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Month: February 2018

Employment Law Tips For Start-Up Businesses

In start-ups or small businesses, business owners face a lot of issues. They are the ones responsible for managing the business, overseeing the accounting processes, recruitment and selection of the employees, and even determining the marketing strategies. Business owners wear so many hats since their responsibilities cover many different functions.

However, business owners can face a number issues when it comes to human resources. They may confuse it with other facets but this article is here to share some information on how business owners should deal with employment law.

These tips are not legal advice but serve as general guidance regarding ways to avoid facing legal action and litigation as well as to protect intellectual property rights.

Distinguish Freelancers or Independent Contractors from Employees

Startups and small businesses alike hire freelancers or independent contractors to complete the tasks that they have not accomplished yet. One of the most common reasons why they hire freelancers is that it lessens the overhead cost. Employers or business owners who hire independent contractors or freelancers are not required to comply with the wage or even the hour requirements that are stated in employment laws. Moreover, medical insurance coverage is not mandated as well.

Yet, what commonly happens is that employers mistakenly categorize their employees as freelancers in order to refrain from fulfilling the obligations mandated by law. In the end, this puts them in possible risk of litigation, which could be very expensive on their part.

But how can employers distinguish between the two?

Freelancers or Independent Contractors Employees
The person has a specific skill that is different from the company or the business itself The company has the overall control and gives the directions as to how the job is done
Expenses on materials and other related expenses are shouldered by the freelancer Employees use the equipment provided by the company
Hours are not fixed, they are free to choose what hours they will be working There is a fixed schedule mandated by the company or guidelines about when work will be done
Skill sets may focus on a specific skill that the freelancer has; usually paid by project Wages are fixed according to the hours to be rendered; termination depends on the company guidelines

 

Consider Creating an Employment Contract or a Non-Disclosure Agreement

Businesses are unique from each other because of what they have, sell or offer as a service. There are particular recipes or techniques that may be quite confidential that would greatly affect the business if word gets out. One of the priorities of the business is to protect these as they may be one of its pillars.

In order to protect confidential information, a provision in the employment contract or non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is specified to instruct the person to keep things private, especially about the work they do. This reduces the risk of potential corporate espionage that could sabotage the whole business.

The contents of the document should also clarify and specify the kind of information that the business deems to be confidential. Some of which could be about the client list, financial statements, product prototypes and blueprints. It may also restrict the distribution of these pieces of information.

#3 Recruit the best

Every business owner aspires to have the best team that would allow them to grow and be the best in the industry. In running a startup, it entails a lot of tasks spanning from advertising, marketing, planning, and even recruiting.

When it comes to recruitment, there are various platforms that companies may use to find them the best candidates for the position. From job fairs, to school career fairs, print ads and even online job sourcing, these platforms may be used to find the best candidate for the vacancy. For higher positions, it is best to use a headhunting firm since they will personally do their best to find the most qualified person for that position.

If hiring is not an immediate need, you may also consider pooling candidates, which will make the selection process easier.

Establish Company Policies and Standard Operating Procedures

Companies have their own way of managing their people, establishing rapport among themselves, and even operating procedures that must be learned by every employee.

Establishing these policies will let the whole team know how will they be able to access the equipment and accomplish tasks properly and will even protect them from possible casualties and abuse from rude superiors. Not only that, but it will also serve as the handbook that would include the fundamentals in the workplace operations. If you’re looking into the possible legal aspects of personal injuries and accidents in the workplace, click here for more information.

What you may include:

Equal opportunity clause Provisions against harassment and discrimination
Policies on sick leaves or vacation leaves Benefits – such as allowance, medical coverage, transportation allowance
Work hours and holiday coverage Employee conduct
Company policies alongside state laws Employment status

 

In starting a new chapter in your lives, getting employed is a phase that most people go through. For businesses, this means that it is critical to provide legal and fair employment arrangements. These are tips that may help you in running your business better and in lawfully seeking new employees.

Timothy Garret

Timothy is a budding law writer who enjoys all aspect of the law industry. He’s currently studying to become a lawyer and is applying his law knowledge into what he writes about. He spends time with his friends and swimming in his spare time.

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Key Tips on How to Help Avoid Estate Litigation

All too often families must endure the pain of losing a loved one, parent, brother, sister, or even a child to a disease or accident and the legal aftermath can result in various conflict amongst relatives and even in-laws. Disputes over inheritances and estates can rupture the relationships they have.

