Tips for Protecting Your Business from Sexual Harassment Lawsuits , by Rocklin and Roseville Attorney Terry L. Gilbeau

business family ownership crossword
rocklin attorney business rosevilleAs many times as business experts warn people who are family and friends not to go into business together it happens time and again. It’s hard to resist. After all, thumb
we get excited about a business idea, clinic
we share it with those we love and know best, price
and before you know it, they are in. Perhaps it’s because of needed funds, or any number of other reasons, but it can spell out trouble if people don’t play their cards right.

In Sacramento, Roseville and Rocklin, and beyond, there are routinely family and friends who join together to open a business. It sounds great, maybe even a little comforting, but that doesn’t mean it always ends that way. To help avoid the many problems that can come from starting a business with family and friends, keep these tips in mind first: 

  • Think it through. Rather than just jump into it, sit down and really talk it through. Discuss working together, what happens if there are problems, and how it can negatively impact the relationship if something goes wrong. Decide if your relationship can handle such issues.
  • Keep it professional. Just because you know each other doesn’t mean that you should not act professional. Being professional, regardless of who you are dealing with, is always going to be the best route to take and will help keep you out of some hot water.
  • Separate the issues. Agree to keep work at work and your other relationship outside of it. In other words, when you all walk out of the office, leave work behind and wear your hat of friend or family member. Don’t make your entire relationship, both in and out of the office, based upon work.
  • Determine ownership status. Discuss who will own what portion of the business. Will it be 50/50, or will there be a different scenario? Remember, it’s a little difficult to have more than one boss running the show. Figuring this out ahead of time can save a lot of headaches later on.
  • Hire an attorney. This is one time that you will absolutely want to work with a lawyer. It is imperative that your plan be put on paper and it all be legal, just in case a problem arises down the road. This is an investment that protects both of you.

After you have gone over these things, if you still want to start a business with family and friends, it just comes down to the business side of things. If problems arise, focus on working through them amicably, for the sake of the business. If issues cannot be resolved, one party may wish to leave the company, selling their portion. Again, that would be an ideal time to work with an attorney, whether you are in Rocklin, Sacramento, or around the nation.
Business Woman Walking Stairs BuildingPop quiz – Does your business have a written sexual harassment policy? Not knowing the answer to that question could hurt your business. Especially in this day and age it is important that every business that has employees have a written sexual harassment policy. It’s one important piece to helping to protect your business from having sexual harassment lawsuits brought against it.

Sexual harassment has become a hot button issue in the news in recent years, shop both in the Sacramento area and outside of California. Yet many people are still not sure what it is that is actually considered sexual harassment in the work place. In all actuality, information pills
it can be different things to different people, depending on how it makes them feel. If your workplace atmosphere makes someone uncomfortable it may be seen as qualifying. Everything from a hostile work environment to cracking jokes with sexual overtones fit the bill, so it’s important to consider this issue now, rather than when a problem arises.

Here are some tips for helping to protect your business from sexual harassment lawsuits:

  1. Learn about what all may constitute sexual harassment in the work place. You can do this by speaking with an attorney, reading a book, or taking a professional workshop, but you need to have a good idea.
  2. Draft a well-written sexual harassment policy for your business that will be given to all employees and followed. It is also a good idea to either work with an attorney for this, or to have them at least review the one you wrote, so that nothing is missed and comes back to haunt you later on.
  3. Always take complaints seriously and act upon them. There should be immediate consequences for any sexual harassment problems that arise. You will need to follow the protocol that you put in place in your policy.
  4. Document everything that you do with any complaint that comes your way. This means documenting what happened, obtaining written statements from all parties involved, and documenting how it was resolved. Keep these documents on file in case they are later needed.

Anytime you have questions regarding sexual harassment in the workplace you should speak with an attorney. That way you get the best, most current, legal information in order to help protect your business. This goes for businesses in both the Rocklin and Sacramento areas, and throughout the country. Taking measures ahead of time to protect your business can go a long way!


The Law Offices of Terry L. Gilbeau provides personalized counsel to clients in a variety of business and personal matters, including creditors’ rights, debt collection, products liability and international transaction issues. His office is located in Rocklin, CA, just outside of Sacramento, CA, near Roseville, Lincoln, Auburn, in Placer County and can be reached at (916-626-5539) or email Terry at Click here for the firm website

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