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Archive for July, 2010

You are currently browsing the Labor Law Talk Blog weblog archives for July, 2010.

Arizona Mini-Cobra Law

Friday, July 30th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Arizona has no mini-COBRA law that protects employees of smaller firms when they lose their job.

Under the federal COBRA law, a terminated employee is entitled to continue his or her group health insurance for up to 6 months. The employee is entitled to the same coverage ... continue reading

Copyright Notice

Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Is a copyright notice necessary? Surprisingly, in most cases the answer is yes.   

Although songs, stories, articles, paintings, sculpture and other original works are covered by copyright from the moment they are saved in tangible form, the owner must assert his or her copyright in most ... continue reading

Exempt Employee Status in Question

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The U.S. Department of Labor is interpreting exempt status much more narrowly in 2010 than in past years, a trend that is expected to continue.

As most employers know, employees are entitled to overtime at 1.5 times their average hourly rate when they work more than 40 ... continue reading

What Cannot Be Covered by Copyright?

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Original expressions of creativity saved in tangible form can be copyrighted. These include books, film, songs, dance, paintings, etc. Ideas or concepts cannot be copyrighted. Between the two lies a vast wasteland of lawsuits, claims and counter-claims.   

Still, the courts in Arkansas and every other U.S. ... continue reading

Muslim Holidays for Small Business Employers

Monday, July 26th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim religious calendar, the holiest month because it is the one in which the prophet Muhammad received his revelation. Devout Mulsims mark the month with special observances that may include fasting, time off for religious observances and self-assessment.

In 2010, ... continue reading

HR Insights: Shirley Sherrod Case Study, Part 3

Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
What other mistakes did the USDA honchos make in the Shirley Sherrod case?

They failed to implement a cooling-off period when emotions were high. Sherrod was driving her car to a conference in Athens, Georgia when the video hit the news. Her contact in the HR department ... continue reading

HR Insights: Shirley Sherrod Case Study, Part 4

Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In asking for Shirley Sherrod’s resignation, USDA Tom Vilsack made a serious mistake. He overreacted to unfair allegations, instead of dispassionately gathering the facts and making an impartial decision. This is a mistake many small business owners make when dealing with thorny HR issues.

The basic steps ... continue reading

HR Insights: Shirley Sherrod Case Study, Part 2

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
More on the case study of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s mishandling of the Shirley Sherrod firing.

Every small business owner can learn lessons from this event including:

Act, don’t react or overreact. Gather the facts Listen to all the sides, including the employee’s point of view ... continue reading

HR Insights: Shirley Sherrod Case Study

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Small business owners can learn a great deal about HR from the recent brouhaha over the firing of USDA Director Shirley Sherrod.

Ms. Sherrod is the USDA employee who was seen on a Fox video clip apparently claiming to give fewer benefits to white farmers, than to ... continue reading

Wyoming Copyright

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
What cannot be covered under copyright in Wyoming or any other state?

The following items:  

Idea or concept Processes Procedures Systems Methods of operation Principles Discoveries    An idea cannot be protected by copyright. Suppose you have an idea to write a book about ... continue reading

Tennessee Child Support Rules

Monday, July 19th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In Tennessee, court ordered child support is enforced by the Tennessee Department of Human Services. In Tennessee, unlike many other states, the DHS will also enforce an order for spousal support (sometimes called alimony) if it is issued in conjunction with a court order for child support.

... continue reading

Delaware Copyright

Friday, July 16th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In order for an original work to be protected by copyright in Delaware or elsewhere in the U.S., it must be saved in fixed or tangible form. Many people are surprised by this requirement.

Steve and Candy are comedians at a popular comedy club in Wilmington, Delaware. ... continue reading

Michigan Child Support

Thursday, July 15th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The Michigan Department of Human Services or DHS enforces child support laws in the state. The agency offers free enforcement and assistance to custodial parents, those who must pay court-ordered child support, and parents of children under 18 when one parent does not live with the child.

... continue reading

Colorado Copyright

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In order for a copyright to be issued, a work must meet three conditions:

Originality Expression Tangible Poems, dances, photographs, sculptures, songs, compute programs and other works of intellectual property must meet these three criteria to qualify for protection under copyright law.

Originality means that ... continue reading

North Dakota Child Support Pilot Program

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The North Dakota Department of Human Services or ND DHS enforces court-ordered child support in the state.

Child Support Enforcement Director Mike Schwindt reports that the agency collected more child support in March 2010 than in any other month so far, collecting $13 million in child support ... continue reading

Understanding Copyright, Trademark and Patent

Monday, July 12th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
It is easy to confuse copyright, trademark and patent. Each is a different type of intellectual property protected by law.

Copyrights cover creative works from the moment they are saved in tangible permanent form. An improvisational skit performed on stage is not copyrighted. If it is written ... continue reading

Iowa Child Support Enforcement

Friday, July 9th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In Iowa, the Child Support Recovery Unit or CSRU is a specific branch of the Iowa Department of Human Services. The CSRU is responsible for tracking down deadbeat fathers and mothers who are behind in their child support, and collecting payments. The state also enforces any court ruling that ... continue reading

Copyright Protects New Technology

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Copyright is a double-edged sword because while an original creation or work of art is immediately covered by copyright, to be legally enforceable the copyright must be registered. Fortunately, registration is an easy, low-cost process.

Many people do not consider the variety of items that are covered ... continue reading

Changes to Insurance Cost under Healthcare Reform

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
Group health insurance premiums are expected to rise 9% in 2011, compared to 11-20% for small employers in 2010, according to a report recently released by PricewaterhouseCoopers or PWC.

More employers are eliminating co-pays for visits to a doctor’s office and charging workers a percentage of the ... continue reading

Alabama Copyrights and Trademarks

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The three major types of intellectual property in Alabama and other states are copyright, trademark and patent. All three offer protections to the owner, but each is different in the type of material it protects under federal or state law.

The federal Copyright Office, a division of ... continue reading

Iowa Child Support

Monday, July 5th, 2010
Posted by Tamara
In Iowa as in other states, the non-custodial parent often must pay child support under a court order. This is based on the theory that both parents should financially contribute to the child’s support, even if only one parent has custody.

Shared custody arrangements are popular partly ... continue reading

Copyright Resources

Friday, July 2nd, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The U.S. Copyright Office offers free advice on many issues related to trademarks and copyright.

Very simply, copyright protects the intellectual rights of the creator of original works or creations including books, songs, paintings, photographs, dances, plays, computer programs, websites and many other types of literary or ... continue reading

New FMLA Leave for Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Stepparents, Gay Parents

Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Posted by Tamara
The U.S. Department of Labor recently ruled that aunts, uncles, grandparents, stepparents and others who are caring for a child are eligible for FMLA.  

FMLA has always included a provision that a parent can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected FMLA leave to care ... continue reading