What to Do When an Employee Sues You
It can be unsettling and a little hurtful when, despite the fact that you treat your employees really well, one of them brings a lawsuit against you. Having a lawsuit brought against you can compromise the integrity of your business.
Remaining CalmWhile it can be difficult to remain calm in the face of an employee lawsuit, it is imperative to both the outcome of the case and company morale that you refrain from getting angry and instead take steps towards preparing your case. At Garcia & Gurney, ALC, we help California employers prepare for employee-initiated lawsuits by advising them on what to do following notice of the lawsuit.
How to Prepare for an Employee-Initiated LawsuitWhile we always recommend taking proactive measures to mitigate lawsuits altogether, there are some instances in which you simply cannot avoid them. When this happens, there are steps our Pleasanton business attorneys recommend taking:
1. Call an Attorney: As soon as you receive notice of the lawsuit, contact a Pleasanton business lawyer. An attorney who is well-versed in employment law can help you navigate the entire legal process, beginning with the discovery of evidence (employment records, contracts, and the like). It is important to not delay because there are deadlines that must be met to protect your company.
2. Refrain From Speaking to the Employee: You may want to call the employee and question him or her about why he or she filed a lawsuit. You may even feel the urge to explain yourself. Do not. If you become angry during your conversation, it will only make things more difficult on you. Once you hire your attorney, let him or her do all of the communicating for you with the employee and his or her lawyer.
3. Gather Evidence: Collect everything from pay stubs to timesheets and from employment contracts to company policies. Depending on the nature of the suit, these documents may help to reduce the legitimacy of the employee's case.
4. Contact Your Insurance Carrier: Employment lawsuits can be expensive. If a past or present employee sues you, contact your business liability carrier to see if your policy covers employee lawsuits. If it does, you may not have to pay a dime in attorney fees, court costs, or other fees associated with the suit.
5. Review Your Policies: Though reviewing your employee policies may not help at present, doing so might help you avoid lawsuits in the future. Learn from your first employee lawsuit to hopefully make it your last.