#MeToo Movement to Spawn Wave of Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

| posted in Blog

After revelations of sexual misconduct by a number of high-power executives, media personalities and politicians last year spawned the #MeToo movement, defense lawyers are predicting a record number of sexual harassment lawsuits will be filed against employers in the coming year. The #MeToo movement has emboldened women who have been sexually harassed, abused or worse by a work superior or co-worker to come out and tell their stories. Any employer whose workers were subjected to this kind of behavior is at risk of being sued, regardless of whether or not the employer knew about the incident. The costs of sexual…
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Employees Driving Their Own Vehicles on the Job Are Your Liability

| posted in Blog

Many business owners don’t think twice when asking a worker to run to the office supply store, to the bank or run another errand for the company while on the clock. But as soon as that employee enters their personal vehicle on a trip for your business, you automatically become vicariously liable for their actions. Think it’s not a big deal? There have been cases when employers have been found liable and ordered to pay up to $25 million for crashes involving employees using their cell phones while driving, according to the National Safety Council. That means if your employee…
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Sexual Harassment Lawsuits: How to Protect Your Company

| posted in Uncategorized

By now, employers should all realize and understand that sexual harassment is illegal. However, what they might not be aware of are two 20-year-old rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court that: • Expanded what is termed sexual harassment; • Expanded the responsibility that employers have to provide a work environment that’s non-hostile; and • Did away with harassed employees having to prove that their company holds some responsibility or that their career suffered from lack of promotion, firing, demotion, or other such action. Employers are now directly responsible for employee behavior, thereby giving harassed workers more recourse in bringing about…
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Is Your Firm Protected for Libel and Slander under Your Business Policy?

| posted in Blog

What would you do if your business got SLAPPed? SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” A business that gets SLAPPed has been sued for speaking out against or about a person or entity. In these actions, the plaintiff accuses a person or business of harming them by speaking out publicly with malicious intent. For example, small businesses in a village may protest plans to build a huge shopping mall nearby and in the process spread a false rumor about the developers. The owners of the proposed mall might sue them for alleged defamation – libel (written statements) or…
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ADA Access Demand Letters Rear Their Ugly Heads

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Despite the fact that a law was enacted in 2013 to curtail “drive-by” Americans with Disabilities Act access lawsuits, the practice has been revived by crafty plaintiff attorneys. According to recent news reports, employers still receive letters from lawyers who demand payment on behalf of disabled clients in exchange for not suing the establishment for violating ADA access rules. The lawyers are banking on the business owners not knowing a law that took effect in 2013 that bars attorneys from making monetary demands in initial letters complaining about a possible ADA violation. If you have a business that deals with…
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Your Liability Every Time Someone Enters Your Facility

| posted in Blog

One sure-fire way for a business to get sued is if a visitor – a customer, vendor or anyone else – injures themselves while on your premises. While you may already do all you can to keep employees and customers safe, you are likely still exposed to being sued if someone injures themselves in one of your facilities. Alhough the most common situation that comes to mind is the slip and fall accident, your liability for injuries sustained on your property extends far beyond such injuries. What you need to know It doesn’t matter if you own your building or…
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’Surf-by’ ADA Lawsuits Could be Next Legal Trap for Businesses

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

No doubt you’ve heard of the “drive-by” Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits that are filed by plaintiffs who see ADA violations at businesses (like entrances that are inaccessible by wheelchair) just by driving by the location. Now, recent court decisions could pave the way for a new class of ADA claims where disabled individuals have trouble navigating a company’s website – call them “surf-by” claims. Courts recently ruled in favor of plaintiffs who have sued retailers – in two separate lawsuits – claiming violations of Title III of the ADA by having websites that could not be used by disabled…
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Court Decision Shows Extent of Employer Liability for Traveling Employees

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The employer of a worker who causes damage during their off hours on a business trip may be held liable for them acting “in the scope of their employment,” according to a federal court decision. The ruling will allow the case to go forward after the court declined to uphold the employer’s motion to dismiss it as a defendant in the lawsuit after its employee had caused $147,000 in damage to a hotel room while on a business trip. The employee fell asleep while frying egg rolls on the stovetop in his room, after which a fire broke out. The…
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Employee Texting Blows Holes in Your Company Communications Policy

| posted in Blog

If you are not aware, your employees are most likely communicating with each other and clients using texting or instant messaging. While the immediacy of texting and instant messaging is great for business as it allows faster communications, better collaboration and more responsiveness, the downside is that your organization likely can’t track and retrieve those communications. It becomes even harder if the communications are via instant messaging apps like Whatsapp! and Facebook’s Messenger. As an employer, it’s important that you understand the issue and that you have clear rules for communications among employees in order to protect your company’s interests….
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Why You Can’t Afford to Not Have Professional Liability Insurance

| posted in Blog

At some point, most businesses are involved in some type of legal dispute, be it over an alleged physical or property damage to a third party or financial injury to a competitor, client or vendor. And you’d surely want an insurance backstop in case you are targeted, to help pay for legal costs and any settlements or judgments. The type of liability that your business is going to face will depend on the type of work that you do. If you’re in a service trade, the chances of your work causing someone physical damage or harm are remote, but you…
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