Fights like this can sometimes be about the material possessions that the deceased has left or sometimes about money. One of the things that should be done right away, for everyone, is to create an estate policy that diminishes any possible conflict that may arise between relatives.

Estate Litigation: What Is It?

Planning their estate is something every family must consider to do. There are times that relatives, with  unresolved issues, encounter problems regarding the estate left behind by the deceased. These could be debts, loans, or remaining payouts that were not completed before the loved one passed on. Sometimes the administrators themselves have issues with the heirs or the beneficiaries stated on the will.

Estate litigation is the process of allocating the entire inheritance or legacy to the successors, testate or intestate (with or without a will), in the presence of the court. These may be settled in a simple and uncomplicated manner among all the parties involved as long as they are willing to do it peacefully and rationally.

Causes for Estate Litigation

Most people do not wish to enter in such processes but sometimes it’s necessary and inevitable. Here are some of the most common causes of estate litigation:

  • Feud with creditors – this may be about unpaid loans left by the deceased.
  • Arguments on the will and how the assets are divided – heirs and successors may have disagreements between their shares and this could ignite a litigation.
  • Vitiated consent or undue influence.
  • Financial misuse – administrators and heirs alike may wrongfully use the finances to purchase prohibited drugs or even lavish expenses.
  • Intestate succession.
  • Life insurance.

How Can You Avoid Estate Litigation?

Nobody wants to witness a battle between family members, relatives, and possible friends. But chances are there will be some conflict that will cause emotional turmoil.

Here are some tips that would help you avoid estate litigation:

Prove that you are sane

Living in this world might have introduced you to a lot of people that may have enjoyed your company and your experiences with them have resulted in a lot of memories. These memories may entail crazy moments that would lead people to think that you were simply not sane. Hence, it is important to establish that you are sane and in a proper mental state.

In addition to that, proof may be collected from checkups or medical visits to doctors, psychologists and even psychiatrists that would eventually abolish the suggestion of insanity. Furthermore, this can eradicate any doubt that may promulgate impending litigation.

Deliberate the inequitable distribution of estate

Knowing that someone left an inequitable distribution of estate may be quite a bother and potentially could result in an estate litigation. People do not like unfair treatment and they will do everything in their power to obtain equal treatment and a fair share in things.

In reality, there’s no particular law that mandates equal shares in the estate among the relatives regardless of the degree of the relationship. The heirs may question allocation of shares therefore if you decide to give unequal shares, there must be a sound reason to give to them. Deliberating the distribution of shares may be more acceptable than shocking yoru heirs with the document itself.

Disinheritance

There are times that exclusions may be made as some particular family members or relatives may be perceived as unworthy of receiving a part of the estate. Some may interpret it as a “mistake” yet it can also be intentional. Therefore, it must be carefully and clearly explained so that they understand and comprehend it completely. That way no questions will need to be asked afterwards.

Family Member vs Corporate Administrator to Manage the Estate

Choosing a person to administer and manage the estate may ignite an argument among the family, including the relatives. The best thing to do in order to be able to resolve an issue with the estate manager is to find an impartial third party, particularly an attorney or a treasury, that may aid in avoiding these possible arguments.

Nobody wants to ignite a battle between family members, relatives, or friends that would be about the estate. Estate plans must be carefully scrutinized to minimize emotional turmoil. Drafting a will or an estate plan is best done in the presence of an attorney, who can help reduce potential conflict. If you’re looking into more specific aspects of this subject, such as estate planning, click here.

Kiren Manning

Kiren is a estate law writer who enjoys writing about subject in relation to real estate and law. He has written for a few blogs in the past, and enjoys sharing his knowledge with those who enjoy reading. In his spare time he enjoys spending quality time with those he loves.

 

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Long Term Disability: How to Turn It into Something Positive

Getting sick is something no one can avoid. At some point, an illness or injury can leave a person stricken with a disability that could last a long while. When that happens, a person can suffer from demotivation, tiredness and even depression or other mental health issues. This can be stressful and tiring for family members and their nurses and caretakers.

Most of the time, this can be devastating and can entail a long struggle to get back to positivity. Others take various therapies or attend support groups that allow them to overcome whatever they are feeling.

Legally speaking, there are options for people in need, and they can access benefits just like other people. Whether their disabilities are acquired recently or existed ever since they were born, there are attorneys to help with any necessary legal action.

