Employee Issues

Post image for Business Crackdown on Immigration Halted . . . For Now

As reported in the San Francisco Sentinel, the U.S. government will suspend its legal defense of a new rule issued in August to penalize employers who hire illegal immigrants, according to government papers filed late Friday in federal court. Court papers asked the judge to delay the case until March 24 or until a new […]


Post image for Sex, Food & Liability: A Restaurant Business Problem

Food and sex have always had a close relationship. Think of the cinematic ditties No Reservations, Chocolat and Tampopo. Food can become a sensual experience that leads to … dancing (as the old joke goes). But it’s no joke when you find yourself the recipient of a sexual harassment suit. As Glenn Haussmann of Hotel […]


Post image for Conducting Background Checks

Whatever unpleasant associations background checks may bring up, they can form an important facet of your due diligence for your small business. It’€™s not just about criminal matters, although that’s a part of it. For example, if you intend to hire an employee to handle sensitive financial matters, you’d want to know whether they have a previous […]


Post image for An Independent Contractor By Any Other Name . . . .

In light of our just-celebrated Labor Day, I thought I’€™d share a little something about the dangerous games that small business owners play when, in essence, they hire employees and pay them as independent contractors. From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1594: What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name […]


Post image for New Hiring Law Spurs Identity Theft Fears

States across the country are trying to deal with the problem of illegal immigration. According to a recent report by the National Council of State Legislatures, “as of July 2, 2007, no fewer than 1404 pieces of legislation related to immigrants and immigration had been introduced among the 50 state legislatures.â€? A number of states, […]

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Post image for When Ebenezer Scrooge is Your Employer

I’ve received several unhappy (and incredulous) comments and emails in response to my July 9th post, “€œHow Small Businesses Handle Employee Holidays.” What do you mean an employer doesn’€™t have to give vacation time? And that they can set “€˜blackout dates”€™ for taking vacation? Isn’€™t that illegal? Isn’€™t that discrimination? Isn’€™t that . . . just . . . wrong???? […]


You want to hire an independent contractor. Or a freelancer. Mostly because you don’t want to get involved in the red tape and extra costs involved in hiring an employee. So you put together an independent contractor agreement, and the freelancer signs it. Are you in the clear? No. In this segment of MSNBC’s Your […]


Post image for When Is A Freelancer an Independent Business?

Ummm, virtually all of the time . . . ! However, they tend to operate as sole proprietorships, which has its dangers, not the least of which is unlimited liability in the face of lawsuits. There’€™s also a tendency not to see oneself as operating a business, but more like an employee in search of […]


Post image for How Small Businesses Handle Employee Holidays

Weeks like last week can provide great respite or great anxiety for small business owners.Either (like me) they’re delighted to have extra time off (or at least a quieter week to handle the administrative nonsense that never seems to end), or they’re frustrated because all of their employees want the same time off and they […]


Post image for How Small Businesses Misuse Summer Interns

The official start of summer will soon arrive, and with it, millions of high school and college-age students available to help out in your business. Your eyes sparkle with the thought of getting staffing help at reasonable rates (read: cheap labor), which can give your business the boost that it needs.Good, cost-efficient idea, right? Not […]


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