Do Laws Apply to the Internet?

Last week, I was giving much thought to a Social Media topic that would do more than just fulfill an obligation to myself to publish a new post each week. Sure, I could share some useful tips for businesses looking to leverage the full power of Social Media Marketing. After all, most business executives are interested in learning how to increase sales revenue through the use of the latest and greatest online strategies and tactics. I also wonder how many business owners are fully aware of the irreparable damage they may be doing to our society by using Social Media, inappropriately and – in some ways – distastefully.

I ask corporate CEOs to carefully consider the following questions. If Twitter controlled the life support function for hospitalized people, should an insurance company manipulate its functions to put some terminal people out of their misery to reduce costs? If Facebook allowed your real estate company to put a family out of their home so that you could buy it cheap, would you ever exercise that option? If Social Media were a gun, would you point it at a stranger and pull the trigger if it benefited you in any way? These are valid questions for those allowing profit and loss statements to obscure matters of common decency.

You may be reviled by the shear mention of such thoughts, but apparently, there are a growing number of employers, who are willing to force strangers to open up their private lives for hiring consideration scrutiny. If you as a business leader are able to reconcile such an action; you probably think it is fine to invade a person’s right to privacy simply to satisfy one company’s curiosity about what he or she does during their own spare time. Are you saying that a business entity is entitled to own one’s personal life along with the work he or she provides during paid work hours? Exactly where does this right come from? It’s not in the Constitution.

Since When Did We Need to Invade Personal Privacy Rights to Consider Someone for a Job?

It used to be that employers carefully screened resumes, thoroughly interviewed candidates, and professionally conducted criminal background checks and drug screens to determine the suitability of job applicants for hire. Most trained human resources professionals also relied on their gut to determine who got hired and who did not. Is all this no longer enough to make an educated employee selection? Whatever happened to an employer’s right to discharge unsatisfactory employees during his or her initial period of employment, “At Will”? Is this not enough of a failsafe mechanism to insure and protect quality performance in the workplace? It has been such for many past decades. What has changed?

Yes, there are many individuals, who place their lives online for public view – without placing any viewing restrictions. This is a free choice that some people exercise. In these cases, employers are welcome to see what the user has deemed public information with no special permissions. However, no one really has the right (except – perhaps – for legal authorities) to see restricted information that is locked away from public scrutiny by password protection. No employer or anyone else has the right to make unlocking their personal information an absolute condition of employment.

Credit Scores Were Intended for Car Buying and Not Job Getting

What is going on in human resources these days? These are some of the same people that have also had the chutzpah to request credit checks on all those applying for jobs including even those not being considered for positions involving collection and disbursement of company funds. Credit checking used to be reserved for bondable employees, period. That made perfect sense to avoid embezzlement and company theft of funds. Checking everybody’s credit does not make any sense. Not when you consider that many unemployed people have fallen behind and must have a job in order to feed their families.

Here is the dilemma. We don’t place people in double jeopardy in the American court system, so why are we punishing people twice by denying them a living by making them unemployed and then keeping them from a new job offer because they are already the economic victims of unemployment? Some companies are placing recruiting ads that say “currently unemployed people need not apply.” This is all cruel and unusual punishment. What has inspired such a total lack of regard for our fellow Americans, just want to collect a fair wage for a fair day’s work? Why all these new hoops to jump through?

America is Fighting Back with a Loud and Strong “It is None of Your Business”

Fortunately, the American people are not sheep and are fighting back. California lawmakers have voted to block employers from using consumer credit reports when they are deciding whether to hire workers for most jobs. They have stopped the use of credit checks in hiring, except for managers, law enforcement, financial jobs and certain other positions that handle valuable items or information.

The bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Tony Mendoza of Artesia, says credit checks often are inaccurate and hurt minority and female job seekers. Opponents say they are a useful tool for employers assessing the integrity of job candidates.

A credit report is not a good indicator of a person’s trustworthiness or work ethic,” says Mendoza.

“Consider the condition of the economy and the negative effect these circumstances can have on a person’s credit – a credit report is an unfair lens through which to view job applicants,” he says. “Preventing someone from becoming gainfully employed due to a poor credit history is shameful,” says Mendoza.

