What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment Law Cases?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Find a Suitable Business Dispute Resolution.

Dealing with employment disputes is never easy, and it is often complicated to find a workable solution, especially in legal cases. However, did you know that there may be a way to resolve employment disputes without the need for litigation or court proceedings? This is called alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which is an efficient, effective, and less expensive way to resolve disagreements.

ADR is a process used to settle disputes without going to court. ADR is a less formal and less expensive approach, typically involving a neutral third party such as a mediator or an arbitrator, to help participants reach an agreement. The goal of ADR is to solve the dispute fairly and amicably.

Different Types of ADR

Here are some common types of ADR:

  • Mediation: Mediation usually involves a neutral third party acting as a mediator to help participants reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation can be particularly useful for disputes where the relationship must continue, as it allows the parties to maintain an amicable relationship.
  • Arbitration: In arbitration, a neutral third party acts as an arbitrator and makes a binding decision on the dispute. Unlike mediation, parties have less control over the outcome of the dispute, but the process is more time-efficient.
  • Negotiation: Negotiation is a process where parties involved in a dispute attempt to find a mutually acceptable solution on their own, usually through face-to-face conversations.
  • Collaborative law: Collaborative Law usually involves the parties and their attorneys agreeing to work together outside of court to resolve the dispute.

Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution

ADR offers several benefits to employers and employees, including:

  • Saves time: ADR processes are often faster than court proceedings, which could take months or years to solve.
  • Saves money: ADR is often less expensive than the traditional court process. The costs of litigation can be a huge financial burden for small businesses.
  • Offers more control: ADR provides participants with more control over the outcome of the dispute, unlike litigation where the outcome is in the hands of the court.
  • Maintains privacy: Court proceedings are public record, and they may damage the reputation of the business. ADR, on the other hand, maintains privacy and confidentiality, which can be essential for small businesses.

Why Is ADR Useful in Employment Disputes?

Employment disputes can be quite complicated, and litigation may not be the best approach to solve them. ADR offers a more flexible and amicable way to solve disputes that are personal and sensitive to employees. Here are a few examples of employment disputes that can be resolved through ADR:

  • Discrimination claims: Disputes involving discrimination can be particularly sensitive and personal. Mediation, in particular, provides an amicable and fast solution.
  • Harassment claims: Harassment claims can also be sensitive and personal. Arbitration, under certain circumstances, can provide a more expedient and confidential solution.
  • Wage disputes: Claims regarding pay or other wage disputes can be resolved through mediation or negotiation.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Find a Suitable Business Dispute Resolution

Employment disputes happen despite your best efforts to prevent them. When they arise, ADR could be the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to resolve the matter. Get the legal help you need today by speaking with our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Protecting Your Business From Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Protect Your Business From Wrongful Termination Lawsuits.

As a business owner, it is crucial to understand the legal implications that come with terminating employees. Wrongful termination, in particular, can be troublesome. Here are some ways you can be proactive to protect your business from wrongful termination lawsuits.

  1. Comply With Labor Laws

The best way to prevent wrongful termination lawsuits is to ensure that your business is complying with labor laws. This means understanding federal and state employment laws, including anti-discrimination laws, wage and hour laws, and labor union regulations. Review and update your employment policies and procedures regularly, and train your HR staff and managers to implement them consistently.

  1. Avoid Arbitrary Terminations

Arbitrary termination refers to firing an employee for no justifiable reason. To protect your business from wrongful termination lawsuits, you must have a legitimate reason for letting go of an employee, even if you do not share the full reason with the employee. This could be poor performance, violation of company policies, misconduct, or any other valid reason. Ensure that your business has proper documentation of an employee’s poor performance or policy violations so you have evidence that can be used to defend your decision to terminate the employee.

