Every employee has the right to work in an environment free of discrimination and other unfair practices. As an employer, you likely have an HR team or other experts in place to try and ensure that your company remains on the right side of the law. That said, sometimes an incident can occur despite your best efforts and training. If you believe you might be hit with a discrimination lawsuit, or even one that is on a class action level, there are some things you can do to try and regain control of the narrative. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Hire an Attorney Before You Do Anything Else
Once you know you are navigating a delicate situation, you need to have legal counsel on your side. If your company does not have an in-house legal team, you need to hire an employment attorney in your area who can walk you through the next steps and stay with you throughout this process. A good attorney will make sure you do and say the right thing going forward to keep the problem from getting any worse.
Communicate If Possible
When employees threaten lawsuits, it's usually because they feel like their voices are not being heard. You may be able to stave off a lawsuit by simply bringing people together for a discussion. Reach out to all interested parties and see if you can arrange a meeting. Make sure your HR team and your legal counsel are present. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, you could try having your attorney reach out with written communication and an invitation for a response. Remember that even if you don't feel you did anything wrong, it still might be better to settle out of court than risk having a class action lawsuit filed.
Start Combing Your Records
While you are working on opening a line of communication with the upset employee or employees, you should at the same time look to your internal records to begin planning your defense. If open communication does not work, you may not have any other choice than to play hardball. Be sure that any company records related to the case are preserved as you may be required to show them in court. Comb through these records for something that bolsters your side of the argument. For example, if the employee has a history of being disciplined for issues outside of the current situation, you could use this as evidence to demonstrate that you are in the right.
Contact a local labor and employment class action attorney today for more information.Share