No, You May Not See My Personal Information

Regarding this newest attack on personal privacy, it was Facebook firing the first shots in a battle that promises to end in the US courts. In a blog dated March 23, 2012, Erin Egan, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, responded to recent news reports of employers “seeking to gain inappropriate access” to the social media profiles of job applicants and employees. She also said that Facebook would “take action to protect the privacy and security” of users and consider “initiating legal action” where appropriate.

Those anti-employer sentiments were also summed up by members of Congress, recently.

“Employers have no right to ask job applicants for their house keys or to read their diaries – why should they be able to ask them for their Facebook passwords and gain unwarranted access to a trove of private information about what we like, what messages we send to people, or who we are friends with?” asked New York Senator, Charles Schumer.

“In an age where more and more of our personal information – and our private social interactions – are online, it is vital that all individuals be allowed to determine for themselves what personal information they want to make public and protect personal information from their would-be employers. This is especially important during the job-seeking process, when all the power is on one side of the fence. Before this disturbing practice becomes widespread, we must have an immediate investigation into whether the practice violates federal law – I’m confident the investigation will show it does. Facebook agrees, and I’m sure most Americans agree, that employers have no business asking for your Facebook password,” says Schumer.

Employers: You Won’t Sell to People You Have Taught to Despise You

No. A line must be drawn in the sand now regarding privacy. Employers are looking to take a mile since the Web may have it to give. In doing this, they are not only attacking our civil liberties; they are hurting themselves in the long run. If they limit people’s freedoms in social Media, they are also limiting peoples trust in this medium and discouraging its use. If business people want to get more conversions (sales) from Social Media Marketing, they need to show more respect for the trust and integrity that Social Networking must develop in order to make doing business over the Web viable and profitable.

Burglary and Theft: The Law In Florida

If you are convicted for a crime involving a burglary or theft in Florida, you could be facing some life altering consequences. Even if the burglary or theft does not cause any physical harm to another person, it would still be considered as serious in nature and the State of Florida has some very serious sentences for those who are convicted. It is important to hire a good criminal defense attorney to fight any charge made against you.

Types of Burglary and Theft Crimes in Florida

The following list includes the different types of charges that are considered to be offences in this category under Florida law.

Theft of Property: All violations that involve stealing of any kind of property will fall under this category. It is then further classified based on the value of the property that has been taken. So anything worth more that $300 is a felony and the amount will determine the category of felony which would then decide the amount of sentencing that should be given to the individual.

Possessing Stolen Property: Any person who traffics or intends to traffic in property that they know is stolen is committing an offence and it is regarded as a pretty serious offence. Possession of stolen property is a felony of the second degree.

Shoplifting: While you make think that shoplifting only includes stealing something, the definition is actually much broader and includes a number of other things like removing or altering a label, code or price tag, by transferring merchandise to a different container or by removing a shopping cart with the intention of depriving the owner of the cart.

Embezzlement: Embezzlement is when a person takes someone else’s money or property by abusing a position of trust or official job. It is generally not a violent crime and is regarded as a ‘white collar’ crime. For example, if a top executive of a company deposits company money into his own account for his personal use, it would amount to embezzlement.

Larceny: Larceny could either be petty larceny or grand larceny. In both instances, it involves taking the property of another person without their proper consent and with the intention to deprive the person from the use or ownership of the property. If the property is worth less than $300 it falls in the petty category while anything above that is grand larceny.

Credit Card Fraud: Lying to a person with the intention to make them part with something of value based on the lie is called fraud. So in the case of credit cards, this fraud could either be through the internet by obtaining the person’s credit card information online without their consent or through personal contact with the person and then using the information for personal gain illegally.

What Is Solicitation And Why It’s A Crime

Solicitation would be the act through which a person is swayed or otherwise convinced to do a crime or be a part of a criminal activity, without which he may not have been mixed up in crime. For example, supplying a big incentive for carrying out a crime. In the United States, solicitation could be the term of a criminal offense, an inchoate offense that is made up of person offering cash or something else of worth in order to provoke or cause another to commit a criminal offense with the precise intent that the person solicited make the crime. In the USA, the word “solicitation” indicates some sort of industrial element, consideration, or transaction. In some other common law nations around the world, the problem is different. Where the substantive criminal offense is not committed, the charges are drawn through incitement, conspiracy, and attempt. Next, if the substantive offense is determined, the accusations are drawn from conspiracy, counseling and procuring (see accessories), and the substantive crimes as joint principals (see common purpose).

