How Are You Preventing HR Lawsuits?

A study done by Jury Verdict Research on employee complaints leading into employee lawsuits was done last year.  It shows that the median settlement for all employment related lawsuits in 2009 shot up by 60% from 2008.  The average settlement amount of these lawsuits was $326,640.  These shocking numbers reinforce the need to implement accountability in HR without restricting employees’ productivity.

Many HR Departments concentrate on how to avoid being sued by employees filing grievances.  Though this procedure may be necessary, there are ways to go about it that do not encroach onto employee rights and still allows employees the opportunity to grow and flourish.  When employees are held accountable by being told to create the infamous “paper trail”, it reduces their opportunity to grow themselves within the organization because they spend time creating the paperwork and they also spend time worrying about being held accountable.

On the other hand, how does an organization prevent unhappy employees from retaliating against the company?  Employees have to be held accountable for their HR issues.  The difficult part is determining where to draw the line between basic necessities and being overcautious.  There are a few things you can do in HR to anticipate certain problems and handle them proactively.

-The study done by Jury Verdict Research says that your company will most likely pay the highest settlement in retaliation claims, especially after they see a supervisor who took a dislike to an employee after they’ve filed for discrimination.

-If the claim goes to a jury, your company will pay most for discrimination cases.

-The claim that your organization will see the most is sex or race discrimination.

Knowing this can help alert HR departments to higher priority situations.  Go over your HR policies and make sure you have a program or supplemental service in place to ensure that you know how to deal with managing your HR and knowing when it can become a major problem.

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