Your contracts with staffing agencies and consultants probably include a bunch of legalese boilerplate mumbo jumbo at the end, which no one ever reads. One of those standard clauses is a “force majeure” clause. That’s French for “Skim over this clause.”
Companies affected by Irma and Harvey, however, may have good reason to check their contracts for these clauses. “Force majeure” means, literally, superior force.
These clauses typically say that So-and-so is excused from performing under the contract in the event of uncontrollable circumstances, such as war, terrorism, hurricanes, voodoo curses, other Acts of God, or anything caused by Pedro Cerrano and Joboo’s Cult (Major League) [Ed. Note: “Hats for Bats!”].
If you google “Quotes about Opportunity,” you’ll find 1273 quotes on Goodreads.com. Everyone’s interested in opportunities. But when it comes to business relationships, don’t let others take yours.
When servicing a customer, businesses often call upon use subcontractors for help. That can be a win-win, so long as the subcontractor does not try to poach the relationship once that deal is done.
Consider protecting the opportunities you present to subcontractors with a non-circumvention clause. The concept here is that when your business has introduced a subcontractor to a customer to work on a project, the subcontractor should not be Continue reading
Companies in distress sometimes retain management consultants to try to turn them around. Sometimes the plan works, sometimes not. When the turnaround effort fails and the company shuts down, can the management company be held liable as a joint employer?
This issue arose recently in a WARN Act case. The federal WARN Act requires an employer, before ordering a plant shutdown or mass layoff, to provide 60 days’ notice and pay to its employees.
Here’s what happened. A nursing home with multiple Medicare and Medicaid violations retained a consulting firm to try to solve its many problems. The consulting firm Continue reading
The Michael Jackson song, “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” has all kinds of lyrics I can’t understand. No matter how many times I listen to that song, most of it sounds unclear to me, like nonsense syllables.
The one part of the song that is clear, though, is the title. That one phrase is repeated over and over. Leaving aside (for now) the unintelligible parts of the song, the King of Pop unwittingly provided a good lesson on insurance clauses for subcontractor agreements.
(Note to readers: I looked up the real lyrics, and they have nothing to do with subcontractor agreements or insurance clauses, but they might as well since I still can’t understand them.)
If you could ask me one question about independent contractors and non-compete agreements, what would it be?
- Are they enforceable?
- Are they a good idea?
- A bad idea?
Hey buddy, that’s three questions, not one.
As for enforceability, that will vary state by state. A recent federal decision involving an independent sales contractor found his non-compete agreement to be unenforceable. The court found that (1) it was not reasonably necessary to protect the company’s business, and (2) the burden on the sales contractor was out of proportion to the benefit to the business. The decision applied Iowa law, though, so unless you have contractors in the Hawkeye State, you might not really care.
Each state applies a somewhat different test for determining whether non-competes are Continue reading
Trump and Sessions wants to prosecute the leakers. As we’ve seen before, stopping leaks can become a Presidential obsession. In Nixon’s White House, the Plumbers were tasked with stopping leaks of classified information, such as the Pentagon Papers. Through the Committee to Re-Elect the President (fittingly, CREEP), members of the Plumbers broke into the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, who had released the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times. Some of you may have heard about what happened next.
Presidential aides and White House staffers routinely have access to information that is intended to remain confidential. Businesses face the same issue. A company’s employees often have access to confidential or trade secret information that would be harmful in the hands of competitors, or that could damage the business if released to the general public.
It’s commonplace to require employees in such positions to sign Nondisclosure Continue reading