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b2ap3_thumbnail_small-business-red-tape-regulations.jpgBeing a small business owner is unlike any job in the world. Challenges like finding the starting funds for a business, hiring good employees, marketing your business, and tax compliance are difficult obstacles to overcome. One such obstacle, which according to some is stifling small businesses across the U.S, is the burden of government regulations. The Code of Federal Regulations has grown to an astounding 175,000 pages. Many of these regulations can become quite problematic for small business owners.

Illegal Cookies Could Land Business Owner in Jail

One example of this regulatory burden has been making life difficult for a small bed and breakfast in Wisconsin. The owner of the B&B serves cookies and other baked treats for her guests. She takes pride in her work, but selling the baked goods could result in the owner being imprisoned for up to six months. There is a rule in Wisconsin law which mandates that if she wants to sell them, her baked goods must come from a commercial kitchen. So, if this B&B owner wishes to sell her cookies, she must find a way to finance an entire commercial kitchen. The cost of installing a kitchen of that magnitude would cost the owner an estimated $50,000.

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Illinois business law attorneysFor many business owners, firing an employee is something they hope they will not have to do. Unfortunately, letting employees go is just as much a part of being a business owner as hiring employees is. When an employer fires an employee, he or she must be careful to avoid creating an opportunity for the employee to sue. Employers must make certain that the termination was justified, legitimate, and handled within the law. There is no way to completely eliminate the risk of being sued, but avoiding these common mistakes can help business owners avoid litigation.

Keeping Inadequate Records

Sometimes, employers become overwhelmed with the demanding task of running a business, and they allow some duties to slip. One of these often overlooked responsibilities is record-keeping. For example, employers have the responsibility to track employee hours worked. When keeping track of the hours worked by employees is based on the “honor system” or is inadequately managed, employees can claim that they were not paid for the actual hours they worked.

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Illinois business attorneysWhen you employ a staff to help you meet the needs of your customers, sooner or later you will have an employee who fails to live up to your expectations. Perhaps he or she has problems with being on time, complying with your company’s dress code, or is simply not productive enough to warrant what you are paying him or her. But, how can you be sure that firing the employee will not blow up in your face, so to speak? There are some steps you can take to help protect yourself and your company from lawsuits and frivolous accusations when you decide to terminate an employee.

The Two Phases

In the movies and on TV, it not uncommon to see a boss fire an employee on the spot for a particularly egregious mistake or outburst. While an immediate firing may be warranted on occasion, most employee terminations occur after an extended decision-making process. Firing an employee, usually, can be broken down into two separate stages—the decision and the termination—and both must be handled properly.

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Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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