It’s not uncommon for “covered entities” such as hospitals and health systems to violate the Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Protection Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). A stolen laptop or misplaced file can expose information that should be protected. Rarely, however, does a violation arise from the filming of a television show. But that’s exactly what happened in the case of New York Presbyterian Hospital (“NYP”), which recently entered into a settlement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for $2.2 million. Read More ›
The misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a common and serious issue affecting employers and workers in the technology sector. We recently touched on the legal challenges facing “on demand” technology companies such as Uber and Lyft due to their classification of drivers as independent contractors.
But employee vs. independent contractor is not the only classification issue that technology companies and investors must grapple with. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Fenox Venture Capital, recently agreed to pay $331,269 in back wages after the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) found the company misclassified 56 workers as unpaid interns. Read More ›
How do you get the most out of your social media content? Attorney John Mashni will discuss seven social media principles to live by in his presentation for the State Bar of Michigan Paralegal Section titled "The Marketing Lifestyle." The seven principles include: Read More ›
Categories: Social Media
In January we updated you on the numerous legal battles Uber was fighting across the country related to its classification of its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Uber, the on-demand car service, recently put one of those battles behind it by settling a class action lawsuit covering 385,000 drivers in California and Massachusetts for $100 million.
Under the terms of the settlement Uber will continue to be able to classify its drivers as contractors. The company also made concessions allowing drivers to receive tips, and to form an association - although not a union - to discuss grievances with the company. Read More ›
What is a trademark? A trademark is the identity that you have in the marketplace specifically associated with your goods or services. Any name, phrase, identity, symbol or logo your company uses in conjunction with selling your goods and services is a trademark. There are two types of trademarks. Learn more in the short video below.
Business owners need to understand copyrights. The video below continues Foster Swift's Legal Basics for Business Video Series by explaining the basics of copyrights. Learn more about copyrights and how they are important to your business in this short video clip.
Vanna White successfully sued Samsung for placing a dressed up, metallic robot next to a Wheel of Fortune style letter board. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem sued General Motors based on an advertisement picturing Albert Einstein’s head connected to a shirtless, muscular body with baggy jeans and white briefs. A former starting quarterback for Rutgers University sued EA Sports over his characterization and depiction in a famous video game. Johnny Carson sued a portable toilet maker for using the phrase, “Here’s Johnny.”
What do all of these lawsuits have in common? The cause of action for each of the above disputes revolved around what is known as a “right of publicity.” The right of publicity refers to the right that an individual has to exploit the economic value of that person’s name, likeness, image, signature, performance, and other aspects of personality. Read More ›
Categories: Personal Publicity Rights
Employee or independent contractor? It’s a question many businesses grapple with, and the answer has significant legal and financial implications. Employee vs. independent contractor classification is becoming an increasingly important issue for many “on demand” technology companies such as Uber doing business in the fast growing “gig” or “sharing” economy.
Uber has been involved in a number of legal battles being waged over its practice of classifying its drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees. California has been a hotspot for litigation. Read More ›
One of this year's hottest gifts now comes with a registration requirement according to newly-released Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
On December 14, 2015 the FAA announced that drone owners must register with the FAA before their drone's first outdoor flight. The registration requirement applies to drones that weigh between 0.55 and 55 pounds. Noncommercial users may register through a new web-based system while commercial users must submit a paper application at this time. The $5 registration fee will be waived between December 21, 2015 and January 20, 2016, and all drones must be registered by February 19, 2016. The FAA will provide users with identification numbers which must be marked on any drones that a registered user flies. Read More ›
Categories: News & Events
In a previous blog post, we discussed the key highlights of the new Title III crowdfunding rules. In short, businesses are now permitted (subject to certain rules and restrictions) to use equity crowdfunding to offer and sell securities to non-accredited investors.
One of the key investor protections of Title III is that crowdfunding transactions must take place through an SEC-registered intermediary – either a funding portal or a registered broker-dealer. Broker-dealers are likely to be hesitant to serve as an intermediary in a Title III crowdfunding campaign. The reason is that broker-dealers are subject to extensive rules and regulations. Broker-dealers usually pass along their regulatory compliance costs to customers. However, Title III crowdfunding campaigns involve such small amounts (i.e., $1 million or less) that broker-dealers will likely find it unprofitable to serve the market. Read More ›