Tag Archives: business law

Protecting your Company from Unemployment Claims

Unemployment claims can be extremely expensive for your company. In some cases, former employees attempt to file claims that are unjustified. Some employers don’t fight these claims because they don’t realize how expensive these can be for their businesses. There are many steps you can take to prevent unemployment claims, especially unjustified claims, against your company.

You’re required to pay unemployment taxes on qualifying employees. When an employee files an unemployment claim and it is successful, your unemployment taxes will increase. That’s why an important part of labor law is learning how to avoid successful unemployment claims against them.

new-jobAny time an employee leaves your company, you’ll have to deal with the issue of unemployment benefits. It’s a good idea to work with an attorney to come up with a plan for managing employment so that you won’t have unexpected problems. If an employee quits in Arizona, he or she is not eligible for unemployment. The only exception is if the person quits for an excellent reason such as a hostile work environment or a health or safety threat.

Business law attorneys will advise you to document an employee’s behavior carefully before you terminate his or her employment. Be careful not to make the work situation hostile or overly difficult for the employee or you may make yourself vulnerable to a future claim or lawsuit. There are federal laws that protect employees against hostile work environments.

Instead, document performance problems with a system of warnings followed by termination. Your attorney can give you advice on how to structure a good warning system. Always follow the system unless the situation is very serious. In that case, contact your attorney. That way you have documented the cause for firing the employee. In some cases, an employee fired for cause may still be able to collect benefits, but through proper documentation, you have significantly lowered the chances.

If you lay off employees, they will be eligible to collect unemployment benefits after any severance pay you have provided has expired. Many companies provide laid off employees with job search services so that they are able to quickly find employment. This lowers the chances that they will file for unemployment benefits.

How to Avoid Paying Bogus Invoices

When you are operating a business, cost control is essential. It’s important to keep a detailed record of all the costs going in and out. Usually, payments are tied to invoices. You send customers invoices and your contractors and suppliers send you invoices. Sometimes, these invoices are part of previously negotiated business law contacts.

Some business relationships are better than others. If you work with an unethical contractor or supplier, they may break the terms of the contract or simply start billing you for costs that you didn’t incur. It’s important to have an accountant or other dedicated employee that keeps track of expenses and invoices so that bogus invoices can be quickly detected. It’s common for bogus invoices to go undetected when a company doesn’t have a strict system in place to keep tract of accounts payable and accounts receivable. Simply implementing this system will save you a great deal of money.

If you find one, keep in mind, it may be a mistake. Try contacting the company to see if they unintentionally sent you the invoice. If so, the problem is easy to correct. However, if the company insists the charges must be paid, you may have entered a business law contract dispute situation.

If the company takes legal action to insist that you pay the bogus charges, you may need to consult with a business law attorney, especially if the charges are large. You may end up in a contract dispute which could lead to court action. Hopefully, though, if you have a good attorney, you can settle the matter quickly.

There are cases of actual fraud when unscrupulous companies send bogus invoices to companies. The invoices look real but they are actually for goods and services that you’ve never ordered. In other cases, they are real invoices but false charges have been added. Why are these scams popular? They are popular because many companies don’t check invoices closely enough. They assume that all invoices are real and pay them without further investigation. This is another reason that it’s important to have a dedicated accounts person at your business. This is the best way to prevent this type of fraud.

The Difference between an Arbitrator and a Judge

If you are involved in a lawsuit or contract dispute, you’ll find that things may function differently in some situations. Business law works in other ways when you have agreed to arbitration versus court litigation. You may run into both in the course of your career. It’s important to understand the difference.

in-courtBusiness law disputes can be addressed in a court of law overseen by a judge. The rules of evidence apply and the courts appoint the judge. The opposing parties have no control of the choice of judge. It’s a formal process and involves business law attorneys. Judges evaluate the evidence and make a final ruling on the evidence.

Taking a case to court can be a long and expensive process. Arbitration cases are scheduled quickly. There is typically a long wait for a court case to be scheduled. There are many costs involved including attorney fees and court fees. However, the decision can be appealed which is not the case in arbitration cases. Arbitration is an informal proceeding similar to a conventional trial, but much similar. A person called an arbitrator takes the evidence in question and makes a decision for both parties involved.

There are some basics to arbitration that differentiate it from a court case. Many people confuse mediation with arbitration but they are different. Arbitration, like court cases, involves a third party Arbitrators are not necessarily business law lawyers. The parties involved make agreements about the finality of the arbitration when they agree to arbitrate. Mandatory court-annexed arbitration for smaller civil cases as part of courthouse litigation procedural rules allow for appeal.

Judges are paid by taxes. Business law arbitrators are paid by the involved parties and are typically paid an hourly rate. If you and another party are working with an arbitrator, be sure to ask about costs up front. The length of arbitration varies depending on the complexity of the case. Simple business law cases can take less than a day while others may last for weeks; however, they are generally much shorter than the time involved in filing a court complaint to a final ruling.

Setting up Good Human Resources Practices

Why are good human resources practices important? Some company assume that they can deal with human resources issues such as hiring, firing, conducting performance reviews and promoting employees without help. It seems like these issues could be handled with plan old common sense.  However, it takes more than common sense to keep businesses in order. Appropriate human resources practices allow you to assist your employees and management.

human-resourcesWhat are some examples of good human resources practices? One is budget control. Human resources professionals can help reduce management costs, excessive spending. They can also address salaries to ensure that they are both competitive and realistic. Health insurance is another concern. It can be extremely time consuming to search for health plans and get the plans in place.  Human resources staff members can also help with the hiring process to make sure it is in compliance with business law.

When it comes to conflicts, a human resources expert can make the process less stressful for everyone. These professionals are training in conflict management and can help resolve conflicts before they become serious issues. They can address the conflict and help all parties involved to restore a positive working environment.

