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HR Liability

There’s a growing trend out there that should alarm you if you work in HR.

The trend is that of employees seeking to solve workplace disputes through litigation, and they’re successfully pulling HR managers and consultants into the web of liability. In fact, the definition of “employer,” under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, provides for personal liability of company managers and officials.

As an HR professional, your employer may have a business policy that covers you under various circumstances, but an employer can also choose to distance itself from an employee individually named in a lawsuit – especially if the employer feels the employee acted outside the scope of employment.

What does that mean for you? It means you can be named individually in a lawsuit and then be left out in the cold by your employer.

So how do you know if you’re really at risk of being named in a lawsuit? The following HR positions/responsibilities seems to be garnering the most attention from disgruntled employees:

  • The HR manager who evaluates or terminate the disputing employee.
  • The HR manager or supervisory employee who communicates the decision.
  • The company official who makes the defining decisions on an employee in a disputed situation.

Fortunately there are affordable insurance options available for alleviating risk and allowing you to do your job with greater peace of mind. For more information about what options you have as an HR professional, click here.