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Family Businesses

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Family businesses face unique labor, employment, and benefits law issues.  A family business is best served by legal counsel who understands how to address the challenges of generational differences and the dynamics at play when family members work together.  Brody and Associates understands these issues.

Family Businesses Face Unique Challenges

Retention of non-family member employees can be quite the challenge.   This is because non-family member employees believe they will not reach the upper echelons of management because they have the wrong last name.  This belief is often true and causes top non-family talent to leave.  This loss is costly for a company because it leads to brain drain and valuable training walks out the door when the employee leaves.  It may also impede production if the departing person has no ready replacement.   

Additionally, in the midst of the #MeToo movement, family businesses have unique considerations during the internal investigation process. Assume the company has to investigate an allegation of employee misconduct, if the alleged harasser and the investigator are family members, this is a problem.  A judge, jury, or government agency is unlikely to believe the investigation was fair and unbiased if everyone involved is related.  Therefore, in the context of family businesses, who the investigator is not may be more important than who it is.  Advanced planning to address this issue is important so you are ready to effectively face such disruptive allegations.    

Family Businesses Have Unique Strengths

Family businesses, however, also have strengths non-family businesses spend significant resources on to achieve.  Family businesses typically foster a culture of loyalty because a critical mass of company employees are related and want to see the company succeed.  This type of culture naturally increases productivity and leads to a happier, more profitable workforce.

Almost every family business owner wants to pass the business on to the next generation (but when this will happen is another issue).  Regardless of whom, succession will never succeed unless the business model complies with current labor employment and benefits laws.  For example, if your business model relies on paying all employees a salary and not paying overtime, this model is likely unlawful.  Succession is not practical until the business model is fixed.  Only after ensuring such compliance issues should succession be considered.  We help ensure such compliance.      

We Partner With Your Family Business to Help It Succeed

We routinely work with family businesses to make strategic labor, employment, and benefits law decisions and to help them use the family business structure to their advantage.  We serve as a resource and sounding board for family businesses and provide guidance on methods of operation outside the family business world. 

Throughout this process, we work to maintain the unity among family members because the ultimate goal is to have the family business survive, flourish, and grow.   If you own a family business, we would be honored to join your team. 

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