Working with our law firm would result in obtaining an insurance policy that would be suitable for you and your needs.

Long Term Disability (LTD)

This is a type of an insurance policy that covers an employee or worker from losing income in case there is an event that renders him or her unable to work for a very long time or even for the rest of their lives.

Will You Be Covered by the Policies?

Disability insurance might be able to cover the illness that you are suffering if it’s a long-term disability or a chronic illness. One of the major requirements of disability is proof that it is impossible for you to perform the basic tasks of your job. Here’s a list of the most common types of diseases that may be covered by disability policies:

Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia Chemical Disability & Mental Health Disability
Substance Addiction and Abuse Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Head Injuries & Brain Damage Heart Disabilities
Nervous Disabilities Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

If you’re looking into more specific types of insurance, such as disability insurance, you may click here for more information.

Claims Assessment

Before one can be granted claims, the insurance company must be careful in assessing the disability claims by the person. Laboratory results as well as medical records of the patient are the most essential requirement in order to move forward with this.

Attorneys who are experienced in disability claims are able to aid you in preparing and applying for your claims. This claims process encompasses obtaining lab results, doctor’s prescriptions and other patient records that boost the opportunity in getting your disability authorized. But the most important thing is that we can aid you in understanding the conditions of your disability or long-term care policy.

Here are other forms of proofs you may show in order to earn long-term disability benefits.

Full-Time Work

Just like most benefit plans, one of the requirements in order to earn disability benefits is to be able to prove that you were a full-time employee of a company. Accomplishing your work is affected by your disability for at least 40 hours of work every week. However this depends on the company policy and may vary depending on the industry and nature of the business.

Standby Period

If you’ve just developed a disability and accomplishing your tasks has become quite a challenge, some companies give a “standby period,” which means a period of time before an employee can start earning or receiving benefits. This waiting period can span from at least three (3) months up to six (6) months.

In some cases, the standby period may consume up all the paid leave you have (both sick and vacation leaves) available before a certain motion may be placed in order.

Previous Conditions

Before determining your long term disability, you might be examined if there were previous conditions that could have affected your condition at present. Generally speaking, the previous condition may be ruled out and just considered as a disease or an injury that would heal after a while. Some will have been diagnosed and treated even before the long term disability coverage started.

Some situations result in non-payment of benefits for any kind of long-term disability that may emerge from the previous condition that you experienced for the first year of the coverage.

Excluded Circumstances

Before a legal action regarding an LTD claim may be made, it must be assessed that the injury you have is covered by the LTD policy. Moreover, there are some policies that may not include specific illnesses, personal injuries and even accidents at the workplace.

On the other hand, there may be provisions that may have a limit on the disabilities that may be due to alcohol and drug abuse, mental health issues or even conditions in the nervous system.

Every disability can be transformed into something positive that could eventually motivate someone to continue living. Aside from the benefits mentioned above, your life may be a source of inspiration for somebody else who may be going through the same situation as you. It is best to consult and seek professional help in discussing and resolving matters like this.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The information provided is not a substitute for personal legal advice. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.

Andrew Nickleson

Andrew is a passionate writer, writing about disabilities and the law. He has written about many subjects aimed to help those who have questions unanswered. In his spare time he enjoys working on volunteering for those less fortunate.

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7 Ways Being Minimalist Is Great for Your Health

The minimalist lifestyle is about consciously choosing less in order to have more. That means getting rid of some belongings that you aren’t really using, making your to-do list shorter as some of the things on it aren’t important, not having too many people in your circle as that takes away your energy, and even reducing the number of thoughts in your mind that you have at any moment of the day so you can have some peace and relax.

The benefits of living this way are amazing. You’ll now see 7 of them and they should be enough to inspire you to simplify your life in at least one way soon.

You reduce stress.

Stress is a big part of our lives, but it doesn’t have to be like that. The problem is that we all try to get everything done, we keep ourselves busy, we’re in a hurry all the time, we try to please everyone, to see improvement in every area of life, we expect a lot from ourselves and others, and we constantly worry about the future. All this turns our days into stressful events that we can’t enjoy.

The solution for that lies in minimalism. Remove anything you can that’s causing you stress in some way.

It’s indeed as easy as it sounds. Eliminate the negative from your life so you can have room for the positive. Leave your job if you have to if it’s taking years from your life and you simply don’t enjoy it. Stop caring about what others think and let go of your expectations. Slow down and see that you can still be productive but without the stress.

