Houston associates Rachel Smith and Amie Berg co-authored an article for the July 2007 edition of GROWTH magazine titled, "Avoid Disgruntled Employee Lawsuits by Following the Golden Rule."

The authors state: "From our perspectives as a 'managementside' employment lawyer and a commercial litigator, we frequently find that lawsuits against our clients could have been avoided. More often than not, a claim brought against a company by a current or former employee is the unfortunate consequence of a poor judgment call in the workplace; lack of trust and communication between management and the rank and file; failure to give serious thought to a simple, but critical employee relations matter; and all too often, personality conflicts. What is an employer to do?"

Smith and Berg continue: "While many employee complaints do not involve facts that would result in a finding of liability and damages against an employer, it is critical that even the most trivial complaint be
investigated in order to keep such claims from turning into lawsuits."

The authors detail simple steps a company can take to avoid potential employment related lawsuits, including:

  • Effective policies and training;
  • Legal compliance of company policy and practice;
  • Reporting procedures;
  • Prompt remedial action;
  • Policies and practices that reflect company culture and values;
  • "The Golden Rule"—Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Smith and Berg conclude: "From the day an employee completes an application, to the day they collect their final paycheck, employees who feel respected and valued are more productive, collegial, and less likely to drag your company to court."

To read the full article from the GROWTH website, click here. (PDF format; page 24).