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Employer Liability Test

How liable are you to an employee lawsuit? Take this short true-false test to determine how vulnerable your business is to an employee lawsuit.

1) You don't need an employee handbook as long as you're a fair employer.
False - Every business should have a handbook that explicitly states employment rules and employee rights.

2) You can discharge an employee if they give you a good reason.
False - Employment-at-will is very limited. You can't afford to discharge an employee for any reason - good or bad. Terminating an employee is a painstaking process that requires building a valid case.

3) Just because you say something doesn't make it a promise.
False - Employers can be held accountable for any statement they make that an employee feels is a promise.

4) You can overlook an office romance as long as the work gets done.
False - The difference between "romance" and "sexual harassment" often depends on feelings, and sexual harassment discrimination claims are the most difficult to defeat in court.

5) Occasional angry or abusive outbursts aren't a cause for concern.
False - Employers cannot afford to tolerate any abusive, angry or aggressive behavior in the workplace. You must take immediate and decisive action against any employee who acts in this manner.

6) Not every on-the-job injury qualifies as an ADA disability.
False - The definition of disability is very broad and increasing all the time. It's wise to treat all workplace injuries as an ADA disability.

7) It's up to you whether an employee is exempt or not.
False - The requirements for establishing an employee exemption from over-time or other requirements are the least understood and most violated of both State and Federal regulations. Always get professional advice in these matters.

8) You can discuss personnel matters as long as you make it confidential.
8) False - You must be extremely cautious not to damage an employee's reputation. As a rule, you never discuss personnel or personal matters of one employee with another.

9) When you hire someone you're entitled to know everything about them.
False - While employees are not entitled to complete privacy, employers must create a safe workplace environment where employees can feel that their possessions are safe and they will be free from undue surveillance.

10) If your employees want to unionize, there's nothing you can do.
False - It's never too late to improve employee relations. There are many legal ways to defeat the often overbearing, or outright illegal means often used to intimate workers to unionize.

11) Under certain circumstances its okay to layoff a pregnant employee.
False - Many employees are protected by State and Federal discrimination laws. Among these are pregnant women. Never discharge one without preparing an exhaustive and clearly non-discriminatory reason.