A stacked deck.

Today I advised a professional employee client about how he might avoid a non-competition and confidentiality agreement. Also today, I revised a non-compete for an EMPLOYER who makes his employees and contractors sign them. For their benefit, employers usually want arbitration clauses in employment agreements. But not in non-competes. In those, the employer wants employees to be subject to judicial enforcement, or at least be fearful of a judge and attorney’s fees. Employers know arbitration is toothless compared to a civil case. That is why they demand court proceedings in their agreements when they could use their power, and hide from them when they know they could be hurt. For employers, it’s dealer’s choice. If you feel like you’re on the receiving end of a bad deal, then click “Services” above, or contact me by email at JimL@LangendorfLaw.com.

Speed at work

I love seeing someone do their job with speed and certainty. Plodding along as a lawyer, speed is not necessarily rewarded; actually in law it is a rare commodity. Conformity to precedent and worn our rules dulls your senses in most vocations. On the other hand, seeing a professional cook pancakes, tape a box shut, slice a pineapple, or even just rapidly bus a table is a reminder that anyone can be amazing, and quite often they are, even in the most mundane places. If you have been slowed down or interfered with at work, or somewhere else, and you think it was unjust, unlawful, or just unfair, then click the Services tab above, or contact me a jiml@langendorflaw.com, because you might have a case.

Overtime is not optional

I was talking with some clients in the landscaping business. They were telling me about some competitors who don’t pay overtime or drive time to their employees. After 20 years of filing unpaid overtime claims, you’d think I wouldn’t be surprised. I am always surprised.

Paying overtime is not an option. It is not an employer’s choice. They can’t just say “Oh, we don’t pay overtime,” or “We are a straight time shop.” Federal and state law say that if you work more than 40 hours in a week, then you are entitled to 1 1/2 times your regular rate for any hours over 40. We all know that. It’s been the law in the US since 1938. Still, these guys.

You don’t have to ask your employer to pay you overtime to be entitled to claim it later. Call me at 513-594-2685 or contact me at jiml@langendorflaw.com because making cheaters pay is my business.

Greed Kills

The want of money is the root of all evil (I’ve heard). This came to me while re-reading Mob Rules by Louis Ferrante, a former mafioso turned author. He had some telling anecdotes about how greed wrecks lives, even in the mafia. Roman, European, and American history is filled with lessons instructing us to be generous. The scrambling for money and power to the exclusion of relationships, equity, and human kindness wrests its toll eventually — in painful ways — without fail. Nobody has to be caught in that trap. We can all do better by giving a little more and gathering a little less, in all ways.

Throwing Chains

Today some U.S. Senators, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, dashed off a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging that agency to make a rule that would strongly limit the use of non competition agreements. Employers of all stripes use “non-competes” to protect them from competition from former employees. I find that they are often unenforceable as written; and many employers enforce them only sporadically. Nonetheless, they do stifle competition and entrepreneurship. While I write them and fight them, and get paid for the effort, I would not miss them if they were gone.

Info Security

There is no going back to pencils, paper, and payphones. The world is interconnected with billions, near a trillion, network-connected devices, and an unknowable amount of software coding. Privacy, while not dead, is in serious jeopardy. You can turn off your device and use landlines, if you can find them (like the Matrix!), but you lose out, too.

I prefer to stay connected with clients and business associates by using “Signal.” It is a tightly encrypted messaging app available for both Android and Apple.

A very experienced and highly placed security expert who still works for the department of defense recommends it.

Please download Signal. It’s better than What’s App because it was created by the same developer, but has NO connection to the data thieves at Facebook. Please add my contact information to your Signal app, and let me know, because it means you care about your privacy and security. My number is 513-594-2685.

Overtime

A client came to me with an unpaid overtime case today. She had been mis-classified, willfully I’m sure, by her former employer. My client was, by all tests and checklists, an employee. Yet she had been paid as a flat salaried, independent contractor. Employers do that often. True, employees think it’s great – until they realize co-workers on the clock are being paid more, working less, and don’t have to pay self-employment taxes. When they learn this and take action with lawyers, those same cheating employers become liable for unpaid overtime wages, that amount doubled, unpaid payroll taxes, and attorney’s fees.

Relationships

All that really matters in family, friendships, and business is the quality of your relationships. If you have a peaceful, loving, family dynamic, then you can be grounded and content, confident in your actions. When your friends are tight and real, then your support is strong. When you make your business partners and clients as tight as family and friends, then you are bringing value and service to its highest form. Treat all those relationships with care. Mind them. Tend them. Grow them. The returns are priceless. Call me at 513-594-2685 to talk about your needs, because our relationship will make your business stronger.

Value

I just advised a new start up on its service contracts, the service limits, liability, and even a little design.

The entrepreneur was excited and ready to go. She told me I was a life saver and had made her feel totally prepared to take on her first client. That is what I deliver to my clients: safety, confidence, and power.

Is that the value you expect from you lawyer? You should.  Call me because you are ready to take action and you want backup. Call 513-594-2685, or email me at jiml@langendorflaw.com

Job Law

Do you have a problem at work? Not paid your overtime? Are you facing discrimination? Or is your boss retaliating against you for reporting something that wasn’t right or legal?

For 20 years I have been fighting for employees who suffered age, race, pregnancy, or gender discrimination; or who faced retaliation for doing the right thing; were denied their overtime pay; or were just trying to decide if a severance package was fair.

I can probably help you, too.

Employment lawyers and their clients are always interested in the basic human functions of going to work, sharing respect, and being fairly paid.

Employment law is not my only area of practice; and in my time as a lawyer, accountant, business owner, and manager, I have had the chance to face many legal and financial difficulties, both for myself and for my clients. I can handle almost any legal matter, and if I can’t, then I know someone great who can.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to hear from you soon. Click the “What Can I Do For You” link above for more. Call or text me at 513-594-2685, or email me at jiml@langendorflaw.com. Or check out my AVVO page for information and testimonials.