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Atlanta Business & Commercial Law Blog

Pregnancy still impacts women’s professional advancement

Many companies have put a lot of time and effort into developing, supporting and retaining women employees. Yet the New York Times articles recently published a series articles about the plight of women in the workplace. One example zeros in on the negative impact pregnancy has upon professional advancement, pointing out that this is often the issue women bumps into before the glass ceiling, but impacts employees ranging from Wall Street executives to Walmart cashiers.

Still happening in 2018

Using dispute resolutions clauses in contracts

Business entities entering into an agreement may include clauses for dispute resolution. While this may seem aggressive or cynical, these commonly used clauses can provide a helpful map to resolving a dispute between the two sides during the time of the contract. As an insightful article at Mediate.com pointed out, basic language not tailored to fit the needs of the arrangement will often do nothing to help resolve the matter, but dispute resolution (DR) clauses that address the needs of the contract can be extremely helpful.

Better than going to court?

What are some common HR mistakes that small businesses make?

Whether you are a small business or not often depends on the industry you are in. For example, in finance and insurance, the Small Business Administration considers you a small business even if you have up to 1,500 employees. If you provide professional, scientific or technical services, your business might be considered small even if you have 1,000 employees and bring in $20 million a year.

So, really, a small business could be anything from a sole proprietor working from home to a thriving company that has locations in several cities. No matter what a small business looks like, though, its HR staff may be susceptible to some common errors.

3 things you need to know about franchise agreements

Are you considering becoming a franchisee? This can be an excellent choice for you as an entrepreneur. There are many advantages to opening a franchise, and you are likely excited to get started.

However, before you sign on the dotted line, you need to ensure that you are well-informed about the franchise contract you are signing. In fact, you would be well-served by hiring a business franchising lawyer to assist you in the process so you can avoid costly legal mistakes. As you move forward, consider these three important things you should know about franchise contracts:

Aetna sues watchdog group

Aetna has been in an ongoing battle with the non-profit Consumer Watchdog. The latter sued the insurance carrier for insisting that HIV medication be handled by mail rather than customers going to a pharmacy. The bigger issue, however, was that the insurance provider’s correspondence and delivery of the medication used paned envelops that revealed thousands of customer’s HIV status next to their name and address.

Consumer Watchdog won the last round in 2014 and received a $20 million settlement, but Aetna now has countersued, claiming that the organization and lawsuit created the issue.

OSHA Instructs company to rehire flight instructor

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) informed SIMCOM Training Centers of Orlando to rehire a flight instructor who was dismissed. According to a press release on OSHA’s web site, the instructor was harassed, denied the chance to train students and subsequently terminated.

The ruling determined that the instructor was terminated after repeatedly voicing concerns for safety because the Florida-based company was not adhering to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21). 

Starbucks closes for anti-bias training

The Starbuck’s coffee chain closed 8,000 stores and offices across the U.S. for three or more hours on May 29 for anti-bias training. All sites would remain closed afterwards for the rest of the day. Starting after lunch rush, an estimated 180,000 employees received a “tool kit” that focused on educating them on “prejudice and the history of public accommodations in the U.S.” According to the company, this is the first of a series that will address all types of bias and experience.

This is in response to a very public misstep by the company where two black men in Philadelphia were arrested on April 12 for sitting in a Starbuck’s and not ordering anything. They were led away in handcuff and charged with trespassing. They were later released without being charged; nonetheless, the news set off angry protests around the country with claims of racial profiling.

When your business partner breaches a contract

When you enter into a business partnership with someone, you probably do so with the belief that the two of you work well together, and that you will continue to do so until the end of your business relationship. Regrettably, however, business partnerships sometimes fail, whether because you have different visions, you experience a breakdown of trust between you or what have you.

When your partner breaks the terms of a partnership agreement the two of you have in place, however, you typically have several options as far as seeking recourse. 

Supreme Court rules against labor unions

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of employers in resolving employee disputes. In a 5-4 decision that broke down as the conservative wing versus the liberal wing of the court, the court said that employers do have the right to insist that labor disputes should be handled individually with the employee rather than allowing workers to join together for class action lawsuits. According to USA Today, the Ruling affects an estimated 25 million workers who sign agreements to arbitrate as part of their employment contracts.

What the court said

Flight attendants still subjected to sexual harassment

Jobs in the service industries can be particularly challenging. Nevertheless, flight attendants would seem to have it worse than most. Not only do they work in close quarters with customers, there is a long and continuing tradition of objectifying or sexualizing the flight attendant. While the rules for acceptable behavior have changed from the days when flight attendants were called stewardesses, apparently things have not changing fast enough to suit those in the industry.

A new survey with old news

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Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

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