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Don’t take action or investigate employee complaints promptly. When an Employee makes a complaint about another employee, make sure you investigate it promptly and document the investigation and the steps you took at the conclusion of your investigation.
Don’t read your company’s agreements. If you are planning to terminate a contract, or enter into one, know your obligations and the other party’s rights before you do. It is important that you know what might happen if you terminate a contractual relationship. Are you breaching the agreement? If you are sued, will you have to pay the other party’s legal fees?
Hire an employee from a competitor without asking whether they signed any employment agreements with their soon-to-be former employer. If you are hiring a new employee from a competitor, or a company in the same business as yours, find out whether they have a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement with their former company. If they do, you may be hiring more than an employee — you may be buying a lawsuit.
Work very hard to develop customer relationships and confidential information, and then pass that along to key employees without protecting it. Have them sign non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.
Use boilerplate terms from a form book or another company. Make sure you are using forms and agreements that are enforceable, legal and protect your business. We know of a situation where a company used a form from another state, that ended up being illegal in the state it was being used in.
Don’t use an employee handbook. If you have an employee handbook and policies, and stick by them as best you can, you can better defend your company when an employee claims unfair or illegal treatment.