What Happens If You Pass Away Without a Will?

A lot of New Yorkers put off creating a will. Some believe that they haven’t accumulated enough personal wealth to make it necessary while others tell themselves that they’ll wait until they have children. It’s likely that many more hold back because they don’t like thinking about their own mortality. Benjamin Franklin allegedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This is especially true in Read More

First Furnishing Explained

New York’s lien law is one of the most effective tools at your disposal when a project owner doesn’t pay you in full. There’s a catch, though- like all legal procedures, there are technical requirements that can cause your claim to fail if you overlook them. In many states, general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers must provide a Notice to Owner to secure their lien rights. In Florida and Pennsylvania, Read More

What You Need to Know About Severance Agreements

New York law does not require employers to offer severance packages to terminated employees unless there has been a promise to do so or the employment contract specifies that severance is payable when the employment relationship ends. Nonetheless, many employers offer severance pay as a goodwill gesture and to provide the worker with a financial buffer while they look for another job. What Is Included in Severance Read More

Owner vs. Contractor Duties in a Construction Contract

Construction contracts are the blueprint of a successful project. They are generally executed between the project owner and the general contractor and define the scope, terms, and conditions of the agreement. Below is a general overview of the owner vs. contractor duties in most construction contracts. Contractor’s Duties Contractors owe the owner a duty to provide services in a competent and professional Read More

7 Ways to Stay ADA and FHA Compliant with Your Projects

If you are building a public accommodation, such as a large multifamily complex, it is imperative that its design complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). These laws, which protect the rights of the disabled, are enforced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) respectively. When building an apartment or Read More

4 Estate Planning Tips for Business Owners

Running a business consumes a lot of time and energy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an entrepreneur with a successful startup or a longtime owner of a multi-location corporation - your days can be so busy that you don’t think a lot about the future. While it’s understandable that you want to focus on making the business as successful as possible, failing to create an estate plan can undermine years of Read More

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