What happens when an employee continues to work after the employee’s contract expires

Some employers assume that when an employee continues to be employed after the expiration of his or her employment agreement, the employee automatically becomes an employee at will whose employment can be terminated at any time. That may not be the case.

If a written employment contract expires and is not formally renewed, and the employee has continued to perform the same functions and to receive the same compensation as was received under the expired contract, then in some states there may be a presumption that the parties have mutually agreed to a new contract that contains the same provisions as the old agreement.

Applicant Interview Tip for Small Business Owners

Business owners should review applicant interview scripts, guidelines, lists, and forms to be sure that no impermissible questions are asked.

Why Joel Osteen Took A Public Beating Over The Hurricane

Crisis tells us what we expect from our leaders

Joel Osteen took a beating in social media over his response to the hurricane. But there was more at play than just haters doing what haters do. Here is why Joel Osteen took a public beating over the hurricane.

According to Simon Sinek, an author and thought leader, humans had a very practical problem during the cave man period of our development. We lived in communities with a very limited number of people. And in those small communities, there was an attitude that could be described as “survival of the fittest.” When it was time to eat, the biggest, strongest person – The Alpha – was guaranteed to eat. The weakest person was not guaranteed to eat. That system kept the biggest, strongest person alive. But it was not a good system for the group. Why? Because the value of living in the group is that the people in the group trust each other. Indeed, if I trust you and you trust me, then I know I can sleep at night because you have my back. And you know you can sleep at night because I have your back.

Sinek would say the same thing applies to companies in the context of innovation. According to Sinek, if we trust each other, then we can take risks and innovate. And in the process, we can do the things that are necessary to change the world. On the other hand, if we do not trust each other, then we are not going to take risks.

We see the same thing in society when we consider the way that society treats its leaders. We are constantly assessing each other. We are constantly arranging ourselves around the Alphas among us. We are constantly determining who is the more dominant person in the room.

We have different standards for determining who is the Alpha among us. When I was in law school, the Alpha may have been the person who was considered the smartest. When I played football, you usually had an Alpha in each position group. For preachers, the Alpha might be the most effective public speaker. There was no real standard for determining Alphas, because the criteria varied by industry.

Once we determine who the Alpha in the group is, we allow that person to have the spoils that go to Alpha. Sinek says it like this: “Alphas get first choice of meat and first choice of mate. Good system. The rest of us may not get the best cut of meat but we will get to eat eventually, and we will not get an elbow in the face. Good system. We will happily alert them to danger later.”

But here’s the thing.

When society anoints someone the Alpha, there is an expectation that the Alpha respond to danger in a particular way. The Alpha is expected to run to the danger. The Alpha is expected to provide leadership in times of crisis. The Alpha is expected to put himself at risk to help others.

A recent example at my office should illustrate the point. A few weeks ago, a tropical storm made its way through Georgia. The CEO said the office would be open for a half day so that we could serve customers in regions of the country that were not impacted by the storm. Some employees found ways/reasons to stay home from work that day. Those employees were not treated negatively. Had the CEO chosen to take personal day, other employees would have been offended. If the office is going to be open with a tropical storm headed toward the city, then the CEO had better be in the office with the troops!

And that brings me to Joel Osteen.

Joel Osteen is the pastor of Lakewood Church, one of the largest churches in the country. His sermons are seen by millions of people each week. His sermons are broadcast on satellite radio 24 hours per day. He has written several books that made the New York Times best sellers list. His success and his position within his church make him the Alpha in the context of ministry. Hence, when the hurricane came through Houston, the community expected Osteen to provide leadership. For many, providing leadership in that moment meant, among other things, opening the doors of his church so that displaced Houston residents would have a place to stay.

Unfortunately for Osteen, the combination of negative images on social media and a poor initial public relations effort by Osteen and Lakewood Church led many to believe that Osteen had not fulfilled his responsibilities as the Alpha.

Lakewood church did a good job of responding to the critics once the church leaders decided to talk. But by then a lot of damage had been done. The haters, many of whom were not people of faith, were effectively casting Osteen as a pastor who got rich off his community and then abandoned it when the crisis came.

