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Increase in nursing home closures across U.S.

Choosing nursing home care can be a big, emotional decision. Long-term care is a sizable investment, and many people struggle with entrusting their loved one’s care to someone else. Now some families are dealing with an additional hurdle, as nursing home closures are forcing some seniors to relocate, widening the distance families must travel to visit. In what is described as an “epidemic,” rural nursing homes across the U.S. are closing. With staff shortages and low

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Use caution when creating an IRA inheritance trust

When you hold an IRA, those funds can be distributed to the person you name as the beneficiary or to an inheritance trust. Some IRA owners choose a trust because it gives them a degree of control over how the assets are distributed after they die. Before you name a trust as the beneficiary of your IRA, however, consider the pros and cons. Designating a trust as beneficiary can be useful if the intended beneficiary has

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Practice the art of responding to negative reviews

As a business owner in the internet age, you know a negative online review can discourage people from using your business. Research from Mintel indicates 70 percent of Americans go online to seek out reviews before making a purchase. Data from BrightLocal suggest 84 percent of people trust an online review as much as a recommendation from a friend. There’s a distinct art in learning to respond to negative reviews in a way that can help,

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Get website content the right way

Content marketing is becoming a go-to tool for businesses, but generating enough quality content to keep your blogs and social media posts populated can be a challenging proposition. Here are some guidelines to avoid copyright infringement issues when buying and repurposing content. Assume copyright: When you find information, pictures, video or music online, you should always assume that material is protected. Using content without permission can lead to copyright infringement lawsuits and monetary damages. Get permission:

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Know who owns your business IP rights

If intellectual property is a pivotal component of your business, you need to ensure you own the rights to that property. Demonstrating legal ownership does more than protect your IP from infringement; it adds to your business value when securing investors or new ownership. There are times in your business when you cannot assume ownership of certain intellectual property. Special consideration should be paid to IP as part of employee and contractor agreements, in third-party relationships

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Take caution when offering credit monitoring

If your business is involved in an information breach, you are not generally required to offer credit services to your customers. However, many organizations do, offering services such as credit reporting, credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and identity restoration services. Recognize that many data breaches do not actually involve risk to the consumer’s credit. Offering such services do not protect your customer from any harm that might result from the breach. What’s more, some courts have

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Text messages could be binding contract

As more business communication is conducted via text messages, businesses need to be aware that they can have legal ramifications. In the eyes of the law, text messages may not be as informal as you think. An issue is emerging regarding whether a text message can constitute a binding contract. Many states have no legislation or case law on the issue. However, most states have adopted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, which stipulates that electronic writing

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Beware of making tipped workers do non tip-earning tasks

Many employers in the service industry take what’s called a “tip credit.” In other words, they pay workers performing tip-generating tasks a lower wage (as little as $2.13 an hour, far below the federal minimum wage) with the expectation that tips will make up the difference. There’s also been a controversy for some time over whether tipped workers have to be paid at least minimum wage for time spent on non-tipped tasks. For example, do restaurant

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Firing workplace harasser may not be enough to avoid responsibility

A recent Virginia case highlights the importance of addressing reported harassment in the workplace quickly and supervising your managers in the process. It also shows that even eventually firing the harasser won’t be enough to shield you from liability if you didn’t respond sufficiently at first. In this case, employee Perry Funk claims that a male coworker subjected him to sexually inappropriate conduct, including opening his fly and thrusting his crotch in Funk’s face and grabbing

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Employer’s delay waives right to arbitration

If your employees have signed an agreement to arbitrate any employment disputes, you need to act fast if you really want to keep the case out of court. If you sit on your rights, you might lose them. That happened recently in Rhode Island, where an exotic dancer brought a class action against the club she worked for, claiming it misclassified her and other dancers as “independent contractors,” resulting in their losing out on pay the

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