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Lafayette Legal Blog

Is the non-compete agreement your employees sign enforceable?

When you run a large and successful company, you need to take steps to protect your trade secrets and other sensitive information. When hiring staff who work in skilled or creative fields, or for those in positions that allow access to sensitive intellectual property, your contract should include a non-compete agreement.

At the most basic level, a non-compete agreement should protect you, as the employer, from your employees using protected information, like trade secrets, for their own profit. Companies spend years and invest a lot of their assets to build up a business that has unique benefits to offer consumers. Relationships and processes can be critical secrets in the oil and gas industries.

Can I take time off under the Family Medical Leave Act?

The Family Medical Leave Act is an important act that protects American workers in the event that they or someone in their families become sick or gives birth to a new child. The Family Medical Leave Act provides a little of breathing room to workers who are experiencing a health issue -- whether it is the happy time of ushering in a new child to the family or a difficult period of family illness.

Here are some of the situations in which your employer is required by law to give you time off and reserve an employment position of equal level and pay for when it's time for you to return to work:

  • When serious health calamity renders you unable to carry out your job duties;
  • When an immediate family member requires you to care for them because they are suffering from a debilitating health problem; and
  • When you or spouse is celebrating the birth or adoption of a new child -- either because you need to leave to give birth or you need to assist in caring for the child.

What is the frequency of workplace injuries?

According to the National Safety Council, every seven seconds in the United States, a workplace injury occurs. That works out to nearly five million injured workers each year, or 12,900 injuries every day.

Young, inexperienced workers are at particular risk of getting hurt on the job, as over 25 percent of injuries happen during workers' initial year on the job, the vice president of the workers' compensation division of Travelers Insurance stated.

Understanding mineral rights

Does your property have surface rights or mineral rights? If so, it's important that you understand the difference between the two. Surface rights mean that you have the right to the enjoyment and use of property above ground. Mineral rights are the right to explore the property for the existence of gas, oil and other naturally occurring minerals in a gaseous or liquid form. If located, the property can be developed in order to produce the minerals.

Just because you own the land does not mean that you have mineral rights on your property. In order to determine if you have mineral rights, you will need to do a property title or deed search at the clerk of court's office in your parish. If your deed doesn't specify who has mineral rights, you may need to hire a title researcher.

Marital property law basics

Getting divorced means that the life you and your husband have built together is going to drastically change. Not only are you physically separating from each other, but you will also be dividing time with your children and splitting your marital property.

Dividing your joint assets and debt can lead to a long and difficult negotiation or an ugly court battle. One of the best things you can do to prepare for this process is to find out everything you can about marital property laws in Louisiana.

Don't wait too long to notify your employer of an injury

Workers' compensation insurance is put in place to protect both you, as a worker, and your employer. However, there are a number of ways that you might suffer a legitimate injury on the job and still have your workers' compensation claim denied. Often, attorneys warn about accepting a workers' compensation settlement too readily, but if you wait too long to take action, you may miss out on proper compensation altogether.

One of the most common ways that workers jeopardize their coverage by workers' compensation is by failing to properly report their injury to their employer in the appropriate timeframe. In Louisiana, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days to file a workers' compensation claim, otherwise the insurer may legally refuse coverage of your injury.

Was alimony awarded in your divorce? Then keep track of it

When it comes to divorce, there are a lot of contentious issues that can cause former spouses to argue and debate. One such issue is spousal support, which is also often called alimony. Spousal support is awarded in some, but not all, divorce cases. It sees one of the spouses pay the other spouse on either a temporary or indefinite basis so that the post-divorce life of the spouses are roughly fair in the eyes of a judge. Remember, though, "fair" in this context doesn't mean "equal."

Since spousal support sees money changing hands between two people who may not be getting along in the wake of a divorce, it isn't unheard of for litigation to occur as a result of spousal support. There could be a dispute over late payments or inadequate payments, for example.

Tesla says new law meant to keep them out of state

On June 6, the governor of Louisiana signed a bill into law that will keep auto manufacturers from selling their vehicles directly to buyers. Senate Bill 107, which was sponsored by Sen. Mack "Bodi" White, R-Baton Rouge, will strengthen other legislation meant to do the same thing. According to Tesla, though, the bill was nothing more than a move by special interests to keep the company from moving into Louisiana.

Tesla's spokesperson said, "Tesla wants to invest tens of millions of dollars in Louisiana, add hundreds of jobs, and make significant contributions to local and state tax revenue. All we're asking is the right to serve our customers here."

Divorce: There’s a cake for that

People vary greatly in the things they do to cope with a divorce. Some try to inject some fun into the situation and put a celebratory tone on the whole thing.

For example, some people throw parties in relation to the end of their marriage. Another of the common staples of celebrating that has a divorce-related variant is cake. Some bakeries do specialty cakes for divorces.

Federal regulations and small businesses

Among the things that can have major implications for small business owners are what sort of federal regulations are out there. For one, this can impact what kind of federal compliance issues are big ones within the industry their business operates in. It can also impact how much in time, energy and resources a business needs to put towards staying in compliance with federal rules.

A bill that is in Congress aims to put a bigger focus on considering potential impacts to small businesses in the federal regulatory process. The bill is called the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2017.

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