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Legally Sound Podcast by Nasir Pasha

Legally Sound Podcast

by Nasir Pasha

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Broad answers to specific business legal questions (with multiple disclaimers), Legally Sound | Smart Business is a podcast geared towards small business owners. Hosted by attorneys Nasir N. Pasha and Matt Staub of Pasha Law, Legally Sound | Smart Business touches on a variety of topics, usually from a legal point of view, with an occasional laugh.


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http://www.pashalaw.com/category/legally-sound-smart-business/

Ultimate Legal Breakdown: Subscription Box Businesses [e286]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Apr 03, 2017


On this episode of the Ultimate Legal Breakdown, Nasir and Matt go in depth with the subscription box business. They discuss where subscription box companies have gone wrong (4:30), the importance of a specifically tailored terms and conditions (6:30), how to structure return policies (11:45), product liability concerns (14:45), the offensive and defensive side of intellectual property (19:00), forming partnerships (23:30), when to form multiple entities (31:45), and rules and logistics for shipping (34:00). Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business! My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub, and we’re two business attorneys with Pasha Law. NASIR: Yeah, welcome to the podcast today. We are doing our ultimate legal breakdown of the subscription box business. MATT: Yeah, looking forward to this one. it’s a pretty fun topic because subscription boxes can offer many different things. I’m sure that most listeners have probably either ordered their own subscription box or maybe have their own business. NASIR: You’re saying most people either have their subscription box business? Most people have subscribed to one, at least. I mean, some people are addicted to it. MATT: Well, it’s nice. NASIR: And they can be addicting. MATT: And we’ll get into why that’s the case. Just for those of your that aren’t aware, subscription boxes, it’s a pretty simple concept – at least the service aspect of it. Basically, you pay an amount and it’s typically every month but every month you get a delivery to your doorstep and it contains a boxful of items. It can be anything. I mean, I think the ones that people might be most familiar with might be a Blue Apron food service or Nature Box, Dollar Shave Club. NASIR: Dollar Shave. Loot Crate seems popular, too. MATT: The general concept is you pay this monthly amount and, every month, you get a box of different items and most of them are themed to, like I said, some sort of concept behind it – whether it be food, whether it be some sort of artistic thing. At this point, it’s a pretty booming industry. It can be anything few and far between – and I believe, when we checked here – 5-billion-dollar industry, 2,000 different services, according to My Subscription Addiction which is my go-to for subscription box statistics. NASIR: And it’s growing! I mean, 3,000 percent as far as online visits for subscription companies people are interested in the last three years, people are interested in this stuff and it seems like there’s basically two types of these businesses – the ones that curate products that they basically pick a theme – like, you said, the Blue Apron where they just kind of put together food that might be good for this particular recipe; some of them actually create their own product and it may be a different product every month. Somehow, they are actually the creators of it. So, it’s two types of categories there. MATT: Right, and we’re going to get into this later but, obviously, if you have the ladder there – the one where you’re creating your own product that you’re delivering out, you might have a little bit less to worry about from a legal stand. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say that. NASIR: Less than more. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: It’s a different type of liability. MATT: Let’s get into some of these big issues here for these businesses. I think it all kind of starts where a lot of businesses do – with the underlying contract. In this case, the terms and conditions for these services. You know, I’ve ordered my own subscription boxes. I’ve kind of looked around it. Some others, just to see what’s out there. Surprisingly, a pretty wide array of terms and conditions, terms of service, whatever you want to call it that are out there. Some of them are very well-detailed, some of them are… NASIR: Horrible. MATT: Yeah, I was going to put it nicer than that but, yeah. NASIR: No, they are horrible. We have a few subscription box clients. In fact,

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Can Companies Protect Against Foreseeable Misuse of Apps [e285]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Feb 01, 2017


Nasir and Matt discuss the suit against Apple that resulted from a car crashed caused by the use of FaceTime while driving. They also discuss how foreseeable use of apps can increase liability for companies. Transcript: NASIR: Hi and welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business! I’m Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. Two attorneys here with Pasha Law – offices in California, Illinois, New York, and Texas. NASIR: Welcome to the podcast for a little short break we had between our last episode and this is where we discuss current business news with a legal twist. Today, we are talking about how developers – especially mobile app developers and other business owners in that space – can deal with possible liability for their software apps and their products. In this case, it’s a sad story of an Apple app that actually caused, well, it’s alleged to have caused a deadly accident. MATT: Yeah, let’s do a little bit of the background here on how we first started discussing this. There was a car accident back – actually, on Christmas Eve in 2014 – in Texas. The reason this is just kind of surfacing now is they just filed the lawsuit here, two years. I assume that’s the potential limitations. They had to get that in in time. But there was a car accident with a driver – a 20-year-old – who was on his way to visit family on Christmas Eve. He was – for whatever reason – using Facetime while driving. For those of you who aren’t Apple or iPhone users, Facetime is basically a video call. You’re able to see the other person and vice versa when you’re doing a phone call. Kind of like Skype, I suppose. He’s driving on the highway and wasn’t necessarily paying full attention. He crashed into the car of this family and – you kind of alluded to this – the sad story behind this is it resulted in the death of the family’s 5-year-old daughter who was in the backseat. There was actually four people in the car – the parents and the two kids. I believe all were injured. I believe the other three were injured and then, of course, the unfortunate death of the 5-year-old. That’s kind of the backstory of what happened here. So, what happened has happened since. The family is now suing Apple, essentially alleging that Apple is negligent and not having any sort of safeguards that would restrict the use of Facetime while driving. When I first heard that statement, I thought, “Well, I don’t really know about that,” but the interesting thing about this is Apple actually had, as early as 2008, when they filed for this patent and developed this technology. They call it kind of lockout technology. It would basically lock out the driver from using certain apps while operating the vehicle which, now with that knowledge, I didn’t know if that was something you would come across or you knew about but, when I found that out, I was like, “Oh, well, that makes this case a lot more interesting.” NASIR: But I have an inherent problem with the argument because, you know, just because you filed a patent, you have an invention, there’s commercialization – and this is kind of off-topic – commercialization of an invention is a lot different thing than actually inventing it in itself. Like, I can invent a machine that travels through time but because it costs a billion dollars to make, I haven’t been able to actually build it yet. And so, I’m looking for funding today. The point is, you know, just because they invented it, I can still file a patent but that doesn’t mean they can actually implement the software. For a practical example, maybe they had the technology but maybe the processor speed of the phone isn’t fast enough to be able to quickly detect if you’re moving or whatever reason. Alone, by itself, assuming that argument is valid just because they have a patent doesn’t mean it’s a viable option to protect the user. MATT: Well, yeah, with your invention, you could essentially just be sued for whatever bad thing happens then because why didn’t you just employ y...

