Does Your Website Violate The GDPR?

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Does Your Website Violate The GDPR

British Airways is getting slammed with a $229 million fine for violating the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Although the penalty relates to a data breach, there are other ways to get fined under the GPDR.

Related Article: Privacy Policy 101 – What Every Website Owner Should Know

One of the best ways to limit your liability exposure under the GDPR, especially if your online business is based in the United States, is to have the right website legal documents on your site.

Related Article: Website Legal Protection For Businesses

If you haven’t updated your site’s legal docs (e.g. Website Privacy Policy) since the GDPR went into effect in 2018, it’s time to talk with an experienced website lawyer about what needs to be fixed to protect your business.

Texas Personal Trainer Contract: Employee Or Independent Contractor?

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Texas Personal Trainer Contract: Employee Or Independent Contractor?In addition to meeting the requirements of the Texas Health Spa Act, fitness center owners in the Lone Star State need to make sure they’re using the right Texas personal trainer contract.

Related Article: Does A Texas Martial Arts Studio Have To Comply With The Texas Health Spa Act?

It may appear simple to treat all of your trainers as independent contractors. However, that’s not the case.

Why?

Because if you disguise an employee as an independent contractor in your Texas personal trainer contract, you’re assuming costly legal risks that could bankrupt your fitness business.

The Label You Use Isn’t Enough To Protect You

You’ve probably heard the expression, “If it looks, walks, and acts like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” That’s true even if you call the duck a “flamingo.”

The same is true for a Texas gym personal trainer. If you’re treating a trainer as an employee, calling him or her a “contractor” won’t change that fact.

How Much Control Do You Have In The Texas Personal Trainer Contract?

The key issue is control.

For example, if you’re telling your fitness workers they must train your gym members at certain hours, attend staff meetings, take set lunch times, 15-minute work breaks, and two weeks of annual vacation, chances are you’ve got an employee instead of an independent contractor.

Related Article: 3 Texas Gym Membership Agreements Every Owner Needs

Micromanaging the work done, providing the equipment to do it, and referring to “hiring” and “firing” personal trainers are also factors that can be considered when determining whether you’ve got an employee who is improperly classified as a contractor.

What If You’ve Misclassified Your Personal Trainers?

So, what can happen if your Texas personal trainer contract misclassifies a worker as an independent contractor instead of an employee?

You can be liable for many things, including…

  • Back taxes and penalties
  • Contributions to Social Security and Medicare
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Death or injury caused by the worker in the scope of employment

And you’ll likely find your business being audited by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

What’s The Solution?

Have an experienced Texas business contracts lawyer review what your fitness trainers do for your gym. Based on the facts, the right Texas personal trainer contract can be prepared for each of your workers….either an employment agreement or an independent contractor agreement can be prepared to protect you and your gym.

Business Sale Agreement: What You Can Learn From A Cannabis Shop Lawsuit

By | Business Contracts, Business Lawyer | No Comments

A cannabis shop owner sold the business to Oregon weed retailer Nectar. The deal has gone to pot. See “Major Weed Retailer Nectar Hit With $4 Million Breach of Contract Lawsuit.” There are two important business sale agreement lessons to take from this dispute.

Related Article: 3 Early Warning Signs To Run Away From A Business Deal

  1. If you’re the seller, make sure you get paid enough up front that the deal is worthwhile even if it falls apart later. An agreement where you chase the bulk of the money often means you don’t get paid what you want. Or you’re working for free to keep the business afloat as part of damage control post-purchase.
  2. If you’re the buyer of a venture, be sure you’re ready to perform post-closing per the business sale agreement. In this instance, it appears both parties underestimated how long it would take for state government approval of the ownership transfer.

Related Article: How To Sell An Internet Business

An experienced business contracts lawyer can help you reduce the risk of these and other pitfalls in your business sale agreement…whether you’re the buyer or the seller.

Reputation Management: How To Avoid Scandal Because Of Breach Of Contract

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Reputation Management: How To Avoid Scandal When There’s A Breach Of ContractA professionally prepared agreement is essential to reputation management. Because it can help you avoid a PR disaster when there’s a breach of contract.

How bad can it get?

As an example, look at the lawsuit by the National Rifle Association (NRA)* against its ad agency for breach of contract. Among other things, the NRA is seeking $40 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages. The lawsuit and related news stories will do nothing to help either party protect its reputation.

So, how do you prevent bad publicity? Here are 4 important reputation management tactics…

1. Pre-Agreement Due Diligence

Before signing a business contract, research the other party. Check to see if there is a history of lawsuits or the other party using social media to hurt another company’s reputation online. Walk away from the potential deal if there is such a history.

2. Confidentiality

The written agreement should contain confidentiality/non-disclosure provisions to protect important data.

3. Non-Disparagement

Your contract should provide that neither party will disparage the other during and after performance of the agreement. In some instances, it may make sense to include a large liquidated damages amount to be paid by a party if they do decide to denigrate the other party in violation of the agreement.

4. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Rather than publicly airing the dispute with nasty claims and counterclaims in a lawsuit, it often makes sense for a contract to provide for confidential alternative dispute resolution. This can include mediation and binding arbitration using JAMS or AAA rules and procedures.

Other Reputation Management Contract Terms

Of course, there are other provisions that an experienced business contracts lawyer will include in your agreement for reputation management. Just make sure you put the right contract in place that protects your good name in case the relationship between the parties deteriorates. Because you can’t afford to leave business reputation management to chance.

* Disclosure – Business Lawyer Mike Young is a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and strong supporter of Second Amendment rights. However, he does not represent the NRA as legal counsel in this lawsuit or other matters.

Should You Update Your Website Terms Of Use To Cover Terrorism?

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

Update Website Terms Of Use To Cover TerrorismMajor tech companies have agreed to comply with the Christchurch Call to Action To Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online (the “Christchurch Call”). This includes modifying their website Terms of Use:

“We commit to updating our terms of use, community standards, codes of conduct, and acceptable use policies to expressly prohibit the distribution of terrorist and violent extremist content. We believe this is important to establish baseline expectations for users and to articulate a clear basis for removal of this content from our platforms and services and suspension or closure of accounts distributing such content.” (PDF link).

Should You Following Their Lead And Change Your Website Terms Of Use?

Probably not. Here’s why…

As a practical matter, there’s no U.S. federal legal requirement to address terrorism as a specific issue in your website legal protection. In fact, the federal government rejects the Christchurch Call on the grounds that online free speech protection is more important.

Now most website Terms of Use already require visitors to obey applicable law. That’s true whether it’s bespoke website legal documents prepared by a Website Lawyer for an online business. Or website legal forms (e.g. Website Legal Forms Generator software).

And terrorism itself is already outlawed. So, to address terrorism as a legal issue is redundant. Or it’s a way to curb speech online a website owner dislikes that otherwise would be legal.

Three Situations Where You Might Adopt The Christchurch Call

Here are three scenarios where you may want to change your site’s Terms of Use because of this issue…

1. Your Website Terms Of Use doesn’t require compliance with applicable law – so you want to address legal compliance in general, not just terrorism.

2. You want to virtue signal on the issue even though there’s no legal requirement to do so.

3. There’s a legitimate business reason for making such a change.

Under the third scenario, it’s possible at some point the tech giants who have signed onto the Christchurch Call will require you to do so as well if you want to enter into or continue a business relationship with them. For example, in order to be an Amazon affiliate or participate in Google advertising, your site’s terms might someday have to address terrorism for economic reasons.