Business Law 101: How to Reduce Your Exposure to Lawsuits

Lawsuits are expensive, and we live in an increasingly litigious society. Business owners often cringe at the thought of having to deal with a legal claim. For some small businesses, a lawsuit could completely undermine their business, which may mean that it has to close its doors. Companies large and small should take steps to minimize their exposure to potential liability. You can do that by using the following tips.

1. Take a hard look at employment practices.

Employment lawsuits have seen an uptick in recent years, particularly those involving accusations of harassment and discrimination. In addition, there are a host of employment laws that you must follow as a business owner, and it is easy to get it wrong. Think about your current, everyday culture in your office. Do your actions or the actions of your management open yourself up to a lawsuit?

If you don’t already have an employee handbook in place, you should create one. Your employee manual should cover your policies regarding things like PTO, dress code, and working hours. It should also address your disciplinary procedure and what employees should do if they are being harassed. Having these policies and following them can be very effective in cutting down on employee lawsuits.

2. Never draft contracts on your own.

It is tempting to draw up your own agreements or simply agree to contracts when they are presented to you. However, you may be creating a deal that is illegal or agreeing to something that could cost you thousands of dollars down the road—and you often do not realize it. Having an experienced attorney review your contacts can save you money in the long run. It is definitely worth the investment now to avoid a lawsuit in the future.

3. Always think safety first.

Both customers and employees can be injured if you shirk your responsibilities to keep your physical business location safe. Potholes in the parking lot and uneven flooring can lead to slip and fall accidents that create a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

In many businesses, OSHA regulations apply to your space as well. Violating these safety protocols can not only lead to injuries, but they can also result in investigations, fines, and bad press. You can avoid these issues by knowing what your requirements are and following them closely.

4. Get a litigation risk analysis.

The best way to cut down on litigation is to have a third-party come in to evaluate your exposure. The attorneys at Bergstein, Flynn & Knowlton offer a litigation risk analysis service. This service allows you to become aware of potential litigation threats long before they start costing you time and money.

Contact our team for more information our litigation risk analysis or for any other business-related legal needs. Call (646) 760-3579 to schedule a free consultation to get you started.

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Bergstein Flynn & Knowlton PLLC

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