Wednesday, March 30, 2016

7 tips for employers, from your friendly neighborhood plaintiff lawyer

I found a blog post in which a plaintiff-side employment lawyer shared the 7 things employers don’t do, that they should be doing. The three that jumped off the page to me—

  • “With every new potential client, I ask if they received a warning before being terminated. As soon as I hear ‘yes,’ it does slow us down in the march toward litigation.”
  • “Juries expect some level of progressive discipline—they think it should be required.”
  • “People don’t run to attorneys because they think they’ve got a great legal case. They come to see me because they’re angry about they way they were treated, especially on their way out.”

What’s interesting is that the law generally requires that employers do none of these. For an at-will employee, you do not have to give any warning before firing, provide progressive discipline, or treat an employee fairly. Yet, juries will expect that you have.

What does this tell you? That you best be living the Golden Rule. Do unto your employees as you would have your employer do unto you. If you treat your employees as you would want to treated (or as you would want your wife, kids, parents, etc. to be treated), most employment cases would never be filed, and most that are filed would end in the employer’s favor. Juries are comprised of many more employees than employers, and if jurors feel that the plaintiff was treated the same way the jurors would want to be treated, the jury will be much less likely to find in the employee’s favor.