It's the start of the year and just as you may have New Year's resolutions for your personal life, you may also want resolutions for your role as general counsel.
While there were plenty of corporate legal lessons to be learned in 2012, now is the time to look forward to the new year. In fact, just this week, there were plenty of new laws that went into effect that may impact your company.
So without further ado, here are three resolutions you may want to incorporate for the new year:
Update your social media policy. Employers in many states like California and Illinois are now prohibited from requesting social media passwords or accessing non-public information from their applicants and employees, Reuters reports. Currently, many companies request such information so that they can have a better understanding of who they are about to hire or what their employees are up to. But state lawmakers found that this may violate the employees' privacy concerns.
Know the impacts of the "fiscal cliff" deal. President Obama and Republican lawmakers reached a deal on several tax issues to help avert driving off the fiscal cliff. As a result, there are a spate of new laws, tax breaks, and incentives, some of which are holdovers from prior years. This includes very specific provisions like tax breaks for "motorsports entertainment complexes" as well as broad tax breaks like the extension of the law that allows U.S.-based multinational companies to defer taxes on certain income generated by overseas finance subsidiaries. To learn more about the new tax laws, you may want to consult a business tax attorney.
Be aware of increases in minimum wage. If you have employees in multiple states, you should be aware of possible minimum wage increases in each of these states. There are ten states increasing their minimum wage rates in 2013.