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Fort Lauderdale Business and Commercial Law Blog

Is blacklisting unlawful in Florida?

Nearly any business owner deals with some employees they would never want to work with again, and they might not wish them on their worst competitors, either. However, Florida business owners should understand that while it is permissible to fire an employee for an acceptable reason, such as being combative with co-workers or consistently being late, there are rules surrounding blacklisting that could land a company in legal hot water if they were found to engage in this practice.

What exactly is blacklisting? The Houston Chronicle explains it as business owners or hiring managers trying to prevent someone from working elsewhere after they left employment or applied for a job. This could be done for numerous reasons, including the following:

  • An employer wanting to “get back” at an employee for quitting
  • An applicant missing a job interview or lying on a resume
  • An employer wanting to prevent others from having to work with someone who is incompetent or poorly behaved

Litigation and disputes involving business partners

For some businesses, partnerships play a central role in the success of the establishment. There are many reasons why people may decide to move forward with a partnership, and this can offer a number of advantages. However, it can also lead to complications, especially when a dispute arises. In some instances, these disagreements can even result in litigation, which can be incredibly costly and time-consuming. If you have found yourself in the middle of a lawsuit which involves a business partner, it is vital to pinpoint the correct course of action.

Disputes between business partners can take various forms. For example, a disagreement may arise between two partners who are the co-owners of a business, or it may involve two friends who were working together even though there was no written contract in place. Sometimes, these disputes can involve a group of partners, which can be especially complicated.

Do you work in a sick building?

It may surprise you to learn that buildings, like people, can become sick. If you begin sneezing or coughing or wiping your watering eyes every time you walk into your Florida office, your building could be sick and making you sick, too.

The Environmental Protection Agency advises that buildings can become sick from the following four sources

  1. Poor ventilation
  2. Indoor chemical contamination
  3. Outdoor chemical contamination
  4. Biological contamination

Florida retailer, federal government negotiate settlement

The federal government and a Florida-based retailer of sports apparel have reached an agreement to settle in a case of alleged racial discrimination filed in 2018. Now it only remains for a judge to give consent, which both the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the retailer have requested jointly. 

Despite recognition as one of the best companies for diversity on the basis of anonymous employee surveys analyzed by the website Comparably.com, the retailer faced a lawsuit on the basis of alleged discrimination from the EEOC in July of last year. The lawsuit claimed that, on his first day of work at the company, a black employee heard someone call him a racial slur and later received threats of employer retaliation after making complaints about the perceived unequal treatment of black employees. While a company spokesperson claimed that the allegations dated back five years, verifiable records of the worker's date of hire are not available, nor is it clear how long he worked for the company before making any complaint.

What are some red flags to look for when buying a franchise?

Many entrepreneurs in Broward County look at the purchase of franchises as a relatively safe bet. As the logic goes, buying an established brand cuts out a lot of the legwork associated with purchasing an unproven entity. That doesn’t mean that franchises are without risks, and Forbes explains how to identify potential red flags.

Poor feedback from other franchisees

Why do contract disputes occur?

As a business owner in Florida, one of the last things you want to deal with is an employee, contractor, or business partner disputing a contract. We at the Law Offices of Levi Williams, P.A., are here to help guide you through any disputes, starting by understanding some of the main causes of them.

Among these common reasons, some of the ones that a person may run across most frequently include:

  • Omissions or errors within the contract itself
  • Noncompliance of obligations in the contract
  • Failure to administer the contract properly
  • Errors with claims

Preparing to seek angel investors

Raising capital for a Florida business may seem like the biggest hurdle you have to face before you can get your company off the ground. At the Law Offices of Levi Williams, P.A., we often advise entrepreneurs who are searching for ways to get their businesses funded. Angel investors often provide an excellent income addition to traditional bank loans and business lines of credit.

According to Forbes, before you begin to seek angel investors, you should understand that this type of investor typically expects an equity ownership interest in your company in return for the investment. This often equates to a mentoring or advising role in your business.

How harmful is workplace bullying?

If you have become the victim of bullying by one or more of your Florida coworkers, you know how miserable such treatment makes you feel. Unfortunately, workplace bullying has become a widespread form of workplace harassment across the country.

WorkplaceBullying.org describes bullying in the workplace as “health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators.” It includes the following characteristics:

  • Behavior that intimidates, humiliates or threatens you
  • Behavior that sabotages your work or prevents you from performing or completing it
  • Behavior that includes the use of verbally abusive language toward you
  • Behavior that repeats and continues over time

Defending against a hostile acquisition

According to the Corporate Finance Institute, a hostile acquisition, which is more commonly known as a hostile takeover, is the acquisition of one company—the target company—by another by going through the company's shareholders. The acquirer is able to acquire the target company by proxy vote or a tender offer. The difference between a hostile takeover and a friendly acquisition is that the target company's board of directors does not approve of the transaction. If the initiation of a hostile takeover is imminent, the target Florida business has a few defense options. 

Investment Bank shares a few viable defenses against a hostile acquisition. The first is the poison pill defense. This defense involves the target company diluting its stock shares to ensure the hostile bidder cannot acquire a domineering share without first paying an exorbitant price. This defense prevented Netflix from succumbing to a hostile acquisition attempt in 2012.

Lawsuits over allegations of racial discrimination

When allegations of discrimination arise, the claims can have a ripple effect across an entire company. Other employees may decide to step forward and accuse their employer or a manager of wrongdoing, and the charges can be very damaging for businesses of all sizes. Sometimes, these allegations are the result of a problem that is widespread throughout a firm. In other instances, allegations of discrimination are completely baseless, such as a worker who is disgruntled for another reason. Racial discrimination is an especially common issue that can be very difficult from an employee's perspective and a business owner's perspective as well.

Racial discrimination takes on different forms, whether it occurs on the job or prior to the hiring of an employee. For example, someone may say that they were discriminated against while they were applying for a position. Or, a current employee may claim that they were demoted or denied an opportunity solely because of their racial background. If you are a business owner, it is important to prevent racial discrimination and other forms of discrimination from taking place within your company. Moreover, if false allegations have arisen, it is pivotal to protect your company and go over the incidents thoroughly.

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