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No one wants to be bad mouthed, especially by a disgruntled former employee.

Companies have tried, unsuccessfully, to censor customer complaints on review sites. However, customers may not be the only people who have bad things to say about your company. Your disgruntled ex-employees may have some disparaging comments and complaints of their own.

Can you make an employee sign a non-disparagement agreement as part of their severance package?

If you're in any kind of business, you're also in the contract business -- negotiating, writing, signing, and enforcing. In many ways, the contracts we sign end up running our businesses.

We just have to be sure they don't end up ruining our businesses. We want clear and concise terms that will be enforceable, if necessary. But just because a clause is in a signed contract doesn't mean a court will enforce it. Let's take a look at a few common contract provisions, and whether they're enforceable:

Summer is coming. Your business had a good year. You want to reward your team with a company picnic!

However, be careful. Company picnics and events can be great ways to build rapport and reward your employees. But, depending on how you plan your event, you could be exposing yourself to a host of liability issues.

Quick, a customer is choking on his couscous. Call 911! Or not?

If a customer chokes, gets sick, injured, or has a medical emergency at your business, do you have a duty to help them? Is it enough to call 911? Do you have to take extraordinary measures to save them? Should you train your employees in CPR or the Heimlich? Or, can you sit idly by without fear of criminal or civil liability?

Here is what you need to know about a restaurant's duty to help:

It's every small business owner's worst nightmare: finding out you've produced and sold a defective product. And from listeria in food to ignition switches on cars and even exploding bottles of marijuana soda, it could happen to any business.

If you've got a defective product on the market or in the hands of consumers, you might need to institute a recall. Here's how to recall a product responsibly and legally:

Have you considered enrolling your eligible employees in Medicaid?

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with 100 or more full time workers must offer affordable health insurance coverage. In 2016, employers with only 50-100 employees will also have to comply. With the high cost of health insurance, offering health insurance to employees could have a major impact on your business' bottom line.


How to Avoid TCPA Lawsuits

Do you advertise your business using telemarketing? If so, you should be aware of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

In reaction to growing telemarketing practices, Congress passed the TCPA in 1991. The law prohibits the use of automatic dialing systems, and sets strict restrictions on calls and text messages sent to consumers.

Business is about maximizing profits by raising revenue and keeping costs low. But, business owners should also consider the human costs.

New York nail salons are getting a tough lesson in humanity from Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Governor recently issued an emergency order calling for rules to protect nail salon workers from wage theft and mistreatment.

Have you noticed that inventory has been unusually low? Are your sales uncharacteristically lower than usual despite normal traffic and inventory turnover? Do you suspect employee theft or customer theft?

Whether its $5 or $50,000 that has gone missing, theft by an employee or a customer is a problem that should not be ignored.

What do you do if you notice theft at your business?

Even though we live in a free market, business is highly regulated by wage and hour laws, tax laws, intellectual property laws, anti-discrimination and harassment laws, etc.

While asking forgiveness instead of permission may be a good policy elsewhere, you do not want to do that with your business. Operating your business in violation of any of the myriad of laws could cost you thousands, even millions, of dollars.

Protect your business and your hard work. Comply with the law, and get the proper legal advice to help. Here are three things all business owners should discuss with their lawyers: