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Hundreds of former Tesla employees found themselves jobless this month, but the company was insistent that the cuts were not layoffs. "As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures," a Tesla spokesperson told the Mercury News. "Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world."

But that's not how several current and former employees describe the cuts, claiming those fired had little or no warning, with some being notified by email or phone and told not to come into work the next day. While Tesla may be trying to save face by not using the word "layoff," it could also be dodging certain employments laws.

By all accounts Harvey Weinstein left a trail of sexual harassment, assault, and rape a mile and decades wide before being fired by his company's board of directors this weekend. The board claims it only just found out about Weinstein's behavior, but his excuse -- "I came of age in the 60's and 70's, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then." -- would appear to undercut that assertion.

And by many accounts, Weinstein's behavior, while abhorrent, is not unique in corporate culture. So what lessons can small business owners take from the scandal that the Weinstein Company board of directors may have missed? Here are a few:

The majority of employment arrangements are at-will, meaning an employer can fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. But there are exceptions to that rule, and some reasons for firing are illegal. And there may be some hoops an employer must jump through before firing a union-member employee

So while it might seem like an easy answer to say "Yes, you can fire an employee for shopping at work," the answer gets a little more difficult if the employees were union members whose termination didn't go to arbitration first. If that's the case, you may end up in federal circuit court.

Most entrepreneurs have a laser focus on their companies, and that doesn't leave a whole lot of time to keep up with the latest legal cases. (After all, that's what they pay their attorneys for.) But small business owners are going to have a big interest in what's going on in the Supreme Court this term, with cases touching on just about every aspect running a business, from employee unions to customer discrimination to patent and intellectual property law.

Here are the three biggest:

At this point, it's pretty safe to assume that every tech company, from Google and Twitter to that virtual reality "unicorn" you never heard of, is being sued for gender discrimination. And the claims are all pretty similar: female employees, especially engineers, are paid less than their male counterparts and given fewer opportunities for advancement, all with a little harassment. The names may change, but the song remains the same.

Well, add Oracle to that ever-growing list. Three female ex-engineers are suing the database software giant, claiming they were all paid less than men for "substantially equal or similar work."

You want your employees to perform their best, and you want to provide a safe working environment. For many small business employers, that means keeping your workplace drug-free. While attitudes (and state laws) are changing regarding certain drug use, and some large companies have taken a liberal approach to employee drug habits and histories, the drug-free office, factory, or restaurant has become the norm.

While federal and state laws allow for drug testing at work (and some require it), there are legal and illegal ways to go about implementing employee drug testing policies. Here are some tips for small business employers:

Anti-union 'right-to-work' laws have been controversial since their inception in the 1940s. And although 28 states currently have right-to-work laws on the books, those laws have faced their fair share of legal challenges.

Most recently, Wisconsin passed a right-to-work law in 2015, and the statute just survived its latest legal challenge at the state's 3rd District Court of Appeals.

It seems like just yesterday Google was parting ways with an engineer who felt the need to explain to colleagues, in excruciatingly sophomoric detail, why the "distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and ... these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership."

But that was over a month ago, just four months after the U.S. Department of Labor accused the company of an "extreme" gender pay gap. All of which is a precursor to yet another lawsuit filed yesterday in San Francisco, claiming Google "discriminated and continues to discriminate against its female employees by paying female employees less than male employees with similar skills, experience, and duties."

Virtual reality startup Upload, accused of 'rampant' sexual behavior in the workplace, has settled a lawsuit filed by former director of digital and social media Elizabeth Scott. Scott accused Upload, originally called UploadVR, of "a pattern of gender discrimination, sexual discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, and wrongful termination."

Although the terms of the settlement have not been released, a statement from the company asserted "[t]he matter has been concluded."

According to his lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Tallahassee, Florida, Anthony Kelley missed a shift at a local Walmart because he took his son to the doctor after the boy began vomiting up blood. Two weeks later, he was out of a job.

Kelley's lawsuit against Walmart accuses the company of "a pattern and practice of terminating employees for taking necessary time off to attend family emergencies," and it isn't the first time the company has been charged with punishing employees for taking time off.