Treating Employees Fairly and Respectfully: A Vital Business Practice
Minimizing Risk With Difficult Employees
In the world of employment relationships, there's an adage worth remembering: "Just because it's legal doesn't mean it won't get you sued." Over the years, we've fielded countless calls from individuals with stories of employment gone awry. Whether a violation of the rules occurred or not, the common thread among these callers is feeling they weren't treated honestly or fairly by their employers. In this section, we delve into why fair and respectful treatment of employees is paramount, even when navigating challenging situations.
Prioritize Fair Treatment
Legal principles are essential, but the significance of interpersonal relationships cannot be overstated. Whether you're faced with the need to terminate an employee, dealing with an employee's illness or disability, addressing workplace complaints, or handling wage and hour issues, it's crucial to consider not only the legal aspects but also how you deliver decisions and news. Fair and compassionate communication can save you both money and aggravation in the long run.
The Cost of Discontent
An employee who feels wronged and motivated to seek legal recourse can lead to significant financial costs for your business if they succeed in their claims. Even baseless lawsuits are expensive, distracting, and not where most business owners want to allocate their valuable time and resources.
Case in Point
For instance, consider a scenario where an employee had her cell phone confiscated and personal data examined after she disclosed an underlying health condition. Years l ater, after we helped her get a substantial settlement for her claims of disability discrimination and overtime, she disclosed that she probably never would have even called us in the first place if that situation had been handled differently.
We have also spoken with hundreds of employees who felt their termination was unfair, even though it was probably legal, but were motivated to reach out to an employment lawyer because the termination itself was handled poorly. In many cases, even if there is no claim based on the termination, these employees discover other legal claims, including wage and hour violations, that they have right to pursue.
In conclusion, treating employees fairly and respectfully, even in challenging situations, is not only a moral imperative but a sound business practice. It can prevent costly legal battles, maintain a positive work environment, and save valuable resources. Remember that the way you communicate and handle difficult decisions can make all the difference in fostering positive employee relations and minimizing legal risks.
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