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Las Vegas Litigation Law Blog

Why do employees sue?

As a Las Vegas employer, one of your concerns might be whether someone on your staff will sue you. Nevada is an at-will employment state, meaning you can fire anyone for any reason, as long as it does not violate discrimination, harassment or retaliation laws. However, it is important to realize that you will want to have a good reason for terminating an employee, as well as evidence whenever possible. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing a wrongful termination lawsuit, whether or not you did any wrong in firing the person.

When you do find it necessary to terminate an employee, advises Forbes, the right information in the employee’s human resources file provides documentation as to why he or she was let go. Negative employee reviews, disciplinary paperwork and notes describing incidents worthy of report, such as not getting along with co-workers or consistently showing up to work late, are all things that you want to keep a record of. It is wise to have a dated time-stamp on each document, as well. Having another person who can back you up may also be helpful if the issue goes to court.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy may offer businesses a second chance

Businesses face many challenges, from economy changes to fierce competition. In many cases, company owners in Las Vegas and elsewhere may find themselves with struggling with too much debt, not enough revenue or both. Fortunately, before being forced to permanently close doors, companies have the option of restructuring their debt through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

This type of bankruptcy, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, is also known as the “reorganization” bankruptcy. Instead of liquidating assets to repay creditors and ruining the business, Chapter 11 allows companies to propose a plan for repayment and increasing profits. This the reason Chapter 11 is primarily used by businesses, particularly corporations.

Boy killed in tragic water park accident

Theme parks are a popular way for families to have fun in Las Vegas. Many people believe that roller coasters and carnival rides are safe, since children are often allowed on these rides. Unfortunately, the opposite can be true. Thousands of people, including children, are injured on amusement park rides every year.

A recent tragedy at an amusement park in Kansas has made national news. A 10-year-old boy was killed when an unknown accident occurred on a water park slide and he suffered a neck injury. Two others who were on the ride with him suffered facial injuries. How dangerous, exactly, are the rides at water parks and other popular parks that thousands visit each year? Safety experts say that the rides at fixed locations are generally safer than those at temporary carnivals and fairs. It is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s responsibility to oversee the rides at these temporary parks, as well as to investigate injuries. However, the safety standards that are set by the agency are voluntary, rather than required.

What is social monitoring and how can it help your business?

As some of our recent posts have pointed out, your online presence can have a great impact on the success or failure of your company. Like many Las Vegas business owners, you may consider it a wise move to get involved with the most popular social networks to expose your brand, attract clientele and get ahead of the trends in your industry.

One of the most effective tools available today, explains the Huffington Post, is social media monitoring. Customers are probably already talking about your company through review sites, such as Yelp. You may also have a Twitter account or Facebook page where you can interact with your customers and see what they are saying about their experience with your products or services. Social media monitoring tools allow you to find out what is being said on the Internet about your company where you might not easily find it. You can find numerous free social monitoring tools through a simple Internet search. They work by searching the web for keywords that you have compiled about your company and industry, which may include words that signify both positive and negative comments.

What should you know about aggressive driving and road rage?

As anyone who has driven down the congested Las Vegas strip can attest to, busy traffic has a tendency to bring out the worst in drivers. Chances are, you might have already encountered an aggressive driver, or you may have been tempted to react out of frustration or anger yourself.

A recent study by AAA revealed that 80 percent of drivers who were surveyed said they had driven aggressively at least once during the past year. Authorities report that 56 percent of all accidents involving a fatality are attributed to some form of aggression, according to NBC News. This figure does not take into account the numbers of injury accidents involving aggression or road rage, meaning that you may have a significant chance of being in an accident with an aggressive driver at some point during your lifetime.

A careless comment on social media can devastate a business

Social media has a large presence in the lives of Las Vegas residents, including business owners. Popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more give people a virtual platform to have their voices heard by thousands, and perhaps millions, of others around the world. It can be all too easy for some to forget that once posted, their words may have a long-term impact on others' opinions of them. For business owners, this has the potential to be either beneficial or disastrous.

An ice cream shop owner in Florida recently learned this lesson the hard way. Reportedly, the woman answered another business owner's Facebook post and then began to post inflammatory comments against political, religious and racial groups. She also used profane language against those who called her out on her negative opinions. After her posts received thousands of views, the woman's actions backfired on her. Numerous commenters left negative reviews on her business's Google and Yelp sites.

The dangers of heat stroke on the job

It can be unbearably hot in Las Vegas during the summer and early fall months. This usually poses no problem for those who live and work in air conditioned buildings, but the summer heat can be uncomfortable – and even dangerous – for those who work in the sun or in industries that are known for generating heat. For this reason, Nevada employers should take measures to protect their staff from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

In fact, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it is an employer’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace, which includes access to shade, water and breaks when it is hot. In 2014, 2,630 employees across the country became ill and 18 lost their lives due to heat-related factors. Construction workers, farm laborers, those who work in iron and steel foundries and bakery workers are among those most at risk of a heat-related jobsite illness or injury.

Pizza company sued by bread company over executive’s new job

It is important for Las Vegas businesses to protect their trade secrets and other elements that distinguish their brands from competitors. This is why many companies have employees sign noncompete agreements or vigorously pursue legal action against another company that infringes upon a trademark.

Recently, the bakery restaurant chain Panera Bread filed a lawsuit against its former information technology vice president, after the executive took a new job with the pizza company Papa John’s International. The lawsuit states that the executive violated the terms of his noncompete agreement and expressed concern that his position would create an unfair competition situation. Papa John’s, however, states there is no reason to worry that the pizza chain would unduly compete against Panera Bread or learn its company secrets.

Are bounce houses harmless fun or accidents waiting to happen?

During the warmer months, rental bounce houses are a staple at birthday parties and fairs in Las Vegas and across the United States. These large, inflatable trampoline playgrounds are generally considered harmless fun for children of all ages. Unfortunately, as numerous recent accidents have shown, bounce houses may not be as safe and fun as people think. Depending on the company that rents out the equipment and the state of repair it is in, a defective or dangerously operated bounce house may result in legal liability if someone is injured.

CNN reported on the tragic story of a 7-year-old girl from England who was killed earlier this year after a bounce house she was playing in at a fair was swept away by a strong wind. Numerous children across America have been seriously injured when improperly anchored bounce houses blew away.

Your responsibilities for preventing violence in the workplace

Employees in Nevada have the right to work in an environment that is safe physically and emotionally. At the Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd., we know the responsibilities that you have as an employer, regarding workplace safety. If these obligations are not met, you may find yourself facing a lawsuit by one of your employees.

This responsibility extends to protecting your employees from violence in the workplace. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, almost 2 million people in the country are subjected to violence at work every year. In fact, workplace violence is the fourth cause of fatalities on the job in the United States.

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