Legal

Analysis of Board Members’ Conflicts of Interest

It’s very common for conflicts of interest to be present on the board of a retail food co-op. Some even joke that conflict management is at the heart of cooperation. And in a way, it’s true. The legitimacy of a board’s decision depends in large measure on the board’s ability [...]

Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act

By Sarah Dahl, Melanie Reid 180 Sept-Oct 2015 The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, or FLSA, is a federal statute that provides certain protections to workers. These protections include the 40-hour work week, a national minimum wage, and non-oppressive employment of minors. Additionally, the FLSA guarantees time-and-a-half pay for [...]

General Manager Contract Template

Updated: August 2nd, 2016 Every board of directors of a retail food cooperative should strive to be an excellent employer for their general manager, the person who is responsible for the success of the cooperative. Clear expectations are part of being a good employer and contracts are one possible tool [...]

Why a Human Resources Audit?

By Carolee Colter, Helena O'Connor 161 July - August - 2012 An audit can be described as an unbiased examination and evaluation of systems and processes of an organization in order to demonstrate whether they are in compliance with a standard. The human resources (HR) function of any business, including [...]

Who’s Watching Member Labor in Retail Food Cooperatives?

By Thane Joyal 158 January - February - 2012 When many retail food cooperatives were formed in the 1970s, the distinctions among worker cooperatives, consumer cooperatives and not-for-profit corporations were not considered to be barriers to doing business in a culture of cooperation. Regardless of the legal form used to [...]

Precautions and Protections: Summarizing legal responsibilities of cooperative boards

By Thane Joyal, Dave Swanson 153 March - April - 2011 As cooperative directors, it's important that we know our jobs. Some parts of that job are personal to us: we bring interests, skills, and perspectives that make our contributions unique. It's our responsibility to use those personal attributes to [...]