Free Enterprise - FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog


With election season approaching, your may have employees who are running for local, state, or -- who knows? -- even national office.

While many employers encourage their employees to get involved politically off the clock, in some cases, an employee's political campaign can become an unwelcome distraction or even a potential conflict of interest.

In cases where an employee's political aspirations begin impinging on his professional obligations, is it legal to fire a worker for running for office?

The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert to business owners about a new scam targeting business vendor payments.

This scam is particularly easy to miss, reports the BBB, because unlike many other business scams which rely on selling business owners fake or useless products and services, this latest scam uses the names of real vendors that the targeted companies already do business with.

How does the scam work, and how can you avoid being taken for a costly ride?

The Federal Trade Commission is ramping up efforts to enforce its fine-print disclosure guidelines for television and print advertising.

As part of an aptly titled new initiative dubbed Operation Full Disclosure, the FTC sent warning letters to more than 60 companies that failed to make proper disclosures in their advertising.

What prompted the letters and what are the FTC's rules on fine print in advertising?

Endorsements, particularly those by celebrities, athletes, or other well-known figures, are a classic form of marketing.

But what if your marketing budget doesn't allow for extravagant spending on celebrity endorsements, or your product is too little known or too new to have garnered organic positive customer feedback? For some business owners -- such as the California lawyer recently suspended for Photoshopping herself into pictures with celebrities and posting the pics on her website -- the plan seems to be: fake it until you make it.

Unfortunately, the only thing that using false endorsements in your business tends to make is trouble.

The legendary Babe Ruth had an employment contract like any other employee, but his had a few extra conditions you might not have considered.

A 92-year-old contract between the New York Yankees and George Herman "Babe" Ruth is up for auction, and it reveals some interesting bits about the strings attached to his career. TMZ Sports reports that the Great Bambino was paid $52,000 per season, but he couldn't "stay up later than 1 o'clock A.M." without "permission and consent of the club's manager."

Here are three lessons your business can take away from Babe Ruth's careful contract:

You might consider what your employees do on their own time their own business. But when it comes to domestic violence, providing your employees workplace training can pay off both at home and at work.

For a dramatic example of how domestic violence at home can effect business, one can look to the NFL, where a rash of recent off-the-field incidents -- including video footage of a player hitting his wife and allegations of child abuse against another player -- have overshadowed the league's first three weeks of regular season play. Last week, the NFL announced that all NFL team personnel and staff would be required to undergo training on prevention of domestic violence.

Can the same kind of domestic violence training pay off for your business?

According to a new survey for the website Mashable by online survey company SurveyMonkey, almost one in 10 workers reports having gone to work high on marijuana.

For employers, stoned employees means potentially lower productivity as well as increased potential liability for accidents caused by an employee who is high on the job.

But what can you do about employees who show up high? Here are five possibilities to consider:

Home Depot announced a data breach earlier this month but provided few details. On Thursday, the company announced the breach may have affected as many as 56 million payment cards.

The breach is being blamed on malware that was present in the store's registers from April to September, though the malicious software was confirmed as eliminated on Thursday, reports Business Insider. During these five vulnerable months, tens of millions of unique payment card credentials were at risk, and the customers holding those cards may want answers.

What can your business learn from this Home Depot breach?

As a business owner, should you video-record your employees?

Employers may wonder how their employees might act if they knew they were being watched at all times. It may sound like a heavy-handed science fiction premise, but companies might actually benefit from having cameras recording their employees. Some recent studies have found that when employees knew they were being watched, misconduct (like employee theft) fell, while sales and productivity increased.

However, a business can get itself into real legal trouble by recklessly recording its workers.

When an employee is injured on the job, demanding the injured employee submit to a drug test may prevent an employee whose was intoxicated at the time they were injured from claiming workers compensation benefits.

Unlike drug testing job applicants, however, drug testing employees isn't always legal. But when an employee is involved in a workplace accident and you have a reasonable suspicion the employee may be under the influence, you may typically require that worker to submit to a drug test.

How can you make sure your post-accident drug-testing policies and procedures are legally sound? Here are five tips: