As a startup entrepreneur you are the object of envy and all eyes are on you, closely following your success as you give shape to your dreams and forge ahead. Before the euphoria can engulf you, it is prudent for you to take a step back and assess your current standing, especially in terms of compliance with all statutory regulations.
As you know, there are many regulations that you are required to follow and any misstep can land you in serious trouble. The serious trouble can be in the form of a lawsuit against your company for deficiency of service or for violating established laws or for complaints of harassment or discrimination or personal injury in the workplace. Any lawsuit is detrimental to your image, business and finances. You incur huge expenditure in fighting a lawsuit and moreover it is a digression you should avoid at all costs.
Get good advice upfront
You should seek legal advice and understand all laws that impact your business. Depending on the type of business (products or services) you are in, your legal counsel will update you on the various laws. You should make it a point to enlighten your management team and other employees on the legal aspects that are within the framework of their responsibilities. This would enable your team to be careful in what they say and do. This can go a long way in minimizing any conflict zones between your company and vendors and between your company and customers and between your company and statutory authorities.
Sexual harassment is a major problem
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a constant source of irritation that can escalate into a full blown legal issue. Sexual harassment complaints in the United States as reported by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) numbered 7,609 in 2018, an increase of 13.6% as compared to the previous year. Typically, harassment issues crop up because of misuse of power by managers. These can be resolved by building great interpersonal relations in your company. You should explain the importance of maintaining great camaraderie in the workplace. Further, you must highlight the downside of harassment to both the individual and the company if any legal action is pursued by the victim. You should also set up protocols and complaint redress systems in-house to amicably settle any complaints well before it escalates into a legal issue.
Beware of slip and fall accidents
Did you know that every seven seconds one worker is injured on the job according to the National Safety Council of America? Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common source of personal injury. This means that your startup too is not immune from injury at the workplace. You can definitely take proactive steps to create a safety atmosphere by promoting a safety culture in your organization. You can identify the safety hazards and accident prone areas in your workplace and sensitize the employees to safety practices. This will go a long way in minimizing injuries at work. When you compromise on public safety which results in an injury then you are fully accountable, advises Rosenfeld slip-and-fall accident lawyers.
Keep an eye on copyrights
You should guard against infringement of copyright laws inadvertently. In today’s technology-driven world not many people read the small print which hosts the innumerable dos and don’ts for any business. This is one area which is prone to legal action if you are not careful. You would do well to bring this aspect to the center stage among your employees.
Finally, the best way to deal with lawsuits is not to have a law suit in the first place. Prevention is the best form of cure and it is incumbent on you to ensure that you know your laws. More importantly, you must comply with all laws and ensure that your staff also complies with them.