Small firms are the most vulnerable to crises, disasters, and lawsuits. In fact, according to the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, more than 40 percent of small businesses were either involved in or threatened with a lawsuit due to A) administrative oversights or errors, B) undelivered services or C) poor quality of service, much lower than industry standard.
Since 2006, the number of lawsuits claiming workplace harassment, related to gender, disability and age, has grown by 25 percent, according to statistics released by Bolt Insurance Agency. This evidence shows that small businesses need to be effectively prepared for any crises that may hit or they may not easily recover from them.
Impact of Lawsuits on Your Firm
Improper management of employee complaints or negligent administration of an investigation for sexual discrimination can lead to expensive employment lawsuits taxing small business owners with fines from $3,000 to $170,000, substantial emotional hardships, ruined reputation, and long-term impact on company operations.
How You Can to Prevent Lawsuits
Proper HR solutions cushion your business by identifying areas that do not comply with the law. When you know what the problem is, you can fix it. This is an area where it’s best to be proactive—discussing employment issues with an attorney and/or a HR Consultant prior to implementation can help ensure they never come back to be a problem.
Furthermore, if your architecture firm has been in business for a while but you have not had a chance to review your current HR policies or procedures to make sure they are compliant to standard rules and regulations, then it’s time to complete an audit. The AIA Trust offers the Xcel HR 360 Audit program to AIA members FREE OF CHARGE to help you manage your firm and HR activities. Contact XcelHR to learn more and be sure to mention that you are an AIA member.
Quick Tips to Prevent Lawsuits
- Consult your attorney or business consultant regularly
- Complete an HR audit annually
- Invest in resources to update your policies
- Review contracts with all stakeholders to make sure you are protected
- Invest in adequate insurance
- Keep your employees happy by soliciting their feedback for improvement
Want to know more? Visit the AIA Trust webpage about the PEO program that they now offer to AIA members, Xcel HR. Xcel HR can offer your firm a customized service to address the specific needs of your architectural firm. And, as an AIA member, you will receive a substantial fee reduction over their regular pricing. Services can be tailored to include Federal, state, and local regulatory updates, guidance, and compliance, Employee handbook development, new employee verification and onboarding administration, payroll processing & quarterly tax filings, benefits administration, and much more.
Visit XcelHR’s resource page for the latest updates on Human Resources best practices and workplace policies. If you prefer to speak with an expert, please contact the HR and Benefits teams at (800) 776-0076.