Basically we need to renew our license, and that means that it's a good time to also refresh all of the annoying little business bits that you're required to do but have nothing to do with day-to-day bizness.
Starting with the employee posters. If you've ever been employed, you know what I mean. They're those sheets that are posted on a bulletin board somewhere (usually above the copy machine) that explain your rights as an employee. Your boss doesn't put those up because they're aesthetically pleasing. He puts 'em up because any state employee that comes to visit is gonna want to see 'em if they ever have a complaint lodged against 'em. They need to be available where everyone can read 'em.
Back to the scam part. This time of year I start getting letters with official looking state seals on 'em from official sounding gubment agencies like "State of Texas Labor Law Printing Service". In these letters are official looking notices telling me that I have 30 days to get my posters up to date or state auditors may come by to fine me. I must fill out the official-looking form and send 'em $54 so I can receive a complete set of 11x17 laminated posters with all the stuff on 'em and maintain my compliance with the law.
Of course, if you read this official looking letter closely, you'll see somewhere that it says that the "State of Texas Labor Law Printing Service" is not really a state agency and that you're not required to buy anything from 'em at all. Fact is that all of these posters are available for download 102% free.
Nice thing, though, is that the "State of Texas Labor Law Printing Service" has already done your homework for you, as this order form inevitably includes a list of the posters you must have. If you do a google search for the forms, you'll find 'em. Just print up the PDF files, fill in the blanks, staple 'em up somewheres, and you're compliant!
You'd think Texas would be smart and would put the links to all the posters in one place, but they don't. Here they are.
(note that your state may vary, so do your own googling)
Worker's Comp (English and Spanish)
Employee Rights (English and Spanish on one poster)
Child Labor Laws (English and Spanish)
Moral: Always read the fine print when you get an official looking letter.
I also got a letter from the government that had a survey that I was required to take so that I could register my opinion with congress. It was clearly associated with the government, because the questions were worded in an unbiased fashion. Questions like
Liberals are wanting to take away your tax cut, send your job to Mexico, take away your gun, and force you to marry a drag-queen. Do you think this is a good thing?At the end of the government survey, I was required to sign the form, include a donation of at least $25 to the majority party, and send it back in the postage-paid envelope. If I did not want to fill out the survey, I was required to send it back along with an $11 "re-filing fee".
I didn't have my checkbook handy to send them a re-filing fee, but I did have some old grocery coupons laying around, so I dropped those in the postage-paid envelope and sent 'em in lieu of the $11 fee.
Moral of the story: Postage paid envelopes are fun, because you can put all sorts of things in 'em. And the recipient HAS TO PAY FOR 'EM!
Next week we're going to cover why paying $37 to get listed in "Who's Who in