Reasons Why Employees Sue Their Boss
This is not a complete
and exhaustive list of all employees that bring lawsuits against
their employers, but merely a summary of the kinds of things that
I have observed that prompted employees to file a lawsuit. These
are some common reasons for why employees sought to sue their employer
or actually sued their employers:
of Clarity on what is expected from the employee
quit and then sue their employers, because of a lack of clarity
of what is expected from the employee. Employees seek legal
advice when the hours, the pay, the tasks, or other terms
are unclear. They apparently feel exploited when the scope
of their duties exceeds the expectations that were established
during the orientation.
Employers should be
clear as to what is expected of employees from the very beginning
when the employment relationship is established. For some reason
or other employees often feel exploited when their expectations
and actual duties are conflicting. Employee's quitting or contemplating
quitting often seek legal advise when they feel they have been exploited,
and even though there might not be a basis for a lawsuit on the
grounds that the employee feels exploited, a skilled attorney will
know what questions to ask and a lawsuit may result.
Terminating a Long Term Employee
Long term employees often seek legal advice when they are
terminated, regardless of what the reason is or even if there is
no reason. Long term employee's often feel the employer owes them
for their long term commitment to the employer, and often they feel
they have a right to the job. Generally there is no actionable cause
of action against the employer, when the employee is terminated,
but if the employer failed to comply with all rules especially rest
periods, meal breaks, and over time pay, the employee would have
a viable lawsuit. Termination of long term employees should be done
with great caution, and the employer should make an effort to end
the relationship on good terms.
Money Hungry Employees. Employers
should be very careful when selecting new employees that give the
impression they are money hungry. Employees asking for raises, advances,
or filing bankruptcy, or otherwise indicating they are in need of
money, often seek legal counsel shortly after they quit.
These are often the same type of employees that have a drinking
problem or drug addiction. If the employer failed to document everything
pertaining to meal breaks, rest periods, and actual hours worked
a viable lawsuit might result. Money hungry employees often look
to the legal system as a means of obtaining money.
Hiring Employees as Independent Contractors.
Most independent contractor agreements are not valid,
because they lack something or because the employer is acting
as an employer and the contractor acts as en employee. Employees
should not use independent contractor agreements to hire employees.
Independent contractors should be independent contractors
and employees should be employees.
Using an independent contractor's agreement is a problem that
come back to hurt the employer. Depending on the circumstances
the employer is not safe for about four years after the fact.
There are also many
disadvantages to the employee hired as independent contractor and
as they try to remedy the disadvantages they often seek legal counsel.
Over Religious Employees.
Some over religious employees often seek to advance their
religious beliefs at every opportunity. This leads to problems for
employers, because religion necessarily involves potential liability
for religious discrimination, it could be the religious advocate
or it could be other employees. Employer's should address the issue
of religion and make inquiry as to whether there is a need to accommodate
religious beliefs or practices.
This should be done very early on and there should be clarity so
as to avoid conflict among employees. The employer should be sensitive
as to religious views of all its employees and be certain to avoid
any type of discrimination or perhaps even refrain from commenting
on religion in the workplace to avoid any type of conflict that
could result in a lawsuit.
No one likes to be mistreated and mistreated employees often
seek legal counsel. Such things as bounced payroll checks, late
payroll checks, bank fees on for cashing payroll checks, unauthorized
payroll deductions, and other such things irritate employees and
often the employee is right and the $5 dollar fee to cash a payroll
check at the employer's bank can turn into a $30,000 judgment against
Employers are not required to be generous, but they are required
to be fair. The Labor Code imposes many requirements pertaining
to fairness and at the minimal employer's should adhere to the law
to minimize the number of potential lawsuits. These are six reasons
that why employees are prompted to seek legal counsel from my firm
which often leads to viable lawsuits. No one is immune from a lawsuit,
but employers should be sensitive to their actions and employee
needs. The reason for the call to an attorney is usually not the
basis of a lawsuit, but is what initiates the contact with an attorney
that often results in a lawsuit.
Contributing Author: Attorney Arnold Hernandez
represents clients in car accidents, truck accidents, dog bites,
overtime claims, and unfair home loans in the cities of San Marcos,
Escondido, Vista, Oceanside, Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Indio,
Riverside, and throughout Southern California. http://www.arnoldhernandez.com
Hernandez Representing Clients Throughout Southern California.