Did you know that dealing with illegal business practices is one of the FBIs biggest priorities? One of the big reasons that companies get away with acting illegally and creating unsafe job conditions is because people don’t know their rights.
This article lists some of the most common forms of illegal business practices, so you can learn more about your rights and how to identify unethical and illegal behavior.
Labor laws make it very clear that businesses may not discriminate against people from any particular social group. Of course, the applies to both employees and customers.
Examples of discrimination include discrimination based on age, gender, sexual orientation, or race. An example of discrimination might involve not offering promotions to workers from a certain background.
If you believe a business or employer has discriminated against you, you could have a strong legal case against them. This is especially true if you can provide hard evidence that this discrimination has occurred.
Not Paying Minimum Wage
Every state in the US has a minimum wage. This means that every employee needs to earn a certain amount of money per hour. If an employee doesn’t meet this obligation, they’ll find themselves in legal trouble.
Of course, most employees won’t straight-up pay employees less than is legally required. Instead, they’ll try to get out of paying the minimum wage using more subtle methods.
For example, they might have employees work extra hours without pay. This means that the employee is making minimum wage on paper, but in reality, they’re working so many hours for free that the company is breaking the law.
If you think your employer is exploiting you by not being paid minimum wage, you could have a legal case against them. You should contact a lawyer for legal advice.
Health and Safety Violations
Exposing your workers to unsafe job conditions is also against the law. While a certain amount of risk is to be expected at any job, your employer needs to take health and safety regulations seriously.
Different kinds of jobs will have different regulations. For example, people who work on a construction site must wear protective equipment, and it’s forbidden to be intoxicated while operating heavy machinery.
Unfortunately, health and safety violations often go unaddressed until a serious accident occurs. Often, accidents happen because employers did not properly train workers to stick to the health and safety standards.
Companies are mandated by law to respect the privacy of their customers and their employees. These days, companies have access to a wide range of data about their customers and workers. In many cases, this data needs to be properly secure.
You don’t necessarily need to intentionally leak this data to violate privacy regulations. Not taking proper cybersecurity measures and allowing this data to be leaked is also considered a privacy violation.
If you suspect a company has leaked your private information, you could be entitled to compensation.
Theft is basically stealing another person’s property, but theft can be a bit more complicated in the business world. For example, if a customer returns a product and the company fails to refund it, that could count as stealing from a customer.
Employees could also be responsible for embezzling funds from company accounts. This is when someone who is trusted in the company redirects company funds to benefit them and not the company.
Another common form of theft is when people steal equipment from an office or warehouse. Labor laws make it quite clear that stealing in business is grounds for termination or legal action.
Unfair competition could refer to a variety of different criminal acts by a company. Essentially, it refers to situations where a company unfairly gains an advantage.
For example, a company might insert unfair and illegal “non-compete” clauses into their employment contracts. This might forbid employees from getting a job working for the competition, even if this kind of restriction isn’t legal.
It could also refer to trademark infringement. This is when a company produces something based on another companies product, even though they don’t have the legal right to do so.
This concept is quite broad, and exactly what is meant by “unfair competition” can vary from state to state.
This is when a company markets a product in such a way that is clearly false. For example, if you sell a drink claiming a bottle contains a liter, but it actually contains less.
With that said, not every false statement can be considered false advertising. A statement needs to be demonstrably factually incorrect for it to be considered false advertising.
Statements that are likely false but subjective can’t be considered false advertising. If you want to take legal action against a company for false advertising, you need to be able to demonstrate that they knowingly made false faction claims.
A company such as https://financialjusticenow.com/ can help you establish if you have a false advertising case against a company.
Look Out for These Illegal Business Practices
Sadly, a lot of companies out there habitually engage in illegal business practices. One of the big reasons they do it is because they can get away with it. If more people were to take legal action against guilty companies, there would be less incentive to engage in questionable activities.
If you suspect that a business has broken the law, you might be entitled to compensation. You should get in touch with a business lawyer who can help you establish whether you have a case.
These kinds of lawyers will often work with you for free, especially if you can provide clear evidence that a company has acted illegally.
If you want to learn more about other business-related topics, check out the rest of our blog posts.