Human resources departments can help put in place good practices in a variety of areas including corporate image, performance improvement, training and development, consistent practices among management teams and much more.

Another subject human resources department can address are the business law topics that affect your company. These can include break schedules, sexual harassment concerns, hiring, firing and assisting with performance reviews. If these tasks aren’t addressed properly, the company can be exposed to serious business law violations.

Why is E-verify and why is it important to setting up a good human resources department? Business law regulations determine who is eligible for work in the United States. The country’s business law mandates that companies can only employ workers who are legally able to work in the United States. Employees must either be U.S. citizens or foreign born citizens who possess the necessary documentation. E-verify is an internet system that allows human resources departments to verify the eligibility of job candidates quickly. The service is free.

What are the Components of a Good Anti-Harassment Policy?

One of the most common issues in business law is sexual harassment. Although there are many parts of business law that address the problem of harassment, it is still an issue in many workplaces. Your company needs to take action to prevent harassment. One of the fundamental steps you must take is to create a strong anti-harassment policy. A well-written policy will help you in more than one way. It will help you avoid many business law problems. It will communicate expectations and will help your team understand what steps to take if harassment occurs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany companies consult with a business law expert when they create their anti-harassment policies. This is helpful for a number of reasons. First, a business law expert will understand and explain all the potential harassment issues that you need to consider. An attorney can explain common harassment scenarios. Then, the attorney will help you create policies that cover all potential issues.

What are some components of a good harassment policy? First, the policy must describe what consititutes harassment. The policy should clearly explain the company’s anti-harassment policy and describe the behaviors that are prohibited. These include employee and management behavior. Next, the policy should clearly describe how the company handles sexual harassment situations. Employees should understand that they have confidential avenues available if they are being harassed.

A strong policy clearly states that employees are protected from retaliation if they make a harassment claim. The policy should describe the actions that are taken when a complaint is made. Employees and managers should know who to contact if there is a problem. The best policies let everyone know what to expect when a problem occurs.

A good anti-harassment policy will not do any good unless it is communicated clearly to both employees and management. The policy should be clearly outlined in the employee handbook. Many companies use new employee orientation as an opportunity to outline the company’s anti-harassment policy. It is also important to explain the issues clearly to new supervisors and managers. They need to understand the effects of their behavior and their responsibilities when it comes to preventing and reporting issues. Good communication will help you avoid business law problems.

The Qualities of Good Corporate Minutes

Did you know that good corporate minutes will protect you and help you comply with various business law issues? Putting together corporate minutes is a task most people would prefer to forego. However, these minutes are critical. They often play a significant role in business law situations. Minutes are admissible as evidence in court. If you’re keeping good minutes, you have a leg up when it comes to business law.

board meetingThe first thing you need to do in regards to corporate minutes is establish a consistent policy. Who takes corporate minutes? How detailed should they be? The minutes are the permanent record of a board of directors meeting and the minutes should be complete and accurate. Someone who is not participating in the meeting should be in charge. A meeting participant will be too distracted to take complete notes.

The person who is writing the minutes should be neutral. He or she should not add personal opinions, criticism or other extraneous information. This could come back to haunt your company if you get into a business law situation. Create a template for minutes (and save it like any agreement for shareholders template, etc.), such as bullet points and attendees and the date and time. You should train the designated minute-keeper to take minutes in the recommended style so he or she is prepared to do a good job.

Another good practice is to have the meeting participants approve the minutes at the next meeting. This gives participants a chance the review the minutes and determine whether they reflect what took place. This is a good protection against business law situations.

The minutes don’t merely protect you in business law situations. They serve a variety of purposes. They can serve as a record of the decisions the board made and how said decisions were carried out. The minutes can serve another important purpose. If the minutes are sent to participants after the meeting, they can help remind participants of any commitments they made during the meeting. These may include assignments, deadlines and the parties responsible for various issues.

Although keeping corporate minutes can be a tedious task, doing it properly can protect the company from a variety of business law problems. It can also help the group learn and develop. The time and effort is well worth it.

What are Business Torts? How can I Prevent Them When it comes to My Business?

Business torts are a basic part of business law. Tort law covers a wide range of issues. These can include personal injury, malpractice and negligence. Tort law overlaps with other types of business law such as contract law and other types of business law. Typically, people think of tort law as applying to personal injury situations. However, tort law can affect businesses significantly.

In business law, torts involve injury to the business such as loss of clients, loss of business opportunities, unfair competition, disparagement and loss of business relationships. The plaintiff in the case will have to prove that the tortious behavior has led to calculable business loss. For instance, if the issue is loss of clients, the plaintiff has to show the monetary damage this caused.  Business torts usually involve compensation to the injured party, usually in the form of financial compensation. A court might also order an injunction against the plaintiff to stop their tortious behavior.

business tortsAll businesses should have a business law attorney that they can consult for a variety of issues. It may be worthwhile to consult your business law attorney about possible tort risks for your business. The attorney can counsel you on how to avoid these situations. The attorney can also explain risky situations and advise you on how to communicate guidelines to employees.

Fraudulent representation is a common tort issue. The plaintiff has to prove that the defendant deliberately misrepresented facts and the plaintiff relied on the facts and was subsequently harmed. For example, if a financial advisor represents the buyer and seller of property could be liable if the advisor knows the property has significant defects.

Many business torts address the issue of unfair competition. The guilty party may be marketing a product that is nearly indistinguishable from the plaintiff’s product. Other business law torts can include intellectual property infringement and damage to computer hardware or software. Torts also address disparagement which involves making false statements about a business such as making false statements about the quality of the plaintiff’s services or products. Your attorney can help you understand which of these issues may affect your business and how to avoid them.