Tara A. Speer

Latest Articles

The second largest consumer tax preparer in the United States has just been hit with a lawsuit filed by former employees alleging a “no-poach” conspiracy between the company and its franchisees, according to a complaint filed in New Jersey federal court. In the suit, the former Jackson Hewitt employees seek to represent any person who worked at one of the tax company’s locations between January 2000 and December 2018. This proposed class action suit is…
The U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers announced last week that they have prepared a bill that would establish that a business simply licensing a trademark, such as in the case of a license from a franchisor to a franchisee, would not create a so-called “joint employer” relationship. Joint employment is the sharing of control and supervision of an employee’s activity among two or more businesses. This new bill, called the Trademark Licensing Protection Act of…
Eight national restaurant chains have agreed to drop provisions in their franchise agreements that prohibit franchisees from hiring fellow franchisees’ employees. The removal of the “no-poach” hiring stipulation will be effective at all of their locations nationwide. This move comes at the heels of announcements from Attorneys General from 10 states and the District of Columbia to investigate these “no-poaching” agreements. In addition to criminal and civil enforcement by both the state and federal governments,…
With the recent news out of Washington that the Department of Labor has withdrawn Administrator’s Interpretation 2016-1 (its previous informal guidance on joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)), and with the National Labor Relations Board pulling back the broad joint employer standard set in the 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. case, many are under the impression that the joint employer storm has passed. While these are certainly welcome developments, franchisors should…
It has been a little over a month since the Opportunity to Compete Act (the “Act”) went into effect in New Jersey. The Act, which is New Jersey’s version of Ban the Box, was originally signed into law on August 11, 2014, giving employers roughly 6 months to review and revise their employment forms and practices to conform to the new mandates. The enactment of the law solidifies New Jersey’s position regarding the use of…
The insurance industry is reacting to the recent realities that the Ebola virus has the potential to have an impact on U.S. based businesses. NAS Insurance Services recently announced that it will offer Ebola Business Interruption Coverage in conjunction with Prospect Insurance Brokers Ltd and the Ark Syndicate at Lloyd’s of London. This coverage is intended to fill a gap that exists in current Commercial Business Owner policies.…
Countless people have been affected by the harsh economic times of the past several years.  Many were unable to meet their financial obligations and stopped paying their bills which ultimately resulted in diminished credit ratings.  In turn, job prospects also diminished. Pre-employment credit screenings are often standard practice and an unacceptable credit rating can be a bar to potential employment opportunities.   The New Jersey Legislature is currently reviewing this situation to determine whether reform…
Employee manuals are a very useful tool for both employers and employees. The manuals are meant to provide guidance to employees about how the company runs, what the employer’s expectations are and how certain situations should be handled. They can quickly and effectively provide employees with answers to many commonly asked questions. This creates a certain level of clarity for both parties and aids in the avoidance of misunderstandings regarding the company’s policies. However, while…