Most of the time, you're not thinking about the legal background of your business environment. It's one of many elements of operations, like logistics and marketing. But the law matters a lot more during important moments of change, like buying or selling a business.
Businesses do everything possible to protect themselves from lawsuits filed by customers, employees, vendors, contractors and other businesses. Despite this, companies can still wind up in litigation. These lawsuits can force a business to close its doors if they do not have the proper insurance protecting them. So, what are some common reasons businesses end up in litigation?
Owning a business is stressful. You have a lot to worry about and focus on. Many business owners have trouble delegating projects because they don't think they will be completed the right way. One of the biggest mistakes owners make is with the intellectual property of their company. Today, we will examine the mistakes companies make and why.
Almost every company will have its employees sign a confidentiality agreement when hired. This is a document that protects the company from secrets and other information getting out to the public or to its competitors. Employees are to follow the stipulations listed in the agreement or risk being fired and sued for breach of the agreement. Here's how to handle a breach of a confidentiality agreement.
As a business owner, you want your website and other social media presence to be accessible to as many people as possible. Unfortunately, some businesses unknowingly exclude people with various types of disabilities (particularly those involving vision and hearing) from being able to fully use their websites and other sites where they have an online presence. Not only do you limit your audience and prospective customers and employees. You run the risk of facing a lawsuit for lack of accessibility.
As a business owner, you know that discriminating against an applicant or employee because of their religion is illegal. So is subjecting a person (or allowing them to be subjected) to harassment in the workplace because of their religious beliefs -- or lack thereof.
Employers can be held liable for discrimination against people whom they never even hired. Discrimination against job applicants in protected classes is as illegal as discrimination against employees.
Some people might not think that a phrase that's common in another language could be trademarked by a company -- let alone an American one. However, with the success of The Lion King 25 years ago, Disney trademarked the phrase "Hakuna Matata." It means "no worries" in Swahili. It's also, of course, the title of one of the songs from the hit movie and Broadway show. A new live-action version of The Lion King will be in movie theaters this summer.
Accusations of discrimination can be costly in money and reputation to businesses of all sizes. United Airlines is currently facing a $10 million lawsuit by a former professional basketball player. The suit involves a flight in July.
No business owner wants to be accused of discrimination, as these lawsuits can be costly. They can also damage a business's reputation -- and that of its owners.