Monthly Archives: May 2017

Economic Damages of an Employee Reselling Company Products

Many employees are able to purchase products at their places of employment and then resell them at a higher price or without the discount they are often awarded while working for the company.

The possibility that this may be illegal has deterred most from performing these actions. However, not even with the threat of negative consequences has stopped certain individuals. The risk of reselling doesn’t even include the potential economic damages to the business from the person. He or she does not consider this when his or her actions are not stopped. It is important to seek a lawyer if any legal concerns arise through these actions.

A company is often not harmed greatly if one employee resells products he or she purchased legitimately. However, the business may fire the worker if he or she is found doing this. It is possible that a greater economic loss may be felt if there are several individuals reselling products that are sold out of the organization for revenue. This would mean that profits earned through valid transactions are being cut short by others gaining the income without any percentage going to the company. This may be considered theft by some local governing bodies. However, these issues may go to the court with so much in damages being awarded to the business affected.

What Does Reselling Mean?

When someone has purchased or been given items from a company with a logo or brand that specifies that business specifically, it is considered reselling when the person sells these objects to others. This may be through the permission of the organization involved, or it could be without gaining consent. It is when this transpires and the individual pretends he or she is a representative of the business selling the clothing, property or products, that this may become a legal matter. In most instances, this is not illegal. However, if the organization discovers these actions and it was not sanctioned, the employee may be terminated. When enough merchandise is bought in this manner, it is possible that there could be economic damages to the company affected.

The right to resell purchased products that may have a copyright is already affirmed and double verified through the Supreme Court. A case was handled where the copyright owner sued for damages because a copyright work was resold by the person that bought it. In the United States, the first time an object or product is purchased, the copyright protections are removed. This permits the citizen in the country to sell the books, manuscript, play or another document to another person. As long as copies weren’t made to sell as reproductions, the original may be resold. This may even be items such as branded iPads, Nike shoes and similar purchased products.

The Owner’s Right to Reselling

The Owners’ Rights Initiative has made headway of introducing the ability to resell any product that has been legitimately purchased by a person no matter where the item came from, what company it was purchased through and what brand, logo, copyright or other legal protection originally safeguarded violations. Several online companies back the Initiative to ensure owners retain the right to sell their own items after they’ve initially bought them. However, this does not mean that persons are permitted to represent themselves as the company. If any action such as this occurs, there are potential legal concerns. This includes any website that may promote certain brands. There must be information somewhere that the site is not connected to the company unless authorization to do so has been granted.

Economic Damages to the Company and Legal Recourse

While one person reselling items purchased through the company for some side money often is not felt unless the company is small, multiple individuals or groups of sellers could accrue enough income and profit from the venture so greatly that the business is harmed. Additionally, these merchandise owners could act as generic companies that sell or resell designer clothing or other products at a serious discounted price. When the word spreads, this could lead to a loss of sales, a dip in revenue and economic difficulties for shareholders.

Provided the employee is not covered under the Owners’ Rights Initiative in the situation, it is important to contact a business lawyer to determine what may be done about the complication. There may be a settlement that could be more beneficial to both parties rather than a long drawn out lawsuit which may be thrown out if the seller is taking advantage of the Initiative.

Cruise Ship Employees Rights

Cruise ship employees can be victim to the same negligence, assaults and injuries as the passengers. More than not the cruise line will try and cover up these incidences.

Often times we hear about cruise ship passangers’ horror stories where someone was assaulted, fallen overboard, or even murdered. However, we rarely hear about the atrocities that happen to those on the other side of the ship….the employees.

Cruise ship employees can be victim to the same negligence, assaults and injuries as the passengers. More than not the cruise line will try and cover up these incidences. The second an employee is injured the cruise line will bombard them with paperwork to fill out. In the depths of this mound of paper may be a liability release that a traumatized employee may overlook. It’s rather common for cruise lines to include this same camouflaged liability release into passenger contracts. In order to prevent being dubbed and tricked out of compensation, you need to take certain steps.

First of all, you should know your labor rights and know what OSHA is. OSHA is a department within the U.S. Department of Labor. They are concerned with ensuring the safety, health and welfare of employees.

Now here is what you should do after an incident that you feel might or does violate your rights.

