Looming ADA Rules Could Affect Millions of Websites

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As many small business property owners will attest, the ADA is a brutal and often times unfair law. Property owners that do not comply with the ADA are not entitled to any advanced notice prior to being sued.  Although important to promote access for the disabled, often times the ADA is exploited by a person that either has never actually visited the premises or visited the premises solely for litigation purposes.  This same heavy handedness is coming to websites and whether they are accessible to the disabled.  Property owners such as hotels and hospitality websites will be the first front which will soon be expanded to almost every website.

For more information, and how to check to see if your website is ADA compliant go to: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/small-business/fl-ada-website-accessibility-suits-20150623-story.html#page=2  

Please contact our office to assist your business with all of its legal technology needs, including the issue of ADA compliant websites.

Fines for Florida Businesses That Don’t Allow Service of Process on Employees

 

As of July 1, 2014 Florida employers must allow the service of process on an employee or face a civil fine as high as $1,000.00.

 

The newly amended Florida Statute§ 48.03(1)(b) is as follows:

48.031 Service of process generally; service of witness subpoenas.—
(1)
(b) An employer, when contacted by an individual authorized to serve process, shall allow
the authorized individual to serve an employee in a private area designated by the employer.
An employer who fails to comply with this paragraph commits a noncriminal violation, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.

2013 Florida Legislative Update

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The 2013 Florida Legislature was very busy this past session. Many of the bills that passed and are awaiting Governor Scott’s signature or veto will directly impact your business. Unfortunately, there has been little or no press coverage of these newly enacted laws.  Click here to view a list of the actions taken by Governor Scott so far and the upcoming bills awaiting a signature or a veto. Keep in mind,  Governor Scott has 15 days to act on bills presented to him after the close of the annual legislative session. After the 15 day deadline expires and the Governor has not taken any action (sign or veto) , the bill automatically becomes law.

2013 Florida Governor Scott action taken bills

You can view the full text of each bill that passed the Florida Legislature here.

 

 

New Florida Supreme Court Ruling Should Alert Businesses to Review Their Contracts, Now

Although businesses should review their standard “form” contracts annually with their attorney, many do not.  Most often changes to year’s old contracts occur after a deal has gone bad or an expensive lawsuit has been lost. Hidden “time bombs” await businesses in the form of “the law has changed since we first used this contract” or ” this provision has not been enforced by a court in years”.  However, every so often news of a court case, ruling or new statute froths to the top and successful businesses take the necessary steps to adapt their businesses and their contracts accordingly. The recent Florida Supreme Court decision in  Tiara Condominium Assoc. v. Marsh & McClennan Companies, Inc. (SC10-1022) should be one of those instances.

In the Tiara Condominium case, the Florida Supreme Court severely limited the “Economic Loss Rule”. This means business that may not have been able to sue for breach of contract, because the actual contract said they could not (clauses limiting certain damages or liability, etc.) have a second chance.  Lawsuits seeking damages for tort claims like negligence can now be filed even though a claim for breach of contract, on the same set of facts, is not available.

To businesses that update their contracts regularly, the court’s decision restricting the confusing and often sloppily applied Economic Loss Rule will be welcome. These businesses will have their attorneys review their contracts for the best way to adapt to the court’s ruling.  Most likely contract provisions regarding liability and damage limitations, indemnity, insurance and dispute resolution will be modified. Unfortunately, for many businesses the effect of the court’s decision will only be known at a later, much more expensive, date.

 

Florida Supreme Court Hears Online Hotel Tax Appeal

Millions of dollars are at stake in the case being considered by three judges of the 1st District Court of Appeal, but any ruling they make is likely to be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court by the losing side. Roberto “Bobby” Martinez, a former U.S click here for full article