Employee Issues

Post image for The Benefit of Confidentiality Agreements

For anyone who ever doubted the benefit of confidentiality agreements, the case of Chris Botticella, former Thomas’ English Muffin executive should put the doubts to rest. As recently reported in the New York Times, Botticella was one of a small handful of people who knew the entire “nook and cranny” secret.  He signed a confidentiality […]

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  Unpaid internships used to be all about “the experience”–an opportunity for young students to break into a new field, to gain contacts, to explore new career possibilities. But with the current administration’s increased focus on enforcing labor law violations, small businesses could well fall into the enforcement net. While this Daily Dose post covered […]

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Post image for Employees and Freelancers and Independent Contractors–Oh My!

“Aw, c’mon,” you cry, “so what if I have my friend’s daughter coming into handle my bookkeeping and I just pay her hourly?” Well, that “so what” could cost you thousands of extra dollars in penalties and interest if you don’t classify your “workforce” properly. Whenever your business benefits from someone else’s time, intellect, and […]

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Post image for To Compete or Not to Compete? That Is the Question

“Can I get my employees to sign a non-compete?” I’m often asked. Unless you’ve thought through this special kind of legal provision carefully, they are often struck down. A non-compete clause essentially prevents your worker from entering into a competing business or working for a competing business when he or she leaves your employ.  While […]

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  The dining room was a sea of Post-It® notes. All over the table. They flowed out into the foyer, onto the cabinets, into the kitchen. Such was the organizational state of Molly Mahoney Matthews’ newly-launched PR business. When Molly’s sister, Sharon, stopped by for a visit and saw the torrent of little yellow squares threatening […]

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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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