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  • Writer's pictureWefaq Law Firm

The Most Commonly Experienced Legal Issues in Business

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

When you’re running a business, it’s vital to carry out risk assessments and identify potential threats to your operations. While it’s easy to imagine how a cyber-attack or an equipment malfunction might harm your business, many owners and managers overlook the threat posed by legal issues.

However, we live in a litigious society and it’s not unusual for businesses to face legal threats and lawsuits. Due to this, it’s essential to take steps to protect your organization from litigation. To get started, take a look at these five legal issues that are most commonly faced by businesses:

1. Wrongful Termination Claims

If an employee feels that they’ve been sacked unfairly, they could decide to make a wrongful termination claim against you. Most business owners assume that they can fire a worker at any time, for any reason, but this isn’t always the case.

Although the law varies from place to another, it’s not unusual for employers to only be permitted to fire someone in certain circumstances. As a result, businesses can face legal action if an individual believes they’ve been dismissed in a way that contravenes the relevant laws.

2. Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

When accidents occur or when employees develop illnesses, there’s a chance that they could claim that their working environment has caused or contributed to their condition. If so, you could find that your company ends up facing legal claims for lung injuries and cancer, broken bones, repetitive strain injuries, and even psychological harm.

Making the workplace as safe as possible and following the relevant health and safety regulations is one way to reduce the risk of a personal injury lawsuit. However, accidents can happen at any time, so having the right insurance in place is also a critical way of protecting your company.

3. Contract Disputes

As a business, you’re likely to enter into new contracts on a regular basis. Whether you’re making agreements with suppliers and vendors or customers and clients, you’ll want to ensure that your contracts provide you with the right level of protection and don’t leave any room for misinterpretation.

When contracts are poorly worded, each party can have a different interpretation of its clauses. As a result, disputes can arise and, if they aren’t resolved amicably, you could find yourself in a courtroom. To prevent this from happening, make sure that contracts are comprehensive and contain clear and unambiguous clauses. Including dispute resolution procedures within your contract can also be a savvy way to avoid expensive litigation in the future.

4. Discrimination or Harassment

Everyone has the right to work in an environment that’s free from both discrimination or harassment and, as an employer, it’s your duty to provide this. Implementing procedures to ensure equality in the workplace is an important part of this but addressing grievances and taking action if one member of staff discriminates against another is important too.

If a member of your team does feel that they’ve been treated unfairly, discriminated against, or harassed, they’re well within their rights to seek legal action and instigate a claim against you. As well as having to fund your legal representation and potentially pay them compensation, you may also need to deal with reputational damage to your brand if this type of claim is made against your firm.

5. Intellectual Property Infringement

Intellectual property refers to intangible creations, such as trademarks, logos, inventions, patents, and even music. For businesses, bespoke branding, patents, copyrights, and trademarks are commonly used forms of intellectual property.

By registering intangible creations with the relevant organization, you can prevent other people or businesses from using them and profiting from your brand identity. What’s more – you’ll have the right to take legal action against them if they attempt to do so. In the same way, an owner of intellectual property could take action against you or your company if they believe that you’re infringing on their rights.

Protecting Your Business from Legal Claims

As you can see, there are a variety of different reasons that a business can face legal action. With the threat of a lawsuit coming from both your own staff and external parties, it’s important to be vigilant to the threat that’s posed.

By identifying the relevant laws and regulations that govern your business, you can ensure that your business meets the necessary standards. Additionally, being proactive about dealing with ongoing issues and introducing appropriate in-house dispute resolution procedures can be beneficial. For businesses, having appropriate legal insurance can also be a viable and cost-effective way to protect against the threat of lawsuits.

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