A person is guilty of solicitation to commit a criminal offense if, with all the purpose of endorsing or facilitating its commission, he commands, encourages or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which may constitute such criminal offense or an effort to do such crime or which may determine his complicity in the commission or attempted commission.

It is immaterial that the actor ceases to communicate with the individual he solicits to do the criminal offense if his behavior was fashioned to influence this type of communication. The offense of criminal solicitation is the actual soliciting, or trying to engage another to do a crime, not necessarily the following commission of the crime. Consequently, the defendant may be convicted of soliciting, even though the individual declines and the solicited crime has never been perpetrated, as long as the motive that that crime be committed is present.

Immediate request, plea, or entreaty; enticing, asking. This is the criminal offense of advocating anyone to do an illegal act. The term solicitation can be used in many different legitimate contexts. A person who asks someone to do an unlawful act has committed the criminal act of solicitation. A worker who has agreed in an employment agreement not to solicit business after leaving behind her employer then mails a letter to customers asking for business may be sued by the previous employer for breaking the non-solicitation terms of the agreement. The letter comprises a solicitation. However, if the person had placed a newspaper advertisement, this would not have been a solicitation because a solicitation must be addressed to a particular person.

In most cases, solicitation is about motive. A court will analyze the method a worker utilizes to get hold of and get in touch with previous customers and detect his or her intent that way. Judge Kocoras once said that solicitation doesn’t need “an express request for business.” Contact which is more harmless and oblique can rise to the level of “solicitation.” Courts also have held that an employee cannot make contact and advise a customer that following a particular period of time, she or he will be able to assist that client again. The solicitation of future business is not exempt.

How to Prevent Embezzlement in Your Organization

Embezzlement is an act of unlawful misappropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted or is in his care/custody. In many cases embezzlement by employee does not become public and the employee is fired without any reason and charges are not filed. Embezzlement is like a parasite which eats your business. Internal control measures not only make embezzlement difficult but they could also make management aware to embezzlement when it occurs.

Few internal control measures against embezzlement are as follows:

Whenever possible, segregate duties and responsibilities. If one person has access to, or processes an entire transaction, the risk of fraud is high. If possible rotate duties.

Another method that deter embezzlement is to regularly and unexpectedly move funds from one advisor or entrusted person to another when the funds are supposed to be available for withdrawal or use, this will ensure that full amount of funds is available and no fraction of it is embezzled by the person to whom it has been entrusted.

Conduct periodic surprise internal audits. These are most effective after identifying high risk areas. Surprise internal audit can acts as a deterrent to embezzlement.

Other step which may be taken to prevent embezzlement is to follow careful recruitment procedures, while hiring employees for position of trust. The typical background check involves employment and education verification, reference checks, criminal conviction checks, drug screening and a credit check.

Explain ethics of organization to each and every employee from top to bottom. Explain them that there minutes activities are monitored. Employees who believe that they are being monitored are less likely to steal.

Information on White Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes once referred to illegal acts committed by business people in the course of their employment. However, now any non-violent and sophisticated economic crime would qualify as a white-collar crime. As a rule, white-collar crimes verlap with corporate crime because the opportunity for fraud, bribery, insider trading, embezzlement, computer crime, and forgery is more available to white-collar employees.

White-collar crimes are usually associated with business and do not involve violence or bodily injury to another person. Those crimes generally associated with lending institutions which involve bank fraud, such as making false statements to obtain a loan, filing false reports or returns with government agencies, embezzlement, using the mail or wire communications to defraud, and paying or accepting bribes are considered to be white-collar crimes.

Depending upon whether state or federal laws have been violated, white collar crime may be prosecuted in state or federal courts. The penalties for such crimes usually vary, but in some cases they may be as severe as those prescribed for violent crimes. In any case it is wise to talk with an attorney before answering any questions, if you are questioned by a law enforcement officer or another governmental agent about possible criminal conduct.

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