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What should you understand about common business lawsuits?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Business Law

Owning a business in Washington state involves navigating complex legal decisions every day. No matter how well you run your company, you may deal with business lawsuits.

Business torts

In business law, a tort refers to a civil action against those intending to cause a company harm. The most common business tort lawsuits include:

  • Fraud
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Defamation and libel
  • Interference with contracts
  • Breach of fiduciary duty

Harassment and discrimination

Other common business lawsuits involve harassment and discrimination against employees. Specifically, employers may face lawsuits for the following:

  • Discriminating against workers based on sex, religion, color or race
  • Basing decisions on workers due to their age
  • Violating the Equal Pay Act
  • Violating the Americans with Disabilities Act

Wrongful termination

Washington state practices at-will employment. Businesses may fire employees for almost any reason. However, even in an at-will state, employers cannot fire for an illegal reason. Failure to recognize the illegal reasons often leads to wrongful termination lawsuits.

The most common wrongful termination lawsuits involve:

  • Retaliation for reporting another employee’s wrongdoing
  • Discriminating based on age
  • Retaliation for an employee filing workers’ compensation
  • Part of a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Firing workers due to wage disputes

Breach of contract

Business owners sign contracts on a daily basis. If either party decides not to uphold their part of the bargain, the other side may sue them due to breach of contract.

Protecting your reputation

Many companies experience some type of civil action against them. While you may not like it, you can view it as an opportunity to defend your company’s reputation in the eyes of the public and your competition.