Whether you are an employer or an employee, there are numerous legal issues in the workplace that you should be aware of. Whether it’s health and safety, discrimination or security, there are various aspects that everyone needs to be aware of and responsible for.
This is an area that can be potentially very difficult to deal with. For example, an employer may choose between two different candidates for a promotion. One candidate has the necessary qualifications and experience for the job, while another is less experienced. If the less experienced person got the job and is white while the other person is from a different racial minority, then there is the very real possibility that a company could find itself being accused of discrimination.
If someone is injured in the workplace, then the employee may need to claim compensation. There is the idea that they will be compensated in order to receive the money they would have got had the employee been able to do their job.
Where this can be contentious is the level of responsibility. For example, if an employee didn’t follow health and safety procedures, then it may be argued they should not be compensated because the accident was their fault. By contrast, if an employer does not provide sufficient protection or does not follow health and safety procedures, then they risk being accused of negligence.
Health and safety
Health and safety is a big part of avoiding worker’s compensation claims as this can help avoid people getting injured in the first place, such as providing masks to prevent inhaling smoke, etc.
If you work with the public, this is also important. It may sound obvious to put a sign down when the floor is wet, but this needs to be done promptly in order to prevent someone slipping.
Who owns ideas in your business? This may sound obvious, but if you are developing products, this can be a potential legal minefield. Equally, it is important to check that you don’t name a product after something that is already out there as well. It sounds obvious, but some big-name companies have faced legal difficulties because of this.
Sometimes a product is faulty and needs to be returned. This in and of itself can happen and is not necessarily a major issue. However, if a company makes it difficult for customers to return faulty items (or does not make their return policy clear), then this can open up problems and potential lawsuits.
If a company is not seen to promptly deal with repeated issues, then this can be very damaging to their reputation, which is why it is vital that companies quickly recall any products that are repeatedly shown to have defects.
We can help
These are just a few of the aspects you need to be aware of when running a business. It is important to work closely with employees and provide relevant information, as well as having as much protection as possible. To find out more, please contact our legal specialists today.