Employment disputes: today's challenging terrain for employers

Today, perhaps more than ever, employers face challenges in providing a productive work environment which also protects workers.

One prominent concern is the need to have clear and fair employment policies in place concerning workplace matters.

Even casual news followers know that the on-the-job environment in American workplaces is under a strong and adverse spotlight these days. Claims alleging employers' shortcomings routinely arise. They involve entities ranging from private businesses and medical facilities to schools, churches and more.

Indeed, news reports spotlighting worksite harassment, discrimination of various types, safety concerns, wage-and-hour violations and many other matters seem to be a daily occurrence.

How can a Kentucky company prepare for such an environment and best ensure that its liability and litigation risk is minimized to the fullest degree possible?

Securing the proven counsel of an established employment law firm with a demonstrated record of success representing employers is a good start.

Two things can be immediately said about an experienced legal team.

First, it will have broad experience. We note that the attorneys of Rajkovich Williams Kilpatrick & True in Lexington, for example, "handle a wide variety of employment matters from pre-hiring through termination  and all issues in between."

Second, experienced legal counsel will never rush to litigate a matter in dispute. Although that might ultimately be the preferred strategy to best protect a client's interests, that determination can only be made after careful consideration of the alternatives. Those might include informal discussion with an employee, mediation or arbitration.

Strong employer-employee relationships and workplace interactions are key to company success. The timely and on-point input of an established legal team can help promote positive outcomes in matters that threaten workplace stability.

Employers should work with legal counsel to develop policies for the workplace. These policies should be reviewed at least annually to ensure they remain current with the law and address any emerging issues. Clear policies, consistently enforced, can prevent many disputes.

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