Monthly Archives: January 2015

Think Your Business is Too Small To Be at Risk For A Cyber Attack? Think Again

Smaller firms tend to make the mistake of thinking that their business interests are not large enough to warrant a cyber-attack, but this is not the case.  It does happen and small firms should do more to take care and protect their networks because cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly common.  Too many managers think that they are too small to warrant attention from hackers, leading cyber security to take a backseat to more pressing business concerns.

In fact, research from the House of Representatives Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology showed that 1/5 of all cyber-attacks hit companies with 250 or fewer employees.  Those that do get hit face dire consequences: 60% of them close with six months.  Anyone in business is a target for a cyber-attack. Continue reading

Wage and Hour Disputes Becoming More Common

Employees are spending more time researching what their rights are and looking into lawsuits that can help protect them.  One area where this has led to a sharp uptick in lawsuits is in disputes regarding wage and hour violations.

These lawsuits should not be dismissed or overlooked by management because they can present a serious risk to the company overall.  These lawsuits can cost businesses big time, sometimes in the upwards of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars where a plaintiff is successful.  Legal settlements frequently include back wages and this can cause a major disruption to your cash flow and profits if you do not respond quickly. Continue reading

Who Factors Influence? Who Can Be Classified as an Independent Contractor?

Many states, in addition to the IRS, have adopted guidelines and definitions about independent contractors, but there is still confusion about what this means for employers.  In the majority of locations, rules regarding independent contractors relate to what level of control the employer has over a product or service specifically related to whether the employer defines what is being done and how it will be done.

Other principles refer to independent contractor status in relation to how the person is paid.  An individual who is on payroll and receives a regular check will be classified as an employee as opposed to an independent contractor.

In order to determine whether someone should be classified as an independent contractor, there are several other factors to consider, including: Continue reading

The Age of the Drive-By Lawsuit: Title III and Defending Against Vexatious Litigants

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), as with almost all legislation in this country, is well-intentioned and does in fact serve a very powerful purpose in the modern world.   People who have disabilities that make them differently-abled than most are still citizens with all the rights of their neighbors, and as a result, they deserve to have access to the same services and benefits as everyone else.  Requiring businesses to make reasonable efforts to make their services accessible is in keeping with this country’s overall spirit of egalitarian and fair-minded camaraderie.  After all, no one confined to a wheelchair should be prevented from using a public restroom. Continue reading

Employee Handbook Basics

Every employer in the State of Florida is advised to have a set of written policies and procedures collected in what’s commonly called an “Employee Handbook” that is distributed to new hires.  While some very small businesses (with fewer than two or three employees) may feel safe going without this formality, the fact is when you hire an employee, you open yourself to liability, and having written policies can help defend you against claims.

The question of what should be contained in your employee handbook is best directed to a qualified employment law attorney in Florida, who can help analyze your specific business culture, but there are some basics that should always be included. Continue reading

Start Defending Against Wage & Hour Lawsuits before They’re Filed

If you own a business that employs people, chances are you will someday be hit with a wage and hour claim by an employee or former employee.  It’s not necessarily because people are mean-spirited or greedy – it’s simply very easy for an employee, especially one whose relationship with their job has soured, to convince themselves that they’ve been wronged.  After all, many employees have a “David and Goliath” attitude towards their employers – you have all the money and power, and they have none.

Defending against these claims is more complicated than other legal problems.  In fact, the best way to defend against such wage and hour claims is to start defending against them before they even begin. Continue reading