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Miami Business & Commercial Law Blog

Is your estate plan outdated?

There is no doubt that estate planning benefits people at all stages of their lives. However, it is also clear that the concerns of people in their 30s are often different from the priorities of people in their 70s.

What frequently happens is that a person (or a couple) makes an estate plan. And it sits. And sits. In fact, it sits for so long that it becomes outdated and inappropriate. If you have an estate plan, it could very well need a light or heavy update for these reasons.

Is national origin discrimination illegal?

Each day, hard-working Americans are subjected to all sorts of unacceptable behavior in the workplace, from sexual harassment to discrimination. Moreover, discrimination takes many forms and it is crucial for victims to spot violations of the law and hold offenders accountable right away. In Miami, Florida, victims of discrimination may face many hurdles, from humiliation to financial problems because they lost their job or were demoted. Sometimes, people are discriminated against because of their national origin.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a protected employee on the basis of her or his national origin. Not only is it against the law for employees to be subjected to discrimination because of their own national origin, but they cannot be discriminated against because they are connected to someone from a particular national origin, such as their marital partner.

Detailing the different types of contract consideration

As contract disputes in Miami arise, it is important that you understand the basics of contract law in order to defend your claims. Many of those that we here at Welbaum Guernsey Hingston Gregory and Black, LLP have worked with in the past do not comprehend the basic element of contract consideration. You definitely should, given that this promise maybe what determines a contract to be enforceable.

In basic terms, consideration is the promised benefit derived by each party to a contractual agreement. An example may be your relationship with a service provider. That provider completes the service, and you pay for it. According to the website MercantileLaws.com, there are three types of consideration:

  •          Present consideration: This describes a benefit that moves simultaneously with the promise. In the aforementioned example, the company you are contracted with provides the service through the month, and you pay at the beginning for those services at the end of the month.
  •          Future consideration: The benefit to both sides is promised at a future date. Going back to the service provider example, a contract involving future consideration would involve the company promising to provide the service next week, and you promising to pay for it at that time.
  •          Past consideration: A compensatory agreement was made after the benefit was offered. Again, referencing the previous example, in this case you agree to pay the company for services already provided.

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

As a worker in Florida, there are certain rights you have when it comes to taking time off of work. While you only get paid time off in certain situations, there are laws in place that will prevent your job standing from being harmed if you have to take extended time off due to medical or family-related reasons.

The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, went into effect in 1993. According to the United States Department of Labor, it allows for up to 12 weeks of protected but unpaid leave every 12 months for several reasons all related to medical or familial situations. This can include:

  • Taking care of an immediate relative with a serious health problem
  • Bonding with a child within a year of their adoption/birth
  • The birth or adoption of a child
  • Serious health issues with the employee
  • Running a household with a spouse away on military leave

Some estate planning priorities for people about to retire

Estate planning benefits people at all stages of their lives. However, those in each demographic group tend to have a few issues that they prioritize. As an example, parents with young children might put a lot of thought into choosing guardians for their children.

If you are in your 60s and about to retire, estate planning issues may include writing or revising a will, setting up trusts and deciding on health care directives.

What should I know about gender identity discrimination?

Discrimination in the workplace is a very serious matter that should concern both workers and employers in Miami. To this end, it’s important to understand gender identity discrimination to ensure all workers are treated equally. Failure to create an inclusive workplace is not only unethical, it can also result in your business being subject to a significant lawsuit

WorkplaceFairness.org provides the information business owners like you need to create a cohesive work environment. The first step is to understand the common terms applied to gender identity, which some people might not be aware of. Gender expression encompasses a range of traits, such as hairstyle or haircut, clothing and even tone of voice.

Tips for negotiating a commercial lease

Whether a business has an established history or is just starting, finding a space in which to operate is often an important step. Renting is the option most businesses choose and with good reason. It can save a company money and provides the option of moving on if more or less space is needed. Here are tips to help business owners ensure that they are getting the best lease terms possible.

First and foremost is deciding on how much rent is reasonable. Companies should have a good idea of what similar spaces in the area are going for, advises All Business. Some landlords may be willing to agree to lower rent in exchange for a longer lease term. Some types of leases allow for landlords to pass through expenses like taxes, utilities and building improvements, while others do not. Lessees should make sure that they fully understand the terms before agreeing to anything in writing.

Choosing a guardian for your child

No matter how emotional the concept, you need to choose a guardian for your child. Otherwise, your death could trigger family disputes and cause your child more trauma, and the person who raises him or her may not be the person you would ever have wanted. Not only that, if you do not appoint a guardian, the court gets to decide.

As Parenting magazine points out, the choice can be a big challenge, though. Here are some things you should consider.

Google accused of paying women less than their male peers

Business owners in Florida must contend with many different issues. Those who wish to avoid lawsuits or government sanctions must remain in compliance with all applicable laws. Those who do not may find themselves facing expensive litigation and negative publicity.

That is now the case for Google. The Department of Labor has alleged that the tech giant has been allowing female employees to receive lower pay than their male counterparts. The DOL claims this is true across the board and not just in one particular department or level. Pay disparity between the genders a problem that is apparently widespread in the tech industry.

Are there topics I should avoid when interviewing job candidates?

If you own a business in Miami, you want to make sure that you are hiring the best people you can to make your company successful. That usually means getting a feel for who a prospective employee is as a person, as well as understanding the scope of their qualifications. However, there are certainly some topics that you should not bring up if you wish to avoid legal action.

Under the law, employers cannot discriminate against employees or applicants on several different bases. One of these is religion. As Mental Floss points out, asking about someone’s religion may seem innocent, especially if it is in connection with holidays or possible time off. However, you should never ask someone about their religious affiliations in an interview.

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