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Setting Up Workplace Policies To Tackle Harassment

Business Law

Setting Up Workplace Policies To Tackle Harassment

Workplace harassment is a troubling and difficult subject that’s been increasingly prevalent in the news as more people come forward to discuss their experiences. As a result, businesses that may have previously considered themselves well equipped with policies to prevent and confront harassment are now reevaluating these policies and updating the types of training they provide to supervisors and employees. As a business owner, it’s important to have clear policies in place to reduce the potential for harassment. These policies help ensure your employees work in an environment that is professional and respectful so they can focus on doing their... READ MORE

Limiting the Use of Plastic Straws: Businesses and Conservation

The new ban on plastic straws spreading across cities in California is just one example of legislative bodies reacting to constituent pressure to take steps, however small, to try and encourage environmentally friendly decisions. Whether or not these sorts of rules should be legislated or allowed to evolve naturally due to customer pressure can be debated endlessly, but the repercussions for businesses, as conservation is mandated, must be discussed. There is a fine attached to handing out plastic drinking straws if your business is located within one of the cities that has passed the ban. As more and more cities... READ MORE

How Settlement Agreements Work

Business owners occasionally have to deal with disputes with customers, suppliers, and employees. These are sometimes resolved quickly and amicably, but in other cases, resolution takes longer, or litigation is started before an agreement can be reached. In many of these instances, a settlement agreement is a contract between two or more parties stating how they plan to resolve a dispute. When Do You Use a Settlement Agreement? Settlement agreements are useful when resolving a disputed claim, they provide you the protection of having a resolution of the issue, which may prevent the issue from having to be resettled again... READ MORE

What is the Fuss About the GDPR and Does it Matter for My Business?

At this point, you’ve probably been inundated with emails from various companies notifying you of updates to their privacy policies in light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into enforcement in the European Union. You may have been asked to confirm your subscription or update your settings depending on the company. So, you may be asking what the GPR is, what it does, and whether your business’ current website needs to comply with these regulations? What is the General Data Protection Regulation? The European Union’s passage of the GDPR, resulted in changes to data privacy laws and regulations... READ MORE

Raising Money from Family and Friends

Long before banks are willing to loan money, often when you first have an idea, you raise money from friends and family to start your business venture. Many a long-term successful venture begins this way, with an equipment budget gifted from grandma and supplies expenses from your dad in exchange for a little ownership. Even on slightly larger scales, this is one of the most common ways businesses raise their initial capital. After all, if your friends and family won’t give you money and assistance, you’re unlikely to get it from investors you don’t know or banks that just want... READ MORE

Child Safety Online: Running Websites Aimed at Children

You might not realize this if you don’t have children, but web content is popping up aimed specifically at entertaining, engaging, and marketing to children. Today’s kids can navigate a tablet before they can talk and online businesses are targeting this demographic (and their parents) to educate and market. You can’t buy a kids meal at a fast food restaurant without the toy including an online game or component and YouTube channels with millions of views are popping up where the video is nothing but adults playing with toys or playing video games. To promote child safety online, there are... READ MORE

Preventing Discrimination in the Workplace

The U.S. has a number of anti-discrimination and harassment laws that prohibit businesses from discriminating against employees based on a number of factors including age, disability, race, sex, pregnancy, and citizenship. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: Amended in 1991 to allow victims to recover damages, sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.” This includes when a person in authority is demanding sexual favors from a subordinate and when sexual comments or jokes create a hostile... READ MORE

California Proposes New Law Aimed at Closing Gender Pay Gap

Across the country, the gender pay gap debate wages and California, despite our tough fair pay laws, is no exception to this rule. Recently, two new laws, one which passed and one which didn’t, aimed to help close and better document this pay gap. According to the census bureau, the average working woman is earning only 86 cents per dollar earned by a man. While stride are being taken to close this gender pay gap, we’re clearly not there yet. The first law, AB 168, bars a prospective employer from asking about previous salary. The goal is to prevent historic... READ MORE

Understanding the Business Duty of Care

Owners and managers of a business have a number of different duties, enshrined in law, to the business. These duties are designed to protect other owners and the business itself from a single owner. One important duty to understand is the duty of care. This duty places responsibility on each decision maker to use reasonable care when dealing with others and in doing business transactions. Some examples of how the duty of care applies to a business: Property: Businesses that own property have a duty of care to customers who come onto their property. Customers, for example, must be treated... READ MORE

Crafting Effective Non-Compete Agreements

One increasingly common portion of employment agreements is a non-compete agreement, designed to keep an employee from leaving one business and immediately competing with their prior employer. There has been some debate in the courts about the extent to which these non-compete clauses are enforceable and there are some good rules of thumb for businesses looking to use non-compete agreements. Non-compete agreements are generally unenforceable in the state of California. To be valid, a non-compete agreement must be given in exchange for some form of consideration, meaning that the employee receives something of value, such as a job, some company... READ MORE