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May 2016 Archives

What can make a contract null and voidable?

Whether you have a small startup business or a large corporation, every important agreement you enter into should be taken seriously, and an enforceable contract should be created. How do you know if your contract is enforceable and you are protected?

If it can be argued that the contract was created under duress or misrepresentation, it could be thrown out as unbinding. If undue influence or persuasion was used to garner a contract, this could negate it as well.

While courts don't have a lot of sympathy for people who argue inebriation, if someone can prove you either drugged them or knew they were inebriated and took advantage of the state they were in, a contract could be argued to be invalid due to one party's incapacity.

A minor can also not be legally bound by any contract. If a person does sign a contract while a minor and subsequently turns 18, that person has only a short amount of time in which to cancel the contract before it actually does become enforceable.

If the terms of a contract are shocking, oppressive and are deemed unconscionable, the court may decide the contract should be voided. This would happen if one party exercised it's substantially greater power and strong-armed or out-witted a weaker party into an agreement that was an unbalanced deal.

There are other reasons why a contract can be thrown out. If you are drafting a contract, it is likely important to you or your company that it is upheld. By working with a Pennsylvania contract law attorney, you may ensure your contract is legal and binding and shall remain so for its duration, protecting both you and the other party.

FLSA Final Rule on Overtime and Exempt Employees

The Department of Labor finalized the Final Rule regarding increases to salary for exempt employees (those who do not have to be paid overtime). The FLSA Final Rule on Overtime and Exempt status will become effective on December 1, 2016.

Highlights of the new FLSA Final Rule on Overtime and Exempt status:

  • The weekly requirement for a salaried individual, to remain exempt, will increase to $913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker.
  • Individuals who are exempt because of highly compensated employee status will now need to receive a salary of $134,004 annually.
  • The salary requirement will be updated every three years.
  • The Final Rule will allow employers to use non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new requirements.

What you need to do now:

  • As of now, no salaries, exemption levels or policies need to be changed prior to December 1, 2016
  • Employees who are currently salary-exempt need to be evaluated; those who may be affected by the FLSA Rule, particularly those who earn $913 per week or less need to be identified
  • Determine if those employees identified as falling below the threshold who will receive a salary increase, become  hourly employees who are paid overtime or a hybrid- where employees are paid a salary and overtime hours.

Employers and businesses in the Pittsburgh area can contact Kisner Law Firm for assistance with exempt-salary employees impacted by the new FLSA overtime Rule. We can assist with identifying employees, developing new compensation strategies, answering questions and updating handbooks and other policies prior to the December 1, 2016 effective date.

Handling employment disputes effectively

Nothing can impact a business's productivity and success quite like unhappy employees. Unfortunately, most employers will be faced with some type of an employment dispute throughout their career. When employment disputes arise, it is important for employers to resolve problems before they affect the success and future of their business. By working with an experienced employment law attorney, employers may find effective strategies that make handling employment disputes easy.

Nearly every decision made by employers affects a business's operations, future and success. Unfortunately, these decisions can also create issues within a workforce and impede their ability to operate effectively. When problems arise, it is important for employers to address issues immediately before they impact daily operations. To successfully manage a strong workforce through times of dispute, employers may wish to seek the professional guidance of an employment law attorney.

Employment disputes regarding discrimination, harassment, compensation and contracts can significantly impact a business's success and financial well-being. In order to continue to protect the business and all its interested parties, serious employment disputes must be handled with strong and effective legal representation. Experienced employment law attorneys have the knowledge needed to provide responsive service and comprehensive legal advice for all types of critical employment disputes. With their help, these major issues can be handled effectively before spiraling out of control.

Experienced employment law attorneys may be able to find practical answers to employment disputes before they do irreversible damage to the business, its workforce and stakeholders. Every employer faces employment disputes at some point throughout their career, and effective problem resolution is the key to handling them with ease. Employers concerned with how employment disputes will impact their business may benefit by working with an experienced employment law attorney.

What do I need to know about youth employment compliance?

Young people make up a huge part of the nation's workforce. In order to take full advantage of this resource while maintaining compliance, employers should have a comprehensive understanding of the rules and regulations regarding youth employment.

For almost all occupations, 16 is the magic number when employing young people. At the age of 16, an individual may work in any occupation that has not been declared a hazardous job by the Secretary of Labor. For all other occupations, youths over the age of 16 may be employed by any employer to work any shift for the standard number of hours.

Occasionally, employers may wish to employ young people between 14 and 15 years old. Individuals in this age range cannot work in manufacturing or in certain jobs that the Secretary of Labor has declared as hazardous. Understandably, there are other specific provisions that apply when employing young people under the age of 16. These provisions are provided to employers through the Child Labor Regulation and require employers to follow the specific conditions and rules regarding the employment of minors.

Generally speaking, young people ages 14 and 15 may be employed by food service, retail sales and gas station service establishments. These young individuals may also work for certain states and local governments, so long as their employment and duties fall within certain guidelines.

As young individuals make up a huge portion of the workforce, it is completely understandable that employers would want to tap into this resource. In order for employers to receive the full benefit of a youthful workforce, it is imperative that they stay informed of child labor laws and regulations, and work with an experienced employment law attorney to develop effective and compliant employment practices.

Office Location

Kisner Law Firm, LLC
Gulf Tower
707 Grant St., Suite 2646
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Map and Directions

Phone: 412-880-5605
Fax: 412-235-6704

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