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Can writing protect your interests in a lawsuit?

As an employer, you continuously have things on your "to do" list. You may need to establish a budget, monitor productivity, create a sales strategy and comply with your franchise agreement.

You also need to manage your employees. In some cases, you may decide to separate an employee from the company due to performance issues. But do you know how to protect your interests if a former employee files a lawsuit against you for letting them go?

Proper documentation can guide you and your employees along the path to success

In addition to being costly, fighting a lawsuit can detract a great deal of time and focus from your company. And if you work to develop quality relationships with those who report to you, a lawsuit may seem hurtful on a personal level.

However, there are some ways you can minimize the risk of facing an employee lawsuit. Along with handling employee concerns in a respectful and timely manner, proper documentation may be crucial in supporting your case against potential allegations related to violations of state and federal employment laws.

Through proper documentation, you show how you try to help your employees increase their success within your company. When you document, be specific about:

· The conduct that needs to change

· Your expectations

· Your employee's reasoning for why the situation exists

· A plan for how you will help the employee increase performance

· The deadline by which employee performance or behavior must change

You should also clearly document the consequences your employee can anticipate if they continue to fail to meet expectations.

Since you cannot control your employee's actions, there is no way to ensure you will never face a lawsuit from someone you employed. However, your transparency and willingness to offer guidance through a troublesome situation can increase your chances of providing a positive and collaborative workplace.

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