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If you have general counsel duties on your in-house lawyering plate, you may want to consider getting a jump on your holiday season duties. Every year, without fail, the holiday season seems to creep up earlier and earlier, and as such, so do your duties of reminding employees about, and ensuring compliance with, certain policies.

While summer might just be ending, it's actually a good time to review the upcoming holiday season's legal issues. If policies need to change due to recent changes in the law, or around the business, by reviewing your holiday policies at the end of summer, you'll have much more time to push through those necessary changes.

Here are three tips on holiday season corporate legal issues you may want to get a jump on.

When it comes to managing your workforce over the summer, or in warm weather climates, having heat wave related policies can go a long way to keeping employees happy and minimizing your company's exposure to various hot weather liabilities.

Employees that suffer heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, on the job, will likely miss work, cause disruption to other employees, and may even have workers compensation claims. To minimize these risks, employers need to specially tailor their policies to best protect their employees, their own interests, and, most importantly, the bottom line.

Tesla Hit With Labor Complaint; United Auto Workers Joins

Elon Musk gets public applause for being a futurist, but in some ways his company seems backwards.

According to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board, Tesla keeps workers from talking about union activities, employee safety, and other issues by pressuring them and requiring confidentiality agreements. For a company that has been accused of exploiting cheap labor and overworking employees before, it is not a good look.

As one Tesla factory worker reportedly said, "Everything feels like the future but us." In-house counsel might ask, among other labor questions, "Is our confidentiality agreement up to date?"

Venture Capitalists to Face More Scrutiny for Harassment

Venture capitalists -- predominantly men -- have been like the gorillas in the boardroom; they sit wherever they want.

Women, on the other hand, have barely had a seat at the table. They've long suffered silently from sex discrimination and harassment in the tech industry, where startups often survive only as long as they get funding.

That culture started to change several years ago after a tell-all lawsuit scorched the Silicon Valley. Now with new legislation on the horizon, general counsel should make sure traditional VCs sit down where they're told.

Over the past decade, the concept of work/life balance has continued to increase in importance. Along with the widespread proliferation of the internet, telecommuting has become incredibly easy thanks to laptop computers, smart phones, and that glorious, glorious Wi-Fi.

However, when your workers ask for flex time, or the ability to work from home, without a medical or family reason, it can often put you in an uncomfortable position. Yes, it's very possible. Yes, we have the technology. Sure, the work can get done from an employee's home. But some employees just don't perform as well, or might take short cuts, when not in the office. Another potential problem is appearance of favoritism and employee jealousy, which can happen even when other employees need ADA accommodations for ultra personal reasons.

Fortunately, if you have a clear policy that is based in logic, denying flex time or other fringe benefits can serve as motivation rather than a morale killer.

Should Companies Force Employees to Take Vacation Time?

Tom Hanks, portraying a stranded survivor on a remote island, looked at a portable toilet siding and said: This could work.

Forget that he was talking to a volleyball. It was his insight that a piece of plastic could be repurposed as a sail. It literally, at least in the fictional tale of "Cast Away," saved him.

So what does this have to do with mandatory vacations? Stay with me here, it's about the journey.

Employee Data Theft Threatens Winery's Business, Lawsuit Claims

The Peju Province Winery is a family-owned business in the sunny countryside of Napa Valley, California.

Tony Peju and his wife Herta bought 30 acres there in 1982, cultivated and nurtured the winery, all while raising two daughters who rode bicycles and horses in the rambling vineyards. They work the business together, and invite visitors to "bask in the glory of summer."

But now the Pejus are reeling after former employees allegedly stole company information that threatens the winery's once-idyllic existence. In the information age, it is a story that happens all too often.

Is It Time to Update Your Company's Parental Leave Policy?

A trucking company boss asked a job prospect how close he could drive to the edge of a cliff.

Having seen two other seasoned drivers leave the interview room dejectedly, the applicant wondered if his skills were up to snuff. He finally replied: "I'd steer clear of the edge as far as possible."

He got the job and you get the point: When reviewing your parental leave policy, steer as far as possible away from crossing legal limits.

EEOC Rarely Files Suits for Age Bias

Age, like beauty, is sometimes in the eyes of the beholder.

When 50 is the new 40, it seems like 10 years doesn't really make a difference. But as anyone with arthritis knows, it sure feels like it.

And so it is with age discrimination claims. Sometimes it feels like age is the problem, but really it isn't. According to reports, few age discrimination cases have legs because the problem is the law.

When assembling an in-house team of lawyers, can you recruit from your competitors? Or, better yet, since you're not going to let anyone tell you what to do, should you?

Recruiting in-house lawyers is not as simple as recruiting other employees from your competitors. Fortunately, non-compete clauses and other covenants that restrict employment for attorneys are not likely to be upheld. However, those pesky professional duties and obligations for lawyers can really get in the way and make an in-house attorney recruited from a competitor more than just nearly useless.