Modern workplaces have vastly improved over the last couple of years. That said, such environments have grown to be a bit more challenging to handle. This is especially true when legal issues are involved. Business owners must be fully aware of all the legal aspects involved in running and managing a company. The main reason is that the consequences that result from legal issues can be powerful enough to ruin a company entirely.
What’s more, legal issues are present both in the workplace and outside of it, meaning that both consumers and employees can make legal claims against the company if they’re wronged in any way. Therefore, it comes down to your relationship with employees and customers, as well as how you treat them. That being said, here are a few of the most common legal issues in the workplace.
Discrimination at the workplace
Nowadays, discrimination is a common occurrence in the workplace. Employers have a tendency to be biased and they also tend to hire employees unfairly. In other words, gender, race, political views, religion and other similar factors shouldn’t be the primary reason why someone didn’t get the job even though they were qualified.
Another form of discrimination at the workplace originates from fellow coworkers. Judging a person for any reason is just plain wrong and employees must prevent, as well as punish such behaviour at all costs. If not, such discrimination can easily escalate into harassment and abuse, which means the company itself will be held responsible for not putting an end to such actions.
Injuries at the workplace
Injuries are common even at the workplaces that are deemed safe. Such occurrences can result in lawsuits, especially if you didn’t make the workplace safe enough and it cursed bodily injuries to employees. Of course, that’s the main reason the majority of employers have workers compensation insurance in place. This insurance policy will compensate employees for any medical bills and lost salaries and in exchange, they forfeit their right to sue the company.
However, at the end of the day, it’s up to the insurance company to determine just how much employees need to be compensated and sometimes they might not get a good deal. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to help them out in such situations. As an example, if you’re running an Australian-based company, you can consult with a compensation lawyer so they can advise employees on what to do next if the insurance company didn’t compensate them properly.
The most common legal issue at the workplace results from customer dissatisfaction. Consumers are fully aware of their rights and they won’t hesitate to capitalize if you’ve provided them with defective products or services. How dissatisfied employees are will determine the level of issues you’ll face. For instance, it can go anywhere from outrage on social media all the way to class-action lawsuits against your company.
This is especially true if multiple customers are experiencing an issue with your products. In order to avoid lawsuits and similar claims, make sure you apologize straight away and promise to remedy the problem. Also, you can offer extended warranties and allow customers to be compensated if there’s an issue. In other words, if you want to prevent customer dissatisfaction, as well as any legal issues that can result from it, make sure you cater to customer needs and expectations.
Patent issues and copyright infringement
Intellectual property is something every company holds dear. What’s more, the more aggressive companies can sit on patents and copyrights patiently waiting for an unaware competitor to copy their work. The lawsuits that result from such infringements can not only bury a business in litigation but also ruin them financially.
That’s why it’s very important to be aware of all the IP and copyright laws. This is especially true for tech-based businesses that want to develop new technology, ignorant of the fact that some company has already patented such technology and are saving it for future development. Trademark traps are unfortunately one of the most effective methods for companies to get rid of any unwanted competition in the market.
The law is omnipresent in the business world. Legal issues are not uncommon and they can pose a huge problem for companies. That is of course, if you engage in any misconduct or treat either your employees or your customers badly. That’s why it’s better to avoid such issues altogether than having to fight various claims at the court.