Category Archives: Business

Business law and formation is a specialty at Garland & Mason

How Can I Protect My Business After a Natural Disaster?

In the past few weeks, weather on the East Coast has been borderline apocalyptic. The recent “bomb cyclone” and nor’easters have pummeled New Jersey. Power outages, heavy winds and freezing weather caused billions in damages across the East Coast. There are steps you can take to protect your business after natural disasters. However, you should consider purchasing natural disaster insurance for your business, if you have not already. If you have natural disaster insurance, the following steps may help you while filing a claim. Call your insurance provider. Do not wait to contact your insurance provider after a natural disaster has caused damage to your business. Insurance companies have time limits on filing claims. If you wait too long, you may not be able to recover compensation. Document the damage. If it is safe to do so, you can return to your business to document the damage. Photographs of the…
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Does My Company Need a Social Media Policy?

Social media platforms have become an all-encompassing part of our society. In addition to having individual uses, these platforms also allow businesses to promote their brands. However, certain mistakes on social media could hurt the reputation of your business and its brand. It is important to consider creating a social media policy for your employees. A policy could address issues that include but are not limited to: Identifying who can represent the company online. Your policy could list the names of people who are allowed to speak for your company on social media. Select these people to avoid creating any confusion among clients or other employees. Identifying topics that cannot be discussed on social media. Your policy could address certain topics that cannot be discussed on the company’s social media accounts. For example, the policy could bar employees from posting confidential or proprietary information. Additional taboo topics, such as talking…
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What Questions Can’t I Ask Job Applicants?

Is your business currently in the process of hiring new employees? If you are looking to hire new people, then you should be aware of what types of questions your hiring managers are asking jobseekers. There are certain types of questions that could get you in trouble under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws. Job interview questions cannot address topics that include: Race Religion Nationality Disability (mental or physical) Pregnancy Sexual orientation Age (over 40 years old) Marital or domestic partnership status Your hiring managers should avoid asking questions such as “do you plan on having children?” or “do you have a mental disability?”. Even seemingly harmless questions can run afoul of state and federal laws. For instance, “do you celebrate any religious holidays?” could potentially get your business in trouble. There…
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Five Employee Issues Where You Should Consult with a Business Attorney

Last week’s blog talked about the different ways your business could face an employment lawsuit. More can be said about the types of employment issues that could lead to these lawsuits. There are situations where you should consider consulting with a business attorney. These situations may include when: You are hiring independent contractors. An attorney could help keep you out of hot water if you are planning to use independent contractors. There are specific rules that apply to how independent contractors are classified and treated. You would also want to draw up a contract that states the terms of the work agreement. You are hiring or firing employees: Businesses may face discrimination lawsuits from former employees or jobseekers. You could consult with an attorney before hiring or firing employees. An attorney could advise you one which mistakes you should avoid during the process. You are creating employment policies: Many businesses…
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What Are Common Tax Season Scams?

The IRS has issued a warning on identity theft several weeks before tax season is set to begin. According to the IRS, they have received an increase in reports of identity thieves attempting to access the W-2s of employees at small businesses. W-2 forms contain extensive personal information. This is only one type of scam that could cost you dearly during tax season. Identity thieves may use the following scams to steal your information or take your hard-earned money. Phishing emails: These are emails that attempt to trick you into giving personal information or clicking on links. Phishing emails can be designed to look like they are coming from the IRS or your employer. Some phishing emails may contain links or attachments that download malware onto your computer. Malware could log keystrokes, take control of your PC or view what is on your screen. Soliciting payments: Another common scam involves…
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