for good reason. If you want to use an employee’s idea, then you’ll have to make it worth their while. Pay them for it, or include them in the processes.
If you follow all the guidelines the government has put in place for businesses, then you shouldn’t find it too difficult to stay out of the firing line of a lawyer. Make sure your workplace has the relevant processes and keep your staff trained with regular training sessions. You don’t want to pay out money for something that could have been prevented.