Wrongful termination lawsuits are the result of employees arguing that they were dismissed unfairly or illegally. In Ohio, employers do hire in good faith, but not every relationship turns out to be positive. The employee may think it’s the employer in the wrong and sue. Wrongful termination suits are often a draining, expensive and time-consuming process. No business wants to spend effort and money on these court proceedings, so here is how to avoid them.
How hard is it to prove wrongful termination?
A lot of states are “at-will” states. In these regions, employers have no obligation to provide a reason for firing an employee. However, every business needs to know the guidelines for wrongful termination. Employer-side employment law litigation requires documenting what leads to letting an employee go.
For what reasons can an employee claim wrongful termination?
There are legitimate reasons that an employee can challenge a termination. They include:
• The employee has job security: If there’s a document that promises job security, they are not subject to at-will employment.
• There have been breaches of fair dealings or good faith. The ABA says that in good faith and fair dealings, neither party performs in a manner “that will destroy or injure the right of the other party to receive the benefits of the contract.”
Avoiding wrongful termination
The best way to avoid wrongful termination lawsuits is to have a prevention plan in place. Include the following steps in your employment contract.
Let employees know what’s expected
From job description through training, supervision and reviews, you should reinforce the expectations. You should also have signed docs that track the process.
Be empathetic and compassionate
Troublesome employees are often hard to connect with. Besides showing concern for being let go, you can offer severance packages with a clause that there can be no legal action.
Keep liability insurance
Business liability insurance costs far less than a lawsuit. This insurance is a smart move for any sized business.
Obey the law
Use HR to make sure you’re always in compliance before you release an employee. You’re not allowed to fire an employee for discrimination or in retaliation, so avoiding this can help prevent lawsuits.