Orlando EPL Insurance: Reducing Wrongful Termination Lawsuits
With the state of the economy in recent years, companies have been forced to more aggressively reduce costs through organizational restructuring and downsizing. With that comes an increase in unemployment claims and wrongful termination lawsuits.
While it should be noted that the only way to truly eliminate your business’s responsibility from wrongful termination claims is with an Employment Practices Liability policy, there are steps you can take to help your company reduce the possibility of these claims occurring.
Document. Performance reviews should be a routine part of your business practices. Be sure to have both written and digital copies of the dialogue that was shared between the reviewer and the employee.
Have written guidelines outlining reasons for termination. In the case of layoffs, let your employees know the process used to select workers for termination. Have your legal counsel review your recommendations to ensure that no unintended adverse action is being taken against a protected group.
Remain objective. Whenever possible, have an HR leader or senior manager review the downsizing or performance-related terminations before taking action.
Be clear and specific. If you are vague in your explanation as to why an employee is being terminated, they may jump to their own conclusions, and will be more likely to file a wrongful termination claim.
Provide Warning. If possible, let the employee know a few weeks in advance about the termination, so they can begin to consider their next steps while they are still employed. If you can, offer them a severance package and/or some type of job placement assistance.
Handle allegations professionally. If an employee does claim to have been let go unfairly, treat it seriously and investigate properly. It’s a wise idea to at least consult with your legal counsel.
Be sensitive. Losing a job at any time is hard for an employee, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Employees that are treated kindly will likely have less of a desire to retaliate.
At Newman Crane, we understand that employee-related lawsuits are on the rise — from wage and hour disputes to sexual harassment and wrongful termination. As a business owner today, the possibility that you will be sued at one time or another by an employee is very real. Call our office at (407) 859-3691 to learn more about Orlando EPL insurance, as well as our other Orlando commercial insurance options.