  1. Be Prepared for Termination

When termination is necessary, handle it with care and be prepared. Conduct the termination meeting in private and have a witness present to document the conversation. Be clear and concise in your communication, and avoid making personal attacks or comments that could be used against you. Provide the terminated employee with written notice of the termination, their final paycheck, and their entitled benefits. Consider offering outplacement services or support, such as career counseling or resume building, to help the employee transition out of the organization.

  1. Implement Clear and Concise Policies

Having a clear set of policies in place is essential to avoid wrongful termination lawsuits. Start by establishing a clear code of conduct that employees must adhere to. This can include rules and regulations about acceptable behavior and performance standards. By providing your employees with well-communicated rules and clearly defined job responsibilities, it will be easier to hold them accountable to those standards. That way, if you eventually have to take action against an employee, you will have a solid foundation to support your case.

  1. Document Employee Performance and Conduct

Documentation is critical for fighting wrongful termination lawsuits. Make sure that employee documents, such as disciplinary actions, performance reviews, and attendance records, are kept safe and secure. In case of a lawsuit, the documents will serve as evidence and back up the reason for the termination.

Document every conversation you have with an employee regarding their job and conduct. If an employee is underperforming or behaving negatively, take note of the date, time, and details of each infraction. Having a compilation of these details helps to provide tangible evidence when you are faced with a wrongful termination lawsuit.

  1. Seek Legal Guidance

One of the best ways to protect your business is by seeking legal guidance. You do not have to wait until you are facing a lawsuit to look for legal advice. Instead, have a lawyer on retainer to review policies and procedures and provide guidance on how to deal with potentially risky situations. This provides an additional layer of protection and ensures that, if faced with a lawsuit, legal professionals can provide the necessary guidance to protect your business.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Protect Your Business From Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

Protecting your business from wrongful termination lawsuits starts well before any litigation. Get the legal help you need today by speaking with our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How to Draft Effective Employment Contracts?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Keep Your Business Compliant.

Employment contracts are essential documents that provide clarity and structure to the employment relationship between an employer and an employee. The purpose of an employment contract is to clearly define the terms and conditions of employment, so that everyone – employer and employee alike – knows exactly what is expected of them.

The contract typically covers a range of issues, such as the duration of employment, job duties, compensation, benefits, termination details, and other relevant employment terms. Employment contracts provide numerous benefits to both the employer and employee.

For employers, they limit the scope for  disputes or misunderstandings. An employment contract ensures that both parties are aware of their obligations and expectations, which can reduce the likelihood of legal disputes.

For employees, employment contracts provide peace of mind and job security. A well-drafted employment contract can make it clear what is expected of them and what they can expect in return.

The following components should be included in an employment contract.

Employee Details

The employment contract should include the employee’s name, job title, starting date, and other basic information, such as contact information.

Job Duties

The employment contract should clearly define the employee’s duties and responsibilities. This can include details about tasks, targets, and goals expected from the employee.

Compensation

Employment contracts should address compensation, including salary, benefits, and other forms of compensation, such as bonuses or stock options. The contract should detail how and when the employee will be paid and what benefits will be included, such as vacation time or insurance policies.

Termination Details

The contract should outline the circumstances in which employment can be terminated, such as resignation, retirement, or dismissal. An employment agreement should specify what the process is for resolving disputes, including mediation, arbitration, or litigation.

At-Will Clause

An “at-will” clause is a provision in an employment contract that indicates that either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, without any legal consequences, provided there is no illegal discrimination or contract violation. The at-will status clearly outlines the terms of the employment relationship so that employers and employees alike understand their relationship and corresponding expectations.

The at-will status gives both parties the freedom to end the employment relationship at any time for any reason. However, it is important to note that having an at-will clause does not exempt employers from being held liable for wrongful termination under certain circumstances. Wrongful termination can occur if the employer violates federal, state, or local anti-discrimination laws, or violates any provision of an employment contract.

