Monthly Archives: July 2012

Social Media Law: Interesting Updates As Seen on Twitter

 There’s much to consider at the intersection of digital media and the law: data privacy, employee rights, consumer protections, intellectual property, defamation, NLRB labor rules, international regulations, crowdfunding concerns, emerging mobile tech laws … For a closer look at these issues (and others), we give you – without even the faintest trace of irony –… Read more »

Register Your Trademark with the USPTO: An Essential Step in Brand Protection

For business owners who want to protect their brand with a trademark, here’s Jaburg Wilk’s Maria Speth on how to file an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Some key points: You can register your mark with your state, but federal registration trumps state trademarks A search for similar names should include trademarks… Read more »

Another Strike Against the NLRB’s Fight to End Arbitration Clauses

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before… That’s not the lead-in to a tired joke, but rather our introduction to the latest chapter in the National Labor Relations Board’s ongoing efforts to block employer-mandated arbitration clauses in labor contracts (for earlier updates, see Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Are Dead! Long Live Mandatory Arbitration Agreements!). The… Read more »

ERISA Fee Disclosure Rules in Place. What Now for Retirement Plan Sponsors?

New regulations requiring 401(k) plan service providers to disclose fees to plan sponsors went into effect on July 1, 2012. The burden now shifts to retirement plan sponsors, who are required both to: 1. ensure that they’ve actually received the information they need, and 2. evaluate the fees to determine whether or not they are… Read more »

Considering Crowdfunding For Your Startup? Consider This First…

Signed into law earlier this year, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act promises to make capital raising easier for small and emerging growth businesses by loosening important regulatory restrictions on private and public equity offerings. The “crowdfunding exemption” (one of the most anticipated changes in the law) will allow businesses to raise up to… Read more »

Court Narrows Definition of “Joint Employers” in Class Action Lawsuits

A recent ruling in the Third Circuit will make it harder for plaintiffs to include parent companies, subsidiaries, and affiliated companies in class action employment lawsuits. Some background, from law firm McNees Wallace & Nurick: “As in most types of class-based litigation, plaintiffs in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions typically seek certification of… Read more »

As Seen on Twitter: Top Employment Law News This Week

For your weekend reading and catch-up, here’s a quick look at some of this week’s popular law news covering hiring & firing, benefits, the ACA, employee (mis)classification, and other workplace issues. What’s hot this week in employment law and who is sharing it:   DOL Auditing Healthcare Plans for ACA Compliance – JDSupra lnkd.in/pGB_i9 —… Read more »

Pennsylvania Enacts E-Verify Requirement for Public Contractors

Starting on January 1, 2013, Pennsylvania public contractors and subcontractors will have a bit more paperwork to complete when making new hires. That’s the date the state’s Public Works Employment Verification Act takes effect. For your reference, a Q&A on the new law:   What is E-Verify? “E-Verify is a free Internet-based system that is… Read more »

Recruiters Should Exercise Caution When Evaluating Social Media Activity of Job Candidates

There’s been a lot of discussion in recent months of employer access to the public and private social media activity of candidates and existing employees. Recruiters? Not so much. That’s troublesome, writes employment attorney Alexander Nemiroff: “Recruiters are increasingly turning to social media to screen and recruit candidates. Jobvite’s 2012 Social Recruiting Survey found that… Read more »

Follow This: Our Latest Business News Feeds on Twitter

We’ve been busy building our latest round of subject-specific business feeds on Twitter. Each of the accounts below features the latest commentary, analysis, and news from leading lawyers and law firms on a given topic – obvious by the title. And, thanks to Twitter’s new embed feature, you can click to FOLLOW any subject that… Read more »

When Is a Tip Not a Tip? When the IRS Says So…

Here’s a tip: restaurants that tack a fixed charge on certain bills must begin withholding additional taxes on those amounts. Known as “auto gratuities,” compulsory service charges paid by diners should be considered employer-paid wages—not tips—and treated accordingly for tax purposes. Law firm Pillsbury: “Employers are required to collect income tax, employee social security tax… Read more »

Wellness Programs: Great Idea for Your Employees, But Watch Out for Pitfalls

Thanks to workplace wellness programs, employees across the country are losing weight, quitting smoking, and improving their overall physical health. But employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from a focus on health in the workplace. Law firm Snell & Wilmer: “The economic case for these programs is strong and supported by some pretty staggering… Read more »

Most Popular Small Business Posts – June 2012

The impact of Obamacare on smaller businesses, cloud computing legal issues, wage and hour lawsuits, and social media law are but a few of the subjects you’re reading about. For your reference, the most-read Small Business Support posts during the month of June, 2012: 1. Bring Your Own (Tech) Device to Work? That Could Be… Read more »

Does the ADA Apply to Netflix? Court Says Yes

Do websites need to make accommodations for users with auditory and visual disabilities under the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act? That’s the question at the heart of a lawsuit filed by the National Association for the Deaf, which argues that Netflix should provide closed-captioning on its “Watch Instantly” online video streaming service. The… Read more »