Employment law is a nasty mine field that many employers, big and small, often find themselves navigating –sometimes unsuccessfully. It often seems like one simple misstep can lead you into a virtual quagmire of lawsuits. Therefore, its not surprising that many employers often cringe when it comes to dealing with their employess on such issues as termination/discharge, return to work, contracts, etc.
Employee-based lawsuits often result from wrongful terminations, breach of contract, and issues involving the following:
Family and Medical Leave Act. The FMLA protects employees from an employer’s interference with requested leave and retaliation for exercising FMLA rights.
The Americans With Disabilities Act – prohibits adverse job action against an employee who is able to perform the essential functions of a job with reasonable accommodation.
Workers’ compensation. Although workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, its a given that an employee unable to work because of a workplace injury will receive workers’ compensation benefits. And if a workers’ compensation settlements occurs it can result in long-term increases in insurance premiums or significant expenditures for businesses that are self-insured.
While it can be daunting, you need to have a basic understanding of employment law and what you can and can not do as an employer. If you are having difficulty taking it all in, then do not hesitate to contact an employment law attorney for advice. After all, like the old adage goes, “A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. In this case, the cure would be a nasty lawsuit worth hundreds of thousands of dollars versus a few hundred dollar consultation fee. You be the judge it terms of where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.