As a small business owner, it is imperative that you understand regulations surrounding your employees’ rights and any restrictions on your authority as an employer. Recent changes to Washington’s social media laws may affect how you gather and use information from your employees. Specifically, RCW 49.44.200 limits employers’ ability to access employee social networking accounts. The statute provides for new regulations that make it more difficult for employers to monitor employees and applicants’ personal social networking activity.

What You Cannot Do

Under the new law, it is unlawful for an employer to “request, require, or otherwise coerce an employee or applicant to disclose login information for the employee’s or applicant’s personal social networking account.” You probably noticed that the statute makes reference to personal social…

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As a small business owner, you’re often required to wear many different hats. One of those hats is the “negotiator” hat. Whether you’re negotiating the terms of your new employee’s contract, or your determining the details of a manufacturing agreement, you often must negotiate to protect your rights. Today’s article highlights the key points from a previous iVLG blog article I wrote on how to engage in “principled negotiations.”

As a principled negotiator, you know that there are bigger or better opportunities and solutions out there–the sky is the limit with this approach. And collaborating during negotiations will allow the parties to explore mutual interests. The principled negotiation approach was made famous by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their book, Getting to Yes….

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I’ll set the stage: Two friends decide to start a business. They’ve been friends for years. They see eye to eye on just about every issue, including how the business should be formed and managed. They are ready to start selling, making money, and growing their idea into a sustainable business. They’ve decided that each partner has an equal stake in the business and will receive equal compensation. They want it to be simple, no lawyers, no accountants, no additional partners, etc. To seal the deal they cheers their beers to the future. You get the picture.

Get it in Writing Because The Future is Unpredictable 
Both partners trust each other, and neither has any reason to believe that their relationship will…

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A recent post on the inVigor Law Group blog explored the idea of “agency liability.” Agency liability refers to liability for actions of employees and owners of a company when acting on behalf of the company. I’ve highlighted some of the key points for you in today’s post.

When two people (or companies) agree to allow one person to act on behalf of the other party, the acting party is referred to as an “agent.” The other party–the one that authorized the agent’s actions–is referred to as the “principal.” Why does this matter to you? Because figuring out the agency relationship is important in determining whether contracts and agreements that your agent enters into are binding.

Two Types of Authority

Agents can act…

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