Other Terms

Apart from employee details, job duties, compensation, benefits, and termination details, there are other provisions that may be included in an employment contract, depending on the employer’s requirements and the nature of the job:

  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure: The employer may include clauses that prohibit employees from sharing confidential or proprietary information. This clause is especially important for companies that deal with trade secrets, client lists, or other sensitive information.
  • Non-compete and non-solicitation: Employers may include clauses that restrict employees from competing or soliciting business from clients for a certain period after their employment is terminated. Be aware that several states have begun invalidating non-compete clauses.
  • Intellectual property: If an employee is expected to create intellectual property during their employment, the contract may specify who owns it and how it can be used.
  • Performance expectations: Employers may set performance expectations and provide consequences if employees do not meet them.
  • Work schedule and hours: The employment contract can specify the work schedule and hours of the employee based on the employer’s requirements.
  • Benefits: Employers may specify the benefits offered to their employees, such as vacation days, sick days, health insurance, and retirement benefits.
  • Entire agreement: Employers may include clauses that specify that the employment agreement contains the entire agreement between both parties and supersedes any prior agreements, verbal or written.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Keep Your Business Compliant

To stay compliant, it is important to have effective employment contracts. Protect yourself and your business by speaking with our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Top 5 Mistakes Employers Make in Hiring and Firing Procedures

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Keep Your Business Compliant.

As a business owner, hiring and firing can be stressful. Unfortunately, many employers make mistakes in hiring and firing. These mistakes can result in costly lawsuits, disciplinary actions, and low employee morale.

Hiring Mistake 1: Not Defining the Job’s Qualifications or Overlooking Them

Without a clear and concise definition of what the job requires, you cannot effectively identify the ideal candidate. Defining the job includes creating a job description, stating employee qualifications, and establishing their duties and responsibilities. Overlooking some qualifications can also lead to disastrous outcomes. For instance, hiring a person with a history of misconduct in finance to handle your business’s finances. This mistake can be avoided by reviewing resumes and applications and conducting background and reference checks.

Hiring Mistake 2: Not Conducting Effective Interviews

Another common mistake that employers make is not asking appropriate job-related questions during interviews. Asking irrelevant questions, not taking notes, and interrupting the candidate are signs of poor interviewing skills. Conducting effective interviews involves asking job-related questions, assessing the candidate’s behavior, experience, and references, and evaluating the candidate’s fit with your company culture.

Hiring Mistake 3: Rushing the Hiring Process

Hiring the first candidate that applies can be the biggest mistake an employer can make. It is crucial to take your time and evaluate all candidates based on job requirements and experience. Rushing the hiring process can lead to poor hiring decisions and high turnover rates. Rushing can also lead to neglecting to check references and conducting background checks. It is essential to have a hiring timeline that incorporates each step of the hiring process.

Hiring Mistake 4: Not Offering Competitive Wages and Benefits

Compensating low wages and minimal benefits often leads to high turnover rates, leaving your business exposed to financial liabilities. Offering competitive wages and benefits packages is critical to keeping your employees and attracting top talent. Employers must determine what they can afford and offer alternative benefits, such as a flexible work schedule, paid time off, and bonuses.

Hiring Mistake 5: Ignoring Discrimination Laws

Ignoring discrimination laws during the hiring process can lead to costly fines and lawsuits. Employers need to develop and maintain fair and nondiscriminatory hiring policies, including EEOC guidelines, state, and federal laws. This involves avoiding discriminatory hiring practices based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability status, and other protected classes.

Firing Mistake 1: Improper Documentation

Not documenting employee actions, problem behavior, and performance can lead to misunderstandings and costly litigation. Documenting employee performance includes dates, times, and incidents. Documentation should address areas of improvement, the steps the employer took to provide feedback, coaching, and support.

Firing Mistake 2: Appearing Biased or Prejudiced

Appearances of bias or prejudice can lead to costly discrimination lawsuits, including wrongful termination. Employers must communicate clearly and genuinely when terminating or disciplining an employee. Avoid making comments that could appear potentially discriminatory.

