DBIA Contracts Explained

The Design Build Institute of America, or DBIA, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and use of design-build project delivery methods. Its contracts, which are structured to ensure success for both building owners and design professionals, cover all steps from preliminary agreement to final payment. Why Design-Build Contracts? When design-build construction appeared, professional Read More

Understanding Title VII and the Rights of Employees

When you were still in school, your history teacher almost certainly touched on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but you may not have appreciated its significance or ability to protect you until you entered the workforce. Title VII, which is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, protects employees against discrimination based on certain protected characteristics such as: Race or Read More

3 Agreements You Should Have All Employees Sign

When you hire a new employee, especially someone in a skilled or professional occupation, they become privy to a lot of your company’s valuable confidential information, such as: Trade secrets Private manufacturing or engineering processes Client lists In order to protect your interests, there are three agreements, all of them restrictive covenants, that you should require them to sign before they begin Read More

3 Common Payroll Mistakes Businesses Make

Did you hear about the $600 payroll mistake that cost a company nearly $45,000? In Castro v. Precision Demolition, a Texas company failed to pay one of its employees $608.05 in overtime. The error was not caught in time and the court awarded the employee $1,216 in unpaid overtime plus penalties. But that’s not all. The court also ordered Precision Demolition to pay $41,333 towards the employee’s legal fees. In Read More

5 Benefits of Having a Living Will

No one likes to think about the possibility that one day they may be too incapacitated to express their wishes. Hopefully it won’t happen, but life is unpredictable and a living will gives you the opportunity to state your wishes regarding health care and life-prolonging medical treatments. Without this type of arrangement in place, medical staff may provide you with treatment you don’t want and prolong your life for Read More

Understanding the Difference Between Employees and Contractors

In 2017, the New York State Unemployment Board found that Uber drivers were misclassified as independent contractors when they were actually employees and declared that they were entitled to unemployment benefits dating back to January 2014. Uber appealed the decision, but last July, a New York appeals board ruled in favor of the board’s findings. These recent decisions draw attention to a question that continues Read More

5 Elements Your Employee Handbook Should Contain

A detailed employee handbook is a must-have for any company. It provides your team with answers about company policies and benefits, lets them know your expectations, and can help prevent problems by ensuring that everyone is treated in a fair and consistent manner. To convey this information, there are five elements that should be included in your employee handbook. Code of Conduct This section Read More

Understanding Your Rights When You Discover a Construction Defect

When you purchase a property or have one built for you, there’s always the risk that a construction defect will eventually come to light. Your attorney may recommend that you negotiate an inspection provision into the contract and have the builder repair any observable defects before closing. While this can help, not all defects are immediately detectable. Common examples include: Leaky roofs, doors, or Read More

5 Things You Can Do to Minimize Your Estate Tax

Estate taxes are imposed on your estate before its contents are distributed to your beneficiaries. For the tax year 2018, you can leave $5.6 million to your loved ones before you have to pay federal estate or gift tax. If you live in New York state and have an estate worth $5.25 million or more, a state-level tax of 3.06% to 16% will apply. These taxes can diminish the value of your estate and leave your Read More

Real Estate Law: How a Sale-Leaseback Works

A sale-leaseback is a real estate transaction where a business that owns and occupies a property sells it to another party and then leases it back. The seller can convert a non-paying asset into cash while still retaining the right to use it, an arrangement that allows the business to scale back its investment in assets that are not part of the core business, such as real estate and buildings. Other advantages are Read More