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February 12, 2019

Common Reasons Small Business Owners Get Sued

Posted in Uncategorized

Business Law Lawyer Rockville, MD

As a small business owner, the last thing you want to face is a lawsuit. Lawsuits are costly and time-consuming and can severely damage your company’s reputation. That’s why it’s best to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Here are some of the most common reasons why small business owners get sued.

Discrimination During the Hiring Process

When you’re interviewing job candidates, you must be very careful about what types of questions you ask in the interviews. If you ask a question that discriminates against an applicant’s race, age, religion, gender or disability, you may risk a lawsuit. For example, you shouldn’t ask an applicant what year they graduated from high school. If you do a little math, you can figure out their age. It’s illegal to discriminate against age, unless there’s a legitimate business reason for requiring workers to be a certain age. If a high school diploma is required for the job, you can just ask the applicant for their diploma.

Third-Party Injuries

Customers who get injured at your business have the right to sue you for compensation. For example, if a customer slips and falls on a wet floor in your office, you are liable for their medical expenses. That’s why it’s important to make sure your place of business is safe for everyone. Clean up spills immediately, remove hazards and don’t ignore necessary repairs.

Violating Contracts

As a small business owner, you’ll likely enter into numerous contracts with employees, other businesses and vendors. It’s important to understand all the terms of a contract before you sign it. If you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, you’ll likely have a lawsuit on your hands. It’s a good idea to have a business lawyer review every contract and explain it to you in detail before you sign it.

Copyright Infringement

It’s illegal to use someone else’s photography or other property without permission. If you do this, you will have a lawsuit on your hands and hefty fines. If you want to use a piece of intellectual property, you should first secure the rights and get permission in writing.

Illegal Reduction in Overtime Rate

Some employees try to make deals with their employers to work overtime at less than required time-and-a-half rate in order to boost their paychecks. However, this isn’t legal. Employees can’t waive their right to overtime and you can face a lawsuit over this.


Retaliation is something that occurs when an employer punishes an employee for participating in a legally protected activity. Retaliation can include everything from demoting to reducing an employee’s pay. You should never retaliate against an employee, no matter how angry you may be at them.

If you are facing a lawsuit, it can be pretty scary. The first thing you should do right now is consult with an experienced business law lawyer Rockville, MD relies on. They can review the details of your lawsuit and advise you the best way to proceed.

Contact The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into business law and common reasons small businesses get sued.

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