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WilmerHale Partners Josh Fox and Laura Schneider and Counsel Ariella Feingold recently explored common employment law issues and what you can do now to minimize the risk of expensive legal headaches down the road. They also shared six things that need to know about hiring your first employees and letting them go when necessary.

Two years here. Three years there. Another five somewhere else. Frequent job-hopping used to be a red flag, suggesting to prospective employers that a candidate was unfocused and disloyal. That stigma seems to be gone. Changing jobs might be the best way to score a significant salary bump and move up the career ladder. 

New employees rarely, if ever, guide a 's trajectory, even though they often directly help determine it. And employees’ incentives usually skew heavily toward equity in the company’s plan—rather than salary—even though these employees usually have no say in how the company’s fundraising activities will impact the eventual value and payout of the held by the employees.

Silicon Valley is the capital of venture capital and the acknowledged headquarters of disruptive ideas, fierce determination and hard work. That aura of potential casts a golden glow on the zillions of Bay Area trying to make it big. It sometimes seems that if you’re blessed to work where unicorns graze, there’s no doubt you’re on the path to success. But what if you’re not in the San Jose-to-San Francisco corridor?

Have you ever checked an employee’s or applicant’s LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter accounts? If so, did you know that throughout the last several years, more than 20 states have passed legislation limiting employer access and activity related to the social media accounts of job applicants and current employees?

The idea of offering unpaid internships is attractive for trying to maximize their labor force while minimizing spending. However, using unpaid interns can pose significant legal risks. This post will help you understand the risks of intern misclassification, navigate the federal and state legal requirements for unpaid internships, and learn how to structure compliant unpaid internships if they are appropriate for your company.

Most companies will eventually face the unpleasant task of terminating an employee or group of employees. When they do, it’s critical that they follow best practices and comply with applicable laws for many reasons, ranging from maintaining employee morale to minimizing legal risk. As a founder, here are some of the steps you should take when faced with a potential employee termination.

As the founder of a , you’d love to reward your employees with hefty holiday bonuses, but your business is bootstrapped and cash is, undoubtedly, in somewhat short supply. So you might be looking for holiday gifts that telegraph yet don’t break the bank. Here’s the solution that many founders are coming up with: They are giving employees the gift of extra time to exercise their vested after they leave. Before you join the crowd, let me say this: It’s a terrible idea on every level.

One question almost all founders will run into—whether at the time of incorporation, when hiring their first employee, or just before raising the first round of financing—is how to structure the pool and create incentives for employee recruitment and . often find themselves in a fierce battle for talent, pitted against bigger, cash-flush companies that can higher salaries than can afford to pay. This is why equity incentives—in the form of —are so popular from a recruitment perspective.

As a company on the East Coast, why require all employees to sign non-competition agreements, given that the practice places our company at a competitive disadvantage to companies located on the West Coast that do not use non-competes?

This is the fourth in a series of posts on common costly legal mistakes made by founders of early-stage companies.