Other Specific Business Issues
Lease-A-Lawyer for up to 3 Full Days
At The Jacobs Law, LLC, we offer a valuable service to our Business and Entrepreneur Clients: “Lease a Lawyer”®. With “Lease a Lawyer”® , you can obtain the services and advice of an experienced business lawyer for up to three (3) days† at the flat rate of $1499.00/day. Click here for details.
Outsource HR & In-House Counsel Services with the Independent HR & Out-House Counsel Package
As a business grows, it typically requires greater management of staff and employees and structured employee policies and contracts, and more frequent advice to address the various legal issues that arise. The Jacobs Law LLC and HR for Business LLC are now offering a full service Independent Human Resources & ‘Out-House Counsel’ Package.
This full service package allows clients to save money by outsourcing and consolidating the management of human resources and legal needs. With the Independent Human Resources & ‘Out-House Counsel’ Package, the business receives Human Resource related services including employee policy development, review, and revision; management and advice on employee-employer disputes; and specific documents such as sexual harassment, cell phone use, drug-testing, and social media-in-the-workplace policies–provided by HR For Business LLC. The Jacobs Law LLC – your independent ‘Out-House Counsel’ – will review these documents and policies from a legal perspective as well as provide a variety of legal services to the business such as contract review, modification and drafting; litigation defense; assistance with licensing, permitting and government filings; as well as on-call legal advice for specific legal issues that require immediate attention.
Click on the following links for more information on the services provided in the Independent Human Resources & ‘Out-House Counsel’ Package* relating to the Legal Services provided by The Jacobs Law LLC and the Human Resources provided by HR For Business LLC.
* the services rendered by The Jacobs Law LLC and HR for Business LLC are invoiced and paid separately by the client. The package discount is applied proportionately to each independent invoice.
Advising on the Massachusetts Prompt Pay Act (M.G.L. ch.149, sec.29E)
The Prompt Pay Act is designed to ensure faster payment of contractors and subcontractors by the prime or general contractor. This new statute outlines several key requirements for the contractual provisions between general and sub contractors. A handful of provisions which were previously allowed are now considered void and unenforceable, such as “pay-if-paid” provisions. The Prompt Pay Act provides specific time limitations for payment to contractors and subcontractors. The Jacobs Law, LLC can assist you in drafting contracts that are compliant with the new Prompt Pay Act, enforcing the provisions of a contract or the requirements of this new statute, and defending against claims for violations of the Prompt Pay Act.
Business Competitor Lawsuits for Failure to Pay Workers Compensation Insurance
A recent amendment to the workers’ compensation law in Massachusetts now allows employees and businesses to sue their employers or business competitors for their failure to pay workers’ compensation insurance, misclassifying employees to obtain a lower premium rate, and/or failing to put some employees on the payroll records to avoid the increased workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Common fraudulent activities to avoid workers’ compensation insurance includes improperly classifying employees as independent contractors, misclassifying workers in high-risk jobs as doing less dangerous work, and paying employees under-the-table to avoid premiums altogether. These fraudulent activities allow those businesses to undercut their lawful competitors and make lower bids on public and private projects. The Jacobs Law, LLC can pursue or defend against such suits on behalf of competitor businesses.
Civil Demand Letters for Businesses
If you are a business or are otherwise engaged in ‘commerce’ and you have received a letter that refers to “M.G.L. (or “G.L.”) ch.93A” then the letter is very likely a “93A Demand Letter”. You should immediately contact a Business Lawyer at The Jacobs Law. First, the deadline to respond to a 93A Demand Letter is only thirty (30) days and we will need time to discuss the background facts with you, investigate the claimant and the allegations, and draft and send a response. Second, the statutory penalties allowed pursuant to M.G.L. ch.93A are very serious: double (2X) or treble (3X) damages plus attorney’s fees and costs. To put that in context, if the claimant is successful on a claim against your business for only $5,000 in alleged damages, the court could, pursuant to M.G.L. ch.93A, double or treble those damages to $10,000 or $15,000 plus attorney’s fees and costs which could easily be an additional $15,000. So what appears to be a small claim of only $5,000 can easily mushroom to over $30,000 pursuant to M.G.L. 93A. Sending a response to a 93A Demand Letter and making a reasonable offer of settlement can limit the judgment that could be awarded to the claimant if the claimant refuses to accept your offer. Third, the failure to respond to a 93A Demand Letter can be used to support a claimant’s allegations that the business engaged in unfair and deceptive practices. Generally speaking, the money you spend on a Business Lawyer to advise you and your business on responding to a 93A Demand Letter could save you money in the long run. Contact a Business Lawyer at The Jacobs Law today to advise you on how to handle the 93A Demand Letter you received. For more information on Civil Demand Letters, click here.
Development of an I-9 Policy for Businesses
Any employer that does business with the Federal Government should have a formal, written and up-to-date I-9 policy. The lack of such a policy can result in large fines even if the errors are technical and inadvertent. An employer liable for unlawful hiring can face fines of $375 – $3,200 for each unauthorized employee for a first offense. A third offense, or more, may result in fines of $16,000 per unauthorized employee. Fines for violations of record-keeping or verification regulations range from $110 to $1,100 per I-9. This is true even for missing I-9 forms or forms that have even inadvertently incorrect information. The lack of an I-9 Policy for the business to follow can also result in lawsuits for discrimination. And if there is a “pattern or practice” of violations of these regulations, criminal penalties may be imposed. Prevention, and the implementation of a thorough I-9 Policy can help to avoid these enormous fines. Some of the key issues that such business must consider are: (1) is the business complying with proper retention rules, (2) are copies of the employee’s identity documents required, (3) when must an employer re-verify an I-9 and when can it not do so, (4) is the business’ I-9 Policy effective and compliant with federal regulations while avoiding prohibited discrimination, (5) what constitutes “Constructive Knowledge” and does the employer / business have it, (6) does the employer / business perform an annual internal audit, (7) should or must the employer / business participate in the E-Verify system, (8) if fines or other penalties are levied, will the employer / business have a good faith affirmative defense to them. The Jacobs Law, LLC can assist any business / employer to comply with this regulatory scheme, and draft and implement an I-9 Policy.
A Business Attorney at The Jacobs Law LLC can assist you in all aspects of your business law legal needs. Our Business Attorneys have experience handling a variety of Business Law related legal matters, some of which are listed HERE. Contact a Boston Business Attorney at The Jacobs Law LLC today to get assistance with your business law related legal matters.