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When Using Celebrity Deaths for Brand Promotion Crosses the Line [e284]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Jan 05, 2017


The guys kick in the new year by first discussing Cinnabon's portrayal of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia soon after her death, as well as other gaffes involving Prince and David Bowie. They also talk about right of publicity claims companies could be held liable for based on using someone's name or likeness for commercial gain. Transcript: NASIR: Hello and welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. I’m Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. We’re two attorneys here with Pasha Law, practicing in California, Illinois, New York, and Texas. NASIR: Yeah, welcome to the podcast where we cover business in the news with our legal twist. Today, we are discussing some of the do’s and don’ts of celebrity endorsements and what to be aware of when using their likeness and recent gaps in the year 2016 f these instances. MATT: Yes. I mean, I guess, when people listen to this, it will be 2017 – unless they’ve hacked into both of our computers and pulled the audio files for whatever reason. NASIR: Or they could be listening in 2018, too. MATT: That’s true – if podcasts are still around. NASIR: Only for two years. MATT: Let’s take a long trip back to 2016 here which will be a couple of days at this point. I think, especially this past week in particular, it’s been going around how 2016 was the year of falling stars – all these high-profile celebrities have passed away in 2016. You know, recently, we have Carrie Fisher. I guess the timing of this too is pretty interesting. I can’t remember if you’re a Star Wars person or not. NASIR: Yeah, with the new Star Wars Force Awakens? MATT: Rogue One, yeah. NASIR: Rogue One, yeah. I’m a huge Star Wars fan. MATT: As you can tell. NASIR: No, actually, I did hear it was good. Go ahead, sorry. MATT: Understandable. With all these big-time, big-named celebrities passing away, we had Carrie Fisher. The reason I mention that is that happened, she was Princess Leia in, well, I want to say the original Star Wars movies but it depends how you defined that, I suppose. NASIR: The original episodes – 4, 5, and 6. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: And she was also in Force Awakens. MATT: I guess you kind of allude to this but it hasn’t become an uncommon thing for a brand or a company to pay a little tribute to these fallen celebrities. Obviously, tweeting out a message or posting something on Facebook, referencing these different individuals has become pretty common. What Cinnabon did – and it was very quick, you had to be very quick on the trigger to see this because I think they deleted it soon thereafter but we’ll link the photos so you can see – they put a photo up, it’s kind of a… how would you describe it? It’s almost like a painting. NASIR: One of those almost sand pieces. In this case, cinnamon art pieces. MATT: Cinnamon art pieces, yeah, drawn with cinnamon. Basically, kind of an outline of Carrie Fisher except – anyone that’s seen Star Wars – the hair buns on the side of her head, it was a Cinnabon. It looks kind of weird. When you first told me about this, it wasn’t what I was envisioning. You know, they have this and it says, “RIP Carrie Fisher. You’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy.” That was the tweet. NASIR: It’s so tasteless. I’ve always tried to figure out if other people had opinions about this. I know maybe some people, their humor is different. It’s not that it’s not meant to be funny. Obviously, it’s meant to be a tribute and I’m sure the intention comes into play. But it seems really weird, right? MATT: I think intent is the keyword that’s going to kind of run throughout this. What was the intent behind this? I think it does seem like they were trying to pay some sort of tribute but the approach was not executed that well. I mean, the whole thing wasn’t executed that well, but the approach was just not great. You know, I think it got more flack than positive feedback. There was some people that said, “You know, she had a pretty good sense of humor.

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Are Employers Liable When Employees Are Accused of Racism? [e283]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Dec 22, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss the recent incident at a Victoria's Secret store where the store manager kicked out all black women after one black woman was caught shoplifting. They then each present dueling steps businesses should take when employees are accused of harassment. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub, and we’re two attorneys with Pasha Law, with offices in California, Texas, New York, and Illinois. NASIR: Welcome to the podcast. This is where we cover business in the news with a legal twist. Today, we’re trying to answer the question, “Who calls whom when you get disconnected on the line?” You always get in that awkward situation. No, we’re not talking about that. MATT: We’ll have our opinion of that at the end. I have a couple of thoughts. NASIR: You have a couple of thoughts? MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Okay. Because, yeah, you’re driving along and, all of a sudden, you get disconnected and then you call each other and then they both go to voicemail. It drives you crazy. Anyway, today, we’re actually discussing what to do when a customer or client accuses your employees – or worst, you, your business – for being racist. MATT: Right. this all kind of stemmed about from an incident – by the time people listen to this – last week. Last week, in Alabama, a woman was caught shoplifting at a Victoria’s Secret which, in a vacuum, wouldn’t really be a story we’d cover on this show. But, in this case, the situation was escalated because what we had was a black woman who was caught stealing and the response by the store’s manager was to kick out every other black female in the store. NASIR: Whoops. MATT: This is where we meet the individual named Kimberly Houzah. The reason we found out about this was she went on Facebook Live and did an 11-minute thing about her experience. She got even emotional. I think she ran the full gamut of emotions from kind of laughing almost to disbelief to angry to upset and why she was forced out of the store eventually and that video or that Facebook Live went viral. You kind of alluded to the “oops!” Big mistake on this store manager’s part. NASIR: Yeah, I mean, her reaction is probably very similar to how anyone else would react but, at the same time, it’s like, what do you do in that situation? I mean, it’s very awkward. At the same time, you want to stand up for your rights and file a complaint but, at the same time, you also don’t want to be, all of a sudden, the center of a story on a podcast. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: I always find it strange, whenever these people that go through these situations, I’m sure this always goes through their mind, right? On one hand, I was just thinking about, remember that one coffee at McDonald’s? Everyone knows this story. Coffee gets spilled on a woman and she sues McDonald’s and she actually won a judgment and ended up settling later. Of course, the narrative is that she sued McDonald’s for millions of dollars and she knew the coffee was hot and so forth. But the reality is there’s a lot more to that story and I’m not going to talk about that but the bottom line is that that woman – who ended up being a kind of an elderly woman – was in the passenger’s seat and she gets pretty severe burns on here. What do you do? She had to go through months without medical bills being paid about tens of thousands of dollars. McDonald’s was offering her some kind of nominal amount and it’s not like she wanted to sue but you get to a point where it’s like, “Okay, I have to raise this issue.” MATT: Were you the one that turned me on to that documentary? You probably were. NASIR: I don’t know. I don’t even know what documentary. This is the second time I talked about this today. Logan was saying something about some documentary. I didn’t even know there was one. MATT: The other one was to a cashier at McDonald’s as you were talking to her. NASIR: Yeah, exactly.

