Florida business owners have a lot of responsibility to ensure that their company does not come under fire for errors in judgment. This can mean that you and others in charge of handling operations must be careful about what you say and what your employees say, particularly when it comes to speaking about other companies.
What some business owners may not realize — especially if they are new to business ownership — is that a person or entity can file a lawsuit against a business if the belief is that the business has caused reputational damage. Because a company’s reputation can play a significant role in how well their business does, if there is suspicion that you or someone associated with your company caused reputational harm to another company, you could face a serious lawsuit.
What is reputational damage?
Reputational damage refers to harm caused to a company’s reputation and good standing within the business world or community. For instance, damage could occur if a company faces accusations of shady business practices that may make consumers think twice before working with that company. Even if you or one of your employees does not mean any harm by a particular remark, others could take a negative comment out of context or pick it up and run with it in a way that makes the remark seem more troublesome than intended.
How can you avoid causing such damage?
Undoubtedly, you do not want a remark made out of anger or due to a lack of judgment to bring negative consequences on your company, so avoiding reputational damage lawsuits against your business is a best-case scenario. Some ways you could work toward staying out of such lawsuits include the following:
- Do not make statements that you know are false.
- Do not make negative statements about other individuals or other companies, particularly statements in print or audio or video recordings.
- Address and remedy any errors or negligence from your company that may unjustly reflect badly on another company or client.
- Ensure that your employees understand libel and slander and how to avoid defamation.
- Protect your online spaces by monitoring your website and any social media accounts associated with your company.
Even if you or a direct employee do not make an obviously defamatory statement, problems could come back on your business if one expects any association. These days, social media is rife with disparaging comments, and any associated with your business could come back to haunt you.