California: The California Contractor State License Board is now accepting applications for licensure from limited liability companies (LLCs). LLC applications can be obtained from CSLB’s website at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/GeneralInformation/About/LLC.asp. Before now, because an LLC could not become licensed, remodelers in California either had to go unlicensed or use a non-preferred corporate structure simply to get a CSLB license.
Illinois: An Illinois-based telemarketing company will pay $500,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it interfered with consumers’ requests to be placed on company-specific do not call lists and transmitted deceptive Caller ID names. “When it comes to the Do Not Call provisions, compliance is not rocket science,” said David C. Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “It includes honoring a consumer’s request to be placed on a specific do not call list, and not messing with anyone’s caller ID. Legitimate companies comply with the law every day.”
Virginia: In a substantial narrowing of existing Virginia law, the Virginia Court of Appeals held that a non-compete clause that attempted to stop a worker from engaging in competition other than in the position the worker was previously engaged is unenforceable. In other words, you can prohibit a sales representative from being a sales representative for your competitor, but you can’t necessarily stop him from being an owner or investor in a competing operation. Virginia contractors should either review their worker agreements at the first opportunity to consider changing the non-compete language, or keep this in mind before attempting to enforce a restrictive covenant in Virginia in the future.
Federal: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received nearly 100,000 charges of discrimination during the 2011 fiscal year, the most in its 46-year history. Charges of religious discrimination jumped by 9.5 percent, the largest increase of any category. Claims of bias based on ancestry or country of origin rose 5 percent. Charges of racial bias fell by 1 percent, while sexual discrimination claims fell 2 percent and sexual harassment claims dropped 3 percent. However, claims of disability bias climbed 2 percent and charges of discrimination based on age rose 1 percent.