– Take notice of anyone that might have seen the accident. These may be valuable witnesses latter.
– Take note of the time, area, and anything around you that could have contributed to the incident.
– If you are physically incapacitated, find another employee from the security or administration department and report the injury.
– If they do not offer to provide you with a form for a written statement, request one. Fill this form out to describe the incident. Even if the details are damaging toward the company…..include them!
– Make a copy of the written report and store in a safe place.
– File the report with your immediate supervisor and administration.
– Try to take photographs of where the incident occurred and anything the contributed to the incident.
– Find the people that witnessed the incident and record their names, address, telephone, etc..
– See the nearest doctor
– Request a copy of that medical record.
– Do not sign anything other than your written incident report. Any other paperwork should be delayed until you are able to speak with a lawyer.
– Contact an experienced maritime lawyer, personal injury lawyer, or personal injury lawyer that specializes in maritime law.

Also, be aware that maritime laws are different than land laws. Furthermore, cruise ships will often fall into whatever country the ship is registered in. These complications are another reason that a lawyer should be contacted immediately.

Hawaii Employment Law Basics: Anti-Nepotism Policies

Under Hawaii’s employment practices statute, HRS Chapter 378, employers are prohibited from discriminating against applicants and employees alike on the basis of marital status. Discrimination prohibited by Hawaii law includes a refusal to hire, demotion, termination or disparate terms or conditions of employment, because an individual is a spouse of an employee.

Anti-nepotism policies serve to address potential problems that could arise if spouses or relatives work at or seek employment with the same company. Spouses or relatives working with the same employer often lead to complaints by other employees of favoritism, morale issues, or conflicts of interest. Employers, therefore, have an interest in avoiding these problems by reserving the right to not hire on the basis of relationship status, to transfer employees to another department or site, or to even terminate an employee where a conflict/perceived conflict arises.

Conversely, Hawaii employers often welcome relatives or spouses of existing employees into their workforce as the company might benefit overall from a more family-type environment. The urge to hire family members might also be more pronounced in small or neighbor-island communities, where the labor pool is limited.

Accordingly, Hawaii employers must carefully consider the company’s needs, the environment, and most importantly, the legal landscape, in determining to what extent an anti-nepotism policy is appropriate for the workplace.

Under Hawaii’s employment practices statute, HRS Chapter 378, employers are prohibited from discriminating against applicants and employees alike on the basis of marital status. Discrimination prohibited by Hawaii law includes a refusal to hire, demotion, termination or disparate terms or conditions of employment, because an individual is a spouse of an employee.

In Ross v. Stouffer Hotel Co., a case decided by the Hawaii Supreme Court in 1994, the Court ruled that an employer’s policy of terminating employees who married other employees working in the same department violated Hawaii’s marital status discrimination statute, unless the termination falls within one of the statutory exceptions set forth in HRS § 378-3. Specifically, the employer enforced a “no-relatives” policy after two massage therapists, Ross and Treffry, married. It asked that one of the employees either apply for a transfer to another department or resign. When neither one complied with the employer’s request, the employer terminated Ross.

In ruling that the terminated violated Hawaii’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of marital status, the Court acknowledged that statutory exceptions to such prohibition exist under the law. One of the exceptions includes action as a bona fide occupational qualification necessary to the normal operations of a business, i.e., a “BFOQ” defense.

Accordingly, while it is clear that the Ross decision prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against an employee or applicant simply because their spouse is/will be a coworker the Court made clear such prohibition is not absolute. It is up to the employer with assistance of counsel to determine to what extent circumstances exist that would warrant asserting the BFOQ defense.

Who Needs a Work Permit in Belgium?

The current article sets forth the basic principles for immigration to Belgium and outlines who needs a work permit.

Whether you would like to work or reside in Belgium, the major difference is whether or not you are a EU national.

– EU nationals

In order to work in Belgium, EU nationals do not need a work permit. Their identity card or passport is sufficient to allow them to enter, reside and work in Belgium.

– Non-EU nationals

Non-EU nationals will need either a work permit (if they are employed) or a professional card (if they are self-employed or independent).

Work Permit (in the case of employees):

Application for a work permit must be filed by the employer (not the employee) with the local regional employment office where the employer is established. This will be either the Flanders, the Walloon or the Brussels Regional Employment Office. Enterprises planning to make a significant level of investment in Belgium may be entitled to enjoy a preferential system.

Professional Card (in the case of independent or self-employed individuals):

Self-employed individuals wishing to establish themselves in Belgium must apply for a professional card at the Belgian embassy or consulate in their country of residence. If the person is already residing in Belgium, then this application can be made at the municipality.

Residence permit:

Non-EU nationals wishing to remain in Belgium for over three months are subject to a visa requirement. Prior to entering the country, they will have to obtain a temporary entry visa to the Belgian diplomatic or consular authorities in the country in which they reside. If you have obtained a work permit or a professional card, a residence permit will be granted.a