I need some help with something that happened at work recently. Our company spent the day in a strat-conference, and afterwards a group of us stayed on for some team-building drinks. A manager in another department started making comments about me: he kept asking me to “bend over” (I was wearing a mini-skirt), suggested that they enter me in a wet-T-shirt competition (I was wearing a white blouse), said he hadn’t seen such a juicy piece of meat since his last visit to Teazers, then asked how much I charged per hour. He thought that what he was saying was hilarious and laughed at each comment, but I felt really uncomfortable about it. Then I found out this morning that the company’s doing some minor restructuring and I’ll be reporting to him from next month. I’m very unhappy about this, but I desperately need this job. Am I just over-reacting? What can I do?
How do you protect confidential company information from being used against the company in the event that an employee resigns to join a competitor? So often a company loses an employee… only to have the employee hand over confidential information to their new employee. This can do no end of damage to the ex-employer! There are two ways of handling such a scenario: proactively or reactively.
You’ve followed all the advice, acted as a prudent businessman or woman, ensured all your business dealings are in writing, signed terms and conditions and generally behaved like the model citizen. The challenge is that the same cannot necessarily be said of your business associate. If your business associate breaches your agreement, what then? The law may be squarely on your side, your contract may be watertight, the terms may be clear. But enforcing your rights still requires you to take legal action. This means commencing action in a court of law. And it is well-known that South African courts are battling to keep abreast of the cases that are brought to them for resolution. It can be months, sometimes years before your matter reaches trial. During this time many things can change, not least of which would be your rapidly diminishing bank account as you struggle to keep up with the payments to your attorney. Little wonder so many litigants ask: Is there an alternative to litigation? There is indeed a solution that you may wish to consider: voluntary mediation in the magistrates court.
I am the majority shareholder in a software company. We’ve been approached by a very large competitor who has asked whether we’d be interested in being taken over by them. I’m not averse to this if the price is right, so I’ve appointed one of my directors to oversee the negotiations. Our head office is in Joburg but I recently moved to Cape Town which is why I can’t be as involved in the discussions as I’d like to be. I am a little hesitant though, because it involves giving our director a lot more information about the company than he would ordinarily receive. I’m also worried about the amount of our confidential company information that we need to give to our competitor – and there’s no guarantee that the sale will even go through. Is there anything that I can do to limit my risk?
Cohabitation refers to people (regardless of their gender) who live together as if they were married, but are not legally married. Society in general has progressed a long way since the days when the mere hint of ‘living in sin’ would have had the ladies reaching for their smelling salts. South Africa’s courts have, equally, kept up with the changing times, and have on numerous occasions recognised the existence of a cohabitation relationship between two people.
One of the biggest risks facing landlords these days is what to do when their tenants stop paying. And yet they continue to squat on the leased property like blood-sucking parasites, smugly quoting the Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act word-for-word. Evicting a tenant is an incredibly frustrating, exasperating, soul-destroying process. It’s a process that takes months, not to mention the magnitude of the landlord’s losses: lost rental while you still have to pay the bond, rates and levies; your attorney’s fees that you know you’ll never be able to recoup from your tenant; the very real likelihood of huge maintenance costs to repair the property once the tenants are finally booted out.