Legal Tips for Business Owners and Startups
If you own a business, you probably have so much on your plate that you don’t spend much time worrying about the legal issues that your business may be facing.
It would be wise to familiarize yourself with some of the common legal issues that small business owners are occasionally faced with.
We will provide you with some of the most common legal issues that you, as a small business owner, might face.
- Employment Discrimination: There are a number of laws that prohibit employment discrimination. Discrimination lawsuits can be very costly. It is important to have strict anti-discrimination policies in place at your business and make sure they are strictly enforced. There should be a zero-tolerance policy in regards to harassment and discrimination by any of your employees.
- Wage and Hour Disputes: It is required by law that all employees are paid at least the minimum wage. Failure to comply with the minimum wage can lead to lawsuits by employees, in which they may be able to collect back pay and other compensations.
- Accommodation of Disabilities: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are required to make “reasonable accommodations” for employees with physical disabilities. For example, if an employee can only work from home due to limited mobility, then the employer must provide reasonable accommodations. However, this is contingent upon the type of position and nature of occupation. Failure to comply may lead to costly lawsuits.
- Employees vs. Independent Contractors: Some employers will simply label their employees as independent contractors for the tax benefits, but then treat them as employees for all practical purposes. Such misclassification of employees can have serious legal consequences for employers.
- Intellectual Property Disputes: All businesses hinge on intellectual property to conduct commerce. For example forms and client sheets may be considered intellectual property worth a great amount of money for the business. You need to consider how to protect this from competitors and sometimes even your own staff.