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Virtual offices, shared office spaces, and coworking locations can have their advantages. Especially for small businesses and startups with limited resources, shared workspaces can give you and your employees access to office services, a social network or like-minded entrepreneurs, business development workshops, and, in some cases, even health insurance.

Coworking spaces can also have their downsides, like, according to one lawsuit, an "entitled, frat-boy culture" that engenders sexual assault. Ruby Anaya, a former WeWork employee, is suing the shared workspace company, claiming she was assaulted by two other employees at separate corporate events and that the company took no action against her assailants.

So how do you keep that frat-boy culture from invading your working environment, and what can you do if one of your employees is harassed by someone sharing your workspace?

Chicago Hotel Temp Workers Sue to Recover Back Pay

No one wants disgruntled employees, and certainly no one wants them to go on strike. If they do, and agencies help backfill with temporary workers, make sure those workers get paid immediately or you'll find yourself served with a lawsuit.

IT Advocacy Group Sues Over Short Duration H-1B Visas

H-1B visas, used by US companies to bring technical non-immigrant foreign workers into the United States, are the topic of hot debate. This time, their shortened duration is at the center of a lawsuit filed by IT Service Alliance, an IT advocacy group representing more than 1,000 small IT companies, against the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Plaintiffs claim that UCSIS is reaching beyond its power, without authority, when shortening visa lengths. These visas typically last three to six years; some are now issued for just a matter of days, and others are issued after the visa period has expired.

When we hear stories about companies like Lockheed Martin using a "14-foot-tall, gleaming black box that can only be opened by solving one of the world's most impossible aerospace equations" as part of their hiring process, the future feels like it's finally arrived and our heads begin spinning with the possibilities of applying similar technology to our own recruiting and interview programs.

A few words of caution, however: federal and state antidiscrimination laws still apply to hiring, whether done by human interviewers or artificial intelligence. Just ask Amazon, which was forced to scrap its AI recruiting algorithm after discovering anti-women bias. So, before you hand over your hiring decisions to the machines, read this.

Airport Safety Whistleblower Wins Settlement

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is out nearly three-quarters of a million dollars for failing to listen to one of its manager's safety complaints, and then retaliating against him when slapped with a Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) safety violation.

The airport was hit with with a $735,000 penalty by the FAA for failing to comply with the recommendations of Manager of Field Maintenance, Abdul Malik-Ali, to use more staffers for snow removal. The Airport should have licked its wounds and moved on. But when Airport Director Ricky Smith retaliated against Ali for tipping off the FAA regarding the snow removal safety concerns, the Airport's liability in the matter ultimately tripled.

Best Practices for Your Business's Dress Code

Drafting a business's handbook is an arduous process, but it's an accomplishment that is often a relief to complete. Right now, it may be time to go back and review your company's dress code section.

Social trends and laws in the area of gender equity, gender discrimination, and gender identity are moving at warp speed. And if your business's practices are out of date, you could be caught with your pants down, proverbially speaking, of course. According to the EEOC, 25,605 sex-based charges were filed in 2017. To keep your company from becoming part of this statistic, here are a few things to review.

The U.S. Department of Labor enforces regulations covering everything from wage and hour laws and union activity to workplace safety statutes and workers' compensation benefits. And while not every employer will fall under the Labor Department's purview, those that do will notice that DOL regulations impact almost every aspect of the employee-employer relationship.

That means a lot of work for startups and small businesses to make sure they are compliant with federal labor laws, and it could mean extra expense if you need to respond to a complaint regarding your employment policies or practices. So, here are a few tips on what the Labor Department covers, how to avoid labor law violations, and how to respond to DOL complaints.

So-called "right-to-work" laws prohibit companies and unions to enter security agreements that require all employees to become members of a union or require all members who benefit from the union contract to contribute to the costs of union representation. As it stands, 27 states have right-to-work protections, whether by legislation or constitutional provision. But can cities and municipalities get in on the act as well?

That may depend on in which federal court circuit the municipality is located.

As a caring small business owner, you want to take good care of your employees. And you have a legal obligation to make sure they're safe and taken care of if they are injured on the job.

You likely just pay into your state's workers' compensation insurance fund automatically, but is that all you need to worry about? Here are some of the biggest questions small business owners have about workers' comp:

Southwest Sued for Segregated Break Room in Houston Airport

A former Southwest Airlines employee is suing the company in federal court for racial discrimination. Jamel Parker, an African American, claims that Southwest had a segregated "whites only" break room, dubbed the "WB," at Houston's Hobby Airport up until 2016 or 2017, when the area was renovated and the room removed. In addition, he asserts that a noose made of bungee cords hung at a Southwest airport gate for years.

Parker also claims that whites were given preferential work treatment by being held to lighter punishments for similar offenses. Parker is seeking monetary damages. Without specifically addressing the WB, the bungee, or the termination comparisons, Southwest claims its innocence, based on the facts that it is an Equal Opportunity Employer and consistently voted one of the best places to work.