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New Jersey Business Law Blog

Insurance company and alleged breach of contract

People in New Jersey know that medical billing and insurance can be very complex. Every health insurance company makes agreements with select health care facilities and providers regarding what services they will provide coverage for and how much money they will pay on behalf of the patient for a given service. These negotiations can be complex and can have direct impact on the patients themselves as well as the medical providers or facilities. 

According to a report in NorthJersey.com, roughly five years ago the insurance company Amerigroup New Jersey entered into a contract with a hospital that was then called Paramus hospital to provide coverage for specific nursing services and also for detox services. Paramus hospital, now renamed the Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, is said to have provided the appropriate nursing services and the detox services to patients and then submitted reimbursement billing claims to the insurance company.

Protecting your trade secrets from unscrupulous employees

It takes extreme levels of dedication to take an idea and turn it into a successful business. Many times, it is your own unique approach to a business concept that results and success. Whether you have your own recipe for barbecue sauce or a client list that helps your company achieve financial stability, the work you did and the information you've acquired for your business is critical to its ongoing success.

When you hire staff, you trust them with the future and reputation of your business. You expect them to work in your company's best interests and help you grow the business. Unfortunately, some people are more interested in what they can get from their business than what they can do for it.

Proposed law may ensure health care funding during labor disputes

A labor dispute is not good for anyone, neither workers nor employers. Therefore, it is better to avoid such disputes whenever possible. Nevertheless, a proposed law that New Jersey's State Assembly recently approved would charge all employers five cents per worker per year to create a special fund allowing workers in the private sector access to coverage in the event that a labor dispute keeps them out of work for a prolonged period of time. 

The fund would provide a safety net of sorts for workers who see health benefits for themselves and their families canceled due to a work stoppage resulting from a labor dispute. Workers so affected to could apply for funds to defray the cost of COBRA coverage. However, the law would impose some limitations. For example, if a strike preceded the work stoppage, employees would not be eligible for benefits.

Top 5 Tips for Conducting Effective Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are an essential component of corporate compliance and ethics programs that organizations cannot afford to overlook. When conducted properly, risk assessments are an effective way for companies to monitor and evaluate potential compliance risk within an organization. Here are the top 5 tips, based on our experience, for creating and conducting effective risk assessments:

What is an implied business contract?

Most of the time, employment in New Jersey is at-will. This means that you or the employee may terminate the relationship at any time for any reason. Generally, you do not create an employment contract for most employees. However, there is something called an implied contract that you could put in place without even realizing it.

According to The Business Journals, you may create an implied employment contract by accident because it does not need to be in writing or even formally created. Generally, it occurs when you make some type of guarantee or promise. For example, if you tell a person during the hiring process that he or she will get pay raises each year, then this is a potential contract. You are making a promise and you must keep it.

Three steps to develop an intellectual property strategy

Creating a dedicated intellectual property (IP) strategy can help a company protect one of its most valuable assets. Without an IP strategy, a company may misallocate resources to inefficient protection measures. Even worse, they may have lapses in their protection, and fail to account for important pieces of their IP entirely

Despite this, many companies neglect to create an IP strategy for their business. Here are three steps to take to form an IP strategy that is tailored to your business:

Why you need to register your copyright

At Nicoll Davis & Spinella, LLP, in New Jersey, we represent many entrepreneurs who have created works of art such as books, paintings, photographs, musical compositions, computer programs, etc. Such intellectual property becomes a valuable asset for these artists, one that needs protection.

It may surprise you to learn that at the moment your creation reaches final tangible form, it automatically gains a copyright. But it likely will also surprise you to learn that if you fail to register your copyright, you have little or no proof that your creation actually belongs to you should someone else seek to claim it as their own.

New Jersey bans non-disclosure agreements for harassment or discrimination claims

Your to-do list probably got longer on March 18. That day, Governor Murphy signed a major new law widely seen as an answer to the #MeToo movement's call for more openness about discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace.

Known as S121, it bans non-disclosure agreements in employment contracts or settlements that aim to hide details of discrimination, retaliation or harassment claims.

The law means major changes for New Jersey employers and raises important legal questions. It's effective as of March 18, 2019, so employers would be wise to review all contracts and settlements with employees signed, renewed or changed after that date and moving forward.

What are some options for keeping customer information safe?

One of the biggest threats to your New Jersey business these days is a hacker getting your customer information. People who shop with you want to know that you keep their information safe and that nobody can get their hands on it who is not authorized to do so. As a business owner, you are responsible for protecting their information. It is essential that you take certain steps to secure your business files and information systems.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, protecting customer information starts with developing a solid and secure system in which to store it. You need to limit access to the information. Make sure only those people who must access it have the authority to do so. You also need to know what information you have on file. Get rid of any extra information you do not need. You should never collect data from a customer if you have no use for it. That just creates more opportunities for issues should your system be compromised.

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