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The Dog Ate My Homework

On January 4, 2016 a federal judge in Seattle vacated a $21.5 million verdict to a man injured by a closing cruise ship door in 2011.  The verdict was vacated because the plaintiff, James Hausman, deleted e-mails that were requested by the defendant, Holland America, during discovery.  Destroying or spoliating the evidence can result in extreme sanctions for the attorneys and reversed decisions for winning parties.   Read More:  January 2016 – Evidence Spoliation

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Unclear About What Provisions In Your Employee Handbook May Be Unlawful? The NLRB Tries To Help

Unlawful handbook provisions can trigger unfair labor practice charges, which in turn can result in awards of back-wages, reinstatement, injunctive relief, fines, and other penalties.  The NLRB has invalidated a number of workplace rules it perceived to be overly broad, including policies regulating social media, use of company e-mail, internet, and electronic communication systems, confidentiality, codes of conduct, and at-will employment acknowledgements. Read more: June 2015 Legal Update

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Voluntary Recalls Protect Risk In Two Ways

Within the last two weeks, three major recalls have taken place by manufacturers of popular food products. Initially, Blue Bell ice cream imposed a recall as a result of eight cases of Listeria in Texas. This was followed by a recall by Sabra as a result of an inspection of hummus in a Kroger market in Port Huron, Michigan, which revealed potential for Listeria. Read More: Voluntary Recalls – April 30, 2015

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Thinking of buying a business? Here’s where to start.

    When I have the opportunity to sit down with an individual who is looking to buy a business, I am often struck by the earnest surprise shown by the prospective buyer when I go over what items we should request from the seller in determining whether or not to buy the business. Read more: April 2015 RFB Legal Update

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Protecting & Preparing For The Future

After years of growing the business into a profitable organization, business owners often face the problem of retaining talented employees to take their business to the next level. In order to resolve this issue, an attractive option to business owners is to incentivize their employees with equity in the company. By giving the employee an ownership interest, the employee feels tied to the success of the business and will, in theory, work harder and stay at the company. However, granting ownership in the company via capital interest creates an issue that the owner may not have intended. Read More…

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How To Handle a Harassment Complaint

  As an employer you have a duty to prevent and correct harassment in the workplace.  The best way to do this is by creating an effective anti-harassment policy, and a solid method for resolving harassment complaints. Read More – January 2015 Legal Update

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Leaving Money On The Table – What you can do proactively to make it easier to collect the money you’ve earned.

Rendigs represents many contractors and small businesses on all sorts of matters, but certainly disputes about money come up more frequently than anything else. Either our clients do not believe they owe money to a claimant or someone owes them money. Of course, the actual disputes are always more complicated than I could describe in this article but we routinely counsel our clients to help make sure they get paid on every job and avoid claims for non-payment. Here are ten items to think about that might help you too. Read more…

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The Employer and Negative Job References

It’s the rare exception where an employee stays with the same employer for his or her entire working life. Even for upper management positions, an employee typically fills out an employment application in addition to providing a resume. Job applications include sections for employment work history, reasons for leaving past jobs, and a reference section. What happens if you are a former employer and a prospective new employer calls you regarding the former employee’s job performance? What do you say? What if an employee was terminated for violation of company policy, poor performance, etc.? What can you say? What does the law allow you to say?   Read more …

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The Potential Impact of EEOC v. Ford on Commute-Related Requests

If allowed to stand, the Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in EEOC v. Ford, 752 F.3d 634 (6th Cir. 2014), holding that telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with disabilities Act (ADA) for an employee with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, may have far-reaching consequences for other types of commuter-elated requests from disabled employees. For instance, disabled employees frequently request shift changes or modified start and end times. Until now, many courts have concluded that these accommodations are not required under the ADA, either because the employer has no duty to assist with commuting problems, or because the ability to show up to work at an employer-designated time is deemed an “essential function” of the job. But Ford casts significant doubt on the continuing validity of these conclusions. Read More…

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