Employers may unintentionally violate employment laws and never realize the risk they create for the company. Trying to provide some flexibility for an employee, saving money for the company, or just being nice are all ways that an act of kindness can become a business liability.
CalChamber’s “The Top 10 Things Employers Do to Get Sued” white paper details some of the mistakes that could lead to employee lawsuits. Topics include:
- Exempt and nonexempt employee classification
- Meal breaks
- Independent contractor status
- Harassment and discrimination
- Hours of work
- Leaves of Absence
- Final paycheck
- Deductions from wages
- Vacation policy
In 2010, the IRS audited 1.0% of taxpayers. For middle-income taxpayers, the percentage was even lower. Only 0.6% with adjusted gross income of $25,000 to $75,000 were audited, according to the IRS.
But traditional audits are just one way the IRS enforces the tax laws. Increasingly, the IRS is relying on what IRS Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson calls “unreal” audits. These typically come in the form of a letter alerting you to errors or omissions on your return. While these audits are less intrusive than full-scale audits, they can still cost you real money.
Everyone makes mistakes—every entrepreneur, every business leader, every employee. The mark of a great company isn’t that it avoids failures—that’s impossible—but that it has the wisdom to take full advantage of them.
Behavioral economics tells us that we humans are short-sighted by nature. We are wired to seek out evidence that confirms what we already believe and to ignore evidence that contradicts it. On top of that, we are usually overconfident, thinking we know more than we do and underestimating how much we don’t know. This leads to tunnel vision and myopic judgments. The great virtue of mistakes, whether by accident or design, is that they widen your range of experience and shrink your ego—and thereby open you to discoveries you’d otherwise never make
In California, the new rules include limits on the ability of businesses to check the credit reports of workers and job seekers. Nationwide, tax deductions for equipment purchases will be sharply reduced.
Small-business owners will be greeted Jan. 1 with dozens of new laws and regulations.
In California, they will include new mandates concerning employees, including a partial ban on checking the credit reports of workers and job applicants.
And it’s no surprise that there are changes at the federal level too.
Here’s a guide to some of the new laws and regulations set to go into effect in 2012.
- Federal Taxes changes
- New federal accessibility rules
- New California laws
If you feel like you’re not getting your time or your money’s worth, it could be because you’re not leveraging the opportunity well enough. And the good news is it might not be all that hard to improve your ROI.
The first thing you’ll want to do is check if you’re guilty of the five most common mistakes people make introducing themselves while at networking and social events. After all your answer to the age old question – “what do you do?” – can either create an opportunity to stand out, attract attention, and get referrals or be a boring snooze and lost opportunity.
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