Firing Mistake 3: Acting Based on Emotions

While employers may have strong feelings about a situation, it is essential to make objective decisions rather than acting on emotions. Employers must remain in control and take the necessary time to analyze situations before taking any disciplinary action or terminating an employee.

Firing Mistake 4: Terminating as Retaliation

Retaliation against employees who complain, challenge, or make a report against an employee or employer violates federal and state employment laws, and it can be incredibly damaging.

Firing Mistake 5: Neglecting Ongoing Performance Feedback

Neglecting ongoing performance feedback leads to high turnover rates and creates an uncomfortable work environment. Employers should routinely provide feedback, both positive and constructive, to their employees. Offering feedback promotes a positive work environment and reinforces that the employer values their employees’ contributions.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Keep Your Business Compliant

It is crucial that your business has clear and structured hiring and firing processes. Protect yourself and your business by speaking with one of our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

What Are the Best Ways to Finance a Business?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Your Business Grow Financially

When starting a business, one of the most important things to consider is how you plan to finance the company. Whether you are looking for a loan from a bank or an investment, understanding your options when it comes to financing can help ensure your success.

Businesses often require additional funding when they face cash flow problems or want to expand their operations. Without sufficient funds, businesses may struggle to cover operational costs or invest in growth opportunities. By securing financing from external sources, businesses have access to extra money. This frees up money for other expenses, such as inventory or paying employees.

Loans

One of the most common forms of financing for businesses is through loans. This can be done through banks or other lending institutions, such as credit unions or online lenders. Loans typically come with low interest rates and are relatively easy to get if you have good credit and can prove that you have a viable business plan.

However, they also have strict repayment terms that must be met in order for the loan to not go into default. It is important that you understand all the terms before taking out a loan so that you do not end up in over your head financially.

Equity

Another popular way for businesses to secure financing is through equity investments from venture capitalists or angel investors. These investors put money into your business in exchange for either part ownership or future profits from the company.

While this type of financing does not require any collateral, it does mean that you will be giving up some control over your company and may be liable for taxes on any profits generated by your business down the line. It is always best to work with an experienced attorney when negotiating these types of deals so that you know exactly what you are getting into beforehand.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has become increasingly popular in recent years as more people turn to social media and crowdfunding sites to raise money for their businesses or projects. Crowdfunding allows individuals or companies to reach out directly to potential investors who may believe in their cause and want to support them financially.

While this can be a great way to get funding quickly, it also requires an immense amount of effort on your part since you need to create campaigns, build relationships with potential donors, and generate publicity for your cause before anyone will invest. Additionally, most crowdfunding sites charge fees for using their services, which can add up quickly if you do not reach your goals within a certain time frame.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help Your Business Grow Financially

Getting the right funding for your business can seem daunting. Protect yourself and your business by speaking with our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. to discuss your legal options. Contact us at 215-574-0600 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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What Are Effective Strategies for Resolving Employment Disputes?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Resolve Your Business Disputes.

Conflict in the workplace happens. Whether it is between co-workers, managers, or customers, disputes arise and need to be addressed quickly and efficiently. Unresolved conflict can lead to a disengaged and unhappy workforce, which can be detrimental to your business. It is important to have strategies in place for resolving employment disputes when they occur. Here are some tips on how you can approach resolving conflicts in a productive way.

Clarify the Source of Conflict

The first step is understanding why the dispute has occurred in the first place. It could be due to differences in opinions about something, or a misunderstanding of expectations between parties. It could even be due to a disagreement about resources or who gets credit for tasks completed. Taking time to gain clarity on where the issue lies is essential before moving forward with any resolution plan.

Find a Safe Space To Talk

Once you have established what sparked the conflict, it is important that everyone involved feels safe enough to voice their feelings and opinions without fear of judgment or retribution from anyone else involved. This could mean having an open discussion about the situation or bringing in a third-party mediator who can ensure that everyone has a chance to speak openly without interruption from anyone else involved in the dispute.

