Employee Issues

Bit by bit, businesses small and large are moving away from using full-time employees. Why? The escalating costs of health care The thickets of employee legislation that impact smaller and smaller companies (like NYC’s recent move to a paid sick leave threshold of 5 employees, down from 20) The explosion of collaborative technologies that support the […]

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Post image for How Independent Contractor Agreements Protect Your Pocketbook

If you’ve been reading between the lines at all regarding the state of our economy (and, in particular, our government treasuries), you’ll be very much aware that state and local governments need money. Need our money. Need millions and billions and trillions of dollars of it, in particular. In order to avoid bankrupting themselves, governments […]

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Cash bonuses might make employees happy, but regular praise and communication make them loyal. If you’ve taken the plunge and hired employees, you’ve probably learned two hard lessons quickly: They don’t come cheap. Like pets, plants, children and other living beings, you need to communicate with them. You can’t just ignore them like a piece […]

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Post image for Basic Training:  Making the Most of Free Employee Handbooks

Q: I’ve found various sites that have templates for employee handbooks, including one at Business.gov.  Am I putting myself at any risk by using this as the basis of my employee handbook?  What sorts of legal issues should I take into consideration before using any employee handbook in my business? A: Templates are great as […]

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Post image for Are You Really Hiring an ‘Independent Contractor’?

In my practice, I’m finding that the IRS and Department of Labor are getting more aggressive about enforcing the proper classification of workers. Essentially, they want to be sure that you’re not hiring a worker as an “independent contractor” (thus avoiding the payment of employment taxes), yet treating him/her as an employee by micromanaging every aspect […]

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Post image for Basic Training: Queries about Employee Non-Compete Agreements

Q: For how long are employee non-compete agreements normally valid?  If a person signs such an agreement, leaves the company for a period of time and then comes back to the company, is he/she still bound by such an agreement even if he did not sign it again?  Is such an agreement valid for customers […]

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Post image for Employee Blogs: To Permit or Prevent?

“Faster than a rolling O.  Stronger than silent E“—that’s the pace at which information (and misinformation) flies around in cyberspace. Even worse is when something written about you/your company comes back to slap you in the face like a coconut cream pie. In his post, “Should Personal Blogs Be Allowed and Permitted by Employers,” Kirk […]

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Post image for New Employee Notifications for New York

My colleague, Deborah Shapiro, Esq., reminded me of a recent change to New York State employment law. In short, beginning October 26, 2009, New York employers must inform newly hired employees in writing, at the time of hiring, of their pay rate, regular payday and, if eligible for overtime, regular hourly rate and overtime rate.  […]

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Post image for How to Say Goodbye to an Employee

If last week’s post about awkward work situations wasn’t enough, firing an employee probably has to top the discomfort charts. It may be justified (the employee was cooking the books) or necessary (sales are down 40 percent because of the economy, so you need to downsize) . . . but it’s rarely a task that […]

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Post image for Hiring without the Headaches

Even small businesses need a hiring process. Making the leap from business owner to employer takes a combination of faith, a strong stomach and smart planning. After all, once you decide to become an employer, you agree to take on a bushel of issues above and beyond just paying a regular salary. There are taxes […]

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