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How Businesses Should Handle Unpaid Bills to Clients [e282]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Dec 08, 2016


Nasir and Matt return to talk about the different types of clients that may have outstanding invoices and how businesses can convert unpaid bills to getting paid. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. We’re both attorneys here with Pasha Law PC, currently practicing with offices in California, Illinois, New York, and Texas. NASIR: Welcome to the podcast where we discuss current business news with our legal twist. Today, we are discussing what to do when your client refuses to pay. MATT: Correct. You know, we decided to change things up a little bit. I don’t think this is necessary for any one particular current event that’s going on but it’s an ongoing issue. Maybe in the news people have seen some real estate tycoons who have, over the past few decades, hired contractors and small business owners for jobs, let them perform the service, perform the work. When they’ve completed them, companies haven’t held up their end of the deal. So, what we’re going to discuss today is, as a business owner, what can you do to protect yourself from being blindsided as well as what you can do once it’s happened. NASIR: And this is a problem that pretty much every business has. I mean, it’s hard to think of any business that really doesn’t have some consideration of how to collect money from your customers or clients, right? For other businesses, there’s less risk. For others, there’s more. It’s just kind of depending upon what industry you’re in. Obviously, we represent a lot of small and medium-sized businesses across the country. But this could be very frustrating and sometimes crippling challenge to some business owners, especially in high-risk industries. We’re talking about everything from a lot of service-based industries – construction is one of those things where, a lot of times, there’s non-payment – and then, also, if you’re working with the type of clientele that tends to, you know, you have certain fees that maybe they can’t afford and they’re already in a position where they’re disadvantaged in relationship to what they’re being provided. I’m starting to think about, like, credit repair services. I know a lot of bankruptcy attorneys, for example, they have to make sure that they get paid their money because their clients are filing for bankruptcy. There’s a very wide range of types of businesses but pretty much every business has to deal with this issue on some level. MATT: Yeah. Like you said, it’s going to vary greatly, depending on the nature of the work and the industry. If it’s a business where you’re going to require 100 percent payment upfront, obviously, you’re going to have less issues. I mean, you could still have chargebacks, things like that, or bounced checks. I think your bankruptcy example is a really good one. If you’re going to get paid at the end, especially with a client who’s having presumably some sort of money issues, it’s going to be a lot harder to collect. Really, to me, it’s a two-part analysis. It’s the front-end and the back-end. You can be proactive about it and that’s, of course, making sure you have all the safety precautions in place – obviously, we’re two lawyers here, we’re going to talk about what agreement and the terms you would have in that. On the flip side is the reactionary aspect of it and what you do after this happens. That can even be in situations – and many times it is – where you have a contract and the client just has refused to pay or can’t pay or whatever reason they might give. NASIR: Yeah. In fact, whenever we come across a client, they want to go after a customer or a client that hasn’t paid and so forth, I mean, our first thought is, “Yeah, we need to address the apparent issue that the client is bringing to us.” But, in the back of our minds, “Okay, what can we do to assess to make sure that this doesn’t happen in the future?” Because most businesses can’t survive having to hire an attorn...

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Can Employers Implement English Only Policies Without Discriminating? [e281]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Nov 10, 2016


