gerry richardson

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Employers face a known but largely unquantifiable risk when they give their employees access to their confidential or proprietary information, trade secrets, and customers.  Some ignore these risks, hope for the best, and trust that they have hired only loyal, honest, and honorable workers.  Such employers basically risk the loss of critical assets and the success of their business in the fickle hands of their employees.  The same workers whose personal career experience or that of spouses, relatives, or friends has taught them because of repeated reorganizations and their attendant reductions-in-force to doubt the loyalty of employers. In view of…
Most employers that pay their outside sales representatives on a commission basis do so because of long-established practices, rather than a sound understanding as to how the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or “Act”) impacts such a compensation practice.  Generally, the Act requires employers to pay their non-exempt employees compensation at a rate equal or greater than the federal minimum wage and overtime pay if employees work more than 40 hours in the same workweek.  The FLSA, however, includes an exemption from both its minimum wage and overtime obligations for outside sales representatives that satisfy the law’s requirements for the…
Seven in ten Americans use social media, according to the Pew Research Center.  They connect with one another, access content, share information, and entertain themselves through social media.  When the Pew Research Center first surveyed the use of social media in 2005, only five percent of American adults used at least one form of social media.  By 2011, half of all American adults used social media.  Today, 72% of adult Americans interact with some form of social media. In other words, social media has gone mainstream.  It no longer involves a cutting-edge technology.  Thus, for good reason, employers have adapted…
The unemployment rate hovered at a 49-year low of 3.6 percent in both April and May of 2019.  Low unemployment typically creates a jobseeker’s market in which workers find plentiful attractive job openings.  On the other side of the equation, however, employers usually have a more difficult time locating highly qualified candidates well-suited to the employer’s workplace culture. Both smart and lawful hiring and recruiting practices have more importance when employers face fewer candidates and more competition to hire them present in a tight labor market.  In such circumstances, employers must think strategically to recruit the best candidates.  Many employers…
1. Abuse of Power Produced the Me Too Movement. In the past three years, many well-known executives and personalities have made headlines because of their unwelcome conduct directed at female associates.  Roger Ailes resigned from Fox News on July 22, 2016 after more than 20 female accused him of sexual harassment, including a lawsuit that produced a $40 million settlement with former anchor Gretchen Carlson.  On April 19, 2017, Fox News fired  Bill O’Reilly several days after the New York Times had reported that either Fox News or Mr. O’Reilly had paid, at least, five women a total of about…
On March 7, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“Department”) announced its Notice of Proposed rulemaking to update the regulations that interpret the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). < https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime2019/index.htm > This law requires employers to pay overtime pay to most workers who work more than 40 hours in the same workweek. It, however, exempts certain categories of workers, exempt employees, from the FLSA’s overtime requirements. The proposed rule affects those exempt employees eligible for the White Collar exemption for executive, administrative, professional, or computer employees. This exemption also exempts outside salespersons from overtime, but the proposed rule makes…
Many businesses grow and earn profits from year to year, but still face existential threats if legal problems happen.  Others have owners who have reached a point in their lives where they want to exit their business to start a new chapter in their lives.  In both of these situations, business owners can benefit from legal audits.  They lay the foundation for both the avoidance of legal disasters and the identification of unappreciated legal issues that can restrain the value of a business in the context of its sale.  A legal audit identifies the issues that a business needs to…
On November 6, 2018, Missouri voters approved Amendment 2, the Medical Marijuana and Veteran Healthcare Services Initiative by a margin of 66% to 34%.  It legalized marijuana for medical purposes.  Basically, the amendment allows licensed physicians to recommend marijuana use to patients with any one of nine listed conditions and additional ones with a doctor’s approval.  The listed conditions include:   (a) cancer, (b) epilepsy, (c) glaucoma, (d) migraines unresponsive to other treatment, (e) chronic medical conditions that cause severe, persistent pain or muscle spasms, (f) debilitating psychiatric disorders, (g) HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, (h) terminal illnesses, and…