Free Enterprise - FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Regulation Nation: What Industries Are Most Carefully Overseen?

All types of businesses are regulated to ensure that certain standards are met and that people are not harmed, or that if they are, there is legal recourse. But some industries tend to be more highly regulated than others, and some are so new that regulators are just starting to figure out what to do.

Are You Celebrating Black History Month in the Office?

Identity issues are a touchy topic in the office. For the most part at work, we put our personal selves aside and handle assignments. Who we are on a personal level is not supposed to be super important. But of course it truly is.

Who we are influences our understanding of the world ... and work. So it is important at times to recognize the contributions of those the culture has not always championed but oppressed. February is Black History Month. Certainly you understand this is important, but as an employer you may not be sure how to handle it. Here is a suggestion -- and some wise words to keep in mind -- provided by Diversity Best Practices.

According to the World Health Organization, the Zika virus is now a global health emergency. The virus has turned up in the United States, and researchers are learning more each day about how the virus is spread and its potential effects on infected people and fetuses.

Here's what you need to know about the Zika virus and its potential impact on your small business and employees:

5 Budgeting Tips for Startups and Small Businesses

Half of all small businesses close their doors within five year of opening. There are many reasons for this and many. Overwhelmed by other issues, financial responsibilities quickly slip to the wayside, and you figure each month that you'll deal with all the figures around April, when taxes are due.

Do not let your finances undo you. Instead, stay on top of expenses with the following five startup and small business budgeting tips, recommended by Small Business Computing.

People always complain how hard it is to achieve a good work-life balance, and to keep business and personal matters separate. At no time is that more true than when your small business gets sued. All of a sudden you're wondering what you could lose if your business loses the lawsuit.

Depending on the corporate structure of your small business, you could be personally liable for business debts, including legal judgments. Which means they could come for your home, unless you take the proper precautions to protect your home in a business lawsuit.

Elon Musk Refuses Super Rude Customer a Car

A scandal is brewing on the social networks and it raises an interesting legal question. The carmaker Tesla, brainchild of Elon Musk, is refusing to sell venture capitalist Stewart Alsop a car, claiming he was super rude.

Can he do that? Before we address the question, let's look at what happened here, according to Auto Guide.

It can be great to have employees on the road. They can meet with clients face-to-face and carry your small business to a big audience. But employee travel can be a bit of a headache as well, with the logistics and the lost time in transit, to say nothing of the legal issues that can arise when workers on the road, on the clock, and on the company dime.

So what are the three thorniest legal issues with employee travel? And what can your small business do to make business trips a bit rosier?

Gig Economy Study by Gov May Change Labor Law

The American government cannot get a handle on how its people are working. Employment has changed and many people now have gigs instead of jobs. The old measurements for economic health are gone and there are no new ones to replace them, so it is actually quite difficult to tell just how well workers are doing or what protections are needed now.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced last week the government's plan to address this issue as US workplaces experience what he called "profound changes," The Wall Street Journal reports. But it will take some time to gather and analyze this information on the gig economy, so the impact on labor laws is likely to be delayed.

Employers have to rate their employees' performance. That's just a fact of the working world and a pretty effective way of incentivizing employees and rewarding them for their efforts. But there are all kinds of rating systems out there, and, as creations of imperfect managers and executives, they can be subject to misuse.

That's what one former Yahoo manager is alleging in a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in California this week. Gregory Anderson's lawsuit challenges Yahoo's employee rating system and alleges that it was manipulated under CEO Marissa Mayer to fire hundreds of employees without just cause.

Examining Religious Exemptions to LGBT Protections

Compromise is often the only solution. Extremes rarely lead to agreement. You can try to get your way and likely fail, or you can concede a bit in order to advance your interests. It is generally accepted that by compromising, we make incremental progress, and that's a good thing.

But when do we make so many exceptions to a rule that it becomes irrelevant? Is that what's happening to new and proposed LGBT legal protections around the country, as Think Progress reports? Are provisions for religious institutions undermining the very cause these laws are mean to protect, including LGBT people's rights to nondiscrimnatory hiring?