After a long break, Nasir and Matt are back to discuss a Milwaukee frozen custard stand that is now revising it's English only policy for employees. The guys also discuss how similar policies could be grounds for discrimination and what employers can do to revise their policies. Transcript: NASIR: Hello and welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And… MATT: And we’re two attorneys here with Pasha Law. You know, it’s been a little bit. I guess it’s been probably a full month since the last time this came out. NASIR: I think we’re both a little older, a little wiser. MATT: Definitely older. I think that’s how time works. So, yeah, welcome to the podcast where we discuss current business news with a legal twist. Today, we’re going to discuss whether or not businesses can require employees to speak only English while at work which is something I’ve actually thought about before. You and I are both in I guess locations where it might be more applicable than others. NASIR: Yeah. I mean, Houston is like a metropolitan when it comes to languages and cultures. I mean, it’s not a New York but it’s pretty close. Of course, San Diego, the Latin community there is absolutely huge. In fact, not knowing Spanish is quite a detriment which is why I moved out right away. MATT: Right away? NASIR: After a long number of years. MATT: Yeah, location is not everything because what we’re sort of going to touch on here deals with a situation in Milwaukee. NASIR: That’s true. MATT: This is pretty expansive but let’s dive into this. A small mom-and-pop store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Leon’s Frozen Custard – is having some issues. I guess a customer named Joey Sanchez said he was behind a Spanish-speaking woman while he was in line at the frozen custard store who was told by an employee that she had to place her order in English. I guess Mr. Sanchez thought that was a little bit weird. When he got up in line, he too was told he had to order in English. At that point, the employee who speaks both Spanish and English told him that she was not allowed to speak Spanish to the customer even though they could have a perfectly fine and understandable conversation speaking in Spanish. NASIR: I just got a note. This Leon’s Frozen Custard is apparently kind of a staple in the area. It’s this kind of cool, it almost looks like an old studio diner kind of deal. If you look at it, it reminds me, have you ever been to that frozen yogurt place in El Cajon? It’s called The Mill. MATT: I don’t think so, no. NASIR: Obviously, I can’t now, but you’ve got to check it out. It’s a good summer place to go to get some frozen yogurt. I’m looking it up. I think it’s called The Mill. MATT: Perfect timing in November. I guess it’s been pretty hot here. NASIR: Perfect time. Yeah, the Yogurt Mill. This was before yogurt places were popular, where you’d pay per ounce. This is like you pay a few bucks and get a whole large cup of yogurt, whatever flavors you want. Usually, in the summers, there’s lines out the door every single day. Check it out. Anyway, quick plug and they definitely did not sponsor this program but we definitely will be asking for some money after this. But, go ahead, sorry to interrupt. MATT: The podcast where we do the sponsor randomly in the middle which does exist for a lot of them. So, we have this situation here and the owner of this Leon’s Frozen Custard, Ron Schneider, not to confused with Rob Schneider. NASIR: I was confused. MATT: He’s claiming that he’s following the law. This was before this fall happened. He’s following the law and his policy is a matter of business and speeding up sales and not one of discrimination. He said he’s had this policy in place for more than a decade, when an increasing number of Spanish speakers moved into the area in Milwaukee. This policy, what it was is that employees are required to speak only English – not only to each other and obvio...

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Why You May No Longer See Actors’ Ages on Their IMDB Page [e280]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Oct 06, 2016


The guys discuss the new California law that allows actors to request the removal of their date of birth and birthdays on their IMDB page and why they think the law won't last. They also discuss how age discrimination claims arise for business owner. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business! My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. Both attorneys here with Pasha Law. NASIR: Yeah, practicing in the states of California, Texas, New York, and Illinois. I’m going to try to do different, you know how we have an intro that we try to stick with but we try to change it up so what I’m going to do is I’m going to change the order of the states. MATT: Yeah. So, you have 12, 26 different, you can do that 26 times. NASIR: Is that right? MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Can someone check that? I don’t believe Matt. MATT: Sorry, no, 24 times. I don’t know. NASIR: I’ll confirm that by the end of the show. MATT: Ah, man, bad math on this Thursday. It must be the heat. I’ll introduce the podcast. Like I said, this is Legally Sound Smart Business. We discuss current businesses with a legal twist. Last week, I actually was joking about talking about Brad Pitt. Today, it’s actually applicable to what we’re talking about because there’s a new law or a new legislation that’s been passed in California to go into effect January 1st 2017 that deals with actors such as Brad Pitt. Now, let me see. You know how I like to read pieces of statutes because I think it’s very uneventful for the listener but to get this point across. NASIR: I hope you don’t read the whole thing. MATT: No, I’m just going to read this piece here. The premise – from a layman’s perspective – is allowing actors to not have their age or birthday listed on their IMDB page if they don’t want to, generally speaking. NASIR: Keep in mind – and Matt is going to read it – the statute doesn’t say IMDB, of course. Go ahead. MATT: Yeah, but it’s pretty obvious. So, a commercial online entertainment employment service provider that enters into a contractual agreement to provide employment services to an individual or a subscription payment shall not, upon request of the subscriber, do either of the following… and then we get to publish their subscriber’s date of birth or age or share the subscriber’s date of birth or age information in any internet website for the purpose of publication. That’s what people want to read because there’s so many words in there. That’s more combinations and permutations in our four states in different order. NASIR: I feel like that’s why I’m not getting hired for any big acting jobs. MATT: Yeah. So, this is one of my issues with this right off the bat is one of the main arguments for this law is that it essentially allows age discrimination because, supposedly, people that are staffing for a movie or TV show can go to this person’s IMDB page, see their age, and say, “Oh, they’re too old.” But, to me, I don’t think that’s how it works. We’ve all seen plenty of shows. It’s all about how old or young you look, not how old or young you actually are, in my opinion. NASIR: That’s probably true for certain actors but I think, if you’re starting out or still in a class C or D or E or lower letter than that of a celebrity or an actor, then I think age probably does matter because they’re probably like, “Okay, I want a 25-year-old that has this certain look.” Casting directors may have that criteria so I understand it from that perspective. But, yeah, if you’re an actor like me, you don’t really care about my age so long as you have my pretty face on the screen. MATT: Yeah, I guess that’s one thing I didn’t know of how the process worked. In your example, let’s say they want a 25-year-old whatever – 23 to 27-year-old – do they go to the talent agent and give them those numbers? Is there a hard search of those numbers that fits in or is it someone who looks that way? I actually have some friends who are in the industry.

