Strategies to Minimize Joint Employer Liability

Employers should re-evaluate the creation of indemnity with clients where workers are placed at client work sites and also analyze any existing indemnity provisions of contracts with others where either has agreed to provide indemnity. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reversed more than 30 years of precedent in the recent case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., which effectively changed the rules regarding protection for previously protected employers. Most […]

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New Rules Affecting Workers and Employers by the U.S. Department of Labor

Many businesses, as employers, have experimented with treating their workers as independent contrac­tors in an effort to avoid withholding wages for taxes, social security (FICA) and unem­ployment insurance, as would be required for workers classified as employees. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) com­piled a new six-part test, issued under the Administrator’s Interpretation 2015-1. Is the work an integral part of the employer’s business? For example, a lawyer doing work […]

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EEOC Bans Discrimination against Sexual Orientation in the Workplace

On July 16, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that all job discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This historic 3-2 decision does what Congress and most courts so far have refused to do: ban discrimination against gays in the workplace. Until now, only a handful of states and municipalities have done […]

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The Importance of Federal Registration

Business owners and individuals should be concerned with protecting their brand identity, which means taking active steps to protect their trademark. The best avenue of protection is Federal Registration of the business or individual’s trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The right to use a trademark does not come from Federal Registration, instead, the first business or individual to use a distinctive trademark in commerce has the […]

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Intellectual Property: The Most Overlooked Asset of a Company

When evaluating the worth of a company, it is important to recognize the value of all assets and liabilities in determining the company’s value.  However, most overlooked are the intangibles – that is, assets that do not have a physical shape, but nonetheless contribute to the earning power of the company.  The true value of a company is its ability to generate earnings and earnings are a function of the […]

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Litigation: How to be Better Prepared

Under the American legal system, there is no realm of human activity that fails to spawn litigation. The financial cost of a potential judgment is easily recognized. Less understood is the cost of time, energy, and resources (financial and human) of the litigation process itself. Even the defendant who avoids judgment by “winning” his case will still have expended resources that the law generally affords no avenue to recover. The […]

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Telecommuting May Not be a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA if On-Site Attendance is an Essential Function of the Position

On April 10, 2015, a full panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee) decided in an unpublished decision that a former Ford employee, Jane Harris, was not a qualified individual with a disability because her excessive absences prevented her from performing the essential functions of a resale buyer. The Court further held that Harris’ telecommuting proposal was not reasonable because it removed an […]

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E-Verify: Understanding Responsibilities and Rights

E-Verify is a federal program that employers use to verify a new employee’s employment eligibility in the United States. The use of E-Verify has grown exponentially in the last few years and its use only continues to increase. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, just over 1,000 employers were enrolled in E-Verify in 2001, and by 2015, over 688,000 employers were enrolled. A contributing factor to this […]

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Signs of Identity Theft and How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report

Identity theft is occurring more often, due in part to the recent data breaches with merchants, hospitals, and various websites. Identity theft also results from so-called “phishing scams,” in which the victim is tricked into revealing personal information. Even if you do business only with trusted companies, and you keep your personal information to yourself, you should still be aware of the following signs of identity theft: You see withdrawals […]

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Michigan Investment Markets Bill Would Permit Local Stock Exchanges

On May 22, 2014, the Michigan House of Representatives passed House Bill 5273, Michigan Investment Markets (MIM). This Bill amends the Michigan Uniform Securities Act to provide for the creation and regulation of intrastate security markets or exchanges. It is designed to complement the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE), recently signed into law by Governor Snyder, which permits investment crowdfunding for small businesses. The Bill is currently pending before the […]

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