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Cincinnati Business and Commercial Litigation Legal Blog

4 overtime rules in Ohio

Wage and hour laws are set at both the state and the federal level, governed by legal standards like the Minimum Fair Wage Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

For instance, there is a federal minimum wage that must be met in most cases. The state minimum wage can be set higher than that -- the federal wage is at $7.25 per hour currently -- but any lower state wages are overruled by the federal wage.

What key components should every consulting contract have?

Nowadays, it's common for companies to rely on the insight of outside parties, such as subject experts. These consultants are often hired to help bridge the gap between a company leadership's core competencies and the ones they believe would help elevate their business to the next level.

Companies hiring on consultants do so in an effort to gain a competitive advantage on others in their share of the market. These companies often offer their consultants contracts, promising to provide fair compensation for the value they'll likely add to their business.

Look out for these 4 business start-up mistakes

A great business idea does not come along often. Though many Ohio residents may have a vague notion of a business concept that seems interesting, the likelihood of those concepts coming to fruition are often slim. However, you may have found yourself in a position where your business dream could become a reality and feel ready to set off on the path of business formation.

While you may feel exhilarated by the idea of being your own boss and starting a successful company, you may wish to keep your thoughts rooted in reality. Starting a business on your own is difficult, and mistakes are often made. Therefore, you may wish to keep the following missteps in mind and hope to avoid them yourself.

Common legal issues faced by Ohio businesses

Starting a business in Cincinnati is not only exciting but also stressful. There is so much to do in such a little time and a lot of it involves legal paperwork. Businesses try their hardest to prepare for any legal issue that might arise but not all of them can be avoided. Today, we will take a look at some of the most common legal issues faced by Ohio businesses.

One of the most common legal issues faced by businesses today is that of harassment or discrimination cases. Companies can face serious problems from the ramifications stemming from cases involving sexual, ethnic, religious, age or other forms of harassment. It's best for a company to ensure that its human resources department is prepared to handle such claims of harassment or discrimination before they are made.

Do you have the right to contest the will?

When a loved one dies, sometimes relatives are shocked to learn that they have been left out of the will. While their feelings of anger and confusion can be completely understandable, people have the right to do as they see fit with their money and possessions, both in life and in death.

However, as with most aspects of the law, there can be exceptions. Simply being dissatisfied with the way an inheritance is divided is insufficient grounds for mounting a will contest. But if one of the following four conditions can be proven, you may want to take legal action.

  • There was fraud involved. Wills can be invalidated if a testator was duped into signing a document, e.g., if he or she was told it was another document like a property deed.
  • Someone exerted undue influence over the testator. Maybe a relative kept pressuring the individual to make changes to an existing will.
  • The person lacked the capacity to execute a will. The testator was suffering from or diagnosed with dementia that made him or her incapable of stating his or her final intentions.
  • The will was improperly executed. Unless the will conforms to all relevant rules of the state of Ohio, it is not considered valid.

GE Aviation facing lawsuit from 3 cancer-stricken employees

GE Aviation and its parent company General Electric have been named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by one employee and the estates of another two employees. The complaint was filed on Nov. 21 in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

According to the complaint, all three employees worked at the GE Testing Facility in Peebles, Ohio, which is about an hour from Cincinnati. Only about 15 feet separated the three employees while working and all three were diagnosed with brain cancer. The complaint states that the three employees were exposed to hazardous materials, including X-rays and ionizing radiation. According to the lawsuit, the exposure led to the employees' glioblastoma brain tumors.

A verbal contract may be binding, but there's still one huge risk

Generally speaking, a verbal contract does count. It is binding. You and another business owner have to abide by it as long as it is:

  • Equitable
  • Reasonable
  • Conscionable
  • Made in good faith

That being said, agreeing to a verbal contract and not getting it in writing does still puts you at risk. You have to understand that you're taking a serious chance; is that really what you want to do with your company?

The benefits of a limited liability company

For years, you have been working for others, building your skills and squirreling away your money. The purpose of all that hard work and discipline is so that you can start your own business. You may have given a lot of thought to your plan of action, how you will operate your business, and the kind of product and service you will provide to the public.

However, have you considered that your business may place your personal assets at risk? If you intend to work with the public or if your business requires the use of expensive equipment, you may consider setting your business up as a limited liability company.

Keep your businesses as protected as possible

Keeping your company protected is something that every business owner wants to do. It is important that you take the time to make sure that your business is safe from all sorts of calamities, including disgruntled employees and people trying to reveal your trade secrets. We understand the importance of keeping your most valuable asset free of disastrous circumstances.

It is understandable that business owners might need to take a firm stance on some matters. There isn't really room to negotiate on a confidentiality or non-compete agreement, even if the employee in question is a long-term and valuable employee. We can help you find ways to keep your business protected from things in the future.

How do you protect your company from a disgruntled ex-employee?

Firing an employee isn't usually an easy or pleasant task. You're probably careful to document everything because you understand the risks that your company can face from a lawsuit if the employee decides that you fired him or her because of discrimination and not due to his or her own inept or inexcusable behavior.

Unfortunately, even if you know you didn't discriminate against your ex-employee, you may have to prove it in a court of law if the disgruntled ex-employee convinces an attorney that he or she has a case.

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