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Mortgage loan discrimination: Subtle signs to look for

Mortgage loan discrimination is the technical term for someone gaming the system in order to deny equal credit to potential borrowers based solely on something like their race, sexual orientation or religion.

While federal regulations like the Dodd-Frank Act, the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act all ban discrimination and encourage lenders to be honest in their dealings with potential borrowers, the reality is that mortgage discrimination still happens.

Can you punish an employee for a social media post?

Social media continues to be a problem for employers because it's difficult what the rules are when an employee goes rogue and either fires off a blast about the company itself or violates a morality clause by posting a joke that simply reeks of racism.

If an employee makes a social media post that crosses a company line, there are essentially two things you have to ask yourself before you can take action:

  1. Was the employee's post a protected activity?
  2. Did you have legitimate access to the material?

Freelancers: Understand your choices when doing business

Freelancers are in a somewhat unique position when it comes to deciding exactly what type of business they want to be.

No matter what type of freelance work you do, there are pros and cons to each type of business entity you can choose to operate under. While these aren't your only options, they are the three most common choices for new freelancers to use.

Small shareholder sues Uber

Uber has seen its fair share of lawsuits in the last few years. Some of the lawsuits are arguably growing pains for a company that virtually exploded in size once it hit an apparently massively underserved and untapped market around the nation.

Uber has had to navigate, among other things, a complex system of employment laws that vary from state to state and made it difficult to determine the correct status of its drivers as independent contractors.

Partnership agreements come with a side order of success

If you have ever endured a tedious conversation in which you and another person repeatedly defer to one another about where to go for lunch, you already know the challenges in store if you decide to go into business with a partner. Two minds are not always better than one, especially if they have no framework in which to make vital decisions.

This is why business advocates recommend that entrepreneurs who are seeking to go into a partnership establish a partnership agreement. Hammering out critical issues before they become disagreements has helped many partnerships grow into thriving businesses. If you have questions about drafting such an agreement, you can seek answers by consulting an attorney who has years of experience helping California businesses to succeed.

The love-hate life of a property manager

Landlords often get a bad rap, even in the world of fiction. TV shows and movies often portray landlords as sleazy or miserly unless they are depressed and apathetic. If you are a property manager, you may either find these stereotypes entertaining or insulting. Even if you aren't the owner of the building, your job managing the property may be something you take seriously and do with pride.

Undoubtedly, you have your share of problems, as any manager does. Although your work may be flexible and refreshingly unpredictable, you may also deal with some of the frustrations common to those who manage rental properties.

3 legal reasons a property manager makes good business sense

If you're a landlord, you may have started to consider hiring a property management company. It isn't a particularly bad idea, because it can save you from a number of legal hassles.

Here are some of the reasons a property management firm might make your life as a landlord easier:

Avoiding discrimination allegations during the hiring process

Your business is important to you, and you likely want your employees to represent you well. Additionally, you certainly want your workers to get along and share a common workplace philosophy. Finally, when you consider candidates for open positions in your company, you probably want someone who is not going to place you or your brand at risk.

With these things in mind, you may have created a job application unique to your business, as California law allows you to do. However, by doing so, you open yourself to the possibility of violating regulations set forth by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

How do you handle unsupported accommodation requests?

When an employee develops a medical condition that affects his or her ability to function, employers have a legal obligation to make certain accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, there are times when an employee will make it difficult, at best, to do what's necessary.

Usually that happens when the employee makes a request for accommodations but doesn't provide sufficient (or any) supporting documentation showing what his or her condition is and why the accommodations are necessary.

3 things to discuss with your spouse before starting a business

Can you mix love and business without ruining both?

It's possible, but only if you have the foresight to talk things over with your significant other before you get into business -- whether you're going into a business alone, with your significant other or with other partners.

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