Blog Archives

When The Boss Does the Harassing, the Company Pays

A recent decision before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals provides a cautionary lesson for employers involved in employee harassment lawsuits. In Townsend v. Benjamin Enterprises, Inc., the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that Benjamin Enterprises was liable for sexual harassment by its vice president because he was “a corporate shareholder [who] …… Read more »

NLRB Issues Latest Round of Social Media Advice

(And this time, it doesn’t look good for employers.) On May 30, 2012, Lafe Solomon, Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, issued his third report on social media in the workplace. The memorandum focuses exclusively on employer social media policies, analyzing seven such policies in detail for potential NLRB rule violations. Contributor… Read more »

Is Your Business Ready for Mobile Payments?

Mobile payments are expected to top $170 billion worldwide this year, according to a Gartner study published earlier this week. Three recent updates take a look at issues facing merchants who are considering – and in many cases already implementing – systems for accepting payments via smartphone or other mobile devices. The first discusses a… Read more »

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Are Dead! Long Live Mandatory Arbitration Agreements!

The National Labor Relations Board continues to target mandatory arbitration agreements in employment contracts. From law firm Barger & Wolen: “… the National Labor Relations Board has filed a formal complaint against 24 Hour Fitness, alleging the gym company’s arbitration opt-out policy compels employees to waive their rights to utilize the civil litigation system, and… Read more »

Connecticut and Delaware Pass Medical Marijuana Laws to Protect Employees

State lawmakers appear to be warming up to the idea that workers who use medical marijuana need protections against discrimination in the workplace. Currently, sixteen states and the District of Columbia permit the ingestion of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Another twelve are considering similar legislation. Few states have regulations that protect the rights of workers… Read more »

SBA Celebrates America’s Small Businesses

It’s National Small Business Week, and the Small Business Administration is throwing a party. Guess what: you don’t have to be in DC to join the festivities; follow along via the SBA’s live webcast. We’re joining the National Small Business Week party, too. Thought we’d bring along this tasty little roundup of advisories regarding SBA… Read more »

Passing the Torch: How to Plan a Successful Transition of Your Family-Owned Businesses

A key challenge facing many entrepreneurs and small business owners – sooner or later – has nothing to do with running the shop. It’s handing the business off to the next generation. But structuring a transition that will ensure the survival of the company (and the family!) doesn’t happen on its own. For your reference,… Read more »

Health Plan Administration: SBC Deadline Approaches – Are You Ready?

Beginning September 23, 2012, health insurers and plan administrators will be required to distribute a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) to all participants. As its title suggests, the SBC is designed to describe benefits and coverage of a particular plan in clear language and a uniform format, and to help consumers better understand and… Read more »

5 Tips for Writing an Effective Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is one of the most important communications tools available to your business. It establishes expectations for your staff, procedures for resolving conflicts, and policies regarding a range of improper and illegal behavior. Equally important, such workplace guides set forth your legal obligations and requirements as an employer, while articulating the rights and… Read more »

Business Litigation: What to Do When You’re Hit with a Lawsuit

Lawsuits can happen to the best of businesses, including yours. And when they do, the steps you take at the outset can mean the difference between a positive and a negative resolution. For your reference, five considerations in the event your company is sued: 1. Loose lips could sink attorney-client privilege: “Do not communicate about… Read more »

Most Popular Small Business Posts – Apr 2012

What’s on your mind? The California Supreme Court ruling on Brinker, social media in the workplace, the National Labor Relations Board poster rule, plus a range of other small business-related legal topics. For your (re)reading pleasure, here’s a look at the most-read Small Business Support posts over the past month: 1. Brinker Ruling: 5 Lunchtime… Read more »

Union Elections: 5 Employer Takeaways from the NLRB’s New Rules

The National Labor Relations Board’s new rules for union elections (effective on April 30, 2012) have generated considerable criticism because they significantly shorten the amount of time employers have to respond to a petition for representation. The regulations have been challenged in court, with a decision expected by May 15. Until then, five takeaways for… Read more »

Disabled Veterans Return to the Workforce

A growing population of military personnel returning from service and looking for work in the private sector has led the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to issue two new guidance documents on the workplace rights of disabled veterans: “Veterans and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)” directed to employers, hiring managers, and HR personnel;… Read more »