Free Enterprise - FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Swedish 30-Hour Work Week Experiment Intrigues Americans

Does working hard make us sick? Would we be happier and healthier if we had more freedom? Some workers in Gothenburg, Sweden are finding out.

They are part of an experiment with a 30-hour work week meant to improve worker morale and productivity. The 6-hour work day experiment operates on the assumption that working smarter, not harder, improves quality of life and work.

Telecommuting Is a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation and employers may allow for disabled workers. But not all jobs are covered by the ADA and employers do not have to allow work off site if alternative effective accommodations are offered.

For employers considering telecommuting as an accommodation to an employee's disability, this is what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suggests you do.

White Collar Crime Checklist: 3 Tips to Prevent Fraud in Your Office

The white collar is mostly gone. But economic crime is still going strong. Bribery, extortion, embezzlement, fraud, and tax evasion are all alive and well as white collar crimes.

These are serious offenses that do much damage to victims and society in general. Yet, they get less press than classic violent offenses. It's important to understand how financial fraud can be more harmful to your business.

After what seems like eons of customer complaints regarding an early breakfast cutoff time, McDonald's has finally assented to serving breakfast all day. The shift is seen as a response to declining sales and increased competition from the likes of Starbucks and Taco Bell.

But a peek inside the move reveals a few more details that can provide some valuable lessons to entrepreneurs and small business owners:

Google has announced that it won't make advertisers pay for ads that aren't 100 percent viewable. This is great news for small businesses using the global search engine to get the word out. Only paying for those ads that potential customers can see means you're getting more bang for your buck.

But how do you know which ads are getting viewed, or are viewable? And what are the viewability criteria?

In Europe, merchants abandoned magnetic credit card swiping machines long ago, in favor of cards with embedded computer chips. Thus far, American stores and shops have lagged behind.

But that's all about to change. Starting today, retailers who don't install microchip card readers could be on the hook for any fraudulent charges on old magnetic swipe machines. So what does your small business need to do to catch up with this new technology?

Colleges Creating Law Clinics to Help Student Startups

The law is generally not a major concern for young tech geeks dreaming of being the next Mark Zuckerburg. But sometimes, long before the first billion is made, student startups hit a snag. A serious snag -- like a state attorney general's investigation.

That is what happened to some students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who found themselves under investigation by New Jersey. Their promising software was accused of hijacking computers. Instead of developing an investment strategy, the students found themselves under investigation. Ultimately, no one was charged with a crime but the experience taught MIT to think different about the law.

In what seems like an annual occurrence at this point, the federal government is nearing another potential shutdown over budget squabbles. And while this might all sound like political wrangling to you, there are some real ways a government shutdown could affect your small business.

So what can you do to prepare? Here's how to gear up for a potential government shutdown:

Employee perks, especially at tech startups, are becoming the stuff of legend. When you have companies competing for the best and brightest by mandating paid sabbaticals, you know it's a decent time to be in the job market.

When one tech company sends its entire staff to Cambodia to work remotely for an entire month, you may wonder how your company can keep up. And if employees can work effectively from a beach on the other side of the globe, are there any limits to where they can telecommute from?

Long-time, recurring contracts are essential to small business. They allow you to focus on the quality of your product and running your business. But it's exactly because you're not paying attention to your recurring contracts that you could be paying too much.

With online banking and bill pay options, it's easier than ever to pay your bills without reading the fine print and itemized charges. Here's what you might be missing: