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Cincinnati Business and Commercial Litigation Legal Blog

How to respond to an employee's harassment claim

As an employer, you have a legal and ethical responsibility to investigate any claim made by an employee of any type of harassment. This includes physical, sexual, verbal or emotional harassment. The employer is expected to take the employee at their word that harassment is occurring, not decide whether or not to believe them. Let's take a look at how you can respond to an employee's harassment claim in today's post.

Your business must post its policy on harassment, specifically sexual harassment, somewhere conspicuous in the workplace. Posting the company's policy ahead of time might help squash any harassment issues, especially when the policy states that all complaints will be investigated.

What terms should I expect my franchisee to want to negotiate?

If you're looking to franchise your business, then you may expect to be able to have your attorney draft a single contract that you can have all of your prospective franchisees sign. There's a strong likelihood that they'll each have their own unique demands and that they'll want to sit down to negotiate some kind of concessions, though. There are common requests that franchisees make.

Franchisees will often try to identify what they deem to be restrictive or unreasonable covenants and seek to have them eliminated from their contracts.

Another entity drops application for logo similar to Ohio State's

Ohio State University has staved off yet another challenge to its Block O trademark.

A Florida-based apparel company decided not to proceed with its application to trademark a Block O that had the word "Orlando" written across the bottom of the letter O.

Demanding fair treatment as a minority shareholder

A closely held corporation may be the perfect structure for your family business. The benefits of not going public with your shares include keeping simplicity in the operation of the business and allowing only a few people to have control of the company. However, when tension erupts among the shareholders, it may be more sorely felt in a closely held structure.

In many closely held businesses, the shareholders do not possess an equal number of shares. Some may have substantially more, which gives them a more active role in the workings of the business. If you hold a minority share in an Ohio company, you may not have the right to involvement in the decision-making process, including voting for major changes in operations. However, this does not mean you have no rights.

An anti-harassment policy is a must in every workplace

Cincinnati companies and those located elsewhere have multiple plans. They have business plans, revenue plans, growth plans, product plans and succession plans. If they don't have a plan to keep the workplace free of harassment, they should make one -- right away.

A good plan for a harassment-free workplace can make employees feel secure in the knowledge that their company is on their side. Harassment prevention protocols can be great for company morale. But such plans also serve to protect your company from lawsuits.

Why would an Ohio employer utilize noncompete agreements?

As an employer in Ohio, you have a lot on the line in your business. As you bring in new employees, you need to be able to trust that you can share an open relationship with them and form a mutually beneficial partnership.

One such way to do so is to execute a noncompete agreement at the time of hiring. It is a contract that doesn't permit employees to work with businesses or in markets that are competitors after leaving your employ for a set amount of time.

Are doctors obligated to follow your health care directives?

Individuals draft health care directives to clearly spell the types of medications or life-saving care that they'd want to receive if they became unable to verbalize those same decisions for themselves.

It's commonplace for a doctor to ask a patient or their loved ones if they have a health care directive in place prior to performing surgery or in emergency situations. While this document is generally legally-binding, there are some exceptions to this rule.

New business filings are poised to set record in 2018

Ohio's economy suffered through the last decade, as the period known as the Great Recession took hold of the assets and investments of working-class Americans. The rate of foreclosures on homes and layoffs in different industries left many Buckeyes less able to maintain their independence.

But those dark times are in the past, and the economy is taking off in new ways. Although many old businesses and investments never recovered, signs of new businesses are looking up in Ohio. In addition, Buckeyes have seen more than three years of reduced costs for business formations, which has saved people in the state more than $8 million since the change.

Has a fraudulent mechanic's lien been filed against your company?

Just like any other type of business, running a construction company is difficult. You have to pay attention to financial factors, interactions with clients, relationships with vendors and suppliers, and the quality of work provided. You may easily feel overwhelmed at times due to the number of responsibilities with which you must contend as a construction company owner.

Your job may become even more difficult if a supplier or subcontractor accuses you of not paying for products or services provided. These individuals may file a mechanic's lien against you in efforts to get paid. While this tool can prove useful in cases where true nonpayment occurred, it is not uncommon for individuals to file fraudulent liens, which could negatively impact your business.

One significant advantage of an LLC

When starting a business, it's important to carefully consider exactly what type of business you want to run. One of the more popular options these days is the limited liability company (LLC).

Now, there are many factors you have to consider when deciding if an LLC is right for you. To get this process started, let's take a look at just one significant advantage: Avoiding double taxation.

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