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Airbnb’s Discrimination Problem and How Businesses Can Relate [e279]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Sep 29, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss the racial discrimination claims surrounding Airbnb and how it's handled the situation. They also discuss some practical tips for businesses experiencing similar issues. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub and we’re two attorneys here with Pasha Law. NASIR: That’s right. We practice business law throughout the United States. Actually, no, only four states, right? California, Illinois, Texas, and New York. I have them memorized. MATT: Depends how you look at it. I mean, it’s really technically coast to coast. NASIR: Oh, absolutely, it’s coast to coast. Either way, welcome to our show today. We are covering Airbnb and this is where we take that business legal news – or I should say “business news” – and add our legal twist. The legal twist we’re adding today is basically Airbnb and, I should say, more specifically their host, are being accused of racism. What do you think about that? MATT: I have the wrong notes. I have this is Brad Pitt, Angeline Jolie. Must be my other podcast. NASIR: Yeah, that’s afterwards, right? MATT: Okay. All right, very good. NASIR: Stay tuned for that. MATT: I found the right one. NASIR: Okay, good. MATT: Airbnb, off the top, let me just get through a little bit of what’s going on. You kind of did the nice little lead in here but let’s run through it a little bit here. Airbnb, for those of you who don’t know, it’s an online way to essentially either find a place to stay from anywhere from one night to more or, if you have your own place, you can do the same thing – you can rent out your place for a night. Have you ever used it before? NASIR: I’ve used it internationally but, domestically – when I say “domestically” I mean within a mile of my house – I haven’t used it. MATT: Yeah, same with me. Like I said, it’s a pretty nice service, especially for people if you have a weekend, you’re going for a wedding, something like that. Internationally, it’s very good as well. I think it’s a little bit more… I should say more accepted but it seems like it’s more prevalent there. NASIR: It seems ideal, especially if you want a house or something, when you’re in a big group, that seems like a good choice. MATT: Right. NASIR: Certain locations, the hotel choices aren’t that great or you want a different experience than the rather routine tourist location. MATT: As our assistant put it, you have a place with a little bit more character. I think that was well-put by him. They have this setup where it’s essentially a platform for people to rent their spaces out and also rent spaces. Pretty much, I guess since the beginning, there’s been some talks of racism that have occurred. Really, what it is is a situation – I’ll kind of boil it down, how it works. You do your search, you see this site, and you see what places are available within the area you’ve searched, and then you do a request to rent that space if it’s open for those days. At that point, the owner can either accept that or reject it or do some sort of back and forth what-have-you. I mean, it’s not a negotiation per se but it’s just, “Oh, sorry, this place is actually rented out, I forgot to mark it.” Something to that effect. What’s been happening is there’s been requests by certain demographics of people that have raised some eyebrows. Let me bring up one example in particular. This is a man, Rohan Gilkes – this is on Medium.com, I actually checked out the little story, it’s pretty funny – well, not the racism part but some of the other stuff, we’ll post it. What happened with him was he’s a black man, wanted to visit a friend in Idaho. She mentioned there was a great cabin on Airbnb close to her. He thought, “Perfect! I will look at that space.” He found it, requested to stay there for five days. Like I said, when that happens, the owner of the place sees his profile and has his photo on it which, at that point,

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What To Do When Your Amazon Account Gets Suspended [e278]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Sep 08, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss why Amazon seller accounts are getting suspended and banned without notice and how business owners can rectify this situation through a Corrective Action Plan. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. We’re attorneys here with Pasha Law PC, practicing in California, Illinois, New York, and Texas. Welcome to the podcast! NASIR: Yeah, and this is where we discuss business in the news and add our legal twist. Today, we are talking about Amazon.com. MATT: Never heard of it. NASIR: And how they’re… No, no, no, it’s a website that sells stuff. MATT: Okay, eBay. NASIR: Apparently, all these guys go on there and they sell stuff but Amazon is apparently terminating or suspending some of those sellers’ accounts somewhat arbitrarily – hundreds by the day, apparently. MATT: Let me just do a quick rundown here of kind of what’s going on. NASIR: Please do. MATT: I was just joking, for people maybe listening for the first time. NASIR: I think they know that you knew what Amazon was but sorry to interrupt you. Literally, yesterday, I was thinking about it because I knew we were going to cover this today. I think it was around 25 different packages from Amazon – no exaggeration – and the reason is because – I think I’ve talked about this last time – we were expecting so we had a whole list of things that we’re buying and we’ve been waiting for a while just to figure out because we’re also moving and we’re like, “Let’s just go ahead and buy it now,” so they all came within 24 hours so I picked it all yesterday. A couple of packages are arriving today still. MATT: Was that Amazon Prime? NASIR: Yeah, it was Amazon Prime, two-day shipping. MATT: Yeah, contemplating getting that myself. We’ll have to talk after this to see. NASIR: We’ll discuss it afterwards. MATT: For those who aren’t as familiar with Amazon… NASIR: Those of you who don’t live on Planet Earth. MATT: Amazon has thousands of third-party sellers who utilize their marketplace as a storefront – something which I imagine probably have actual storefronts as well but, for the most part, this is mostly eCommerce. And so, some of these small businesses as you alluded to are saying that their accounts are being suspended with little notice and very few options of recourse and what some are calling arbitrary suspensions. A recent conference for online entrepreneurs and sellers in Seattle pitted the sellers against Amazon with hundreds of vendors and merchants expressing their concern over these suspensions, nothing that they live in fear of being unable to sell on their site, and we’ll get into why that’s an issue here, because you might think, “Well, it’s just one site, why not sell somewhere else – like their own site, for example?” But Amazon, it’s a very impactful site for these businesses. A recent Wall Street Journal interview, a vice president of Amazon said, “Sellers reporting an average of 50 percent increase in sales from when they joined Amazon’s marketplace and used its storage and shipping services.” Pretty substantial. NASIR: Yeah, and they’ve made it so easy for sellers to enter into this because, if you think about it, if you have something to sell, not only will they take care of the merchant processing but also the inventory cracking, the shipping, even the storage. In fact, Amazon prefers you to ship your supplies to their fulfillment center so that, as soon as someone purchases it, they can easily ship it. Not only do they make it easy for you, you also get that marketing available that you wouldn’t get if you just had your own website. So, it makes sense. MATT: Yeah, I think that’s kind of the default spot – one of the default sites – people go to buy something. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: These business owners that are affected by this are saying they’re losing hundreds of thousands in sales – which could definitely be the case for some of them – due to thes...

