With special legal assistance and ensuring all the facts are properly and properly documented, almost any HR-related legal issue can be successfully addressed.
There will be legal issues, whether we expect them or not. The best thing for an HR department is that one can expect to be well prepared when this happens. Having a general idea of what to expect in the event a legal issue is filed is important to ensure all the correct protocols are in place.
The following is a basic list of legal issues you should be sure to consider.
1. Deal only in facts
Stay on the facts only when it is related to legal issues. A full investigation, if necessary, is important to establish all the facts. Finally, the factual information gathered is leveraged to arrive at a resolution. The documentation here as a whole is very important and requires that the legal issue should proceed. Charles Ashworth, Zendrive
2. Be Familiar With Applicable Laws
Issue-opening is important. You do not need to know the answer to this, but what is really important is to know that it is a legal issue so that you can get help. Employment laws can be quite complex, so familiarizing yourself with applicable local laws is the best way to be able to become an issue when it arises.
3. Act Without Prejudice
Be sure to look for the facts that they are, not the way you want them to be. Assumption can be truth. If the truth is based on fact then you will have a level playing field.
4. Intellectual Property: Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents
You need to perform due diligence to ensure that you will not be infringing on anyone else’s intellectual property, and then register a federal trademark or trademarks.
Copyrights protect original works of art, writing or software code, to name a few. You may need to file for copyright protection or license copyrights for your business. Patents protect inventions, including business methods.
You should talk to an attorney to figure out whether you need to file for a patent. The right attorney can streamline what would be a lengthy filing process and manage the important steps and details of the intellectual property protection process.
5. Apply Business Etiquette
At the beginning of my career, my mentor told me that I would never say or write anything that I would not be comfortable reading with me in a court of law. I believe that this advice is important whenever handling legal issues on behalf of yourself or any organization.
It is easy to get emotional reactions from anyone for emotional topics, which can cause legal harm to you or the company you represent.
6. Keep It Confidential
Bouncing your thoughts or opinions with other colleagues on this specific legal issue may entice you, but it is fraught with dangers, especially when dealing with personnel-related legal issues. For one, you may come across as someone who cannot be trusted but more adversarial, it can lead to issues of office culture. Srikant Chellappa, Engagedly
7. Be Familiar With Applicable Laws
Issue-opening is important. You do not need to know the answer to this, but what is really important is to know that it is a legal issue so that you can get help.
Employment laws can be quite complex, so familiarizing yourself with applicable local laws is the best way to be able to become an issue when it arises.
8. Be Impartial And Consistent
Always practice compliance and make sound business decisions before your methods or decisions are called into question. If you can show fairness and consistency, then you already have a positive defense.
If you have to go back and find something or give an explanation, it is already too late. Establishing a pattern of even-odds decisions saves you countless hours down the road. Regina W. Romeo, CPS HR Consulting
9. Check And Check Again
With your legal representation every time, whenever you have a question, or even to double check something, just check to be safe. Make sure you are following the advice of your legal team and are both honest and appropriate. Everything you say (or type) can be used, so be careful that you are avoiding any potential liability for yourself or your company. When in doubt, take time to investigate. Courtney Pace, FedEx Employees Credit Assoc.
10. Remember To Be Human
Start by treating people well to avoid legal issues. Always be careful in writing. Remember that there is much to be discovered in legal proceedings.
Do not hesitate to invest in outside legal advice when it makes sense. And always remember that at the other end of any legal matter, personally, there is a human with a genuine concern.
11. Document And File Everything
When working with any legal or court related, you know that you have to keep the company’s records in order and properly report any incident report, investigation and evidence.
This would show that the company had a preventive system, providing adequate assistance or communication to all involved parties, and taking appropriate action with consideration of all conclusions.
12. Be Your Organization’s Own Worst Critic
Be critical as you review your stance and defense. If you can make a hole in the logic, policy, or practice of your organization in the context of your case, a plaintiff will have a lawyer. Be honest about any suspicious area or damage and prepare from that location.
Be sure to share with any manager or employee involved in the preparation that you are viewing it with this lens and will explain why.