This year, the most popular small business legal issues on our Free Enterprise blog involved employment law. From asking for doctor's notes to conducting legal exit interviews, our business-minded readers seemed most hungry for guidance on how best to manage employees.
Still, some stories resonated more than others. Here are the Top 10 Free Enterprise posts of 2013:
- Don't Forget: 'Obamacare Letters' Due Oct. 1: Getting into compliance with the Affordable Care Act -- including notice deadlines for employers -- topped the list for small businesses legal issues this year.
- Asking for a Doctor's Note? Keep It Legal: In our post on the do's and don'ts of asking for a doctor's note, the lesson is clear: Don't ask for too much information.
- Burger King Franchisee Settles Harassment Suit: The nation's largest franchisee of Burger King restaurants made headlines when it agreed to settle a huge sexual harassment lawsuit for $2.5 million.
- Salaried Employees: How Many Hours Can They Work?: We often discuss the wage and hour rules for hourly workers, but salaried employees have protections, too.
- McDonald's Franchisees Furious Over Costs: From sky-high costs to a lack of control, McDonald's franchisee owners' patience with corporate was wearing as thin as a soggy French fry this year.
- 3 Ways You Can Legally Refuse Service to Customers: A "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" policy is one of many valid reasons business owners may use to turn troublesome customers away.
- Is Your Non-Compete Clause Valid?: A valid non-compete agreement can be a powerful business tool to protect trade secrets and retain customers, but they must be drafted carefully to be enforceable.
- For Employers: 5 Red Flags to Spot on Resumes: When your business picks up in 2014 and you're ready to grow your team, be sure to spot the five telltale resume red flags in your screening process.
- Is It Legal to Read Employees' Email?: Though it's typically legal for employers to check employee email for legitimate work reasons, employers should keep everyone on the same page with a written office email policy.
- 5 Tips for Keeping Employee Exit Interviews Legal: Though exit interviews may seem straightforward, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to prevent the exit interview from veering into legally dubious territory.
Is there a post you particularly loved that didn't make the cut? Tweet it to us at @FindLawConsumer.
Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Google+.