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Merrimack Valley Legal Blog

Could scope creep bust your project budget?

Sooner or later, every business owner runs into a client who expects more deliverables than specified by the contract. It might be something small, like adding a few electrical outlets to the media room of a house. But it also could turn into something major, e.g., moving a weight-bearing wall or pillar.

When contractors and business owners first run into scope creep, their natural inclination may be to acquisesce to the client's request. After all, successful business owners understand well the value of satisfied customers and word of mouth referrals.

Revenge porn ends career of congresswoman

Recently, a congresswoman in another state resigned from the House of Representatives as a consequence of her husband circulating nude photos of her in compromising positions with a female staffer to tabloid and right-wing publications.

California freshman Dem. Rep. Katie Hill released an announcement that she was resigning from Congress last month. Former Rep. Hill was an openly bisexual member of the House and was going through a divorce when her husband released the photos in a smear attempt.

Protect yourself when you are terminated unexpectedly

Learning that you lost your job when you didn't know that it was on the line is a traumatic experience. When you are in this situation, it is easy to get angry and act in an unprofessional manner. Taking that path may harm your future career, so make sure that you take a step back and behave like the professional you are.

Your priority at this point has to be protecting your finances. Make sure that you get your final compensation from your employer. Make sure that you review this to ensure that you received what you were entitled to. If you have an employment contract, go over it to find out what, if any, special compensation you are due upon termination. In some cases, this depends on the reason for termination.

What small businesses need to know about the new overtime rule

For the first time in 15 years, the American labor force will have updated overtime regulations that may put more pay in their pockets. The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a new overtime rule that will take effect on January 1, 2020. The rule is expected to extend overtime pay eligibility for up to 1.3 million workers.

If you are a small business owner with full-time employees, there is a good chance these new rules will apply to you. And if you are an employee, you might see an increase in your earnings.

Sex-related offenses online are handled very seriously

The internet makes it easy to connect with people who you might not ever have met otherwise. For some people, this is a great opportunity to expand a business or find out about different cultures and places. Unfortunately, it also comes with a darker side. Some individuals use the internet for illegal purposes.

Sex-related offenses online are sometimes seen as victimless crimes because there might not be any physical contact between the two parties. Still, there are laws in place to help protect innocent people from being exploited.

Which workers have a high risk of pregnancy discrimination?

Even though the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was passed in 1978, there are still thousands of expecting mothers mistreated at work every year. Both new and experienced employers throughout the nation still do not know how to respond properly when one of their workers becomes pregnant.

Massachusetts recently recognized how prominent the issue is and passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) last year. As the state starts enforcing more protections for pregnant employees, it’s important to recognize which workers will need them.

Understanding what is considered criminal activity online

There are many different things online that can violate the law. Internet sex crimes are one specific category that some might view in a very negative light. Facing charges for something that falls under that umbrella is a challenge because you have to ensure that you launch a solid defense without attacking any alleged victim.

Internet sex crimes come in a few forms. One of the most obvious is that a person uses an online platform to try to find someone for a sexual encounter. When both parties are consenting adults, and no payment exchanges hands, this might be legal. The issue comes when someone accepts money for sexual favor or if one person is a minor.

Employee theft accusations require careful handling

As a business owner, you have a duty to protect your investment. One thing that you can't allow to happen is employee theft. You may have done everything you could think of to prevent this from occurring; however, there is a chance that someone might be too tempted by the money that flows through the business.

If you do have an employee you think is stealing from you, be sure that you react appropriately. You can't just get angry and act in an unprofessional manner. You are still representing your company, and the way you respond can have a significant impact on what happens next.

Sensitivity is imperative in online sex crime defenses

Facing sex-related criminal charges is a very frightening experience. Not only are you being accused of something illegal, but your personal life is also being put out there for everyone to hear. This can make it challenging to develop a defense and face the charges. You need to ensure that you are able to relay your side of the matter to the court without putting the alleged victim in a negative light or saying anything that might make a juror think you are guilty.

Working with an attorney who is familiar with this type of charge can be beneficial to many defendants. This gives you someone who can explain your options to you and help you determine which ones you will pursue. It also provides you with a person who can help you to explain your side of the matter to the court.

Reconsideration of sex offender registry classification ordered

One thing that people who are being charged with child pornography might not think about is having to register as a sex offender because of a conviction. There are two sides that don't see things in the same way when it comes to this. On the one hand, some want to protect the convicted person's rights. On the other hand, most agree that the children need to be protected.

A case went before the Massachusetts Appeals Court that clarifies some points about whether the person should have to register as a sex offender. In the case, a person deemed "John Doe" noted that he was unfairly classified as a level 2 sex offender after he was convicted of child pornography. In this state, people who are level 2 or level 3 have their information available to the public.

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