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Just about every business, small and large, wants a diverse team of executives, managers, and staff. Primarily, diversity in backgrounds and opinions can make your company better, attracting more customers, clients, and prospective employees. Beyond that, you could get in trouble legally if your company isn't diverse or inclusive enough. So, how do you get there?

It's no surprise that many small businesses are turning to tech to solve their diversity deficits. But, while there are some great new tools available to address certain diversity issues, businesses can't only rely on the latest AI to overhaul their workplace.

"Oracle's suppression of pay for its non-white, non-male employees is so extreme that it persists and gets worse over long careers." Not exactly something you want to hear about your business in any context in this day and age, and certainly not something you want to read in a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

And these are not new allegations. Federal labor officials are updating a 2017 lawsuit, now claiming that discriminatory hiring practices at the software giant cost women and people of color more than $400 million in lost wages.

Age Discrimination Protections Don't Apply to Job Applicants, Court Rules

In a divided decision, the en banc Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned its prior three-member panel decision, and ruled that age discrimination protections only apply to employees and not to job applicants.

Such a ruling has broad implications, though currently limited as law to the Seventh Circuit. Some believe this flies in the face of prior rulings by the United States Supreme Court. But the majority disagreed, and stated that if Congress doesn't agree with its ruling, they are free to explicitly extend age discrimination to job candidates.

Boss Learns $21 Million Lesson in Honoring Employee Religious Beliefs

Park Hotels and Resorts, formerly known as Hilton Worldwide, was hit with a $21.5 million verdict for failing to honor an employee's civil and constitutionally protected right to practice her religion, even if that meant not working on Sundays. Due to federal guidelines, that amount will decrease to about $1 million. But the message being sent should be loud and clear: employers have to accommodate religious beliefs.

As you are (hopefully) aware, federal law prohibits hiring undocumented workers. In addition, many state laws can punish employers for not complying with verification requirements. But many unscrupulous employers disregard these strictures and flip immigration law against their employees.

One company, which actually went through the legal process to hire an immigrant employee, allegedly turned around and forced the employee to pay his own salary, and threatened him with deportation if he didn't comply, violating federal human trafficking laws.

And you (hopefully) know enough to never, ever do that.

Kellogg Seeks to Punish Litigious Employees in Arbitration Battle

There are cases of he-said-she-said. And then there are cases like this, of they-sued-they-countersued-they-sued-again.

Kellogg Company workers filed a class action lawsuit alleging they were denied overtime pay. Kellogg denied the allegations, but also asked the court to dismiss the case, claiming that the workers had signed an employment agreement requiring arbitration. Kellogg successfully had the case moved to arbitration. Arbitration generally favors defendant employers, since the process affords employees fewer rights than court, primarily because it doesn't offer as much discovery to plaintiffs and eliminates the ability to sue as a class. After this, the workers knew their plight would be uphill, but they probably didn't see what was coming.

The legal issues swirling around driver pay for ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft normally centered around whether those drivers were classified as employees or contractors. State and federal minimum wage, overtime, and unemployment laws generally only apply to employees, so as long as drivers were independent contractors, the companies could pay what they wanted.

That was until the New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission stepped in and set a new wage floor for Uber and Lyft drivers in the city. The first such minimum wage for app-based drivers in the country, NYC set the rate at $17.22 per hour after expenses or $26.51 per hour gross. So how will that affect drivers, fares, and the companies?

Do Employers Have to Pay Overtime on Thanksgiving?

Few employees want to work on Thanksgiving, unless they are looking for a solid excuse to get out of a family dinner. Employers often do what they can to spread holiday work around in whatever manner seems fair, but it's likely some percentage of employees in certain industries will have to work this Thanksgiving. Employers are thankful for their service, but do they have to pay them overtime?

Sandwiched in between the monolithic shopping holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday -- a day for local and small businesses to really shine. And while your focus might have been on the day before, don't forget to prepare for the day made for your small biz.

So here are five legal tips to prepare for Small Business Saturday, and the biggest shopping weekend of the year.

Ah, love at work. Perhaps it's inevitable, given the amount of time we spend in the office. But coworker relationships can give small business owners fits. First of all, there's the sexual harassment concern, especially if one of those employees in the relationship is a manager. Second, what if the relationship goes south? Will it blow up your entire office?

Naturally, many employers are tempted to ban intraoffice relationships entirely. But they may not be all bad. According to Forbes, 14 percent of employees say an office romance increased their happiness at work, and while some reported that the relationship decreased their productivity, about the same amount said the opposite. So some big tech companies have taken a more nuanced approach, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Facebook and Google limit employees to one opportunity to ask a co-worker out, and apparently "I'm busy" counts as a "no."

So how should your small business handle dating coworkers? Here are three things to consider: