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When employment disputes arise, do you have a plan?

When relationships turn sour for Michigan residents, it can seem as though the person on the other side is no longer the person you once knew. The workplace is not immune from these drastic changes in relationships, as a person who was once a good employee can suddenly seem like an entirely different person altogether. In these situations, it is important for employers to protect themselves from potential liability.

Recently, this blog discussed how an employee handbook can be a good way for Michigan employers to put policies in place for their employees. The handbook can set forth standards relating to everything from tardiness policies to employee benefits and everything in between. This is a good way to inform employees of various workplace policies and to ensure equal treatment for everybody.

Employee handbooks can also prove useful in the event the employee brings a legal claim against the employer. For instance, while an employee might claim he or she was wrongfully discharged, the employer can point to various provisions of the employee handbook that were violated by the employee that collectively led to the termination.

In many situations, the employer does not need to have any reason for firing the employee, at least when the employment is at will. However, even in these cases, the employer might have to defend itself against charges of unlawful discrimination or something of the sort. An employee's violation of the employee handbook can be used as evidence in the case as to how the employer came to fire the employee for a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason.

A poorly drafted handbook can get the employer in trouble, however, as it might be used to hold the employer liable if provisions in the handbook were not followed or were unlawful. Accordingly, employers should have well drafted handbooks that accomplish their goals.

Our firm has helped numerous employers deal with difficult situations with employees. For instance, we help defend employers facing claims of wrongful discharge; in previous cases, we have shown that the employer acted entirely appropriately under the handbook and other circumstances. For more information on our firm's services, please visit our employment law webpage.

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