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 Takeaways for California Employers
“On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court ruled in Brinker Restaurant Group v. Superior Court of San Diego that while employers are required to provide meal breaks to employees, they need not ensure that employees take them. It’s a significant ruling for California employers because it clarifies the rules regarding rest and meal breaks. Equally important, it eases burdens by allowing employers to provide breaks on a schedule that meets their business needs.” Read on>>

2. Social Media in the Workplace: Lawyers Weigh In… [With Video]
“Much has been said lately about the dubious practice of asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews. But, as you can tell from our quick roundup below, this is not the only issue at the intersection of social media, your business governance policies, and the law.” Read on>>

3. It’s Official – Federal Court Says the NLRB Poster Stays Down
“On April 17, 2012, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an emergency injunction blocking the implementation of the National Labor Relations Board’s much-debated poster rule. The reason: too many issues to sort through before the planned April 30 deadline for putting up the poster.” Read on>>

4. NRLB Targets Non-Union Employees: What’s an Employer to Do?
“The National Labor Relations Board wants to expand the scope of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). To do that, they’ve undertaken an aggressive initiative to educate non-union employees of their rights under the NLRA. What’s an employer to do? Here are six suggestions from labor and employment lawyers on JD Supra.” Read on>>

5. Think That Email Isn’t a Contract? Think Again

“You’ve got mail! And, as two recent court decisions indicate, you might also have a binding contract. The rulings stand as important reminders to everyone who thinks that email communications are different because ‘it’s just email.’” Read on>>

6. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act No Longer Applies to Employee Data Theft

“A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act does not apply to the theft of data by an employee might leave business owners and HR managers scratching their heads. In US v. Nosal, the Ninth Circuit ruled that David Nosal could not be prosecuted under the CFAA for stealing proprietary information because he was authorized to access the data in the first place. What does the decision mean for employers trying to protect sensitive data?” Read on>>

7. Interns or Employees: 5 Takeaways from Recent Lawsuits

“Planning on hiring interns this summer? Make sure they’re not really employees. Three recent lawsuits filed by interns claiming they were hired – but not paid – as entry-level employees should remind employers that poorly structured internships carry significant risks. Does this mean employers should cancel their internship programs? Not unless they’re really ‘free labor in disguise’ programs.” Read on>>

8. In Victory for Employers, Court Strikes Down NLRB Poster Rule

“Just when you thought it was safe to put up the poster… On Friday, April 13, 2012, the US District Court for South Carolina struck down the National Labor Relations Board’s notice posting rule. The ruling will likely lead to another postponement of the April 30 deadline for displaying the National Labor Relations Act employee rights poster as mandated by the NLRB. For your reference, here’s a quick look at the ruling and what it means for employers.” Read on>>

9. Crowdfunding Has Arrived! What This Actually Means for Startups…

“The “crowdfunding exemption” is one of the most talked-about provisions of President Obama’s new Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. In short, the exemption allows startups and smaller issuers to raise funds through social media via small contributions from many individuals (ie, ‘the crowd’). Touted as the next big thing, it purportedly simplifies the process of raising capital and therefore will boost the overall economy through the formation and funding of more businesses. But how will crowdfunding work, exactly? What are the rules? And what will small businesses need to do before they can tap the resources of the crowd?” Read on>>

10. 5 Rights of Every Employee
“All employees have some basic rights in the workplace. And if statistics recently released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are any indication, an increasing number of workers feel those rights are being violated by their employers. So what can business owners and managers do to stem the tide? A good first step is knowing the laws that protect their employees, and when they apply.” Read on>>

Find business law news and updates at JD Supra>>