The best advice I heard about how to actually slow done was: what you are planning to achieve in 4 years, achieve in 6 instead. As simple as that.

You get more done.

Minimalism is about removing the non-essential so that you can be left with what’s important. One of these precious things is our focus.

Think about it. So many factors during the day are fighting for our attention. We’re distracted all the time by the variety of social media, opportunities, entertainment, people and activities which are not worth our attention.

Even when it seems like we’re focused on a project at work, in our head we’re going back to the past, planning something for the future, overthinking a situation, going through the tasks on our to-do list, or wondering about the outcome of an event. We’re wasting our attention. If you stop all that chaos in your head though, if you let go of the desire to get it all done and do it perfectly, you’ll get it back.

Once you have all your attention, you’ll be able to dedicate it to the task at hand, get it done much faster, and be less overwhelmed and stressed in the end.

You stop focusing on the material things in life.

Minimalism denies materialism. Belongings make us miserable. Just think about it. Nothing good comes from owning more. And as for all that you already have, it requires you to take care of it, fix it, replace or upgrade it.

Life’s so much easier if we give away all that we aren’t using and don’t need. Look around in your house and ask yourself how much of what you see you actually need to have this same quality of life. Make a plan on what to do with the rest but don’t keep it there anymore. You’ll have more freedom in your life without it.

Everything you do is more meaningful.

Our human nature drives us towards meaning. We seek it when socializing, working, traveling, even reading. We want to feel like our life counts, like we’re making the most of our time, and like we’re leaving a mark. All that can happen thanks to living a more minimalist lifestyle.

Your relationships are stronger.

Once you’re a minimalist, you’ll notice that you aren’t interested in spending time with random people anymore. Instead, you seek deeper connection, interesting individuals, like-minded souls.

That means making your circle smaller, but more quality. If the people you surround yourself with are positive, you will become so too.

You pay more attention to your health.

When you stop paying attention to unimportant things, such as what others think about you, what might go wrong in the future or what you don’t like about your past, you will start taking care of yourself more. Minimalists stop judging and blaming themselves, and instead find their true self and nurture that relationship. That itself helps them be a better partner, parent, and friend.

Your health involves your physical and mental well-being but also your spiritual development. When you have less negative and stressful factors in your life, you’re more likely to get in shape, get enough rest every day, turn to meditation, breathe more deeply, journal your thoughts, and more.

You get your time back.

One of the great things you can have more of once you turn to minimalism is time. Average people seem to always be doing many things at once, but never really having enough time, not to mention enough free time to do what they enjoy or just relax.

But that’s because half of their goals aren’t what they truly want, half of their daily tasks and chores are unnecessary and could easily be left behind, and half of their thoughts are distracting them.

Once you have your time back, enjoy it. Take a walk, exercise more, read great books, dedicate some of it to your personal development, build a new skill, have a new hobby, meet your favorite people more often.

These are the ways being a minimalist is great for every aspect of your life, especially your health. Are you ready to experience all these fantastic changes?

 Sarah Williams is a passionate life and dating coach who enjoys helping people see the beauty in life and use their inner potential. Check out her self-development blog Wingman Magazine for tips and entertainment.

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Future Trends For Workforce Management

As technology continues to alter the corporate landscape, every aspect of the corporate world is affected by change. In some cases, such as with the Millennial generation, it is the way in which technology changes people that forces the corporate world to evolve. Workforce management is a subject that always gets mentioned among the topics affected by the new wave of technological changes. The way in which a company handles its workforce and the manner in which the workforce approaches the tasks at hand are constantly affected by an evolving corporate world.

Educating Managers

Online education is playing an increasingly important role in educating future managers, and that has helped to shape the management degrees of the future. The growth of online education has spurred the creation of more specialized workforce management degrees that are being coveted by companies around the country. More management degrees are being augmented by psychology, technology and communications to help address the specialized needs of the younger workforce entering the corporate world. Online schools are better equipped to handle these changes, and that is why more managers are getting their educations online.

 

Work Environments

The younger generations that are raised by technology have communication needs that differ from previous generations. Open collaboration is something younger workers need, and that means redesigning work environments. The modern office does not have the room filled with cubicles that we have grown accustomed to. Instead, we have open work areas and common areas where people can gather to share ideas. Managers need to learn how to better facilitate the sharing of ideas in these new open work environments if they are going to maximize production.