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How Independent Artists Reacted to Fashion Mogul Zara’s Alleged Infringement [e277]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Aug 25, 2016


Nasir and Matt talk about the accusations surrounding fashion giant Zara ripping off the designs of independent artists like Tuesday Bassen and how smaller companies can battle the industry giants. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. We’re two attorneys here with Pasha Law, a firm practicing in California, Illinois, New York, and Texas. Welcome to the podcast. I don’t get the opportunity to do the bulk of the intros. NASIR: We’re splitting it up a little bit this time but welcome, everybody! This is where we take business in the news and add our legal twist to it. I think today we have a nice topic. What do we have? MATT: We have an interesting topic today. We’re going to be discussing what’s come together as a group of independent artists and designers who have all alleged that their works, intellectual property have been stolen by this huge fashion icon, Zara, which is believe is a Spanish-based company. One artist in particular – which kind of started this whole dispute that’s been going on – is Tuesday Bassen who first started off by taking action that sent a cease and desist letter to Zara and basically asked them for compensation because she was under the impression that some of her pins and patches… It’s going to be easier for us to kind of show this. We’ll put a link in the notes. People have to see for themselves but basically saying that some of her work had been essentially ripped off by this huge company and, as a result, she lost money. We know this is something a lot of business owners care about, particularly ones that we work with, I mean, being the smaller companies here. Sometimes, they have to fight these battles against the bigger ones. This is something that comes up all the time with clients or other individuals that we talk to. I think it’s going to be pretty good. We’re going to run through kind of the background here but I think it’s going to be a pretty good takeaway for these smaller companies because those are going to be the ones in this position here. NASIR: Yeah, absolutely. Thankfully, I am a fashion guru, as you said. I’ve actually shopped at Zara, I think, at least once. I assume you have not? MATT: No, I didn’t even know they sold men’s clothes until I looked them up. NASIR: Oh, I didn’t buy men’s clothes there. MATT: Okay. NASIR: But, apparently, Zara has a little bit of a reputation apparently of allegedly stealing some of these designs. Tuesday Bassen is not the first person to go after Zara for the same thing but I think her case is a little bit different and she seems to have a social media presence that is behind and I think that’s what really galvanized a response from Zara that has gone public now. MATT: Exactly. She’s really the one that has kind of kicked things off – or at least the one that gained the PR in order for other people to step up. I know there’s another one, for example, this guy named Adam Kurtz who was verified when I looked him up on Twitter so he must be a pretty big deal in the industry as well. But, yes, Tuesday, she started things off by sending this cease and desist letter to Zara. As far as we know, we don’t know the exact. NASIR: Yeah, we couldn’t find the exact letter but I think we know how much she paid for it. She paid $2,000 but we don’t know what exactly it said. MATT: Yeah, the pertinent information is just how much she paid an attorney to write it and not what was actually in there. NASIR: Not a bad price, by the way. MATT: I mean, we have a good idea what was in there. Basically, I’m assuming she kind of asserted that she owns these works and Zara is infringing upon them by straight up ripping them off. I assume maybe she had asked for some sort of compensation for them to stop doing it – something to that effect is my guess. She can send me that bill for $2,000 now as well since I just… NASIR: Anyone could have wrote—no, that’s true. No, absolutely,

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Can Brave’s Ad Replacing Software Defeat Newspapers and Copyright Law? [e276]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Aug 18, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss Brave Software's ad replacing technology that has caught the eye of almost every national newspaper and has a potential copyright infringement claim looming. They also welcome digital marketing expert Matt Michaelree to speak on the specifics of what Brave is attempting to do and whether it has the answers moving forward. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And I am a business attorney and so is Matt, and we practice business law throughout the country in Texas, California, New York, and Illinois. Been doing it for a while now, right? MATT: Speak for yourself. I can’t say. I don’t think I can necessarily put myself in all those states but the firm at least. NASIR: We provide legal services to small and medium-sized businesses and we’re happy to do it and this is the podcast where we cover what’s relevant to our clients. MATT: How I look at it, it’s an interesting dynamic because – not to spend too much time on this but – we typically service small to medium-sized businesses. We often talk about big businesses and then relate it back to how it applies to those small and medium-sized businesses. It’s running the full gamut of business size. NASIR: It’s true because only big business have the money to actually litigate these issues so they’re the ones that control the law and we’ll see that today in our topic today, for sure. MATT: I guess you can classify this as still, they’ve gotten some money but it’s still relatively small business. I think this would fall under our typical client or a client we would handle necessarily. So, we’re talking about Brave Software. For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, I think the best way to kind of summarize this – at least from my perspective – is I don’t know if you want to say ad blocker or ad replacer but basically you go to a site – dealing with the media in this case – and essentially an ad that might pop up, I mean, I’m sure everyone that’s listening is familiar with this, you know, you go to the Union Tribune to something in San Diego and you try to click on an article and, instead of getting that, you get some sort of ad or video or something to that effect. I mean, I think we’ve all been there. I’m sure you’ve been there, right? NASIR: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Of course, with all those ads, it also slows down the website and this Brave Software purports to promise to speed up to 300 percent times faster by removing webpage ads and scripts. But the main issue is that the Newspaper Association of America has thrown a fuss about this and they sent a very scathing letter and published it online to basically protest against this browser. MATT: Right. If you noticed, I was hesitant to say “ad blocker” at the beginning because I think that’s how they were kind of describing it initially – or at least that’s how it’s being reported. But, really, what it is is an ad replacer and you’ve just touched on it the way they’ve set things up is going to speed things up on the user’s end. It’s possibly going to do some things with tracking of people as well. I mean, less tracking as opposed to going to a site and having those things on your computer. But, also, from a security standpoint. But the idea in place for Brave is that it’s going to replace the ads that you would typically see and cater it I guess more so towards something that you might be interested in. I think this is actually we can see that out there, too. I don’t know if you’ve ever… this is when I search for things, that’s why I always do it in a private browsing because I don’t want this to track it as something of mine. I’ve been looking up a daybed that my wife had picked out. And so, I’d looked it up. Now, when I go to all these websites, certain sites, I see all these ads for that daybed or I’ll see ads for some of our clients from time to time, too,

