Reduce the Chances of a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit By Following These Tips

wrongful termination, Wheaton business law attorneyIf you are a business owner, you are probably an extremely busy person. The last thing you need is to deal with an employee suing you for alleged wrongful termination. Not only are wrongful termination lawsuits stressful and time consuming, they can also be extremely expensive. The average amount received by terminated employees in a wrongful termination or employment discrimination claim is just over $37,000. Most wrongful termination claims involve an allegation that the employer breached the employment contract or that the termination somehow violated a state or federal employment law. One of the best ways to avoid a discrimination suit or wrongful termination claim is to follow proper procedures when firing employees.

Make Sure All Employees Understand the Company’s Policies

Employees should be fully aware of the company’s policies regarding employee expectations, discipline, and termination. Many employers find that writing policies and procedures in a comprehensive employee handbook is one way to ensure that employees have a written record of rules and expectations. An experienced business lawyer is a tremendously valuable resource when it comes to formulating an employee handbook that gives you the best chances of avoiding a lawsuit.

Conduct Performance Reviews and Document Everything

Unless an employee has committed an especially egregious act that necessitates an immediate termination, firing an employee should be a last resort. An employee who is underperforming should be made aware of the ways in which he or she is not meeting expectations and given guidance on how to improve. Conducting regular performance reviews is a great way to let an employee know when he or she is missing the mark. Make sure you keep documentation of the dates of these reviews, what was discussed during the reviews, and how you and supervisory staff have made efforts to help the struggling employee.

Have a Witness Present at the Termination Meeting

If you have reason to suspect that the employee will not take the termination well or that he or she will attempt to bring a discrimination or wrongful termination claim to spite you, have a witness present during the termination meeting. If you have human resources staff, make sure a member of your HR team is present. If you do not have a dedicated human resources worker, ask a higher-lever employee to sit in on the meeting. A witness will be able to corroborate your version of the events if there is an allegation that you said something you did not actually say during the meeting.

Contact a Wheaton Business Lawyer

For help drafting employment agreements, company policies, hiring practices, and employment handbooks, contact an experienced DuPage County business law attorney from Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. We will help you formulate company policies and contracts that give you the best chances of avoid any future business litigation. If you are the subject of a wrongful termination claim, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf. Call our office at 630-665-2500 and schedule a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/344232

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-to-fire-an-employee.html

How Business Owners Can Motivate Employees Without Breaking the Bank

employees, Wheaton business law attorneysAs the owner of a small or medium-sized business, you probably do not have unlimited money to do the things you would like to do. After paying your bills, honoring your contracts with suppliers, and covering payroll, you might not have a whole lot left at the end of each month. This is especially true of companies in their fledgling stages. Without extra money, you may find it difficult to think of ways to motivate your staff and to keep your employees working hard. While it is true that workers appreciate financial incentives like bonuses or gift cards, you may be surprised to learn that there are other effective strategies for motivating your staff that cost far less than you might expect.

Be a Leader, Not Just a Boss

Have you have ever been to a restaurant that was obviously short-staffed? It might have been obvious by the frazzled look on your server’s face, not to mention longer-than-usual wait times and other indications. Can you remember what you saw the manager or owner doing? If he or she was cleaning off tables, carrying trays, or mopping up spills in the bathroom, there is a good chance you were seeing a solid leader, not merely the boss. A “boss” might have been content to give directions and tell others how to handle the problem while the “leader” was not afraid to get dirty and help.

The same idea could be applied to your business, and the way in which you lead matters. When you treat your staff as if they are stupid and replaceable, you will probably see that type of work from them. If you assume that your employees are intelligent, focused, and capable of doing their jobs—to the point where you are willing to dig in alongside them and help out—your attitude is likely to spread. Productivity will probably increase, as well.

Maintain a Positive Environment

Your full-time employees may spend almost as many waking hours at work as they do in their own homes. Most people would not choose work over home, but that is no reason to maintain an atmosphere of tension and unreasonable expectations. Allow and encourage your team to bring things in to make their workspace comfortable and “theirs.” Talk with your employees, and truly listen to their concerns, needs, and accomplishments. If a staff member makes an error, do not be too critical—especially if the mistake was a result of your employee trying to help the business. You should obviously correct the mistake, but avoid berating or embarrassing the person. Chance are good that he or she feels bad enough already.

Remember That Employees Are People Too

Work should certainly be your staff’s top priority while they are on the clock, but some jobs are simply tedious. Give your employees the opportunity to think of new ideas for how to their jobs better. If the ideas have merit, try them, and see what happens. Those who are closest to the task often have valuable insight on improving productivity.

You should also be sure that your employees have sufficient breaks throughout the workday. Nobody should be expected to go hard for many hours at a time without a chance to relax for a few minutes. A short break every couple of hours allows your staff the chance to check in with their families, have casual conversations, and simply feel human for a little bit before getting back to work.

Seek Qualified Help from a Wheaton Small Business Lawyer

At Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, we offer trusted advice and skilled representation to business owners in a wide range of business matters. If you have additional questions about keeping your staff motivated, addressing issues with your staff, or any related concerns, contact an experienced DuPage County business law attorney. Call 630-665-2500 for consultation at our law firm today.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/08/21/37-ways-to-keep-your-employees-motivated-from-a-37-year-old-entrepreneur/

https://www.inc.com/bubba-page/7-motivations-at-work-beyond-money.html

Illinois Upholds the Right to Yelp – What Business Owners Should Know About Online Reviews

DuPage County business law attorneysBusiness owners are used to word of mouth publicity. They even know how to encourage it in the right context – but today's consumer is different. He or she uses social media and the internet to determine where they will shop, eat, or purchase goods. Online reviews, such as those left on review sites like Yelp, play a key role in their decisions.

Many business owners have struggled with this new platform, and some have even attacked the right to leave reviews online, claiming there is no way to verify that the consumer even visited their establishment. However, the law has upheld a consumer's right to use such sites. Learn what this could mean for your business in the following sections, and discover how an experienced business law attorney may be able to help boost your company's bottom line.

The Consumer's Right to Yelp and Your Business

Because consumers have the right to leave online reviews without the fear of retaliation, business owners should handle their bad reviews carefully. Never address a customer or reviewer in a negative fashion, and attempt to rectify the issue if you can. Other consumers may see this and make a different decision about your company, based on what they see. Business owners should also avoid making any retaliatory statements, and they should understand that they do not have any form of recourse against reviews.

Using a Bad Review as Constructive Criticism

In addition to respecting the consumer's right to leave a review and addressing the issues they experienced at a business establishment, business owners can attempt to use the review as a form of constructive criticism. Doing this can ultimately improve the experiences that your consumers have, and it can boost your company's bottom line. It may also clue you in as to whether an employee should be terminated, coached, or needs additional training.

There may also be gaps in your employee handbook that have created confusion about an employee's job duties or your expectations of them. Again, you can use the review to mitigate and potentially solve such issues within your company. In areas such as this, a skilled attorney can help.

Contact Our Wheaton Business Law Attorneys

Whether your company needs help with clarifying its employee handbook or you need assistance in dealing with a legal matter, contact Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Dedicated and experienced, our Wheaton business law attorneys have more than 40 years of experience and knowledge in the small business sector. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule your personalized consultation with us today.

Source:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/01/02/illinois-law-negative-yelp-reviews/