Dealing With Employees Who Threaten Lawsuits!
Nobody likes to be threatened!
There are those employees who love to threaten managers and supervisors that they will sue if they are given a written warning, suspension, or if they are terminated. Employees will also state such things as, “I will have to speak with (or show) my attorney the warning notice, before I can sign it.” Do you honestly believe these individuals have attorneys on retainer?? Sure, maybe, just maybe, one of them has a family member or a “friend of a friend” scenario.
The plain truth of the matter is whether they do or not, you should not be intimidated. If they see that fear in your eyes they will be like sharks circling in the water. They cannot be the ones controlling your work environment. Make sure you are following company policies and are being consistent in how you administer disciplinary actions. Be fair and firm. If they have an issue, try to address it.
Now, if an employee is complaining about a violation of a workplace protection, you must look into it and document your findings. If the individual is correct, fix it. If they are not correct, explain why they are mistaken, and move on. Never take any retaliatory measures for the complaint. They have a right to complain, but not a right to threaten you. The next time you receive a threat regarding an attorney, reach into your pocket, hand the employee your business card, and tell them to have their attorney call you! See what their reaction is. If by chance one does call, simply thank them for calling, ask them if they have a pen handy, and give them my name and number! Bewteen the both of us, we’ll get it worked out!
As a final note just remember never to take complaints personally! Leave the emotions out of it!