How to Handle Employee Claims
Categories: ManagementBy Erin L. Lasch, CAE | April 8, 2022 << Back to Articles
As too many businesses know, personnel claims filed against your business can be cumbersome and confusing, not to mention costly. Elena Ledoux, Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI), a Division of ISSA, member and owner of Superb Maids in Las Vegas, is also an attorney. She shared best practices based on her experience to help residential cleaning companies deal with claims and resolve issues before they become catastrophic to their business.
“If a claim is poorly handled, it can be devastating,” Ledoux told the audience at a recent ARCSI webinar. “If a claim is handled well, it can be a wonderful thing. It won’t cost a lot of money, and you may even be able to keep an employee.”
Ledoux revealed her top 10 best practices for dealing with employees that can help save your business time and money:
- Treat all your employees well. Treat them with respect and kindness. If a person hates a job, the likelihood of them missing work and filing a claim are exponentially more.
- Have a legitimate safety program and provide training. Your program needs to include simple rules, and you must strictly enforce them. The best claims are the ones that never happen!
- Communicate company policies in writing at time of hire. Have everything in a very simple checklist. Have your employees sign that they have read the policies and understand them.
- Treat everyone neutrally—consistently and equally. It can be hard to treat everyone the same, but you must. When a claim happens, it can be easy to deal with people based on how you interact with them and your relationship. Make sure you are neutral and enforce the rules for all employees equally.
- If an accident happens, make sure the employee gets medical attention. As an employer, you should be genuinely concerned if one of your employees is hurt. Be there for them—that is the most important thing. Ledoux noted that there is a dollar value to being kind. The employers who show humanity are the least likely to be sued.
- Don’t panic. It’s impossible to be in business and for nothing to happen, so be sure not to panic when it does. Gather all the facts and be as neutral as possible. Even if it rattles your world, you will not remember everything, so be sure to collect the information when an incident happens. Write everything down and keep it so that you have the facts at hand if something happens. This includes witnesses, dates, all facts, on the clock or not, statements with the employee’s signature—everything!
- Call the enforcement agency. Depending on the claim, call the correct enforcement agency. Please know they are not your enemy. Talk to them about what will happen and find out what your rights are. This is the cheapest way to get critical information.
- If the injury is minor, you can deal with it in-house with the insurance company. No matter what happens, you still need to file the claim, but you may be able to avoid hiring an attorney. This is where having a good relationship with your employees comes into play.
- Have a 911 procedure document. It’s essential to create a document with the procedure for accidents. Write it out, having everything documented, so it is handled correctly when the time comes.
- Do not threaten, fire, or retaliate against the employee for filing the claim. This is critical! If you feel strongly, you can contact the employee; however, don’t take out any frustrations on the employee. Things you say and do can cause a lot of problems if the claim proceeds and it’s impossible to defend.
If you have missed Ledoux’s webinar, you can watch it in ARCSI’s Webinar Library at arcsilearning.issa.com/webinars/.
About the Author.
Erin Lasch is the ARSCI program manager for ISSA. She has worked with ARCSI since 2014 and oversees the residential cleaning programs, services, and events at ISSA. She can be reached at 224-534-5061 or [email protected].