Court Finds Grubhub Driver Was Independent Contractor

(February 9, 2018) A Grubhub driver was an independent contractor and not an employee of the online food ordering and delivery service because the company lacks control over the driver’s work.

The California district court noted it is an “all-or-nothing proposition” whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor. “With the advent of the gig economy, and the creation of  a low wage workforce performing low skill but highly flexible episodic jobs, the legislature may want to address this ...

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Update on Sign Permits in Chicago

Effective January 1st, Chicago businesses are no longer required to obtain a permit for simple window signs covering less than 25% of the window. This update is good news for small business owners.

In general, permits are required for all on-premises signs, but the following exceptions now apply:

  • A temporary on-premise sign constructed wholly from paper, fabric, vinyl, or similar materials and attached to a window for no more than 60 days, provided that the total area of all signage in a single window ...
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Did Scrapbook Reveal KFC Trade Secret Recipe?

(August 28, 2016) Did the nephew of Col. Sanders just give away the family secret 11 herbs and spices used in the KFC recipe?

That’s what the Chicago Tribune thinks. A reporter says 67-year-old Joe Ledington showed him a family scrapbook that included a copy of Claudia Sanders’ will. She was the colonel’s second wife. Attached to the document was a recipe listing 11 herbs and spices along with the specific measurements. Using the Tribune’s taste kitchen, the newspaper claims—after several ...

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Green Seal Certifications Must Include Statement Limiting Claims: FTC

(September 15, 2015) To avoid being deceptive, green seal certifications need to prominently state what makes the product green, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned.

The FTC sent letters to five providers of environmental certification seals and 32 businesses warning them that their seals could be deceptive and may not comply with the FTC’s environmental marketing guidelines. The recipients of the letters were not disclosed.

In disclosing that the letters were sent, the FTC said the certifications matter to people who want ...

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Labor Ruling Could Jeopardize Uber’s Business Model

Uber’s business model may be in trouble if a California Labor Commission’s finding that Uber drivers are employees, not independent contractors, is followed by California courts.

Uber, the ride sharing service, has maintained that it merely provides “administrative support” through a “technology platform” that “private vehicle drivers and passengers use to facilitate private transactions.” Uber asserts that the drivers are not employees but rather independent contractors. However, the California Labor Commission found otherwise.

An Uber driver filed a complaint to recover mileage, ...

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Mere Employment Not Enough Consideration for Non-Compete

Being employed for less than two years is not sufficient consideration for enforcing a non-compete agreement in Illinois, a state appellate court ruled.

The issue arose when an employee quit his job after three months.  His employment contract included a non-compete agreement restricting his employment for two years after he terminated his employment for any reason.  The employee filed a declaratory judgment action to void several provisions of his employment agreement including the non-compete provision, which he claimed lacked adequate consideration.  ...

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Illinois Judge Questions Legitimate Business Interest Standard

An Illinois appellate court judge has questioned whether the courts should continue to require employers to show a “legitimate business interest” before a non-compete convenant is enforced.

Under current Illinois cases, a covenant not to compete will only be enforced if the restriction protects a legitimate business interest of the employer. In a concurring opinion, Fourth District Court Judge Steigmann wrote that the requirement should be abandoned. Courts “when presented with the issue of whether a restrictive covenant should be enforced, ...

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Employer Must Report Employee’s Child Porn Viewing

An employer who knows or should know that an employee is viewing child pornographic sites on a company computer has an obligation to terminate or to discipline the employee and report the employee to law enforcement authorities.

The issue arose in a case where a mother and her minor daughter sued the company where her husband, the step-father of the daughter, worked. The employee had posted on the internet from the company computer nude and semi-nude pictures of his 10-year old ...

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Have You Seen An Elephant In a Mouse Hole?

Lawyers are not financial institutions and therefore are not required to send privacy disclosure notices to clients under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the D.C. Circuit affirmed.

The question of whether lawyers fall under the Act was raised by two bar associations after the Federal Trade Commission indicated that lawyers were not entitled to an exception under the Act. The trial court had found that the FTC’s attempt to regulate attorneys under the privacy provisions of GLBA was not only inconsistent with the ...

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