Tag Archives: Law

Law Firm Social Media Strategy

I am speaking at the Iowa Bar Association’s Bridge the Gap seminar on May 9, 2013 on The Lessons I’ve Learned From Seven Years of Legal Blogging. I am excited about the presentation as it is the first time I’ve spoken on legal blogging for a couple of years. I’ve given numerous presentations about social … Continue Reading

Franchisor Financial Problems Dragging You Down?

I was quoted in this article from The Street entitled, "When The Parent Company Drags You Down". The article discusses the financial woes of some franchises including Quiznos and the impact on franchisees. If your a franchisee caught in a system experiencing financial problems, my first piece of advice is to carefully review the terms of your franchise agreement … Continue Reading

The Use Of Independent Contractors and Immigration

I often received questions about whether a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or employee. In fact a blog post on Employees v. Independent Contractors is still one of the most popular posts ever on my blog even though I wrote it over three years ago. In a couple of recent blog posts, Brick … Continue Reading

How Franchisees Can Avoid Personal Liability in Contracts

  A common thing I see from franchisees is that they include only the name of their franchise in an agreement as opposed to including their corporate or limited liability company name. Most of the time the names are different. For example, if my franchise is "Tops Franchise" but my corporate name is "Rush Nigut … Continue Reading

New Franchise Disclosure Document

The Ohio Practical Business Law Blog examines the new Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) a recent post.  The new FDD rules began in earnest  on July 1, 2008.   Previously I posted on some of the key differences between the old UFOC rule and the new FDD rule including: Use of unaudited financial statements.  Start-up franchisors may phase-in the use of audited financial statements.  … Continue Reading

Blawg Review #172 a Winner in My Book

The Ohio Employer’s Law Blog earns a gold medal with its Olympic-themed Blawg Review #172.  Jon Hyman’s review has some great blog posts from lawyers across the country,  both in and outside of employment law.  Be sure to read it. Thanks to Jon for including my post on the real reason the Packers traded Brett Favre.    … Continue Reading

Employment Law Cheat Sheets are a Gem

Employment law guru Mark Toth has some very helpful "cheat sheets" covering the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Mark says there are more cheat sheets to come.  Also, you would be smart to attend his free Webinar on July 30th for Every Employment Law in 60 Minutes … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Policies & Procedures: Five Common Mistakes

Employers have an obligation to prevent sexual and other forms of harassment in the workplace.  Unfortunately some employers are under the mistaken belief that their sexual harassment policy adequately covers them.  Here are some common mistakes I have noticed while conducting employment compliance reviews: The written policy against harassment doesn’t include an anti-retaliation provision for those employees who report … Continue Reading

Don’t Copy Web Site Terms of Use Policies

Jonathan Frieden of the E-Commerce Law Blog offers some excellent advice that companies should refrain from copying another company’s Web site terms of use policy.  Jonathan says that even sophisticated companies are tempted to reduce legal expenses by copying such policies. Iowa intellectual property attorney Brett Trout has also offered the same advice.  As Brett pointed out in … Continue Reading

Nascar Sexual Harassment Suit Shows Complaints Must Be Taken Seriously

Nascar has been sued by a former technical inspector in the Nationwide series.  The African-American woman seeks at least $225 million in her claims for sexual harassment, racial and gender discrimination and wrongful termination.  In the lawsuit, she alleged she was referred to as "Nappy Headed Mo" and "Queen Sheba," by co-workers, was often told she worked … Continue Reading

Deadline for Filing Iowa Civil Rights Complaint Extended

Glad to see my friend Mark Landa blogging over on the Iowa Law Blog.  Mark has an important reminder that the time for filing a civil rights complaint under Iowa law will be extended from 180 days to 300 days in order to conform to the federal timeline. Iowa employment lawyer Victoria Herring points out on … Continue Reading

Where to Incorporate?

Indiana civil and business lawyer Sam Hasler recently expressed his view that the place to incorporate your business is generally in your home state. I agree with Sam.  Delaware or Nevada may offer viable options for some companies but in general most Iowa small businesses are probably wise to incorporate here in Iowa.  First, Iowa … Continue Reading

Iowa’s Legislature to Target Employers: Again?

This past January I posted on an Iowa immigration bill that targeted employers.  The bill sparked significant debate but was not passed. Now in the wake of the raid at the AgriProcessors slaughterhouse and packing plant in Postville, Iowa, Iowa’s legislative leaders are renewing promises to target employers. This time legislative leaders will introduce legislation to … Continue Reading

Love Contracts in the Workplace

Mark Toth of the Manpower Employment Law Blog has an interesting post on "hooking up at work" and whether love contracts are a good idea.  This is where co-workers sign a contract in order to protect the company and the employees involved against sexual harassment or other discrimination charges.  Mark says he doesn’t think the agreements are necessarily a … Continue Reading

Iowa LLC Law has Key Changes

In his new blog, Marc Ward of the Dickinson Law Firm, sets out some key changes to the new Iowa LLC Act.  One important issue to remember is that by default under the current law, Iowa LLCs are member managed unless unless the articles of organization or the operating agreement provides for management by manager(s).  Under … Continue Reading

Overdocumentation in Employment Cases

In last week’s Tip of Week (yes, I am a little behind), John Phillips of the Word on Employment Law raises the interesting perspective that it is possible to overdocument in employment cases. Some of John’s warnings on overdocumentation include: Documentation on trivial matters. Creating a paper trail right before an employee is terminated. Documenting … Continue Reading

Electronic Workplace: Dangers & Pitfalls

Today I will present at the Central Iowa SHRM monthly meeting located at Copper Creek Golf Course on electronic workplace issues. The electronic workplace is all around us. Computers, voice mail, internet, intranet, e-mail, fax machines, laptops, PDAs, videoconferencing, social media, blogs and more are common features in the American workplace. The development of the … Continue Reading

Pizza Hut: A Tough Employment Situation Any Way You Slice It

The Des Moines Register had an article about how support has poured in for a Pizza Hut Delivery driver that was suspended from work after he shot an alleged armed robber.  The employee had a valid handgun permit but a Pizza Hut human resources representative indicated that employees are not allowed to carry guns "because we (Pizza … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Retaliation Claims

Pennsylvania employment lawyer Michael Moore has an excellent post on Five Things Every HR Generalist Should Know about Retaliation Claims.  Michael notes that the number of retaliation claims rose 18% in 2007 to a record high, doubling since 1992.  His post covers the following areas: What is unlawful retaliation? What is "Adverse Action" by an … Continue Reading

Great Business Resources

Ohio business lawyer Terri Rasmussen has an excellent overview of the resources available on the SBA Website.  (With a hat tip to Joel Libava on the Small Business Trends Blog for the original post).  Terri also refers to a helpful post from Anita Campbell on the Ten Ways Business.gov Helps Your Business. While I couldn’t agree … Continue Reading