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May 2014 Archives

Is a Covenant Not to Re-Apply With a Former Employer After a Settlement Enforceable?

Settlement and/or Severance Agreements may include a clause regarding re-employment with the same employer. An example might read, "Employee agrees that the Employer and any related or affiliated entities have no obligation to consider her for future employment and can terminate her employment if she becomes employed with Employer." These clauses may seem daunting but typically mean that the employee may still apply for a position with a former employer, but the employer is not required to hire them back. This clause may be included in the agreement because, if the employer later refuses to rehire a settled employee for any reason, the employee could file a retaliation claim under the applicable federal or state anti-discrimination laws stating that the reason for the decision not to hire her was in retaliation for her previous legal activity.

Trademark dispute between brewing companies leads to name change

Strange Brewing Co. of Denver has deciding to change its name to Strange Craft Beer Co. due to a dispute it has had with an out-of-state company. The out-of-state company named Strange Brew Beer and Winemaking had demanded that Strange Brewing change its name in September 2012.

Is Commuting Time Compensable?

In a previous blog I discussed how the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. § 201, ("FLSA") was interpreted by the Supreme Court regarding "clothes changing time." In a related 2007 case, the United States Court of Appeals addressed "commuting costs" under FLSA, asking whether or not a worker should be paid for travel to and from work, and specifically in this case waiting in long security lines.

Attempts to control the bitcoin industry through patent filings?

There has been much written in recent months concerning the problems that bitcoin pose concerning business and financing. However, we may not even be aware of behind the scenes moves of certain technological giants who have sought control of the bitcoin industry through the filing of patents.

Smart home application demands result in business startups

The idea for a business startup company often comes about when there is a need for a service that cannot be met with existing resources. For example, one woman was looking for a sprinkler controller that could be managed from a computer and was unable to locate such a service. As a software developer she then teamed up with some other individuals to create a system that would allow them to manage their sprinklers from a computer or smartphone.

Jury Duty

A Texas employer was arrested after firing a worker who insisted on honoring her civic duty of responding to a call for jury duty. Ms. Sutton, an executive assistant at a Dallas based computer company Affiliated Computer Services, claims she reminded her boss about the jury duty summons several times in advance. Her boss's response was to give her a reprimand and an additional work assignment, which she came to work early to finish on the morning her jury duty, was to begin. Her boss then demanded that she stay to finish the task. Ms. Sutton told her boss that she needed to leave for jury duty, he responded by telling her to pack up her stuff and she was fired. Ms. Sutton told the judge in her assigned case who issued a warrant for the boss's arrest and ordered Dallas deputies to bring him in at once. This particular case ended in an undisclosed settlement amount.

Colorado Springs short on venture capital investments

The inability to raise venture capital has plagued Colorado Springs in recent years. Few startup companies have been able to raise funds in recent years and the city would have to look back to the first quarter in 2013 to find a computer storage manufacturer securing $2 million. This and another $25 million investment in 2012 have reportedly been the only venture capital that any local company has received during the past four years.