Montana Chamber offers Business / Legal Conference

Montana Chamber offers Business / Legal Conference

The litigious nature of today’s society has a detrimental effect on Montana business development, tying up funds in litigation procedures and keeping businesses from being able to invest in growth. The Montana Chamber of Commerce will hold the third biennial Business and Law Conference on March 18th at the Hilton Garden Inn. Guest speaker Harold Kim, Esq. with the US Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) will be discussing findings from their new report. The report brings together leading practitioners and scholars to describe the lawsuit “ecosystem” for the areas of litigation abuse of most concern to the business community.  It dissects the trends of the litigious culture that sustains big ticket litigation, the players that drive it, and how those players try to manipulate or change the law to their favor.  Even when successful, these lawsuits rarely benefit anyone except the small handful of plaintiffs’ lawyers who bring them. Defending these lawsuits drains millions of dollars from businesses that could be spent spurring business expansion and creating new jobs. –Montana Chamber Newsletter, 3/1/14 Breck Law Office works to help our business clients avoid the litigation trap by examining your policies and offering guidance to ensure your business is operating lawfully – and profitably. Check in with us if you think your business may be the target of a lawsuit, or for a full review of your...

read more

Supreme Court Rules for Employers

Supreme Court Rules for Employers

A common complaint among employers is the expense of paying workers to ready themselves for the job. The situation arises when the employee clocks in and then proceeds to put on simple tools of the trade, like an apron, or more complex layers of safety garments. The question is who is responsible – does the worker deserve to be paid to get dressed, or should the worker be expected to get ready on their own time? Conversation can then ensue about the difference between clothing and safety gear. The US Supreme Court cases has decided the “Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corp.” case in favor of the employer.  Roughly 800 current and former U.S. Steel workers claimed they should be paid for the time they spent putting on and taking off safety gear. The High Court ruled the time spent “changing clothes” (flame-retardant jackets, hardhats, work gloves and steel-toe boots are common articles of dress and therefore should be classified as clothing) can be excluded from compensable time, unless a union has negotiated otherwise. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court said that safety gear generally fits within the definition of clothing. While the ruling will no doubt be welcomed by employers that don’t want to pay employees for the time spent putting on and taking off safety gear, it failed to draw a hard line between what counts as safety gear and what doesn’t.  Instead, it defined the 12 items listed in the U.S. Steel lawsuit as either safety gear or clothing.  That means the feds still don’t consider all safety gear clothing, which in turn means this is likely not the end of these kinds of lawsuits. –Montana Chamber, 2/10/2014 Breck Law can help you mitigate sensitive employee management issues like this one – and help your business improve the bottom line. Contact us today to discuss your employee compensation...

read more