Employees play a big role in the success of many small businesses. Along with employees, however, come important - and often confusing - legal responsibilities.
No matter the size of their operations, no matter the services they provide, no matter the sectors in which they operate, all business owners must do everything in their power to ensure that their books remain balanced and every penny is spent with a purpose.
Employee handbooks aren't likely to be the first thing on the mind of an entrepreneur, particularly one with just a few employees.
It doesn't matter whether it's a small, start-up company with three employees or a large conglomerate like Wal-Mart-businesses of all sizes continuously face labor lawsuits.
A former employee of the city of Atlanta has filed a lawsuit against the city alleging he was wrongfully terminated back in January. The man's claims that he was fired after pointing out that a woman who was no longer an employee of the city still had access to city resources. In the business litigation, the man names the mayor of Atlanta in addition to other city officials.
In a move that could ultimately have implications for Georgia businesses, the IRS and Labor Department have begun a program of sharing information to help identify businesses that are in violation of employment law. The government seeks to aggressively pursue those in violation of wage and hour law, particularly ones that are accused of cheating workers out of wages. A primary concern is businesses that mischaracterize workers as independent contractors to avoid minimum wage and overtime rules.