When working to help an employee resolve a complaint, whether a discrimination accusation or a wage and hour issue, you may feel you have the matter under control. But what if your employee disagrees?
If the other party feels you are not doing all you can to resolve their complaint, they might surprise you with an unexpected lawsuit. It is wise to address employee complaints swiftly and thoroughly, but at the same time, keep your eyes open for these signs of possible litigation.
Abrupt written communication
Has the employee basically halted verbal communications, preferring to speak with you through texts, letters or emails instead? If so, it may mean they are building a chain of evidence, especially if their communications are unusually detailed and precise.
Social media tirades
A public outburst alleging workplace mistreatment on social media is often a sign of frustration and a potential precursor to legal action. Some public rants may work in favor of the employee but could also worsen their position and improve yours.
Personnel file request
Did the employee recently ask for a copy of their personnel file? It may mean they are gathering evidence for a legal appointment. The personnel file can be an excellent source of evidence for both sides in an employment dispute.
Sudden legal knowledge
An employee who suddenly cites New Jersey employment law better than you may be gathering legal information for a possible lawsuit. It is probably time to start preparing for potential litigation if you notice an abrupt increase in legal language and knowledge.
Although you and your employee could still resolve the complaint without litigation, it is wiser to prepare for a worst-case scenario. Seek out guidance from a legal representative to begin building your own case.