Legal Newsstand

Florida Legislature Updates and Modernizes Florida's Fictitious Name Act

Florida Legislature Updates and Modernizes Florida's Fictitious Name Act

Revisions to the Fictitious Name Act clarify the requirements for registering fictitious names in Florida, and modernize the statute to deal with the myriad of types of entities that now exist. Read on the Legal Newsstand on FantettiLegal.com

End of Year Business Counseling – What Situation You May Want to Escape From?

End of Year Business Counseling – What Situation You May Want to Escape From?

As 2018 approaches, year-end projects emerge relating to the termination, formation and conversion of business entities prior to December 31, 2017. People may be stuck in a business they want out of, whether with family, friends, or you took a flyer with an investment opportunity that isn’t working out the way you thought.

The 5 Most Common Legal Risks That Can Impact Your Business

The 5 Most Common Legal Risks That Can Impact Your Business

The role of the business owner is always changing. Not only do many business not have an attorney or any form of a legal department, but business owners without legal assistances play the dual role or making business decisions and legal decisions. It is important that a business owner find a lawyer that can understand legal consequences, draft legal documents and conduct litigation; otherwise, the business owner is required take on the strategic management of legal risks to protect the value and assets of a company. Absent proper understanding of the issues facing business and how the issues can impact the bottom line of a business, the risks will negatively impact a business without a business owner even realizing it before its too late.

It’s a New Year, Are You Thinking About Starting a Business with Family or Friends? Here Are a Few Tips to Avoid Trouble

It’s a New Year, Are You Thinking About Starting a Business with Family or Friends?  Here Are a Few Tips to Avoid Trouble

As the New Year approaches, people begin to think about money making ventures and perhaps starting a new business to see where that great idea can take them. Despite the positivity in aiming for business success, from a relational standpoint, people enter closely-held businesses in the same manner as they enter marriage: optimistically and often ill-prepared

A Quick Note on the Early EEOC Process in Discrimination Cases and Florida Employers being aware of the Florida Civil Rights Act

A Quick Note on the Early EEOC Process in Discrimination Cases and Florida Employers being aware of the Florida Civil Rights Act

Employers often face the dreaded claim against their company, a claim that the entity, in some form, discriminated against an employee.  Aside from worrying about a claim coming, employers often do not understand the process involved in dealing with these claims and the deadlines and process an employee goes through that can affect an employer’s responsibility to deal with a discrimination claim.

How to Handle Changes to a Company’s Board of Directors

How to Handle Changes to a Company’s Board of Directors

If you are a corporation, you undoubtedly have a board of directors – or at least the hope is that you do. 

Non-Competition Agreements – What are they, really? Let’s be Specific

Non-Competition Agreements – What are they, really? Let’s be Specific

Clients often ask me about the application of non-competition agreements because they seem to be everywhere. An employee is subjected to a non-compete agreement, or an employer is trying to subject its employees to a non-compete agreement. 

A Quick Note to Employers About New Changes Coming to Fair Labor Standards Act’s Overtime Rules

Every Employer asks the questions whether or not they truly owe overtime pay to their employees; moreover, Employers are not often certain whether or not specific employees are exempt or non-exempt employees. The US Department of Labor (DOL) announced the highly anticipated proposed revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) overtime exemptions, and it is time companies become aware and prepare for the changes when they become officially implemented (it is slated that the changes potentially will be in full force and effect by Summer 2016).

The proposed revisions increase the minimum salary needed to qualify for the FLSA’s standard white collar exemptions to be equal to the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried employees (projected to be $50,440 annually or $970 a week in 2016). The DOL also proposes to increase the minimum total annual compensation required to qualify for the highly compensated exemption to be equal to the 90th percentile of earnings for full- time salaried employees ($122,148 per year as of 2013). Additionally, the DOL proposes to adjust (and likely increase) these minimum salary and compensation levels on an annual basis. The proposed rule does not include changes to the FLSA’s duties test , but the DOL nevertheless seeks comments on whether, in light of its compensation proposals, changes to the duties test are necessary.

The FLSA’s white-collar exemptions exclude certain executive, administrative, and professional employees from federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. Presently, to qualify for one of these exemptions, employees generally must (1) be salaried, meaning that they are paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed (“salary basis test”); (2) be paid more than a specified salary threshold, currently $455 per week or $23,660 annually (the “salary level test”); and (3) primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties as provided in the DOL’s regulations (the “duties test”). – See the FLSA for further details. 

Additionally, certain highly compensated employees are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements if they are paid total annual compensation of at least $100,000, receive at least $455 per week paid on a salary or fee basis, perform office or non-manual work, and customarily and regularly perform at least one of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an executive, administrative, or professional employee. In 2013, this amount was $921 per week, or $47,892 annually. The DOL projects that in 2016, when the rule will likely take effect; the 40th percentile will be about $970 per week, or $50,440 annually.

To recap, the main changes are:

Increase the minimum salary amount for exempt executive, administrative, professional and computer employees from $455/week or $23,660 annually (current amount) to $921/week or $47,892 annually. This would more than double the minimum salary amount.

Increase the salary amount for “highly compensated employees” from $100,000 annually (current amount) to $122,148 annually. Ultimately, there will be new minimum salary levels to qualify for the exemption standard salary-level test. The changes will impact each type of employee (white collar or not) and employers better be ready to adjust employee hours and pay to cooperate fully with the changes. 

What Employers Should Consider Before Switching to Fingerprint-based Time Clocks, Padlocks and Access Points

What Employers Should Consider Before Switching to Fingerprint-based Time Clocks, Padlocks and Access Points

Employers are always looking for the most effective way to maintain integrity in time keeping of employee hours for work performed. Several companies now offer time and attendance solutions that incorporate the use of fingerprint identification technology and purport to eliminate a term called “buddy punching” for hourly employees. 

How a Company Name Can Be a Trademark

How a Company Name Can Be a Trademark

If you don’t already know, a trademark is a recognizable sign, design, or unique expression related to products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are being displayed on company buildings. 

The Importance of a Business to Regularly Update its Contracts

The Importance of a Business to Regularly Update its Contracts

The world is based on a series of transactions and each day, transactions are occurring to keep global commerce moving forward. Transactions are referenced in contracts to protect the sanctity of the agreement between two parties doing business together; moreover, contracts provide individuals and businesses with a legal document stating the expectations of both parties and how negative situations will be resolved. 

Employers May Need to Consider Hands-Free Devices for Employee/Company Cell Phones

Employers May Need to Consider Hands-Free Devices for Employee/Company Cell Phones

It may sound like common sense but not every company thinks it has certain connections to liability when employees are using company cell phones. For one matter, using a cell phone and multitasking is a way of life for most people – especially employees.  

Protecting Alcoholics, Preventing Alcohol Misuse & Distinguishing Between the Two

Protecting Alcoholics, Preventing Alcohol Misuse & Distinguishing Between the Two

It has been a longstanding pillar in the law under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protects alcoholism if it qualifies as a “disability.”  Despite this statutory protection (if it is deemed one qualifies as such under the ADA), courts have consistently held that employers can have legitimate work rules that prohibit alcohol use in the workforce.  However, the line between having a protected disability and engaging in unprotected misconduct while working is not always clear

Transgender Bathroom Access in the Public and in the Workplace

Transgender Bathroom Access in the Public and in the Workplace

Although the issue is gaining more legal traction in recent months, there is no federal statute explicitly addressing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) interprets Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to cover discrimination...