Are same sex marriages covered under FMLA?

The U.S. Department of Labor recently amended the definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to cover more same sex marriages. Previously, a “place of residence” rule was followed, meaning that the law of the state where the employee resides governed. If that state did not recognize same sex marriages, the […]

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The Benefits of Mergers

Mergers bring two businesses together into one, and the combination should benefit both businesses. Merging companies will often be comparable in size. This differs from an acquisition, which typically involves a larger company absorbing a smaller one. An ideal merger will increase revenue and reduce overhead. Combining two companies should help eliminate duplicate costs such as rent […]

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Compliance Tips for Employers

Employers in New York are subject to numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations that mandate compliance. These include wage and hour laws, anti-discrimination laws, leave requirements under the Family Medical Leave Act and obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, among a host of others. Businesses are sometimes unaware of their obligations and […]

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How Restrictive Can Restrictive Covenants Be?

Restrictive covenants are contractual agreements. Usually, an employer includes restrictive covenants in an employment agreement seeking to restrict a departing employee in some way. Examples of restrictive covenants include non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements. Non-compete agreements typically feature a geographic limitation (do not open a competing business within 25 miles) or a time frame (do […]

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Should I Have Arbitration Clauses in My Contracts?

Whether you want a contract drafted for your business, or another party is asking you to sign a contract, arbitration clauses deserve your attention. Arbitration clauses are designed to have legal disputes resolved outside of court, through arbitration, which is a common alternate dispute resolution method. A neutral person, called an arbitrator, hears arguments and evidence […]

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Overview: Buy-Sell Agreements and Your Small Business

If you co-own a business, you need a buy-sell agreement. Also called a buyout agreement, this document is essentially the business world’s equivalent of a prenup. An effective buy-sell agreement helps prevent conflict between the company’s owners, while also preserving the company’s closely held status. Any business with more than one owner should address this […]

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Should Your Business Maintain Minutes of Meetings?

Regardless of the size of the business, companies must observe all of the required corporate formalities. Meeting minutes document the decisions made by the company’s governing board, and help to preserve the “corporate veil” in the event of a lawsuit. If corporate formalities are not observed, the business’s owners’ personal assets may be at risk. One such formality is the maintenance […]

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Trademarks and Service Marks

A trademark or service mark is a word, name, logo, symbol or design that identifies the source of a product or service, distinguishing it from the competition. While trademarks are used to identify products, service marks are used to identify services. Both marks are afforded the same protections and are subject to the same requirements. To […]

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Starting a Startup: Step by Step

You’ve got a great idea and a few dollars saved, and are ready to kick off your new venture. As a savvy business person, you know the importance of properly setting up your company from the outset to promote growth and allow the successful implementation of your business plan. Choosing the type of legal entity, […]

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