Free Enterprise - FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

How Businesses Can Inspire Employees to Exercise

As a business owner you have many concerns. Whether your employees make it to the gym is probably not one of them. But perhaps it should be.

The health and well-being of your workers contributes to your business. When your people are thriving and have time to look out for themselves and their health, they also have more and better energy to put into work. So here are five things you can do to help encourage employee exercise and ensure you get the best for your business, according to the Houston Chronicle.

3 Biggest Resume Red Flags

All things being equal, employers would rather have more job candidates to choose from. But if you're inundated with resumes, trying to sift the proverbial wheat from the chaff can be a challenge. Lucky for you, there are a few warning signs that will tip you off to an applicant's ability and attention to detail.

Here are three of the biggest resume red flags you should look out for when hiring:

Spotify's Sweet Parental Leave Program

The music streaming service Spotify announced a new parental leave policy this week that Ms. Magazine calls "impressive." The company is offering parents, whatever gender, 100 percent pay for six months.

Not only that. Spotify is also giving parents flexibility about how and when to take the time. The policy is being hailed by workers' rights organizations who hope that more American companies will adopt the Swedish cultural values that Spotify says is behind the new family leave.

Are Unicorns Real? SEC Investigates Tech Startup Valuations

Technology company startups are drawing regulatory scrutiny after Fidelity Investments reportedly downgraded some of its investments in so-called "unicorns." With companies like Uber collecting billions of dollars before going public -- and investors all hoping to bet on the next big thing -- the Securities and Exchange Commission is getting curious about how the financiers decide what the companies are worth and why the disparity in values.

The reason for this interest? Supposedly, the tech boom is on the wane. According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC wants to figure out whether the process for valuing large startups is accurate and whether there are procedures in place to ensure fair valuations across companies.

Doing business online means you can reach your customers anywhere. But it also means that your customers can come from anywhere, and some of those "wheres" have different laws that apply to doing business online.

One of those "wheres" is Delaware, and one of those laws is DOPPA: the Delaware Online Privacy Protection Act. DOPPA goes into effect on January 1, 2016, but your small business might need to start gearing up now. Here's what you need to know about Delaware's new online privacy law:

Legal Tips for Hiring a Secret Shopper

A secret shopper is a person employed by a manufacturer or retailer to pose as a customer and evaluate the quality of service. The shopper offers you a view of your business from the consumer's perspective.

Given their secret nature, workers will not treat them differently from other customers. That can be a good or a bad thing, depending.

Paid Holidays Are Not a Legal Obligation for Private Employers

Thanksgiving is next week and employees around the nation are looking forward to an extra day -- or maybe two -- off. Federal employees, in fact, petitioned the President to get the day after Thanksgiving as a paid holiday, according to Government Executive.

But the petition fell far short of the required number of signatures, and it looks like federal workers won't make money while shopping after all. Mind you, they do get Thanksgiving paid. So, what does this mean for you and your obligations as an employer?

Can I Stream Personal Music Playlists in My Business?

Music listening has changed a lot in the last decade. We don't buy albums, we buy songs, and some of us buy no music at all, subscribing to music streaming services instead.

The streaming services -- Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, and others -- allow listeners to hear whatever songs they want in whatever order. The world of music is the listener's oyster ... more or less. Meaning, you can share your playlists at a party but not in a commercial venue.

When Does My Business Need In-House Counsel?

You need in-house counsel when calling your outside counsel becomes inefficient. Maybe you are spending too much on fees and having an employee makes more sense. Or maybe your business is growing and you just need a trusted counselor to talk to whenever issues arise -- say, someone who doesn't charge you by the minute.

There are many reasons that you might want a lawyer on hand. But of course hiring another employee is always a serious consideration and this one is particularly important. Your in-house lawyer has to be able to do all kinds of things and switch hats with ease.

H1B visas are known as 'The Holy Grail of Visas' both for the opportunity of everlasting citizenship and the seemingly impossible task of securing one. H1Bs are notoriously difficult to secure, in large part because of the requirements on both the prospective employee and the employer.

These requirements can be especially difficult for startups that are looking to expand with international talent. While a startup can sponsor an H1B visa, here are some specific challenges: