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Oakland County Law Blog

Are you messing up your company’s I-9 process?

Immigration news regularly makes it to the front page of news sites and newspapers around the United States. As an employer, you may not think much about how immigration affects your organization. After all, you may not sponsor foreign workers. You do, however, have an affirmative obligation to verify the identity and work eligibility of everyone you hire. 

The Immigration Reform and Control Act prevents U.S. employers from knowingly hiring those who lack authorization to work in the country. Since November 6, 1986, employers have had to complete an I-9 form for all new hires. While the form seems simple and straightforward, penalties for even seemingly minor paperwork violations can be costly. Here are two ways to ensure you complete your company’s I-9s properly.

Key aspects for a successful business merger

You work hard to get and keep your business at a certain point of success. Sometimes, to move to the next level, it is necessary to join with others in the form of a merger. 

One of the best ways to facilitate a successful business merger is to avoid certain disputes when possible. In that vein, be aware of a few key aspects.

What is height discrimination in the workplace?

Remember when you were in grade school and all the kids would argue on the playground about who was the tallest? There was pride in being taller than others and growing up fast. Whether you want to believe it or not, this emphasis and value on height are still pervasive in the adult world. For example, people tend to trust and follow those who are tall, which history confirms in the election of U.S. presidents.

Attitudes about height can even be a factor in the workplace. Although it does not receive much attention, discrimination based on height is a real and persistent force in employment matters.

What steps can you take to prevent international child abduction?

Having a child with someone who hails from another country can sometimes present unanticipated challenges. If, for example, the relationship between you and your one-time partner takes a turn for the worse, you may have reason to worry about your ex potentially trying to take your child out of the country without your permission.

If you do, in fact, have valid concerns about international child abduction, there are some efforts you can take to help protect your child and keep him or her on U.S. soil. If your child’s other parent does successfully take your child out of the United States and back to his or her home country, it can sometimes, depending on the nation involved, prove difficult to get him or her back. Therefore, taking preventative measures to stop international child abduction may be your best line of defense against it. So, what should you consider doing if you believe your ex might attempt to take your son or daughter back to his or her home nation?

Hiring undocumented workers could destroy your business

For the past decade, immigration raids at work sites in the United States have been uncommon. That changed in early April when agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 280 employees at a business in Texas. While it is not yet clear if company officials will face criminal charges, the message is clear: Hiring undocumented workers is a mistake. 

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prevents U.S. employers from knowingly employing unauthorized workers. As an employer, you have an affirmative obligation to verify both the identity and work eligibility of everyone you hire. To do this, you complete and retain the I-9 form. You can likely gauge your company’s potential liability by examining the penalties for violating the IRCA. 

The fine art of offering great employee benefits

No doubt you feel energized about starting your own company, and one of your priorities is to hire top-notch employees. Most employees expect to receive company benefits. You will offer what the law requires, plus a healthcare plan and paid vacation, but will that be enough to attract industry superstars?

About the basics

Sexual harassment a pervasive problem in health care

When you show up to your place of employment, you have a right to a comfortable work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. Regrettably, however, discrimination and harassment are common issues in many American work settings, with some industries and fields experiencing higher rates of them than others.

Sexual harassment, for example, is an especially significant problem for students and workers in health care settings, including hospitals and doctor's offices, with the Harvard Business Review reporting that the problem often starts before medical students even begin their careers. Just what is it that makes health care settings such hotbeds for sexual harassment?

New laws regarding employment and family law go into effect

Local, state and federal laws change all the time. Sometimes, new laws overrule old ones, while other times, existing statutes receive minor adjustments. There are several new laws taking effect in 2019 that directly impact Michigan residents. 

Among the multitude of new rules include ones concerning the minimum wage, paid sick leave and spousal support. If you are currently employed, run a business and/or are getting a divorce, get the details.

What to know about splitting a business in a divorce

Many Michigan couples raced to divorce before the end of 2018. At the start of 2019, a new law went into effect that limits how much alimony spouses can write off on their taxes. 

Now that 2019 is here, there are many additional considerations to bear in mind for couples who want to divorce. The complexity of the process will vary on a litany of factors. The proceedings become complicated if one or both spouses own a business. Individuals who own businesses need to be proactive, which means they should create a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage to protect business-related assets. 

3 child custody myths to avoid

The divorce process can generate a lot of stress and confusion for anyone. To make matters worse, you may hear or read many types of incorrect information about some crucial matters.

One area rife with misinformation is that of how child custody works. It is important to get the facts straight if you want to act in the best interests of yourself and your children. 

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