Small Business Employment Issues - Free Enterprise
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Chances are, you already have lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender employees. And whether you're aware of that or not, you should at least be aware of the federal and state laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on someone's gender or sexual orientation.

But knowing the law and adhering to it can be two different things, and having the right anti-discrimination policies in place is just the start. Here are five things you need to know about LGBT discrimination in the workplace:

It's not enough just to offer someone a great job, or even just great pay. Employees in this market are looking at their careers more holistically, and seeking benefits beyond pay and the possibility for advancement. So how do you attract talent and keep your employees happy?

There are some standard benefits that you could increase or extend. And there are some not-so-standard benefits that your small business might think about implementing. Here are five that are sure to keep your employees working hard on your projects, rather than on their resumes:

Nobody looks forward to firing employees. When you have to lay someone off, it either means your small business isn't doing as well as you want, or that you made a mistake in hiring. Either way, the last thing you want if you have to fire an employee is a wrongful termination lawsuit.

It's only natural that someone getting fired is going to be upset. But there are ways to protect your small business from legal disputes arising from layoffs. And if you can't prevent a lawsuit entirely, there are steps you can take to make sure you're on the right side of the law.

Parental leave isn't just for mothers anymore. And providing parental leave isn't just for venture capital-flush startups anymore. In some cities, it's becoming the law for all employers. It seems like America finally might be catching up to the rest of the developed world when it comes to giving parents paid time off.

So who's leading the way? Here are five places (four employers and one city) that are giving their employee parents the most benefits:

Some states are insuring discrimination protections for LGBT employees and customers. Others, not so much. So it's fair for the average small business owner or entrepreneur to wonder what they're responsibilities are when it comes to preventing discrimination.

Lucky for you, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a handy, 1-page guide to help startups comply with federal anti-discrimination laws. Here are some of the highlights:

Does San Francisco's Fully Paid Parental Leave Law Signal National Change?

This month, San Francisco authorities passed a law requiring employers of a certain size to contribute to paid parental leave for the first six weeks of a newborn's life or upon adoption of a child. It is the first American city do so.

The law starts off gradually, applying to employers of 50 or more and is for parents who have worked 180 days at a job. But it will require businesses with 20 or more employees to supplement state funds for parents by January 2018.

For businesses both large and small, the H-1B Visa allows skilled non-citizen employees to work in the U.S. for three to six years. And whether you're adding international talent to an existing and established company or just getting started, the H-1B can be essential.

But availability is limited -- H-1B's are capped at 85,000 annually and they sell out fast. Like six days fast. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has already reached the mandated H1-B cap for this year, leading to many small business owners wondering what that means for sponsoring skilled foreign workers.

With New York and California enacting $15-per-hour minimum wage laws, and many other cities and states following suit, it can be hard to keep up with all the new minimum wage requirements. So we've got you covered.

From the federal minimum wage to tips in the service industry, here are five essential minimum wage laws that small businesses need to know:

Ruby Tuesday Workers Sue Food Chain in Wage Class Action

Ruby Tuesday workers sued the restaurant chain in a class action lawsuit over wages. The plaintiff class covers all Ruby Tuesday servers and bartenders who worked in all of the chain's restaurants for the last three years, according to Grub Street.

The workers say that they were forced to spend more than 20 percent of their time on side work while being paid on a tip-wage basis, which violates the law, and also were encouraged by the corporation not to report their side-work hours. To understand the workers' claims, you need to know something about serving drinkers and diners in the US. So let's start with the basics.

Craziest Employee Scams

Normally in this space we're warning small business owners to avoid vendor scams and online hackers. But when Vice published a short compendium of workplace scams, we knew we should warn you about your own employees as well.

Here are a few of our favorites to help you make sure you're on the lookout for employee scams at your small business.