Starting a business does not mean that you will only need to deal with paperwork, think of strategies or manage operations but you must also take into account the legal responsibilities you will have to address in the future.
Businesses, whether it is a big corporation or a small business, face lawsuits once in a while and you are not an exemption. If you establish a business, it is also best to look into the possible lawsuits you will encounter while running your business. You might want to look into each of the lawsuits mentioned below to understand the possibilities that your business may encounter.
Breach of Contract
This lawsuit can vary in different forms such as failing to provide proper goods, not paying for a good after receiving it, revealing a trade secret, and many more. Your business can be sued by another business for breach of contract. However, customers can also file for a breach of contract case against your business.
This might be the most common lawsuit filed against businesses across the country. If you fail to comply with the terms of the signed contract no matter how small or big the issue is, you can be held liable for it and get sued.
You might not be aware that discrimination against your employee is a liability. You can be sued based on allegations of harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and discrimination. Following are the acts that can be a ground for an employment lawsuit discrimination:
- Civil Rights Act: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers to discriminate against their employees based on race, religion, sex, nationality, and color.
- Equal Pay Act: This is an act that requires the employer to provide an equal wage amount to men and women who perform similar amounts of work in the same workplace.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act: This act protects pregnant women from discrimination by their employer due to pregnancy or any related conditions.
- Age Discrimination under the Employment Act: Employers should not discriminate against their employee’s age 40 years or older because of their age.
- Americans With Disabilities Act: Title I of the said act forbids employers to discriminate against qualified employees who are suffering from a disability.
When it comes to employment discrimination lawsuits, the mentioned are the most common acts that are being filed against employers. You will also have to remember that every state has its own version of the anti-discrimination laws which is why it is best to consult a local attorney to help you better understand the law in your state.
Additionally, you can also be sued based on harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Harassment is based on unwelcome conduct towards the employee based on their sex, religion, race, disability, age, nationality, and genetics.
Employers can also be sued if they fire, demote, harass or do any similar conduct against the employee as a punishment for filing a lawsuit or discrimination complaint. Wrongful termination on the other hand means that the employer fired an employee based on age, religion, and the likes.
Violations In Wage Law
Another lawsuit that you may encounter will be based on violations of state, federal, or local wage law. This lawsuit is governed by the Federal Labor Standards Act who sets the minimum wages, oversees child labor, overtime pay, and recordkeeping.
If you as an employer failed to compensate your employee according to the set minimum wage of the FLSA, your employee can sue you. Make sure that you know how much is the minimum wage in your state so that you can ensure you are giving your employee the proper rate.
Torts are lawsuits filed against businesses for unintentional torts (negligence) and intentional torts. Both the employer and employee can be responsible for the negligence that causes other party injuries, harm, or damages which is why torts are usually filed by third parties against either the business or the employee.
This is the reason why you must educate your employees for this type of lawsuit so that they can also be aware and avoid taking actions that can result in injuries or damages to someone’s property.
Discrimination That is Not Based On Employment
This type of discrimination lawsuit can be filed by your business’ customers, patients, vendors, suppliers, or anyone who is connected to your business. Some of the common scenarios of non-employment discrimination is when customers complain about the business’ discrimination based on their race, color, age, religion, etc.
This is another thing that you must include in your employee training, to treat customers equally no matter what race, religion, or color they have. It is your responsibility as the employer to educate your workers when it comes to such sensitive matters.
There are still so many lawsuits you will encounter as a business owner aside from what was mentioned above. The following are just the most common ones that you will likely encounter sooner or later. However, you can avoid lawsuits from happening or control them if you will just give time in educating yourself about the law governing your business. With the help of your attorney who will guide you through the dos and don’ts in business legal matters, you will be at ease knowing that you are steering away from committing any mistakes.