Backdating al capone

Some notices are required nationwide by federal law; other notices are required only by specific states’ laws.

Government contractors and subcontractors must post a separate notice of employees’ rights under federal labor laws.

See this Department of Labor page for more information and the text of the required notice.

Under the “four corners rule,” if the language is clear on its face — that is, as one respected judge put it, “a reader who is competent in English but unaware of the agreement’s context would think that the writing admitted of only one meaning” — then that is the meaning the court will use. Even inadvertent document destruction could lead to severe civil sanctions — possibly including a large fine — if litigation is in the offing: If litigation is imminent or perhaps even just “reasonably foreseeable” (depending on the applicable law), a company that destroys potentially-relevant emails and other documents — even inadvertently — could find itself severely sanctioned by an angry judge.

True story: A 25-year-old woman was killed by a truck that overturned onto her car.

This has led to some court battles, because: 1) under U. law, there’s no copyright in facts that aren’t selected and arranged in an original way; for example, the Supreme Court ruled in that the white pages of the phone book aren’t copyrightable; but 2) the federal Copyright Act preempts all equivalent forms of protection that states might try to create — in other words, for publicly-known facts, it’s copyright protection, or no protection at all. 26, 2011) (affirming ALJ decision in favor of NLRB), discussed in this posting by the Duane Morris law firm.

(Secret facts might well be subject to trade-secret protection.) A very readable discussion can be found in the opinion of the Second Circuit, an important federal appellate court. [ADDED 2011-10-27] Pushing the envelope — or even just inattention to legal details — might force a company to submit to on-going monitoring, for years: See this blog posting for a summary of how Google and and other companies found themselves agreeing to live under a microscope as a condition of getting rid of a lawsuit.

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In a blog posting, Chicago attorney Bill Pokorny offers suggestions to reduce the pain-in-the-neck factor associated with this legal requirement.

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