Category Archives: General Counsel

Tampa Arrest Highlights Danger of Debit Card Scams Targeting Retailers

Credit and debit cards are the lifeblood of many Florida retailers. But business owners must properly train their employees on how to handle declined cards lest they cost their bosses time and money. This lesson applies to large retailers just … Continue reading

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Tax Court Finds Retailer Liable for Improper Accounting of Customer Loyalty Program

Retailers commonly offer discounts, either through coupons or “customer loyalty” programs, in order to attract repeat business. If your Florida small business chooses to offer such discounts, it is important to be aware of the potential tax and accounting implications. … Continue reading

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What Florida Small Businesses Should Know About Bitcoin

Florida retailers and other small businesses are used to handling credit cards and other forms of online payments. Then there are so-called “virtual currencies” like Bitcoin. Many traditional retailers have started to accept Bitcoins as payment for goods and services. … Continue reading

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Who Is (and Is Not) an “Employee”?

Although small business owners may think of themselves as “self-employed,” they are not necessarily employees of their own business. The term “employee” is commonly used in federal and state laws governing businesses, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and … Continue reading

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How Tipping Employees Affects the Minimum Wage

British Columbia restaurateur David Jones recently made news when he announced his newest restaurant would have a “no tipping policy,” in what is believed to be a first for Canada. Jones plans to pay his servers a fixed percentage of … Continue reading

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Florida Auto Dealer Wins Free Speech Challenge to Local Sign Ban

The most complicated legal challenges a small business—particularly a retail establishment—faces is at the local level. Every Florida municipality has its own rules for zoning, building, licensing, permits, et cetera. Navigating such a legal minefield requires the assistance of an … Continue reading

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Florida Supreme Court Addresses Bilingualism and Arbitration Agreements

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about one in five Florida residents speak Spanish. The percentage is even higher in South Florida, where the Census estimates upwards of 40% of the population speaks Spanish. Many South Floridians only have a … Continue reading

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Commercial Leases May Restrict Retail Competition

Florida retailers who operate in shopping centers must be aware of restrictive covenants that can affect their businesses. Landlords may give one retailer exclusivity within a shopping center. Recently, a federal appeals court addressed a complex case involving dozens of … Continue reading

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What Constitutes a “Serious Health Condition” Under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

In 1993, Congress adopted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This law requires retailers and other businesses with 50 or more employees to grant certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period in order … Continue reading

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Appeals Court Rejects Overtime Lawsuit by “Outside Sales Employee”

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally requires Florida retailers and other employers to pay overtime wages to any “employee” who works more than 40 hours per week. There are several exemptions to this overtime rule, including one for … Continue reading

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