VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
Phone: 606-618-0698

Ashland, Kentucky, Legal Blog

EEOC backlog could encourage settlement in discrimination cases

It can be frustrating to settle a discrimination complaint. Most business owners would prefer to be vindicated. There are many good business reasons for settlement, however, such as limiting the lost time, cost and disruption a lawsuit can involve.

Many plaintiffs resist settlement, as well. They often hope that a trial will convince the company they once loved to change its policies. They may also wish to receive more in compensation than the company is offering.

Reasons your company should consult a lawyer about a new location

Whether your organization is planning to rent new business premises, purchase a facility or expand into a new location, there are legal issues involved that a real estate agent is not in a good position to help you with. Hiring an attorney to negotiate, draft or review documents and to research zoning and other issues can save you a great deal of time and trouble. Unlike real estate agents and many other professionals, your attorney is legally obligated to act in your interests.

The first thing you may want to have a lawyer review is any proposed contract with a real estate agent. These contracts contain a great deal of crucial legal information, and you need to understand precisely what you are signing. A lawyer can explain the terms of the contract and spot anything unusual or unfavorable that could be corrected before you sign.

Study: Most parents with special needs kids have no estate plan

If you have a child with an intellectual disability, you need a plan to care for that person when you no longer can. Yet in a recent national survey, more than half of parents of special-needs children reported they had no such plan.

The study, which appears in the April issue of the journal Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, identified 11 long-term planning activities, such as:

  • Identifying a successor to the current caregiver
  • Writing a statement of intent to guide future guardians' or caregivers' decisions about the person's care
  • Discussing future care plans with the child or family members
  • Researching residential programs
  • Locating an attorney
  • Establishing a special needs trust

Options for employers when employees discuss wages and salary

No matter how much your try and circumvent it, employees discuss earnings with one another. The repercussions of these discussions ripple through departments. Wage discussions cause unrest and dissatisfaction throughout an organization. Understanding the protections covered by National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prevents inadvertent employer violation.

Protected concerted activity

In blended families, inheritances often end up being unequal

As more divorced parents with children remarry, a changing pattern has developed in inheritances. Couples who only have shared biological children tend to divide their bequests equally among those children. According to a 2015 study, there has been a noticeable shift toward unequal bequests in blended families.

The study considered parents over age 50 who reported having wills. Overall, the number of parents treating their children unequally in their estate plans rose from 16 percent in 1995 to 35 percent in 2010. Moreover, parents who have stepchildren were about 30 percent more likely to leave unequal bequests.

What issues could keep a contract from being enforced?

Contracts are promises that are enforceable by law. Every business would like to ensure that its agreements will stand up in a court of law. What are some of the issues that could stand in its way?

When a court reviews a contract, the first thing it looks for is whether the contract is valid in the first place. In order to be valid, it may need to be written, signed and dated, depending on state laws and what the contract is about. Also, the parties must have reached a "meeting of the minds" on the terms. That means that each party understood, or should have understood, the terms of the contract in the same way. It must include an offer and acceptance of that offer, and something of value must be given by each side. Finally, the terms must be detailed enough so that a court knows how to enforce them. If an agreement doesn't any of these tests, it cannot be enforced.

Can social media posts violate non-solicitation agreements?

When an employee leaves your company, it's quite possible that they will already be connected with their former coworkers and even your clients on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. They may even announce their job change on those social networks. Could that violate the customer and employee non-solicitation agreements they have with you?

Although the law is not settled on the issue, the mere fact of those connections probably doesn't violate the agreements. After all, merely being acquainted with your other employees wouldn't violate an employee non-solicitation agreement. The former employee would generally have to invite former coworkers to apply at the new job, or take another specific action, before they could be accused of solicitation.

Filing final federal income and estate taxes for the deceased

In the aftermath of the death of a family member or loved one, there are practical matters that need attending. It is an unfortunate reality that even death does not excuse a person from filing final taxes, an unpleasant task which generally falls to the executor or a close surviving family member.

Your business is moving. Should you sublet your premises?

If your company is considering relocating, you should do so based on business needs. Still, it's important to understand all the variables. For example, if you lease your current premises and your lease isn't up, you don't want to keep paying on your old lease as you take on a new one.

You have a few options, depending on your circumstances. One is to negotiate an early lease termination with your landlord. Another is to negotiate an assignment of the lease to another tenant. Perhaps the most common option is to sublet all or part of the property to a new party, assuming that is allowed under the terms of your lease.

Is your company using restrictive employment agreements well?

Employment restrictions such as noncompete and nondisclosure agreements are popular with many employers. While they can limit the loss of important data, proprietary information, and key personnel, however, they do have downsides.

Most employers don't really want to keep employees who aren't happy, but restrictive employment agreements can have that effect. Current and prospective employees may resent or oppose them because they place limitations on their longer-term job prospects.

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