Buying a property with a friend, business partner, relative, or significant other can be rewarding investment. But if the relationship sours, undoing the jointly titled deed can pose serious problems, particularly with a mortgage. If the co-owners cannot amicably dispose of one interest or the other through a buyout, or cannot agree to sell the property outright, a judicial partition action my be the only recourse.
As an employee you may be asked to sign a non-compete agreement prior to beginning work for an employer. Although the specific terms of a non-compete agreement can vary dramatically, the basic concept is the same in all non-compete agreements. The agreement will limit your employment options and/or conditions should you terminate your employment with this employer
Despite monumental efforts by both public and private organizations and agencies to eliminate discrimination in the workplace over the past several decades, it does still occur far more often than most people realize. The good news, however, is that many types of employment discrimination are now illegal in the United States, meaning an employer may face serious penalties if the employer engages in discriminatory practices, or allows discrimination to occur in the workplace.
Pregnancy and the birth of a child should be a joyous time in a woman’s life. The last thing an expectant or new mother should have to worry about is losing her job because of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, though, it is far from uncommon—even in the 21st century—for a woman to find out she has been terminated while on pregnancy-related medical leave. If you were terminated while on leave related to a pregnancy or the birth of a child in Pennsylvania, you may have the basis for legal action based on either state or federal employment laws
Although there are never any promises that your workplace will be exactly as you wish it to be, it should not be a place where you feel degraded, objectified, frightened or harassed. Unfortunately, however, that is the case sometimes. Despite state and federal laws making it illegal to engage in harassment in the workplace, it does still happen at an alarming rate. If you are the victim of harassment and you have filed a complaint with your supervisor to no avail, you may be wondering “Can the company just ignore complaints about harassment?”
In 2009 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted the “Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act”, commonly referred to as HIPCA, in an effort to protect consumers from scams and other unfair trade practices that so often occur with home improvement contractors. If you are a homeowner in need of home improvement work it would certainly be in your best interest to know a bit more about HIPCA, specifically it would be a good idea to know when a home improvement contractor can be held liable under Pennsylvania law.
RESPA is a federal law that is administered and enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB. For a prospective borrower or a lender, the most important provisions of RESPA are the disclosures required at various times during the mortgage loan process. Within three days of submitting a mortgage loan application to a lender the lender must provide a “Good Faith Estimate”, or GFE, that provides the prospective borrower with the loan terms as well as with the lender’s estimate of what the closing costs will be.
Whether a worker is classified as an employee or an independent contractor makes a significant difference in an employer’s duties and obligations toward the worker. The distinction governs everything from the applicability of wage and overtime law to unemployment and workers’ compensation eligibility. All too often employers misclassify workers in an effort to reduce or eliminate expenses and benefits to which the worker should lawfully be entitled. Both employers and workers should be aware that the presence of an independent contractor agreement does not, alone, serve to classify a worker as an independent contractor.
When the employer-employee relationship ends, it does not necessarily mean the employer’s financial obligation to the employee ends. Often, an employee is entitled to a severance package when his or her employment is terminated with an employer. If you have recently severed your relationship with your employer and your employer has yet to pay your severance, you may be wondering “Can my company refuse to pay my severance?” The answer to that question is likely going to be found in your employment contract.
Civil litigation can be costly to all parties involved, both in terms of actual expenses and in terms of the time it takes to prepare and litigate a case. The parties, however, are not the only ones who bear the costs involved in litigation. The court system also expends a considerable amount of money every time a case goes to jury trial – costs that are ultimately paid for by the taxpayers. Everyone involved in litigation, therefore, has a financial incentive to resolve a civil dispute before it reaches the jury trial stage. Alternative dispute resolution attempts to do just that.
Employees who feel they are owed wages in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have the right to pursue a claim for those wages in a court of law. Employers faced with the threat of a wage payment lawsuit should seriously consider the amount of wages in controversy against what the employer could be forced to pay in damages and attorney fees if the employee prevails in a lawsuit. Often, the cure is worse than the pain in wage claims. The lesson to be learned for employers is if you are going to fight a wage claim you had better win.
If your current employer-employee relationship comes to an end, for any reason, don’t make the mistake of walking away and leaving unpaid commissions behind. All too often employees are told that commissions are forfeit, or otherwise not required to be paid, when an employee leaves a job. Understandably, the employee accepts the employer’s explanation and essentially walks away without receiving commissions that may be legally owed to the employee. Before you make that mistake, do a little research and consult with an experienced Pennsylvania employment law attorney to ensure that you don’t leave your money behind when you walk out the door.
If you are in the construction industry, you already understand that even a simple project typically has several different companies working on different aspects of the project at any given time. Ultimately, all of those sub-contractors must report to the general contractor who, in turn, reports to the property owner. Payment for services rendered trickles down from the property owner to the general contractor, and eventually down to the sub-contractors and sub-sub-contractors. What happens if payment doesn’t trickle down, though?
If you are in the construction industry, you already know how important it is to have a properly-drafted contract in place that protects you and your business before commencing work on any project. A contract, however, can only offer you protection if you understand the terms used in the contract, and understand what happens if a party breaches or defaults on the contract. For example, in the construction industry, there is a significant difference between a simple breach and a material breach of contract. At this point, you may wonder “How do I know if a material breach has occurred?”
Whether residential or commercial property is involved, the relationship between a landlord and tenant can be complicated. Moreover, the laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship are numerous and complex, making it difficult to resolve disagreements or issues when they do surface. If you foresee the need to retain the services of an attorney for your landlord-tenant issue, you may be wondering if real estate lawyers handle issues with rental properties. While there is no way to provide a universal answer to that question that will apply to every real estate lawyer, most real estate lawyers do, indeed, handle issues relating to rental properties.
For many people, owning a business is a lifelong dream. If you are finally at the point where you plan to make your dream of owning a business a reality, you have many important decisions ahead of you. The first, and most important, decision is what type of legal structure to use for your business. Business entities fall into three basic categories—sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Within the partnership category, there are then a number of sub-categories, such as the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).
If you are like the average home buyer, you will be depending on a mortgage loan to finance the purchase of your new home. Given the fact that purchasing a home will likely be the single biggest purchase you make in your lifetime, it only seems appropriate to know as much about the financing process as possible before committing to a lender and/or loan. Unfortunately, first-time home buyers often make costly mistakes because they fail to do the proper research and ask the right questions before starting the home search.
The rental relationship between any landlord and tenant is governed by the written lease agreement executed by the parties as well as by local, state, and even federal laws. In Pennsylvania, for example, there are state law procedures that must be followed if a landlord wishes to evict most tenants; however, if the property is located in certain areas, such as Philadelphia county, local rules apply.
In the normal course of things, a taxpayer is required to pay capital gains taxes any time a gain is realized on the sale of a capital asset. Although just about any asset qualifies as a capital asset, a common example of when capital gains taxes are incurred is when a taxpayer sells real property. Understandably, taxpayers are always looking for ways to limit, or avoid altogether, capital gains taxes. One option that may work to defer capital gains tax when the asset in question is real property is to enter into a Section 1031 Exchange in lieu of a traditional sale.
Whether you are in the market for your first home or you are planning to purchase your 20th property, it always makes sense to try to get the “most bang for your buck.” Purchasing property from a sheriff’s sale often offers just that. However, there are also risks involved when bidding on property at a sheriff’s sale.