Listen and Let Everyone Have Their Say

Listening is key when it comes to resolving conflicts at work; it shows respect for everyone involved and helps build trust between the parties. This means actively listening and paying attention to what everyone is saying so that you can understand each side of the story before coming up with a solution.

Investigate

In some cases, like if harassment is involved, an investigation may need to take place before any resolution can be reached. If someone says that they have been treated unfairly, it might need to be investigated. This means asking questions and looking for the truth about what happened. It is important to be impartial and open-minded during this process so everyone has the chance to present their case. Make sure you document your investigation, as it could be needed if a legal issue arises.

Agree On an Outcome

After all sides have had their say, it is important that an outcome is reached or an agreement is made between those involved so there are no lingering issues. If no consensus or agreement can be made, then make sure that you make the best decision for your business moving forward; this will help maintain productivity and keep morale high. If there is a legal matter like discrimination involved, it is advisable to discuss the outcome with a legal advisor.

Evaluate and Prepare

An employer can evaluate an employment conflict outcome by assessing the root cause of the dispute, identifying patterns or trends that may have led to the conflict, and investigating potential workplace policies or legal issues that may have been involved. Additionally, they can look back at communication between all parties involved, review feedback received from employees regarding their experience with the situation, and take necessary steps to create a positive work environment. This could include introducing stronger HR protocols, providing additional training or coaching resources for both management and employees, and creating open channels of communication.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Resolve Your Business Disputes

Despite taking precautions, you may still find yourself with an employment dispute. This is not something you should ignore. Speak with one of our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C today. Contact us at 215-574-0600 or complete our online form to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Do I Need to Hire a Business Attorney for Help With Taxes?

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Philadelphia Business Attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Get Your Business Taxes in Order

When it comes to filing business taxes, careful preparation makes all the difference. If you make filing errors on your taxes or the IRS thinks you did, addressing their challenges can be overwhelming and intimidating. It is an investment of time and money, but the benefits can include significant tax savings, a better understanding of how the tax laws work, and the confidence that comes with knowing your company is protected should issues arise.

A business attorney can offer tax planning advice but can also provide additional support when disputes arise. Since business owners deal with considerably more tax laws than other people, they can often benefit from working with an attorney. If your company gets audited and/or your tax payments come under scrutiny, a business attorney can help.

How Can I Choose a Business Attorney?

The main reasons to seek out a business attorney for tax assistance include:

  • Needing to set up a hearing in front of a U.S. Tax Court.
  • Settling a major tax dispute, setting up installment plans, and guidance with innocent spouse relief.
  • Wanting to sue a state or local tax authority or the IRS.
  • International business taxes and regulations.
  • Making the most of your deductions.
  • Reporting business income and expenses.
  • Straightening out payment of employee taxes.

When researching different business attorneys, look for ones that are in your local area since you will need to visit the office. Verify that they have licenses to practice; this information can be found on your state’s bar association website. If you are looking for someone to also prepare your taxes, there should be a preparer tax identification number shown as well.

Business attorneys also help clients with the legal and tax implications of new or startup companies. This includes helpful advice, strategic short-term and long-term planning, and preparation and completion of all the necessary legal documents.

Philadelphia Business Attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Get Your Business Taxes in Order

Tax season can be particularly intimidating for business owners, but one of our trusted Philadelphia business attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can guide you through the process. If you need help with your business taxes, complete our online form or call us at 215-574-0600 to schedule an initial consultation. We are located in Philadelphia, and we proudly assist clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information in the Workplace

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The Philadelphia Business Attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Business Assets

As a business owner, you likely have information that you would like to keep secret from your competitors. This type of information is known as a “trade secret,” and it is important to take steps to protect it.

Similarly, you may also have information that is not necessarily a secret but is still confidential. This could include employee records, customer lists, or supplier contracts. While this information may not give your competitors an advantage, it could still be damaging if it fell into the wrong hands. As such, it is important to consult a business attorney to take the necessary steps to protect both your trade secrets and confidential information.

