5 Things Self-Employed People Can Do to Prevent Lawsuits
Being self-employed gives you the freedom to be your own boss, work when you choose and take holidays when you want. However, it also comes with responsibilities, and some of these are legal obligations. As such, it is important to familiarize yourself with current legislation to ensure you are working within the confines of the law. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from lawsuits.
- Be Aware of Employment Laws
If you have employees then you will have to comply with employment laws even if you are only a small company. These laws vary depending on your area of work and the state you are in, so it is worth keeping up to date with them. Governmental entities can give you some advice, but when you’re drawing up contracts it is best to contact a lawyer. The hours your employees work, their pay and work conditions must be in line with legislation or you could be liable.
- Familiarize Yourself with Advertising and Marketing Laws
Whether you are selling a product or service, it is important to be clear, transparent and truthful about what you are offering. If someone is injured or killed as a result of using your product or service, you could be liable. Make sure that you are open about what you are offering and don’t lie or mislead clients or customers.
- Know Workplace Health and Safety Law
If you have premises then it is important to ensure that they are safe for staff, business associates and customers. Make sure that any equipment is safe for use and regularly maintained or replaced when needed. It is also important to put up signs where relevant to advise anyone on your premises of potential hazards like wet floors or forklifts. Some of the hazards that might seem obvious to you could be fatal to someone unfamiliar with your premises.
It is also important to ensure that both you and your staff receive health and safety training. A proper procedure should be in place and you should have clear guidelines for health and safety if staff go off the premises as part of their work.
- Be Vigilant About Security
Your premises should be properly protected from intruders or criminals. Provisions should include locks, fences, security cameras and anything else to ensure the safety of people using the building. Be sure to carry out background checks on anyone who works for you and make sure they are permitted to work. If anyone is injured as a result of inadequate security measures, you could be liable, so be cautious. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Privacy Is Important
If you have access to personal information about your clients, employees or business associates, it is important that it is properly protected. While gathering this information might be an essential part of your business, it must be handled correctly. Keep up to date with all the privacy laws relevant to your industry and make sure you lock away any information you need to keep and destroy any information you don’t need to keep. It is also vital that you report any thefts of personal information. If someone is harmed because you haven’t properly protected their information you could be liable.