Should Employers Ask Candidates for Their Facebook Password?

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There has been a lot of talk recently about prospective employers asking job candidates for their password to Facebook or other social media sites. And about making a job offer contingent upon not just passing the traditional background search (criminal, job and education verification, credit check in some case0 but upon passing the employer’s idea of ...

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What to do when if you are a franchisee and the franchisor goes bankrupt

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Interesting story in the New York Time Small Business section the other day. It dealt with a nightmare scenario of anyone who purchases a franchise: the franchisor goes bankrupt. The article talks about the story of William Burris, who was faced with that situation only five months after he spent more than $100,000 a purchased a Australian franchise that rented moving boxes.

The story provides inspiration and idea for how to face a situation that may seem dire, but with ...

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Name Confusion Leads to David v. Goliath Fight

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I read an interesting article a couple of weeks ago in the New York Time. It is about a new company called Willa (named after the founder’s daughter) that is being sued by Proctor & Gamble, the maker of Wella hair-care products. Willa makes skin-care products aimed at tweens, and P&G claims that the names are confusingly similar and has demanded that Willa stop. Willa claims that this is another case of trademark bullying, a big company using its ...

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California and Disability Discrimination

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I was in LA not too long ago. It was the first time I had been to southern California. What a great place, with lovely weather, a beautiful ocean and lots of places to see and visit.  And speaking of California, I have been looking at their anti-discrimination statute, which is called the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). As I wrote in a previous post,  California has created a separate and independent claim for failure to engage ...

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Some Tips on Tip Pooling and Tips Sharing

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Minnesota Employment Law on Tip Pooling and Tip Sharing

It is hard to go to a restaurant, coffee shop or bar without seeing a tip jar. For anyone who has saved their spare change, you know how quickly those nickels and dimes (and even dollar bills) can add up to signficant money. For employees in these establishments, a tip jar can be an easy and non-confrontational way to increase their income. But ...

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Adopt a Uniform Policy on Uniforms

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Minnesota Employment Law on What Employees Can Pay For

We are all trying to cut costs and reduce spending these days. For employers whose employees wear a uniform, requiring the employees to pay for them can seem like a simple, yet cost-effective way to cut down on costs. But adopting such a policy wouldn’t be much of a cost-saver if it were in violation of Minnesota law and would expose the employer ...

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Workplace Bullying: Can You Be Held Liable?

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What Is Your Liability for Workplace Bullying

We have all heard a lot about bullying lately, especially in the context of school bullying. Although we might not hear about it as often, workplace bullying is also a problem. In 2010, the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 35% of all American workers have experienced first-hand bullying in the workplace, while 15% have witnessed it.

I wrote this post about tip sharing, stressing that Minnesota ...

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Employees Must be Paid for Work Done…No Matter What!

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I was talking with a friend recently. He is an employee in a local small business.  At the beginning of this month, his employer told him that he wouldn’t be able to pay him for the first two weeks of the year (even though he had worked) because the company just didn’t have the money to pay his wages. So my friend’s question was whether this was legal. No, it isn’t!

Employees have a right to be paid for the work ...

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Coach Trademark Infringement Action Takes an Interesting Twist

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Last week, there was a story in the news that Coach was threatening to sue for trademark infringement a woman who the luxury purse manufacturer claimed was selling false Coach purses on E-Bay. This isn’t the first time that the handbag manufacturer had taken action against those who were trying to make an extra buck on E-Bay or on other second-hand sites. The problem with this threat (in the form of a nasty cease-and-desist letter, along with a demand that ...

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Franchising: Is the Franchise Disclosure Document Enough?

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According to an article on the International Law Office, a recent Colorado court decision leaves doubt for franchisors and franchisees about what needs to be disclosed in the Franchise Disclosure Document, the document that all franchisors must present to all prospective franchisees.

Although the decision relies on Colorado common law and states that franchisors might have a greater obligation to release financial information about the parent company to potential franchisees, it leaves the question open for franchises in other ...

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