Small Business Employment Issues - Free Enterprise
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First and foremost, you want to make the best hiring decisions for your business. And maybe that means that you don't care if someone has a felony conviction on their record. Or maybe you say you would never hire a felon.

Either way, hiring a felon might actually be good for your small business. Between compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws and access to municipal contracts, there are a few reasons to consider hiring former felons.

Unpaid interns mean free labor and more money in your business' coffers. That's a great idea!

Is it really? There are many labor laws and regulations regarding unpaid interns. For example, unpaid internships must be educational, cannot displace paid employees, and must primarily benefit the intern. Violations of these rules can lead to expensive lawsuits and judgments that could have been avoided if you just paid your interns. Just last year, NBCUniversal agreed to pay a $6.4 million settlement in an unpaid internship case.

So, are unpaid internships even worth the hassle? Here is a round-up of our best unpaid internship articles to help guide you through the legalities hiring an unpaid intern:

As a small business owner, you've probably weighed the pros and cons of hiring independent contractors or full-time employees. And you've also hopefully considered the possible penalties for misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they're really employees.

The IRS has been consistently cracking down on independent contractor use, but they're not the only organization you need to be wary of. Here's what can happen to employers that misclassify employees as independent contractors.

We do our best during the hiring process to screen out potential conflicts and hire staff that we think will get along. That doesn't always work out.

If you've had a verbal or physical altercation between employees, you may be wondering what to do next. Here are a few legal considerations if your employees got into a fight.

Most business owners would be stunned to learn an employee is accusing them of illegal or unethical business practices. And more than a few would be angered to the point of retaliation.

That would be a bad idea. Facing a whistleblower case would be anyone's nightmare, but here are three ways to avoid making it worse.

First and foremost, you want employees that can do the job -- capable, competent, and committed. After that, you're probably looking at an employee's interpersonal skills and how they represent your company to the public.

But there might be some different traits you'll want to keep an eye out for when hiring, like the skills or qualities that can keep your company out of legal trouble. Here are three of them:

Maybe you just don't like the habit, or don't want your office to smell like cigarettes. Or maybe you're more worried about the healthcare costs or extra sick days.

Whatever your reasoning, you might be thinking of joining the many companies that are now refusing to hire smokers. But are these bans legal? You might want to consult your state statutes to find out.

From cities to startups, everyone is trying to keep it weird these days. An offbeat corporate culture at your business may sound good in theory, but how do you keep it legal in practice?

Here are a few tips to keep your office weird from getting too legally wild.

Like any important strategic business decision, whether to use independent contractors comes with its benefits and its costs. And it's up to you to decide what works best for your company.

And here are a few things to keep in mind if you have to make that choice:

The key to an effective workforce is often a happy workforce. But how do you know if your workforce is happy?

Many companies are surveying their employees to gauge happiness, satisfaction, and engagement. But these surveys are not without their pitfalls, legal and otherwise. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your employee surveys are effective and legal.