What to Do If Your Company is Being Sued By an Employee
Conflict between employers and employees can happen. Unfortunately, in some cases, disputes can be difficult to resolve. They may even result in litigation. If your company is facing a lawsuit from a current or former worker, it is imperative that you know how to take action to protect your rights and interests. Here, our Miami employment law attorneys highlight four important steps that you need to take if your company is being sued by an employee.
- Stay Calm and Do Not Take the Lawsuit Personally
First and foremost, you should never take an employment lawsuit personally. While this is less likely to be an issue for large employers, mid-sized and small businesses are often made up of a relatively small number of employees and managers. As a result, people work closely together—sometimes for years or even decades. In this type of scenario, it can be challenging for business owners and managers not to take an employment lawsuit personally, particularly if the claim involves an allegation of discrimination or mistreatment. Fight the urge to take legal action personally: Make sure you handle things formally.
- Preserve Relevant Documents and Records
When an employment lawsuit is filed, employers need to ensure that they gather, preserve, and organize all relevant documents and records. You do not want to lose access to any of the evidence that could potentially help you defend the legal claim. In too many cases, useful evidence is simply lost.
Additionally, as an employer/defendant, you have a duty to retain relevant evidence. Should the case move towards litigation, employers may be required to produce certain evidence during discovery. As described by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, discovery is a process whereby parties can obtain evidence from each other.
If a Florida court determines that an employer destroyed or negligently failed to preserve relevant evidence, it can make an inference in favor of the employee. In other words, the court can simply assume that the evidence in question would have supported the employee’s case—even though that might not have been the case.
- If You Have a Policy, Notify the Insurance Company
Many Florida employers have insurance policies that provide some protection against lawsuits, including employment law claims. If your firm is being sued by a current or former employee, and you have such a policy, it is crucial that you notify the insurance company as quickly as possible. Often, these policies allow employers to select their own counsel. If your policy contains this right, you should invoke it.
- Get Help From Florida Employment Law Attorney
An attorney will be able to review the specific nature of the case and help you understand your legal rights and legal options. At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida employment lawyers have the knowledge and experience to represent employers. If your company is facing a legal complaint from a current or former employee, we are available to offer reliable guidance. To get a strictly confidential employment law consultation, please call us today. With conveniently located offices in Miami and West Palm Beach, we are well-positioned to serve employers throughout Southeastern Florida.