“Do you have to pay interns or volunteers?”

It sounds so good. You have someone who wants to work for free just to get their foot in the door. Or they just want to help out. But, there’s this thing called the minimum wage. If someone is doing something that you would otherwise pay someone to do, then you have to pay them at least the minimum wage. If the person is there to just learn or to shadow someone and they don’t add any value to your company by getting a job done, then they can be an unpaid intern. If you are a non-profit, then the person can volunteer their time. But things are not always so clear. This article in Fast Company provides a good overview of the current state of the law on interns and volunteers.

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How to Draft a Release of Liability in Alaska

Life is risky. People get hurt. And unfortunately people sue. Yes, we live in a litigious society. One common way to mitigate these risks is to have your customers sign a release of liability. Three cases involving releases have gone to the Alaska Supreme Court and all three releases failed to protect the business owner. But last Friday the Alaska Supreme Court finally upheld a release and provided business owners some guidance on how to draft a release. Here’s what they’re looking for:

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Employee vs. Independent Contractor

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it’s a duck even if you call it a cow. The same is true with independent contractors. If it walks like an employee, quacks like an employee, and looks like an employee, then it’s an employee even if you call it an independent contractor. So make sure your independent contractors are really independent contractors or structure the relationship in a way that fits an independent contractor.

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