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New Changes for the New Year

2008XSmall.jpgWith the new year come changes for businesses - particularly businesses with employees.

There is a new minimum wage. New employment posters are required. There is a new I-9 form for new employees. Copyright notices must be updated. There are also strategies you can implement to avoid common legal problems.

With the new year, there have also been changes to my law practice and Perrin & Thayer.

New Minimum Wage for the New Year
Oregon minimum wage rates increase automatically the first of every year. Effective January 1, 2008, the hourly minimum wage increased to:

    $7.95 per hour

You are probably aware that you must pay the minimum wage of the state where your employees work or the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher. Since the federal minimum wage is currently $5.85 (an increase from $5.15) per hour, Oregon employers must pay the higher state minimum. The federal minimum wage will increase to $6.55 per hour July 24, 2008. The higher Oregon minimum wage will still apply to employees working in Oregon.

If you employ workers in other states, you need to be aware of any changes in the minimum rate for those states. You can find minimum wage rates for each of the 50 states at the Department of Labor’s website.

New Employment Posters for the New Year
With changes in the state and federal minimum wages, new minimum wage posters are required. That is not all. There have been other federal and state changes requiring new employment posters.

We assembled the Oregon and federal employment posters you are required to post for you FREE as our gift to you. You can find the posters and instructions on which posters you must display at our 2008 Employment Posters page.

New I-9 Form for the New Year
We first told you about the new I-9 form employers must use with all new employees on November 29, 2007. In case you missed this LegalBrief, you can find the article, the new I-9 form and new I-9 instructions in our New I-9 Form LegalBrief.

Strategies for Avoiding Legal Problems
There are things that a business can do to avoid legal problems. But who has the time? Actually, given the risk of suit, potential damages and attorney fees, affirmative steps to avoid legal liability should be a new year’s resolution for all businesses.

A few years ago, we broke this overwhelming goal into 12 things you can do during the new year. One task for each month.

You can find our list in the 12 Ways to Avoid Legal Problems in the New Year LegalBrief.

Updated Copyright Notices for the New Year
Do you have a website, a newsletter, printed marketing materials or other publications? If so, don’t forget to update your copyright notices to 2008. See our Update Copyright Notices for the New Year LegalBrief.

Practice Changes
As some of you may be aware, Mark Perrin has retired from practicing law. As a result, I have formed a new law practice, the Innovative Law Group. Our mission is to reinvent the way lawyers serve business.

You will hear more about our thoughts on reinventing business law in the future.

Along with a new firm, have come a new office in a new building (new to us), a new web address and new email. You can find our contact information and office address on our Contact Us page on our website.

I hope you have a great 2008!

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