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Why The Roger Ailes Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Is Far From Normal [e275]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Jul 28, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Gretchen Carlson against Fox CEO Roger Ailes. They also talk about the importance of sexual harassment training and properly handling such allegations in the office. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And, boy, do we have a story today. MATT: Yeah, I mean, it just keeps evolving. It’s far from final but, I mean, kind of one of the big things that we were waiting to hear on happened. Let me rewind a little bit and let’s go to the beginning – well, not the very beginning because Roger Ailes has been working with FOX for a really long time so we’re not going to maybe start that far back but I guess we’ll start with the actual complaint that was filed. NASIR: Yeah, let’s do that. MATT: That was what? July 6th and it was Gretchen Carlson, another previous FOX employee, filed a lawsuit against Roger Ailes – just Roger Ailes. NASIR: She was that co-host at Fox & Friends if you ever watched that. Did you ever watch that show? MATT: No, I don’t watch any of those shows. NASIR: I actually find FOX News entertaining – not for news purpose, just entertaining in general. But, anyway, go ahead. MATT: Yeah. I mean, I guess there are some questions of whether she could consider some of these people her friends based on the title of the show, especially Steve Doocy. NASIR: I don’t know his name, but it is spelled D-O-O-C-Y so I’m not sure how else to pronounce that. MATT: She worked on a bunch of different segments and shows but you mentioned FOX & Friends but she was an employee of FOX and Roger Ailes is the chairman and CEO of FOX News so that’s where we’re starting. But it’s something to say right off the bat is the lawsuit’s only against him and not against 21st Century FOX or anyone else – just Roger Ailes. That’s something we’ll circle back around to. So, she files this complaint and it centers around just basically a bunch of repeated instances of sexual harassment. I’m not as familiar with Gretchen Carlson’s career as you might be having watched the different shows but – at least what’s alleged in the complaint and what I’ve read elsewhere – she was pretty likeable, pretty successful at what she did – I mean on the shows she was on. NASIR: I suppose. I mean, according to her, I mean, she was on a pretty popular show. But I think she was replaced by Hasselbeck – I forgot her first name. MATT: Elizabeth Hasselbeck? NASIR: Yeah, Elizabeth Hasselbeck – either replaced or pushed aside, so to speak. MATT: I think the allegations in here might be part of the reason why. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: So, she was working with FOX – you know, these different shows. We’ll link the complaint because there’s more detail in there and we’re not going to go through all the different allegations that she is asserting against Roger Ailes – and, I guess, at this point, we should say they are just allegations – he’s denied everything. At this point, you know, there has not been any sort of responsive pleading to the complaint yet. So, at this point, it is strictly allegations so we will say that so we won’t get in trouble. NASIR: You won’t get in trouble. I’ll say it all day. MATT: I think it all kind of started with – or one of the things it started with – was her co-host which is the Steve Doocy. There’s a couple of instances of him doing things to her I think specifically putting his hand on her and putting her arm to shush her during a live telecast – you know, amongst other things. She had problems with that so she approached Ailes and just wanted to inform him of what was going on and that’s really where it kind of started and that, based on what’s in the complaint, he didn’t take her too seriously – not only that, that’s when some of the sexist remarks from him or gestures started popping up.

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How Starbucks Turned Coveted Employer to Employee Complaints [e274]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Fri, Jul 15, 2016


Nasir and Matt talk about the changes at Starbucks that have led to many disgruntled employees and customers. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And we are talking about our second favorite food item, I would say, right? After pizza. Would you say? Coffee. MATT: Is that a food? NASIR: No, uh… that’s true. MATT: I guess you could freeze it and then eat it, but it seems more like a beverage. NASIR: Well, you know what I mean – at least we talk about it. I know you and I tend to talk about coffee a lot for some reason, too. It seems like it comes up. I don’t know if it’s on the podcast or otherwise. Or we’re just happy to be drinking coffee at a coffee shop. MATT: Well, it’s possible. I mean, I don’t like Starbucks – which is what we’re going to talk about today – and I think I’ve mentioned that many times how it’s more of a convenience. Basically, if I need coffee and it’s the only option available, that’s the only time I go there. Even when people want to meet at Starbucks, I’m always reluctant and try to go somewhere else. NASIR: Try to go somewhere else. MATT: I don’t really necessarily try. I mean, now, I oftentimes just suggest where we should go. NASIR: It’s not that I don’t like Starbucks nor do I like it. it’s just that I have had great coffee and there’s a difference but I’m also very tolerable to different degrees of quality. MATT: Yeah, that’s the thing. I will say, I mean, I only drink iced coffee. NASIR: That makes a big difference. MATT: Their cold brew that they’ve had this last year – maybe more than that – is actually not bad. I’ll give them that. NASIR: Okay, we’ll give them that. MATT: Yeah, I can drink that. I don’t drink hot drinks so maybe that’s the problem. NASIR: Maybe they’ll be a successful company now that they have some good iced beverages. MATT: Yeah, I was looking up the numbers for how many stores they have. We can get to that in a bit. NASIR: How many stores do they have? MATT: More than 23,000 in 2015. NASIR: Wow. MATT: Looks like about half of that… NASIR: Half of them are right next to each other. MATT: They’re on the same block, basically. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: About half of that looks like to be US locations but that number is a year older. I don’t know. It’s somewhere in there. But it’s quite a bit, obviously. Let’s get into this. First, it all kind of stems from this – I assume it’s a barista who started this post – basically saying the morale at Starbucks amongst the people working there is at a low – maybe an all-time low – or at least it’s sinking because a slew of issues, the first of which being the hours that the baristas are working there. I think it’s well-documented that Starbucks offers benefits to its employees which I think has been a huge selling point for a long time now. It’s something they’ve gotten a lot of praise for. But, if you work there for the requirement to get those benefits or you have to work at least 20 hours a week so obviously the workers want to do that, but I would guess that most of the people working there probably see this as a full-time job just because, if you’re working a minimum 20 hours a week during the day, I mean, it’s tough to work two part-time jobs – just from a logistics standpoint – to make it all sort out. The problem that it looks like a lot of these workers are having are it’s very difficult to work more than 25 hours a week there based on the scheduling that’s been done in recent months or I don’t know how long it’s been going on but that seems to be the case. NASIR: I think for a little bit now. And so, one of the reasons we’re talking about this is because this barista – like you were saying – Jaime Prater, he started this campaign on this website. I’ve never heard of it. it’s called coworker.org and it’s basically an open letter to Starbucks where you can get multiple signatures.