What Is a Trade Secret?

A trade secret is any type of information that would give your business an advantage over its competitors if it were made public. This could be a new product you are developing, information about your sales or marketing strategy, or even just your company’s financials. Trade secrets can be either physical (like a formula) or non-physical (like customer data). As long as the information is not generally known and you have taken steps to keep it secret, it can qualify as a trade secret.

The most famous example of a trade secret is the Coca-Cola recipe. While the recipe for Coca-Cola includes just seven ingredients, the specific proportions of those ingredients are unknown outside of the company. Coca-Cola has gone to great lengths to keep the recipe secret, including building a vault to store it in and only allowing two employees to know the full recipe at any given time.

What Is Confidential Information?

Confidential information is any type of non-public information that could be damaging if it fell into the wrong hands. This could include employee records, customer lists, or supplier contracts. While this information may not give your competitors an advantage if it were made public, it could still be damaging if it fell into the wrong hands. For example, if an employee list was leaked online, your employees could become targets for identity theft or fraud. Similarly, if customer data was leaked, your customers could lose trust in your company and take their business elsewhere.

Tips to Keep Information Secure

  • Limit access to trade secrets and confidential information to only those employees who need to know.
  • Require employees to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) before they are given access to trade secrets or confidential information.
  • Store trade secrets and confidential information in a secure location, such as a locked filing cabinet or password-protected computer file.
  • Make sure all physical copies of trade secrets and confidential information are shredded or destroyed when they are no longer needed.
  • Do not discuss trade secrets or confidential information in public places or on unsecured communication channels (such as email or social media).
  • Have a plan in place for what to do if trade secrets or confidential information are leaked. This might include contacting the police or hiring a lawyer.
  • Educate employees on the importance of keeping trade secrets and confidential information safe. This can be done through regular training sessions or by including this topic in the employee handbook.
  • Consider insurance policies that will cover the cost of damages if trade secrets or confidential information are leaked.
  • Review your security measures regularly and update them as needed to ensure that they are adequate for protecting your company’s most important assets – its people, its products, and its reputation.
  • Seek legal advice if you have questions about how to protect your company’s trade secrets or confidential information.

The Philadelphia Business Attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Business Assets

Protecting your business assets is vital to your future growth and success. Part of that includes protecting your trade secrets and confidential information. Speak with our knowledgeable Philadelphia business attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. to discuss your options to keep your assets safe. Contact us at 215-574-0600 or inquire online. With offices in Philadelphia, we proudly serve our neighbors in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

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Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

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Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

The workplace can be a tricky environment to navigate, especially when it comes to understanding your rights as an employee. Employers often track internet, email, and phone use, so employees do not have an expectation of privacy in the workplace, but employee privacy rights are protected in the workplace.

What are Employee Privacy Rights?

“Employee privacy rights” refer to the degree of protection offered to workers from their employers. Unfortunately, there is not much protection for employees from their employer when it comes to searching company computers and property. This means that employers are usually within their legal rights to search a computer or other company property for any reason they deem fit.

As such, any emails you send on a company computer can be read by your employer if they choose to do so. Generally speaking, employees do not have an expectation of privacy while using company-owned equipment or devices.

How Employers Track Employees’ Usage?

Employers may track internet usage through monitoring software programs. These programs will look at all data that passes through a network—including websites visited and emails sent—so employers can see what their employees are doing with company technology during work hours. They may also track employee phone calls and emails by making recordings of them for quality assurance purposes, or looking through emails sent from work accounts for any suspicious activity. Some companies may even install GPS tracking on company vehicles so they can monitor their drivers’ whereabouts during work hours.

