As a business owner, there are a lot of things for you to keep in mind when it comes to running your business. From anticipating the changing preferences of your customers to keeping an eye on economic conditions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the various changes and trends that can affect your business. However, when it comes to things to keep in mind about your business, it’s important to also think about how best to defend it. This would cover threats such as break-ins, hacking, and, for the purpose of this article, what to do should your business be at risk of litigation. Below are some tips you can use to help prevent your business from getting sued.
Some companies become magnets for lawsuits simply because the company culture was poor and never put an emphasis on safety in the first place. This is a problem that starts at the top and can affect the entire business. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make safety a priority for both employees and customers at all levels of the company. Otherwise, you open yourself up to lawsuits, OSHA fines, and possible accidents and tragedies that could have been completely avoidable.
It would be insane to think you could catch everything on your own. When it comes to making sure every potential violation or accident waiting to happen is taken care of, you can bring in experts and consultants to tell you where you need to improve. This is a great way to immediately point out any problems you may have missed or take notice of something that’s begun to deteriorate.
You can also consult with attorneys to cover any what-if scenarios and answer any legal questions you may have. This is a great opportunity to strategize how to handle different issues, as well as ask how to proceed when it comes to problems you might be worried about.
Sadly, it may be impossible to prevent ever getting sued completely, as accidents do happen and when it comes to running a business you can’t be responsible for the actions of others. Thankfully, you can invest in public liability insurance in order to protect yourself and possibly save your company from going out of business.
Everything that is legally important to your business should be kept in writing and stored in case it’s needed in the future. Things like contracts, employee infraction documents, reports regarding workplace-related incidents, etc. need to be kept and stored in a safe place so they can be called on if needed. In fact, they could someday help to defend your company against a lawsuit.
These days, many lawsuits directed at companies result from matters concerning human resources. If someone can interpret discriminatory practices in hiring, firing, paying, training, disciplining, or promoting employees, you may become a target for such a lawsuit. There are many labor laws you must adhere to. Take extra care to ensure your HR department is following the law at all times and cannot be accused of discrimination.
Overall, you and your company should do everything you can to avoid a lawsuit. This should include taking steps like buying insurance coverage, working with consultants, experts, and lawyers to cover anything you may have missed or should plan for, making safety a regular part of the work culture, and documenting everything and storing it. These simple things could mean the difference between paying out a big sum in a lawsuit or being able to prevent or prove your company wasn’t at fault for an accident.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.