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Denver Business and Commercial Law Blog

What does the EEOC say about religious discrimination at work?

Discrimination in any form has no place in a professional environment. Colorado employees should be able to go to work and do their jobs without fear of experiencing negative or discriminatory treatment because of their religious views. Unfortunately, this type of discrimination is still a problem for many, and victims are often afraid to speak out and assert their rights.

The United States Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has specific rules regarding an employee's religious rights in the workplace and how employers must provide certain allowances. If you believe you are experiencing this type of discrimination in your place of work, you do not have to stay silent. It is possible that you have grounds to move forward with a civil claim, a process through which you may be able to hold your employer accountable and seek justice. 

Business litigation over Disney character moves forward

Though most businesses in Colorado and elsewhere will face at least one lawsuit over the course of their operations, lawsuits are not something to take lightly. Even when another company brings a claim that seems to have no support, it is important to treat it seriously. After all, frivolous lawsuits often come about when someone hopes to obtain compensation, and any misstep during business litigation could have negative outcomes for the defending company.

Recent reports stated that the Walt Disney Company is planning to defend against a lawsuit brought by K&K Productions. A statement from Disney indicated that the company believes the suit does not have merit. The dispute is over a character in the film "Toy Story 4." Duke Caboom, a toy daredevil voiced by Keanu Reeves, is the character in question, which K&K Productions claims is based on the late Evel Knievel.

Venture capital or private equity for small businesses?

Most entrepreneurs do not want to start a company that remains stagnant. They want to create an endeavor that has the ability to expand and offer new products and services. Of course, expansion often takes funds, and in some cases, small businesses in Colorado may not have the money to move forward with an idea. Fortunately, outside investments, like venture capital or private equity, could help.

First, it is important to note that venture capital and private equity are not the same, even though they both come from outside sources. If a company looks as if it has significant room for growth and will likely have a major impact on its industry, it may be more likely to obtain venture capital. However, companies or individuals who offer venture capital typically want at least a small stake of the company in return for their investment.

Snapchat at work defending trademark again

Recently, Snap Inc., owners of Snapchat, filed a complaint against a startup company for its use of a product name Snap, Inc. says is too close to one of its own. While some may argue that this matter should be put to rest because the names are not identical, others understand that Snap stands to lose revenue in the long run if this issue goes unaddressed. The trademark issue in this case may strike a chord with some business owners in Colorado who may be dealing with similar situations, so it will be a good case to follow.  

Snapchat has trademarked the word Bitmoji for an emoji avatar program and keyboard it designed and has used for years. A newer company, Hierographics, named its similar product Badmoji and has been promoting it in a way that Snap believes may cause consumer confusion. This is actually the second time the tech giant has filed suit against this small company over this trademark. The first time it had to do with software. This time, the issue is all about merchandising.

Growing a business may mean understanding and using contracts

Starting a business comes with numerous details to consider. Of course, growing a business also comes with concerns, and in many cases, bringing in outside help and creating business relationships presents the need for contracts. If Colorado entrepreneurs have not utilized contracts before, they may need some basic information to help them get started.

Contracts must include certain elements in order for them to be legally binding. For instance, the purpose of the contract must be legal and enforceable under applicable laws. If a contract is created for an unlawful purpose, it offers no protection in the event that the other party does not follow through. Additionally, the parties entering into the contract must be competent, meaning of legal age, sound mind and not impaired at the time of the agreement. Plus the agreement must be made freely, which means no one was coerced into signing and that no fraudulent actions were taken to get a party to sign.

What type of discrimination are you facing at work?

When you go to work, you should be able to do your job without experiencing unfair or discriminatory treatment of any kind. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many in Colorado. You may be an employee who had to deal with various types of discrimination at your place of work. You may feel angry, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. 

Workplace discrimination can come in many different forms, from the hiring process to decisions on whom to terminate when downsizing. You may also experience discrimination in conversations, through the denial of benefits, from receiving negative comments and in other more subtle ways. No matter the type of discriminatory treatment you experience, you have the right to report it and take steps to hold liable parties accountable.

McDonald's facing claims of discrimination, contract disputes

Most large corporations know that legal claims can come against them for almost any reason. In fact, most businesses, whether big or small, will face a lawsuit at some point during the course of their operations. Claims of discrimination and contract disputes are among the most common, and they continue to affect businesses.

Colorado readers may be interested in a lawsuit recently filed against McDonald's involving 52 former franchisees. According to reports, the claims stem from Black former franchisees who believe that McDonald's carried out discriminatory actions and breached their contracts. In particular, they believe that they were not given the same opportunities as white franchisees and that their restaurant locations were in low-income neighborhoods that typically had a lower volume of sales and required higher insurance and security costs.

Lawsuit over trademarks come against Fortnite

Intellectual property is important to businesses for a variety of reasons. If another company starts using a copyrighted image or trademarked name without permission, it could cause confusion among consumers as well as potentially cause damages for the holders of those trademarks or copyrights. As a result, litigation over that infringement could occur.

Colorado readers may be interested in a trademark lawsuit recently filed in another state. According to reports, the owners of Coral Castle, a sculpture garden tourist attraction, has filed a lawsuit against the developer of the popular online game Fortnite. Apparently, Coral Castle appears in Fortnite Battle Royale, but the developer apparently did not obtain permission to use the name. The owners indicate that they have registered and common-law trademarks for the name.

Selling a business is a multifaceted endeavor

Building a business can take years, and achieving success with that business can sometimes take decades. Even though Colorado entrepreneurs put in the work necessary to create a successful venture, they also know that a time may come to step away from the effort and pursue other endeavors. As a result, selling a business may be of interest to some who are ready to move forward.

One of the first matters to consider when deciding to sell is the reason behind the decision. This type of transaction is a major undertaking, so deciding to sell on a whim is not always the best avenue to take. However, many entrepreneurs can find themselves feeling burnt out from running the business, feeling that financial issues are becoming too overwhelming or simply not feeling as if the company can move forward in new and innovative ways.

High-risk business ventures can be difficult to fund

Starting a company always comes with certain risks. However, some Colorado entrepreneurs may have more high-risk business ventures in mind. While taking risks can certainly lead to rewards in some cases, doing so can make it more difficult for prospective businesses to obtain needed capital.

A company may fall into the high-risk category for various reasons. One issue that could make potential investors consider the venture risky is if the company is in an industry with a high turnover rate. When a business owner wants to start a venture in a highly-saturated industry, like the restaurant business, it is important that the owner can set his or her company apart from the others. If not, the company faces a high risk of getting lost among the competition, which could lead to a lack of success.

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