Employees’ Rights in the Workplace

Despite these methods of monitoring employed by employers, there are still certain rights afforded to workers in most workplaces including the right to be free from harassment and discrimination, the right to be free of toxic substances and dangerous conditions, and the right to be free from punishment for making a complaint or filing a claim against their employer or co-worker(s). Besides these protections, there are certain other areas where employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like the bathroom. Employees have a right to use the restroom without being monitored or observed by their employer or coworkers. This expectation of privacy is based on both legal and ethical considerations. From a legal standpoint, employers are required to provide safe and sanitary restroom facilities for their employees, which includes protecting their privacy while using these facilities.

Employers may install security cameras in certain areas of the workplace for safety and security reasons, but these cameras should not be placed in restrooms or other areas where employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like personal belongings. Even if a backpack or purse is brought to work, an employer cannot search these items without a valid reason or the employee’s consent.

The Philadelphia Employment Attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Your Rights in the Workplace

If you think your workplace rights have been violated, speak with the Philadelphia employment attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Contact us at 215-574-0600 or inquire online to schedule a consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, we proudly serve our neighbors in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

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What Are Insolvency Laws and How Do They Help Small Businesses?

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Contact the Philadelphia Business Attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. if Your Business Has Become Insolvent

The word “insolvency” signifies financial distress for individuals or businesses when debts cannot be paid on time. It is generally used after a company has entered into informal arrangements with its creditors to pay off what is due. When those do not pan out, further steps are taken.

Why Do Businesses Become Insolvent?

Businesses and companies become insolvent for a number of reasons. Poor human resources management and inadequate accounting are two main causes. It can also happen when businesses raise their costs and share that with large clients, who soon after end the relationships. Other reasons that lead to less income and high debt include not meeting customer needs, and costly lawsuits.

Insolvencies can be temporary when assets are liquidated and/or debts are restructured into manageable payments. Many times, smaller companies are bought by larger ones that assume the debt. Creditors tend to prefer those options over not getting repaid at all. A repayment plan has to be realistic and have evidence showing where the cash will come from while the business remains profitable.

Is Insolvency the Same Thing as Bankruptcy?

Insolvency and bankruptcy are two different things. Insolvency is a temporary situation that hopefully gets resolved. When that does not happen, a company may have to declare bankruptcy. During bankruptcy proceedings, a court decides how the insolvent party will handle the unpaid obligations. That could involve selling off more assets, and could negatively impact a company’s credit rating.

New Bankruptcy Laws

For the past few years, lenient lenders, low interest rates, and government stimulus money have worked to decrease the number of Chapter 11 filings. The 2019 Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) also made Chapter 11 more accessible to debtors; the CARES Act (temporarily) raised the debt limit to $7.5 million for many eligible small businesses. How did this happen?

In 2020, a subchapter was added to Chapter 11 through the SBRA: Subchapter V. Designed to help small businesses with limited time and resources, it lessened the time and money needed for bankruptcy cases. Through Subchapter V, businesses with less than $2.7 million in debt could apply for this program. Things changed after the $2.2 trillion CARES Act; now the threshold is $7.5 million. In essence, small businesses with debt up to $7.5 million can be eligible to file for bankruptcy under Subchapter V.

Impacts of Subchapter V

As a result of Subchapter V, more small businesses have become eligible to apply for faster, less costly bankruptcy filings. Since 2020, more than 3,400 small businesses filed for Subchapter V relief, bypassing traditional Chapter 11 filings. Insolvent businesses can reap these other advantages by filing for Subchapter V:

  • Creditors are responsible for uncovering debtor abuse and fraud because there are no appointed creditors’ committees. Debtors pay creditor committee expenses in typical Chapter 11 filings.
  • With Subchapter V, creditors are responsible for determining if debtors are properly qualified small businesses.

Contact the Philadelphia Business Attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. if Your Business Has Become Insolvent

The rules for legal bankruptcy filings have certainly changed these past few years and it can be challenging to know what best suits your needs. For a confidential consultation, contact the experienced Philadelphia business attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or complete our online form today. We are located in Philadelphia, and help clients in South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

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