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Tag: Business Law

The New Mileage Rate for 2021

If you’re an employer in the United States, it’s likely that you pay your employees mileage reimbursement when they’re traveling for work purposes. Every year, the  IRS adjusts the mileage reimbursement rate based on examination of variable costs. Based on the latest study, the IRS has changed 2021’s mileage rate to a lower rate than last year. Taxpayers will use this rate to compute their deductible costs associated with using a vehicle.

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Is it Legal to Record Phone Calls and Conversations?

The thought of someone recording your conversation seems like a breach of privacy, but it’s actually legal in many states. If you plan on recording phone calls, in-person conversations, or videos with sound, your state may allow you to legally record the entire conversation as long as at least one party is aware of the recording. The laws vary by state, so remember that if they’re not followed correctly, you may be at risk of criminal prosecution.

What are your state’s laws? Let’s find out.

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Veterans Day Time Off in the U.S. -Who Gets It?

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Currently, the FLSA (Federal Labor Standards Act) does not require employers to give employees time off for any holiday. In fact, the federal government does not require employers to pay for any time that an employee doesn’t work (such as vacation time). Although this is true, some states have their own holiday policies that business owners must follow.

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Legal Considerations for Launching a Small Business in California

Contributed by: Joni Meyers

An image of the golden gate bridge in San Francisco

Understanding the legal requirements of operating a business is crucial even before its launch. Even if you have legal counsel at your side, you should know the specific laws and obligations you have to fulfill as a business owner, so you don’t accidentally break them. This knowledge will help to ensure your compliance and protect you against certain risks down the road. Read on for the important legal considerations of launching and running a small business in California:

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Can You Require Employees to Use PTO?

Word writing text Paid Time Off. Business concept for vacation with full payment take vacation Resting Healing written by Man plain background holding Marker Pencils next to it.

Paid time off (PTO) is a fantastic benefit that employers provide for their employees. In fact, recent studies show that 65% of business owners provide PTO benefits for their employees. Employees with time off benefits have higher morale and better work-life balances, which increases employee retention. So, it’s no wonder why employers choose to give their employees time off throughout the year.

Many employees enjoy the freedoms they get with time off benefits, but there are times when employers must manage time off consumption. For instance, it’s especially common for employers to restrict PTO during busy seasons or require employees to use their time off during slow periods. Although this might cause the employee inconveniences, an employer has the authority to dictate how and when PTO is used.

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Employee Guide

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Many businesses are facing economic hardships now that the coronavirus has considerably slowed consumer spending. Without an influx of income, many business owners made tough decisions to cut employee hours and pay throughout the past few weeks. As a result of this change, anxious employees try to figure out how to balance their new financial situations. In response to coronavirus’ economic effect on businesses, the federal government took action to provide relief.

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Overtime Rules Are Changing January 1st, 2020. Are You Ready?

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If you are a non exempt employee or you have non exempt employees in the US, times are about to change! Since 2004, overtime threshold rules have stayed the same. This means that the cost of living threshold increased and the requirements for overtime did as well. The Obama administration took up the issue and directed changes to overtime laws that would have expanded the number of eligible workers. However, the Trump Administration prevented those changes. Nearly 3 years later, the rules are finally slated to change, but severely watered down from the previous plan.

On Sept. 24th, 2019 the US Department of Labor (DOL) announced their final overtime rules that will affect many Americans. In fact, the new overtime rule will make overtime pay available to over 1.3 million workers and will provide an estimated $298.8 million in additional pay. The new overtime rules will become effective officially on Jan 1st, 2020. Here’s what you need to know:

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Is it Legal to Track Employees Using GPS?

An employer looking at a map of GPS coordinates

Managing employees has never been easier with the introduction of online time tracking. Managers no longer have to wonder where employees are or what they are doing– all information is available in real-time. Tracking location using GPS is one of the most significant features of employee tracking that employers take advantage of. This data can tell an employer exactly where an employee is working and when they are working. For instance, an employer can determine if an employee clocked in at the office, from the local Starbucks, or even from home. Employers also use GPS tracking to capture miles driven in company-owned or personal vehicles. The data collected is easy to obtain and gives employers transparency, but is it legal? 

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Changes Coming to the New Jersey Family Leave Insurance Program & Family Leave Act in 2019/2020

The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides protection for employees to take unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. Although this is the norm for many businesses, states often have their own leave regulations. New Jersey, for instance, has its own similar leave laws called the New Jersey Family Leave Act. The state of New Jersey Department of Children & Families’ purpose of this policy is to promote economic security. This act lets employees to take up to 12 weeks of family leave in a 24-month period without losing their jobs. Additionally, New Jersey provides cash benefits through the Family Leave Insurance Program.

There are some changes ahead in regards to New Jersey Law. The New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, signed a new bill into law on Feb 19, 2019. This law modifies the New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA) and the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Program (FLI). To ensure that you understand the new changes, check with New Jersey’s  department of labor. All of the information provided below is a guide for you to use, but is not intended to be legal advice.

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Are You Underpaying Your Employees?

Let’s face it: there are a lot of regulations to follow when it comes to owning a business. Following all the applicable laws can be tough. Although it can be time consuming, you should make sure that you are always following the latest legal protocol. The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to hire an HR consultant to keep you on the right path. However, not every business can afford someone like that, so you should know where to go if you’re the self-help type of business owner. A good place to start is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) website. The FLSA establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor. So, what are some common pitfalls employers run into that lead to underpaying employees?

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