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Baton Rouge Business and Commercial Law Blog

Legal help with construction in Louisiana

Louisianans who choose to get into the construction business must understand the rough terrain they will face as the work on a construction project. Although most customers will be happy with a construction company's work, there will be inevitable complaints about certain aspects. It is not ideal to be facing construction litigation, but when it does arise, it is imperative to have legal help to guide the business owner through it.

There is a litany of issues that can arise during construction work. There can be disputes with delays in the completion of a project, an alleged defect in the structure, payments being withheld for services rendered, accusations of defective work, defective design, an unforeseen circumstance, claims for extra work that was done and unpaid for, a dispute over bidding, a mechanics' lien, problems with regulatory agencies, a termination of the agreement, and much more.

Woman says she was fired after harassment by company owner's son

When there is an allegation of sexual harassment in the workplace in Louisiana, there may be an automatic expectation that it is based in truth. This circumstance can be made worse when the person who made the allegations is subsequently dismissed from a job. While these cases take the appearance of wrongdoing, that does not mean that there was an automatic violation of state and federal employment law. A business always needs legal help to protect from lawsuits. If employment litigation is moving forward, then it becomes even more imperative to be protected.

A lawsuit was filed against a Louisiana company on behalf of a woman who asserts she was fired from her job just days after she alleged that she was subjected to sexual harassment by the son of the company's owner. The company has been in business for nearly two decades and began at the home of a Louisiana resident. It now has several locations throughout the Pelican State. The filing was made by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It says that the case was filed after no agreement was made through negotiations.

FMLA and protections accorded to employers

While Louisiana employees are often viewed as the victims in an employment law dispute, the employer also has the right to formulate a strong defense when there is a legal filing asserting that a violation has taken place. For example, there are certain rules for which a person can be given leave from work under the Family and Medical Leave Act. However, employers are not obligated to provide this leave under every circumstance. A lawsuit asserting that there was a violation of employment regulations might be frivolous or easily defensible.

If the worker is eligible, he or she can have as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month span without fear of losing the job. The reasons for providing the leave are the following: a child being born or the employee adopting or accepting a child in foster care; a parent's desire to bond with a child within one year of the child's birth or placement; to care for a spouse, child or parent who has a health issue; for the employee to deal with a serious health issue that he or she might have and has made the employee unable to do the job; and for an urgent need when a family member who is a spouse, child or parent has deployed as a member of the military. If there is a service member who has a serious injury or illness, FMLA can provide up to 26 weeks of leave in a 12-month period.

How do ADA violations occur in the workplace?

Employers throughout the country are sensitive to the potential for workplace lawsuits these days. There are both state and federal agencies whose sole mission is to investigate allegations of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. But, even for those employers who bend over backward to attempt to get into compliance with every applicable law, sometimes allegations of violations can still be brought. Violations based on the Americans with Disabilities Act can be especially tricky.

How do ADA violations occur in the workplace? Well, sometimes it can be for something as slight as a perceived difference of treatment between one employee who is not disabled and one who is. Promotions are an area where employees are especially watchful of who gets preferred treatment and who does not.

Amazon expands into new areas of retail with acquisition deal

Many of our readers in Louisiana probably saw the recent news that Amazon, a goliath of internet commerce, has reached a deal to acquire grocery chain Whole Foods Market for a whopping $13.7 billion. When this acquisition deal was announced, many economists and experts saw it as a bold push by Amazon into yet another sector of retail.

The reports indicate that Whole Foods Market has over 460 locations throughout much of North America, as well as some locations in the United Kingdom. There are even a few locations in Louisiana. This acquisition shows that Amazon is prepared to push into the realm of physical retail locations, and not just rest on its laurels in dominating online commerce. The reports indicate that all Whole Foods Market locations will continue to operate under this brand name, while the current chief executive would also remain in place. And the primary competitor that will likely take the most notice of this deal is one that almost every American is familiar with: Wal-Mart.

An overview of construction defects

Construction litigation can be a difficult issue for companies in Louisiana to approach. These sorts of disputes can be highly technical in nature, oftentimes resulting in complex litigation. In many cases, construction defects are the heart of the issue.

Construction defects can arise from a number of issues. Defects in the workmanship on the project are a common cause, as is the use of defective materials. In some cases, the defect can be traced all the way back to the design of the project. Defects can arise due to a failure to act or by a mistake being made in the construction process.

Veterans can get help with business start-ups in new program

There are many different companies in Louisiana that do all they can to help our military veterans. Over the last several years many people throughout the country have become more aware of the issues that veterans face upon leaving military service, especially those who have served in combat overseas. That is why it can be uplifting and encouraging to see efforts to help these brave individuals.

According to a recent report, a new statewide program is getting ready to launch with an aim to help military veterans start their own businesses. The program, which is called the "Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program," will be set up to help train veterans who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities in Louisiana.

Woman pursues employment law options in claim for unpaid wages

Many employees in Louisiana may not know that there is a difference in overtime eligibility between salaried employees and employees who work on an hourly basis. In essence, under state and federal law, most employees who receive an annual salary instead of being paid at an hourly rate are not eligible to receive overtime pay from their employers. Hourly employees, on the other hand, typically will be owed "time and a half" for overtime hours.

In a recently filed lawsuit, a nurse practitioner in Louisiana has alleged that her former employer failed to pay her overtime wages that she was owed. According to a recent report, the employee has stated that she was classified as exempt from overtime pay by her employer, which the employee claims was an error under state law. She is no longer employed by the named defendants.

The information about business law that your company needs

A company that is just getting off the ground will need to address several legal hurdles. But, after the business is off and running, sometimes the decision makers don't think about the possibility of further legal issues popping up. This can be a mistake, because most businesses in Louisiana will likely have ongoing legal needs in the course of operation.

That is why it can be so important to get the right information about business law as issues come to the forefront - not necessarily only when issues reach "crisis" levels. Businesses in Louisiana can face a number of different issues, such as the drafting and review of contracts and lease agreements, overview of employee handbooks and employment litigation. While these issues may not be routine for smaller companies, larger companies in Louisiana know that it is best to have a plan to take the right approach when these issues come up.

What is a material breach in a contract dispute?

Businesses in Louisiana enter into contracts in good faith - they don't expect a breach of the terms of the contract by either side. However, many contracts will include sections that address how potential issues of breach will be addressed, with many including clauses that call for arbitration instead of litigation. But, most cases will only proceed to this point if there is a material breach that is alleged to have occurred. What is a material breach?

There are varying levels of a breach of contract. At its essence, a breach just means that one side or the other isn't complying with the terms of the contract. In some cases, the breach can be remedied in short order. However, a material breach may take the issue too far.

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