Many of you have read the recent lawsuit against the upscale restaurant in Napa, The French Laundry. Thomas Keller, the owner of the restaurant is being sued by an employee who worked for him at his NY restaurant who had a verbal offer to move to California and work for him here. But once she got here, pregnant, she was fired. All of their agreements were done verbally so it comes down to a he said-she said. It all could have been avoided had they put their terms in writing.
It was entirely coincidental that just yesterday I wrote about the importance of getting all employment terms and conditions in writing to avoid problems down the line. So let this be a lesson to all of us. For all employment agreements, from promises of promotions, to base salary, to bonuses, to frequency of performance evaluations, to commission structure, to agreements for vacation time, for any and all agreements, PUT IT IN WRITING.
That way, you have a paper trail of documented agreements. You can avoid misunderstandings, disappointment, and the most painful and expensive development – lawsuits.
Yes, readers, make sure all agreements are in writing. We live in a litigious world and must do all we can to avoid more lawsuits. Once you go in that direction you lose money, time, goodwill and risk being blacklisted in your industry.
With good caution, please heed this advice.