Most Popular Small Business Posts – June 2012

The impact of Obamacare on smaller businesses, cloud computing legal issues, wage and hour lawsuits, and social media law are but a few of the subjects you’re reading about.

For your reference, the most-read Small Business Support posts during the month of June, 2012:

1. Bring Your Own (Tech) Device to Work? That Could Be a Problem…

“I am writing this post on workplace issues while at work, but I’m using my personal laptop computer to do it. Could that be a problem? Potentially, yes.

This issue (particular, of course, to our age of rampant technology) has been written about often enough to get its own acronym: BYOD (‘Bring Your Own Device’) and here’s what employment lawyers want you to know about it…” Read on>>

2. 5 Immediate Steps for Businesses Now That Obamacare Upheld

“Yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act doesn’t mean the end of legal challenges to health care reform efforts, but it does mean that employers can no longer wait to make the changes required by the law.

For your reference, five actions small and medium-sized business should take today to ensure current and future compliance…” Read on>>

3. Cloud Computing: An Update on Legal Issues

“Just because your business is in the cloud doesn’t mean your head needs to be there, too. For your reference, here’s a roundup of recent advisories and alerts touching upon the myriad legal issues that have emerged for businesses with the rise of cloud computing.

Jurisdictional issues, security, privacy, the Patriot Act, and other international legal considerations – you should know…” Read on>>

4. Wage and Hour Lawsuits: 3 Areas to Watch

“You’d think that paying your employees for their time on the job would be a simple equation. But often it’s not:

‘Collective action lawsuits alleging wage and hour violations have risen 400 percent in the last 11 years, according to a recent post at CNNMoney. In 2011, there were more than 7,000 such lawsuits filed in federal court — a huge increase since the turn of the century…’” Read on>>

5. Obamacare Ruled Constitutional: What It Means for You

“On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional. What does the decision mean for employers like you?

It’s time to get to work.” Read on>>

6. 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.” Read on>>

7. 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.’

The first case involves an agreement to purchase repossessed medical equipment between a bank and a hospital. In a series of emails, the hospital made an offer to buy the equipment, which the bank accepted. When the hospital ended up not making the purchase, the bank sued for breach of contract.” Read on>>

8. 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] … exercised a significant degree of control over corporate affairs,’ essentially a proxy for the company itself.” Read on>>

9. Employee Theft and Fraud in the Workplace: Legal Considerations

“Employee theft ranges from pilfering merchandise off the shelves to stealing trade secrets from your computers. No matter what the form of theft or fraud, it affects your bottom line in one way or another. And yet employers who attempt to terminate or prosecute an offending employee are faced with pitfalls that could make them defendants in a wrongful termination lawsuit, among other unwanted situations.” Read on>>

10. Fired While on FMLA Medical Leave? It Can Happen…

“The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), enacted in 1993, provides employees with unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. The Act prohibits employers from firing workers who take leave for valid reasons. But there’s a thin line between authorized and unauthorized use of family medical leave, and dismissing employees for crossing it can leave employers exposed to claims of unlawful termination and retaliation.” Read on>>

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