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- Labor and Employment Alert: Under the Microscope: The EEOC Takes a Close Look at Severance AgreementsOne of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) enforcement priorities is to target policies that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes or that impede the EEOC's investigative or enforcement efforts. Recently, the EEOC has targeted settlement provisions that appear to prohibit filing EEOC charges or that appear to restrict the ability of an employee to provide the EEOC with information to assist in investigating and prosecuting discrimination claims.
- Today, a business’s online reputation is a large component of how it is perceived by customers and potential customers. Businesses must be aware of what customers are saying about them online and via social media.
- Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, U.S., No. 13-433, which will address whether the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act, requires payment for time employees spend waiting for and engaging in security screenings at the end of a shift.
- Labor and Employment Alert: Workplace Bullying — a New Training Requirement in California — The Next Protected Category?Workplace bullying is a topic that is garnering a lot of attention. A new poll commissioned by CareerBuilder found that 28% of workers feel that they have been bullied at work and 19% of those workers have left their jobs because of the bullying. Twenty-Seven percent of those bullied are management employees (manager, director, team leader, vice president and above); 19% of employees bullied earn more than $50,000 a year.
- Effective January 1, 2015, Ohio’s minimum wage will increase to $8.10 an hour for non-tipped employees, and $4.05 for tipped employees. The increase applies to employers with more than $297,000 in annual gross receipts.
- If given the opportunity, anyone that has been defamed on Reddit would surely “downvote” the popular website for its policy on defamation removal. According to Reddit, it is uncommon for administrators of the website – self-branded as “a source for what’s new and popular on the web” – to remove defamatory content.
- On September 26, 2014, the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals in Hupp et al. v. Beck Energy Corp. et al. reaffirmed the ongoing viability of several typical oil and gas lease terms in Ohio, reversing a lower court decision that had held that commonly-used habendum clause and delay rental provisions created no-term leases that violated public policy and were therefore void from their very inception.
- Subpoenas, Forensic Exams and Cyber Investigation: How to Identify Anonymous or Unknown Internet PostersIt is no secret that people are more comfortable publishing harmful statements on the internet when their identities are masked. As such, the sources of internet defamation and other online reputation attacks typically publish damaging content anonymously or pseudonymously.
- Cease and Desist Letter an Effective Response Technique for False Online Reviews When Strong Legal Grounds ExistBusinesses and individuals have increasingly become victims of false online reviews. When a party has been the subject of such damaging internet posts, there are a variety of techniques an attorney or other hired professional (e.g. PR or ORM expert) can utilize to assist his or her client.
- The latest edition of the Ohio Statehouse Update covers two high profile pieces of legislation that were passed this spring, as well as ongoing legislative committee hearings and meetings regarding pending bills and policy issues.
- If your company sponsors a self-insured health plan, there are two November deadlines you may have overlooked in the midst of preparation for the ACA’s pay or play penalties and 2015 open enrollment.
- Now that Ohio’s Captive Insurance Legislation is effective, companies are likely thinking: “What are my next steps?” Each Captive is unique and its creation and operation will depend on a number of factors, including the business purpose behind forming the Captive. A company considering the use of a Captive will need to weigh the positives and negatives associated with forming and operating a Captive.
- In Eisenbarth v. Reusser, 7th Dist. Monroe No. 13 MO 10 (Aug. 28, 2014), the Seventh Appellate District of Ohio recently addressed issues concerning application of the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA).
- There is good news for FCA defendants out of the First Circuit: According to a recent decision, settlement payments in excess of the government’s single damages are tax deductible if the defendant can show that the excess sums are compensatory, rather than punitive. The Internal Revenue Code allows businesses to deduct its “ordinary and necessary expenses” but not “any fine or similar penalty paid to a government for the violation of any law.” Applying this guidance to FCA settlements is complicated by the FCA’s treble damages provisions, which clearly implicate a punitive damages component.
- On August 22, 2014, the Sixth District Court of Appeals affirmed on all counts a Williams County probate court’s September 2012 decision in favor of PNC Bank, National Association against successor trustee and beneficiaries’ various breach-of-fiduciary-duty claims. The decision in Newcomer v. National City Bank, (2014-Ohio-3619; 2007 Ohio App. LEXIS 6365 (Ohio App. 6th Dist.)) provides critical guidance for Ohio trustees on four key points of law.
- Today, anyone who wants to cause damage to a business can easily do so simply by going online and harming them in one of many different ways. Online attacks on businesses and their professionals may originate from a number of parties, including business competitors.
- Selecting a name or brand for a new product or service involves multiple considerations, some of which are not obvious at first and can haunt the company later. Marketing teams struggle with choosing a name that balances the right message and image to attract the target consumers while informing those consumers of the benefits and functions of the new product or service. During this process it is easy to forget that brands are valuable assets and protectable property under trademark law. Trademarks are the public face of a product or company and hold the reputation and goodwill of the company, typically for many years and even generations. Thus, it is important to select the strongest trademarks to lay a strong foundation for a long-term asset. Following are five considerations, beyond the marketing concerns, to assist in selecting a strong new brand.
- Labor and Employment Alert: President Obama Adds Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Protected Categories for Government ContractorsPresident Obama has signed yet another executive order changing the rules of the road for government contractors. Following on the heels of executive orders regarding minimum wage, compensation discrimination, and discussion of wages, the most recent executive action prohibits government contractors from discriminating against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The president signed this executive order on July 21, 2014. It amends Executive Order 11246, the law setting forth affirmative action requirements for covered federal contractors and subcontractors.
- Perhaps as many as 200,000 Ohio employers are eligible to participate in a $420 million refund program but they must apply for a refund by September 22, 2014. Eligible employers have paid premium to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation between 2001-2008, not been “group rated” during all of that time and paid their premium based on certain “manual classifications.”
- Client Alert: Brown v. Tellermate Holdings, Ltd.; Confirming that Candor and Communication are Keys to DiscoveryAs reflected in the recent decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in Brown v. Tellermate Holdings, Ltd., communication and candor are key components of modern discovery. Indeed, the Brown decision emphasizes that, not only do attorneys have an affirmative obligation to speak to the key players related to the matter being litigated so that counsel and client together can identify, preserve, and search the sources of discoverable information, but doing so is necessary for effective advocacy.
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