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About Paul R. Bedard, Esquire

Paul R. Bedard, EsquirePaul R. Bedard, Esquire

"Paul Bedard has nearly twenty years of experience in the health and fitness industry. He's currently a Partner and the Director of Operations for Crunch Fitness Connecticut. He's also a practicing attorney. Paul strives to be active in his local community and has served on the Southington Zoning Board of Appeals and the Board of the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency. He also volunteers and fundraises for various local charities."

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The FLSA's "Final Rule" and How to Prepare for It
September 2016 - The fact that many employers struggle with wage and hour compliance, combined with employees having a greater awareness of their employment rights, has contributed to an already healthy boost in wage and hour disputes. A new law will almost certainly increase the volume of these disputes. The Fair Labor Standards Act's "Final Rule" takes effect on December 1, 2016. This new law dramatically raises the standard salary level for exempt employees and will further accelerate the increasing trend of wage and hour litigation. Read Article...

Utilizing a Cease and Desist Letter to Enforce Your Legal Rights and Protect Your Interests
May 2017 - What is one of the first things you should do upon learning that one of your former employees is in violation of their non-compete agreement, soliciting your current and former clients while working for your greatest competitor? What actions should you initially take upon discovering that another health club is using your protected logo or engaging in any activity that violates your legal rights or damages your protected interests? Read Article...

Washington State Supreme Court Rules:
Public Accommodation Employers Are Strictly Liable When Employees Discriminate Against Non-Employees

March 2019 - Employers may be found liable for the actions of their employees due to numerous legal doctrines. In addition to federal and local legislation, various state laws impact the causes of action available. A state law prohibiting discrimination, the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), was enacted many years ago to combat discrimination in employment, places of public accommodation and other contexts. The Washington State Supreme Court broadly interpreted the WLAD when it recently ruled, "employers are directly liable for the sexual harassment of members of the public by their employees, just as they would be if their employees turned customers away because of their race, religion or sexual orientation," whether or not the employer is aware of their employees' behavior. Read Article...

What Are the Elements of a Legal Contract?
June 2018 - Health club owners and operators are routinely parties to contracts. Some of these contracts are formal and complex, whereas others are informal and simple. However, regardless of these specifics, what constitutes a legal contract? An enforceable contract requires three elements: an offer, acceptance and consideration. There must also be a meeting of the minds between the contracting parties, along with an absence of fraud, duress, legal incapacity or any one of the many legal defenses to a breach of contract claim. Although contracts can generally be oral or verbal, some types of contracts must be reduced to writing. State laws govern contract enforceability and these laws vary, adding yet another legal facet that requires analysis when trying to determine whether a contract is legal. Read Article...

What Does At-Will Employment Mean?
January 2018 - Employment litigation continues to represent one of the most complicated and significant facets of legal exposure for health clubs. Some employers mistakenly assume that hiring employees "at-will" equates to a blanket authority to dismiss these employees at any time, regardless of the motive or rationale behind the decision, without potential liability. Although the authority to terminate an at-will employee is somewhat broad, it is not absolute. Statutory protections, common law exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine and tort causes of action limit this authority. Read Article...

What Employers Need to Know About Background Checks
April 2019 - A company is only as good as the people it employs. Character and integrity should rank highly among the list of personal attributes that employers seek when selecting employees. To quote the great Warren Buffet, "Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And, if you don't have the first, the other two will kill you." One of the ways employers work to ensure that employees of integrity are joining their ranks is by reviewing the backgrounds of their prospective hires. This might include a person's education, work history, credit history, social media presence and criminal record. However, federal laws and varying state and local laws protecting applicants and employees from discrimination must be adhered to. Read Article...

When A Health Club's Dress Code Conflicts With A Member's Religious Beliefs
June 2017 - Most health club owners and operators have had to decline or terminate someone's membership against that person's will for any number of reasons. Theft, threatening conduct, inappropriate attire and unsafe use of equipment are just some of the reasons that immediately come to mind. Yet, when does denying someone membership constitute illegal discrimination? It depends. Some instances of such discrimination are blatant, while others require individual analysis of the facts at issue and the federal, state and local laws that apply within the jurisdiction. Read Article...

Workplace Sexual Harassment
December 2017 - Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose are all making news headlines for reasons they wish they were not. Reported incidents of workplace sexual harassment, allegedly committed by various celebrities and top executives, are generating news headlines on a daily basis. Although most incidents of workplace sexual harassment involve neither a celebrity nor a top executive, current news headlines are shining a spotlight on this issue regardless of positional rank or celebrity status. Workplace sexual harassment is a complicated and sensitive legal issue. Read Article...

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