July 2, 2018  |  Carole Clark Isakson

We see them every day, that notice at the bottom of an email stating something to the effect that the contents of the email are confidential and that if you have received it in error you should alert the sender immediately and not use the information you have received. The use of confidentiality/disclaimer footers is so common that most of us do not even notice them anymore. They appear below the sender’s signature block and may be emphasized by colored text or capital letters. But regardless of appearance I think we can all agree that few of us actually read them. And even when we do? From a practical standpoint we already read the contents of the email before we get to the disclaimer. One wonders then, is there any point to it? A misdirected email has already been read by the wrong person by the time that person gets to the bottom of the email. So, should your business use a confidentiality footer or not? Does the use of a footer actually protect your information if you send an email to the wrong person? Understandably there are few court cases that address this specific issue, but the themes in the few cases that exist are consistent. A court in Georgia in 2011,…

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Misconceptions About Child Support

July 1, 2018  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

Child support is one of the main issues that can be decided when it comes to divorce. Child support are regular payments that are made by one parent to the other. Despite the concept of child support seemingly being simple to understand, there are misconceptions associated with it that can cause problems when it comes to the divorce. So, let’s take a look at them and clear up questions commonly asked.   Child Support is Optional Many people think that child support is an option after a divorce and not something you have to do if you don’t want to. Well, depending on the ruling in your divorce, if you are ordered to pay child support it can be a criminal offense not to pay. This means you must keep up with your payments or face consequences for it. The amount you pay for child support will be calculated based on your income, as well as insurance costs, childcare costs, and the amount of time the child is in your care. Once set by the court, this is the amount you need to pay; it is not optional.    Child Support is only for Food and Clothing It is often assumed that child support is for the basics that are needed, such as food…

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Fair Share Agency Fees Struck Down by the United States Supreme Court

June 27, 2018  |  Scott M. Lepak

In a decision widely expected, the United States Supreme Court on June 27, 2018 struck down state laws that compelled public sector union employees to pay “fair share” or “agency” dues. In Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court held that laws compelling these dues from unwilling members violated the First Amendment by requiring employees to, in effect, pay for speech with which they do not agree. The Supreme Court held that unions representing public employees have to fairly represent these employees regardless of whether they were dues paying members. The Supreme Court summarized its view as follows: Neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay. What’s next: Laws, including Minnesota Statute Section 179A.06, Subd. 3, that require fair share fees to be taken from an employee’s pay check are unconstitutional.  Employers must stop current automatic fair share payment withdrawals from the checks of employees unless and until the employee fills out a form consenting to pay. Employees who opt out of paying dues will still be covered by the collective bargaining agreements. However, unions will likely address the issue of individuals who do not…

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