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Merrimack Valley Legal Blog

If you agree, put it in writing

No matter the kind of business deal you want to make, you should create a contract between the involved parties. Among other things, you will want to establish the length of the contract, define any financial obligations and include terms of recourse if someone breaches that contract.

In many situations, contracts seem clear-cut. However, a dispute can arise when one party feels another did not fulfill their contractual obligations. Such is the case with the ongoing breach of contract dispute between Michael Jackson’s estate and HBO.

Child pornography: Beware of what you view online

You might think that you can look at whatever you want when you are on the internet. While there are many things that you can legally view while you are online, some are actually illegal despite their presence. This is the case for child pornography. It is fully illegal to view, possess or take lewd pictures of people who are under 18 years old. These activities are covered under federal and state laws.

Some people have argued that it is a First Amendment right to possess these types of images. The United States Supreme Court ruled that sexually explicit pictures of minors aren't protected by freedom of speech rights. Besides the precedent set in 1982 by that court, there have been many other rulings that uphold and expand upon what is legal and illegal under the child porn umbrella.

Discrimination isn't ever acceptable in employment

No employee should ever have to deal with employment-related decisions being made on personal factors that don't play a part in the business. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as some other laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), set some clear legal standards for employees regarding discrimination.

The anti-discrimination laws cover a host of employment actions and situations. These include various things from the hiring to the termination of employees. None of the following actions can be made based on a protected status:

  • Hiring decisions
  • Disciplinary measures
  • Termination
  • Promotions or demotions
  • Pay increases or decreases
  • Training program inclusion

Court rulings mixed on scope of age discrimination law

Employment anti-discrimination laws are written to protect workers, but they can also be valuable to employers as well. Businesses function more productively when everyone (employees and management) understands the rules and expectations around hiring, firing and management of workers.

Unfortunately, employment laws in the United States are not always as clear as they should be. This leads to issues of interpretation, and eventually, litigation. As just one example, consider the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, or ADEA. Under the law, employees age 40 and older are protected against disparate treatment based on their age. They are also protected from policies that create a "disparate impact" on older workers, even if age is not a specifically stated reason for a given policy.

Fight back against sex-related charges from internet activities

When you are surfing around the internet, you might not think too much about what you are looking at. If you are into adult material, you need to ensure that you aren't looking at underage individuals who are in sexually explicit positions. You might be charged with an internet sex crime if you are viewing pornographic materials that involve minors.

Some people don't realize that looking at this online can lead to serious trouble. They sometimes assume that because they aren't right there with the minor that it isn't illegal. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding can lead to serious troubles. If you have accidentally viewed underage individuals on porn websites, we can help you determine how you should address the charges.

Be careful when exchanging sexts with anyone

People who surf the internet sometimes think that they are hidden behind a cloak of secrecy. The same is sometimes true for people who enjoy texting. Not having to see a person face-to-face seems to make people say or do things they wouldn't otherwise. One thing that might occur is that individuals will exchange selfies or sexts. As innocent as this seems, there are times when this can cause serious problems.

One thing that you have to be especially careful about is who is receiving your pictures and who you are receiving them from. You can face criminal charges if you exchange explicit pictures with a person who isn't an adult. Verifying age is a good idea, but might not be possible in all cases. Being cautious is always a good idea.

What is the best way to dissolve a partnership agreement?

Businesses close for any number of reasons. If you believe personality differences in your partnership are causing your business to hurtle into the red, it may be time to dissolve the partnership. What is the best way to approach the subject while protecting investors and clients?

The answer may lie in your partnership agreement, or lack of one. To protect yourself and the business against future legal action, it is crucial to follow local laws and any signed contracts to settle all matters related to IRS requirements and Commonwealth requirements.

Stand up for your rights against employment discrimination

As an employee, you expect the same opportunities as those of your coworkers. Whether those refer to climbing up the corporate ladder, increasing your income or the ability to take on extra hours for overtime pay, an employer should be fair to all. However, in some instances, this may not be the case.

According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), racial discrimination includes treating a person unfavorably because of their skin color. This could relate to hiring decisions, promotional offers or fringe benefits.


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