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Florida employers: What are the chances you could be sued?

Florida employers often go to great lengths to avoid any type of dispute with their employees. Not only can it be disruptive to workplace conditions, but a legal battle can be costly in terms of money, reputation and energy as well. 

Unfortunately, according to a recent report, roughly 20 percent of all small- and mid-sized companies will be faced with an employment-related lawsuit at some point. Further, any company in the U.S. has about a 12 percent chance of being named in these types of lawsuits. It may be helpful to know what types of claims most often arise in order to keep an eye out for potential problems and work to resolve them before they end up in court. 

The study, which is called the 2015 Hiscox Guide to Employee Lawsuits, identified several types of lawsuits of which employers are urged to be aware according to recent data. 

Some of the more common and costly lawsuits filed against businesses include:

  • Immigration and worker status claims
  • Discrimination against workers who are transgender
  • Issues stemming from same-sex marriage
  • Minimum wage violations
  • Harassment

These are complicated matters and many of them have been affected by recent changes in federal and state laws, which is one reason they are at the center of more claims this year. Employers may not have updated workplace policies yet or they have failed to get into compliance with the laws.

The study goes on to state that the median judgment in these cases comes in at a whopping $200,000. In 25 percent of the cases, the judgment topped $500,000. Small and mid-sized companies reportedly spend roughly $125,000 on average on these cases, some of which can be paid by insurance if a company is covered.

With all this in mind, it should be clear that business owners can save quite a bit of money, time and energy by working to avoid employment disputes in the first place. Working with an attorney to update workplace policies, review wage structures and respond when employee complaints do arise can all be effective ways of protecting a business and avoiding litigation.

Source: Insurance Journal, "What Are Chances a U.S Business Will Face an Employee Lawsuit?" Oct. 28, 2015

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