Small Business Employment Issues - Free Enterprise
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With over 50 million freelancers out there, businesses would be foolish not to take advantage of their services. After all, not all jobs require a full-time employee.

As businesses and employees are getting more flexible and agile, you may find yourself in the market for freelancers. To make sure you hire the right way, keep a few things in mind:

Poor Abercrombie & Fitch just can't get a break.

Soon after a stunning 8-1 defeat before the Supreme Court over religious head coverings, Abercrombie is going back to the courtroom. Approximately 62,000 of the company's California employees are suing over the company's strict uniform policy.

What trouble has Abercrombie gotten itself into now?

Throwing a frat-themed office party? Probably a bad idea. This idea is especially a bad for social media/tech companies, since they already suffer from heavily criticism for being overtly male-dominated. 

And then this happens: a team at Twitter through a frat-themed office party while being sued for gender discrimination? This is quite possibly the worst idea possible in terms of supporting gender equality in the workplace.

At least this serves as a good opportunity for other businesses to learn: don't do what Twitter just did.

Employees should theoretically love overtime. They get paid time and a half or even double for the same amount of work.

However, people have lives outside of work, so even the most loyal employees may be hesitant to commit to extra work. If an employee refuses to work more than the standard eight hour day, do you have any recourse?

Can you fire an employee who refuses to work overtime?

An employee is claiming harassment at work. The problem is that the employee doesn't know the identity of the harasser. How can you, the employer, resolve the harassment issue if you don't even know who to blame?

Can you just ignore harassment when the harasser is anonymous?

One of your employees just hit you with the news that she's pregnant! In addition to your happiness at the news, no doubt you're also concerned about the implications for your business.

Your employee will probably need time off to go to doctor appointments, and then even more time off right before and after giving birth. During the pregnancy, she may need accommodations because she can no longer do all the duties required of her job. All of this impacts your business and costs, so it can be tempting to avoid the issue altogether by firing any pregnant employees or refusing to hire pregnant applicants.

Be careful. You could be violating a long list of laws protecting the rights of pregnant employees. Here are 5 laws protecting pregnant women's rights that all employers should understand:

Do employers never learn? Firing an employee solely because of the headscarf she is wearing as a part of her religious beliefs is just asking to be sued!

Rotten Ralph's, a bar in the Old City, Philadelphia, was happy to hire Tia Rollins when she wasn't wearing a headscarf. But, a few days later, Rollins was out of a job because her manager didn't like her headscarf.

Now, the restaurant is being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Firing an employee is never pleasant, even if you think he or she deserves it. Bringing a wrongful termination lawsuit can only add to the unpleasantness. No doubt you'd rather be focusing on your business than going to court.

So how can you avoid getting sued after terminating an employee? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

It's summer! Do you give your employees paid vacations? No? Well, that's too bad. Luckily, you don't operate your business somewhere in Europe.

The United States may be the second largest economy in the world, but we're definitely the stingiest country for paid vacation days.

Monday, your employee Bob doesn't show up to work. He doesn't even call to tell you why he won't be in. Tuesday, he's a no show again. Wednesday, you're getting worried and angry.

Can you fire a no-show employee? Are there steps you must take first?