Entries by David B. Norris

Employment Law Guidebook

The U.S. Department of Labor publishes a guidebook to provide businesses with general information on the laws and regulations that the Department enforces. The guidebook describes the statutes most commonly applicable to businesses and explains how to obtain assistance from the Department for complying with them.

Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts

The Federal Arbitration Act requires courts to enforce clauses in commercial contracts that require arbitration of disputes. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce are exempt from the Act. For other types of workers, the effect of the Supreme Court ruling was to reaffirm the enforceability of mandatory arbitration […]

Sales Commissions Cap

As a sales representative for a computer software company, Richard received an annual salary and sales commissions as determined by a compensation plan that was part of his contract. There was a specific formula for how commissions were to be calculated, but language in the plan gave the company broad authority to make a final […]

Age Discrimation in Employment

The combined effects of an aging population and a sluggish economy have led to an increase in lawsuits alleging age bias in the workplace. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination in the employment of persons who are at least 40 years old. The ADEA covers most private employers of 20 or […]

“Cybersmear” Lawsuits

The free-wheeling give and take in various online forums is leading to more defamation claims by individuals and businesses. Given that so many online speakers are anonymous, however, Internet service providers sometimes become trapped between the speaker and his offended subject. Before the alleged victim can seek redress, the perpetrator must be identified, and providers […]

Freelancers’ Articles Are Not Free

The U.S. Supreme Court has given a victory to freelance authors of newspaper and magazine articles, and a defeat to some major publishers of their work. The publishers hired the authors as independent contractors who would contribute articles to what is known in copyright law as a “collective work,” that is, a newspaper or magazine. […]