Leaders can learn a lesson from what happened to Osteen. Society generally is not offended by the fact that people in leadership positions make tremendous sums of money. However, society is deeply offended when it appears that the leader – the Alpha – has not fulfilled his or her responsibility to the community. Therefore, when you are in a position of leadership, you should be sure that view any time of crisis as an opportunity to sacrifice for the those that you have had the privilege to lead.

Smart Employers Are Proactive

Smart employers proactively address any workplace harassment or discrimination complaints before they result inAdministrative complaints or lawsuits. Sometimes it’s the most angry employee that files the lawsuit, not the employee who is the most likely to win in court.

Harassment and Discrimination Suits Require a Protected Group

An employee’s best chance of success in a discrimination or harassment case occurs when the discrimination or harassment is attributable to the employee’s status as a member of a protected group. A protected group could be fairly described as a group of people qualified for special protection by a law, policy, or similar authority. For example, U.S. federal law protects individuals from discrimination or harassment based on sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin or religion. In many cases, state laws also give certain protected groups special protection against harassment and discrimination. The key here is the person must be part of a protected group. If the boss is discriminating against or harassing the employee because the employee is a Democrat, a Republican, a Kim Kardashian fan, a “FloMo,” a “Pactard,” or the only person in the office who thinks O.J. is innocent, then the harassment case isn’t going anywhere – even if you are represented by Lisa Bloom and Gloria Allred.

Experience Is Not The Best Teacher

Conventional wisdom says experience is the best teacher. But I’m not sure that’s the case. As a lawyer and advisor, I regularly meet older people who make the same bad decisions over and over again. If the conventional wisdom is accurate, then those older people should be making better decisions because they have more experience. So what is missing for those people who are making these boneheaded decisions? Well, one of the things that is missing is what many people call “reflection.” I like the way John Maxwell says it: “Reflection turns experienced into insight.” And it’s insight that gives you that special understanding that helps you improve your life and the lives of others.

The 10% Entrepreneur Book Cover

The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2016)

If you have a stable career but want to pursue business ownership in a “safe” way, then this might be one of the most useful books you read this year.

In The 10% Entrepreneur, Patrick McGinnis aims to show you how to pursue your entrepreneurial interest without losing the steady paycheck that your current job provides. McGinnis explains the multiple paths you can follow if your goal is to invest your cash, time, and expertise in a start-up. He also describes a few types of 10% entrepreneurs: (1) founder; (2) angel; (3) adviser; or (4) aficionado.

McGinnis provides a step-by-step plan that is meant to guide the reader from the identification of an entrepreneurial project to, as the publisher says: “Figuring out the smartest way to commit resources to it.” He also profiles real-world “10%” entrepreneurs who are applying the principles he discusses.

There is a particular type of person who would gain from reading this type of book.  A person who has either intellectual or financial capital to invest, but does not know how to deploy those resources, could experience an enlightenment of sorts through reading this book.

On the other hand, there are some people who should probably pass on reading this book. Anyone whose strategy is to work his or her main job and then replace that job with the side hustle should consider other books. A second type of person who might be disappointed by this book is that person who has no interest in spending time or resources on other people’s businesses. Others may be disappointed if they are seeking indepth discussion in a particular area investment strategy.

The bottom line is that this book is a great choice for readers who view investment broadly and are open to contributing to entrepreneurial ventures in a broad range of ways. The book is also a great choice for entrepreneurs who are looking for a practical way to work and invest their time, money, and talents.

The 10% Entrepreneur Book Cover

Applications for auto financing

Applications for auto financing made within a 14-day period will only count as one inquiry for credit scoring purposes.

Applications for Mortgages

Multiple applications for mortgage made within a 30-day period will only count as one inquiry for credit scoring purposes.

Know the difference between soft inquiries and hard inquiries

You should understand the difference between a soft inquiry and a hard inquiry.  If you don’t know, then check out these examples of the two types of inquiries:

Soft Inquiries

  • When you pull your own credit report
  • When a current credit runs your credit as part of an account review to see how well you are using your credit
  • When a potential creditor is looking at your report for solicitation purposes

Hard Inquiries

  • Applications for credit and credit based insurance
  • A review made by a creditor for a purpose permitted under the FCRA

Why does it matter? A soft inquiry does not impact your credit score. A hard inquiry may adversely impact your credit score.