USMCA: Agreed and Signed but Now What? 

by Michael Patterson

Trade representatives reached a deal just before the self-imposed midnight deadline on September 30, 2018, and the presidents of the United States, Mexico and Canada signed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement — or USMCA — at the G20 Summit on November 30, 2018. The USMCA essentially replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, commonly known as NAFTA,… [More]

Merger in Sight?

by Richard Lieberman and Jeff Gardner

In November 2017, the United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T’s $85-billion purchase of Time Warner. The lawsuit was eye-opening and sent significant ripples across legal and business landscapes. In particular, the suit showed an inclination of the federal government to block a large merger between two companies that were not direct… [More]

Are You Unintentionally Discriminating against Pregnant Employees?

by Sarah O’Keefe

Despite clear laws designed to protect the rights of pregnant working women, discrimination against pregnant employees remains pervasive. Federal mandates like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act, along with the state-level Arizona Civil Rights Act, serve to insulate pregnant women from unfair treatment. However, not all employers… [More]

Outsmarting the Smart Workplace

by Tamara Barkdoll

Smart technology can help employers forge a more motivated, efficient and effective workforce. But these devices also pose significant employment-law risks. While employee privacy concerns are one common issue, others are less obvious. Following the tips below can help employers avoid being caught off guard by addressing these legal risks early on.  Be Vigilant and… [More]

Employers: Reject Sexual Harassment (Part II)

by Ben Hase 

This article continues last month’s discussion of steps businesses can take to address the seemingly perennial issue of sexual harassment. But it is worth reflecting again on the fact that, although legislation in recent decades has begun to reflect a growing social consciousness of this as unacceptable behavior, laws, best practices and policies have failed… [More]

Employers: Reject Sexual Harassment (Part I)

by Ben Hase 

Recent events have brought sexual harassment into the spotlight, but it is no stranger to this kind of recurrence. Employees, employers, courts, attorneys, business owners, human resources professionals and many more have struggled with the topic for decades. It was not until the second half of the 20th century that legislation reflected the desire to… [More]

Ethical Data Mining

by David Thomas

A recent data breach involving Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, affected at least 87 million Facebook users. People’s data was unknowingly used for politically manipulative ads. While an extreme example of unethical data mining, the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal challenges businesses and marketers to think about the ways they collect, use and share data.… [More]

The Opportunity Zone Program (Part 2)

by Marc L. Schultz

The Opportunity Zone Program is new federal income tax incentive program designed to encourage private capital investment in Opportunity Zones (O-Zones), which are certain designated areas throughout the United States.  Opportunity Funds (O-Funds) act as intermediaries between O-Fund investors and the actual investments in the O-Zone. O-Funds are required to hold 90 percent of their… [More]

The Opportunity Zone Program (Part 1)

by Marc L. Schultz

Buried in the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was the creation of the Opportunity Zone Program. This new federal income tax incentive program is designed to encourage private capital investment in Opportunity Zones — designated distressed communities throughout the United States (including possessions of the United States). Specifically, the Opportunity Zone Program seeks… [More]

Taking the Step to Franchise

by Susan Wells

One option entrepreneurs may consider for expanding their business is franchising. This may have been part of the development plan initially, or the idea may have taken shape and grown from outside as others expressed interest in trying to copy a successful concept — either a proven, mature business or a new and trendy one. … [More]