Personal Communication

Younger workers were raised on technology that discouraged direct communication. Even people who are only feet away from each other will prefer to use text messages rather than talking or even using the phone. Managers who value open communication need to learn how to adjust to this change in thinking that is threatening to significantly diminish personal communication. It is easy for a worker to miss an important text, but face-to-face communication is still impossible to ignore.

Work Schedules

The idea that Millennials and younger generations do not want to work is incorrect. Older generations were conditioned by the way in which information was distributed to become comfortable with a daily work schedule. In the old days, workers read the morning paper before work and then watched the evening news when they got home. The hours in-between were reserved for work, and that was readily accepted by everyone. But now that information is readily available at all hours of the day, the modern worker does not innovate on a nine to five schedule. Managers need to learn how to adjust to how the modern worker treats a work schedule and find ways for workers to be as productive as possible.

The corporate manager’s job is getting increasingly more difficult as technology continues to change the corporate world. Readily available information and the ability to collaborate with a group at any time of the day have changed the way modern workers approach their jobs. Online education and an open mind are the two greatest tools that the modern corporate manager has in their quest to keep workers productive.

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Running A Home-Based Business: 5 Tips For Success

If you have decided to take the big leap towards starting a home-based business, you are not alone. Up to 69 percent of start-up businesses still running in the USA are home-based. Another 50 percent of entrepreneurs run their businesses from home.

Contrary to popular opinion, home-based businesses could end up being successful multinational corporations. Examples of such businesses include Amazon, Google, Walt Disney, Mattel, etc. This should boost your confidence when starting your business.

Among many other benefits, a home-based business will grant you the autonomy of scaling up or down as you see fit. You will also save on resources and you can invest the money back into your business.

To be successful at your new endeavor, follow the following five tips when starting your home-based business.

 

Organize Your Space

Starting a home business can give you many benefits. Besides being your own boss, you will from now on save on office rent. As a result, you will also save time you used to spend on commuting.

For most businesses, rent is an unavoidable overhead cost. A home-based business will not incur this cost. However, working from home means you have to separate your living space and working space. You may have to sacrifice an entire room to use as your office.

The area you decide to use as your working environment should mimic a real office. You should ensure sufficient workspace and adequate lighting. Most importantly, make sure you can isolate yourself from distractions and work efficiently.

 

Stick to a Schedule

Working from home could be challenging. Since you will be spending most of your time at home, you might have a challenge balancing time between work and family.

Work out a daily routine, which enables you to balance work, family time, house chores and other obligations. A schedule ensures that your productivity is at maximum and that you stay on top of all of your tasks. However, make sure your schedule is flexible and don’t forget to set apart time for breaks.

Communicate your schedule to your friends and family. They might unintentionally disturb you while you are working at home. When they have your schedule, they will know when you are free and when you are not available.

 

Outsource

In the initial stages of the business, you will, most likely, solely handle all the aspects of your business. Functions such as marketing, supply chain management, and accounting will take up most of your time. Your business may experience a shortage of resources and you may need to outsource some of the labor-intensive functions.

Outsourcing might incur some excess costs, but you will save a lot in terms of time and energy. Outsourcing will also give you access to qualified personnel and fill the expertise deficiencies you may face.

 

Network

Starting a business is not easy. At initial stages, you may face certain challenges. For example: adjusting to your new schedule, acquiring clients, managing finances, etc. These challenges could take a toll on you.

A support structure is essential to help you cope. Networking will not only give you a social outlet but will also link you up with people who are on the same journey as you are.

Whether you network socially or professionally, you will be tapping into a potential source of professionals in your field. Not to mention the potential clients you could meet.

 

Don’t Forget About Marketing

Customers are more willing to get into business with brands they know and trust. This gives them a sense of security. This is why you need them to know your business and what it is all about.

After all, your customers are your greatest assets. Without people knowing about your business, you can’t expect to make sales.

There are numerous techniques you could use to market your business. Attend social events and never give away an opportunity to talk to a stranger. Hand out your professionally designed business card, ask for referrals, and don’t forget to give out samples of your products or services.

Don’t forget about online marketing. The internet offers a cheap way for you to reach a large audience very quickly. Create a website and focus on posting relevant content. Then use social media to connect with your audience and distribute your content.

 

Final Thoughts

In summary, organize your space and organize yourself. Outsource to acquire the skills you lack, reach out to acquire new clients and potential partnerships. Lastly, make yourself and your home-based business known far and wide. These tips will help you run a successful home business.

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