Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

December 2017 Archives

Gone are the days that small business owners can just focus on dollars and cents. If you're not on the lookout for crimes and scams, you stand to lose more than a little profit.

Scammers can destroy your small business' credit and reputation overnight, so you need to be vigilant when protecting what you've built. But you can't stop a scam if you don't know what to look for, so here are seven of the most common scams targeting small businesses.

While some small businesses are gearing up for the Christmas sale rush, others might be winding down for the holiday season. And whether you're anticipating a rush of customers into your business or a flood of employees out on vacation, you also have to be on guard for the annual holiday crime spike.

Whether its shoplifters who can't afford or don't want to pay for a gift, or staffing illegally adding to their year-end bonus, take these five tips to heart when trying to prevent Christmas crime at your small business.

Employers Prohibited From Asking 'What's Your Salary History?'

In certain states, cities, and municipalities, new laws prohibit potential employers from asking job applicants for their salary history. These laws may also require employers to disclose their salary range if the applicant requests that information. The purpose of these new laws is to protect applicants from employment discrimination.

Employers must comply with the new laws or face liability. However, according to Bloomberg, some states have enacted the prohibition about asking for an applicant's salary history, many have delayed an applicant's ability to sue or seek punitive damages, presumably to allow employers to learn how to comply with the new legislation.

Most have us, at some point in our daily lives or travels, have come across a shop serving its customers through bulletproof glass. Maybe it was a gas station or a convenience store, but the assumption is always pretty similar -- this must be a rough neighborhood, and this place probably has a good reason for having the glass up.

But Philadelphia is trying to bring the bulletproof glass down, at least in some of its establishments. And to understand why, it might be useful to explain how Philly's "beer delis" are a little different than your average corner store.

We might remember 2014 as the Year of the Data Breach. But 2017 saw what has the potential to be the most catastrophic hack in history. And 2018 might be the year when Congress cracks down on companies concealing data breaches.

Last week, three senators introduced new legislation that would require companies to report data breaches within 30 days, and even provide prison time for executives who knowingly conceal a data breach.

It's been a boilerplate part of every employment application for decades: "Have you been convicted of a crime?" For employers, it may have been an easy way to cull the list of job applicants, or an attempt to weed out any unsavory characters.

But there are movements afoot to remove the question from job applications, or, if not, to incentivize businesses to hire felons and ex-convicts. While small businesses may still be wary of hiring someone with a criminal record, there might be a few good reasons to do so. So here are a few legal angles to consider if you're thinking about hiring felons, from our archives:

The State of California filed a lawsuit last week claiming a janitorial company, responsible for cleaning retail stores like Ross, JoAnn's Fabrics, Burlington Coat Factory, and Toys R Us, violated state wage and tax laws.

One Source Facility Solution is accused of failing to pay workers the minimum wage, underreporting payroll taxes, and providing false payroll information to its workers' compensation insurance carrier. The lawsuit alleges One Source janitors "have not received and do not receive the state-mandated minimum wage for all of the hours they work."