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Can a Business Be Held Liable for Crimes Committed by Clients? [e272]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Jun 23, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss the criminal charges facing FedEx involving the alleged transportation of illegal drugs.  They also talk about how business owners should address working with customers that may be breaking the law. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to the business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And so, business news, right? That’s what we cover? What’s the business news that we have today? MATT: Well, it could be business or it could be legal – preferably if it’s a Venn diagram, it’s something in the middle. NASIR: That’s where we come in. MATT: Yeah, that’s what we try to cover at least. This would quality as business news even though we don’t do— NASIR: Drugs? MATT: A drug or a criminal – too much criminal law – or at least I don’t. I don’t know about you. NASIR: I don’t do too much of it. Let’s just put it that way – just the right amount of criminal law. MATT: Fair enough. So, this is a pretty interesting case. I think the actual indictment was two years ago? 2014, I believe. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Brought against FedEx. Yeah, 2014, Grand Jury indictment. Essentially, they were accused of a few things – conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, conspiracy to distribute misbranded drugs, and misbranding drugs – things of that nature. Basically, what was happening, I believe it dealt with pharmaceuticals was the primary area here but, essentially, FedEx was being the courier between people shipping these illegal drugs and the people on the receiving end. I think it’s really the case is going to come down to – at least when I was reading this – I mean, when we’re recording this I guess the trial has just started so I guess we might know more once this comes out, as we often say, but what was FedEx’s knowledge of what it was transporting between Illegal Point A to Illegal Point B? NASIR: The complaint and some of the press around this describes the situation where drivers literally complained about bringing parcels – specifically pharmacy parcels because I think they’re labeled differently – to delivery addresses that were nothing more than parking lots or schools or even vacant homes. And then, when they delivered it, there was all these multiple cars parked and people waiting outside for the deliveries. Of course, as soon as the packages or package is dropped off, people come and get it and bring it home. MATT: Right, and that’s definitely one of the big points here, obviously, is the driver of these trucks – and they are employees if you recall, we’ve talked about that before – it was FedEx, right? That had that issue. NASIR: They both had that issue, yeah, but I was thinking it was specifically FedEx, I think so – at least in California. MATT: The drivers were coming back to upper level management telling them exactly what you just said – that these deliveries don’t seem 100 percent legitimate here – you know, pulling up to a location near the delivery address and people running up. I think there were instances of people just actually jumping into the FedEx trucks and trying to get these packages. You had the drivers reporting issues like this and, from how it’s been painted – at least in the media here – is that, you know, FedEx knew about these things and just kind of chose to do nothing about it. I think the prosecution had a pretty good quote, if I can find it. Here is part of it – basically, they faced a choice and the choice was to stop or go meaning that they knew that these illegal deliveries were happening. Time and time again, they went. That’s probably not the quote I was looking for but you get the point that they’re being accused of essentially knowing that these illegal deliveries are occurring and I think they’re playing the card of “well, we’re just the courier; we didn’t know about it; we’re not responsible for the fact that these are il...

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Why Yahoo Is Auctioning Off Over 3,000 Patents [e271]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Jun 15, 2016


The guys return after a long break to discuss why Yahoo is auctioning off over 3,000 patents and how this decision will affect the longevity of the company. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And welcome back after – I don’t know – it’s been like weeks and months since we had our last episode, right? MATT: Yeah, it’s been a while. Even so much, we were actually one of the rare instances we’re in the same city and still kind of figuring out a way to record. NASIR: That’s true. That’s true. Well, I mean, we do get busy sometimes. The podcast isn’t all we do. We actually do lawyer once in a while, right? MATT: I don’t. NASIR: Okay. I’m sure you get the question, too. I don’t know what’s more embarrassing – when people ask how long it takes us to actually do this podcast and how much time we spent or maybe more embarrassing is how little time we do to prepare for these podcasts. I’m not sure which is more embarrassing. MATT: Well, you don’t want to prepare too much. NASIR: We know you don’t. MATT: Don’t work and don’t prepare. Just sit around for the week until podcast recording. But I think it’s been good we waited a couple of weeks. I think we have a good topic to discuss today. NASIR: Yeah, Yahoo! MATT: Yeah, Yahoo. I think this is pretty fresh news – at least as we’re recording this. NASIR: By the time our podcast comes out, it’s always old. MATT: So, Yahoo is looking to – amongst other things – sell a bunch of patents that it owns. I guess more than 3,000 even though, when I did a search, it only pulled up 2,661. Maybe I’m missing some. NASIR: That’s because only 2,661 was transferred to Excalibur. I think they’re selling some under Yahoo, I think. I’m not sure. MATT: Okay. So, over 3,000 is looking to sell. It’s transferred, like you just said, 2,661 to this entity that it set up – Excalibur IP LLC. I guess it’s holding on to another or it’s intending to retain more than 2,000 other patents. All of these patents either have been issued or are under approval review. Obviously, we’re just going to talk about the ones that are up for auction. So, they transferred all of these patents – or a bunch of these patents – to this entity, Excalibur, and are looking to essentially find the highest bidder. NASIR: Obviously, we all know they’re been in trouble for years. if you’ve been to Yahoo.com recently then I’d be asking, “Why are you going to Yahoo.com?” but, either way, everyone kind of knows they’ve been going down for a while. They even hired a Google exec a few years ago as a CEO that didn’t seem to do much. MATT: It seems like she might be on the outs here. NASIR: Yeah, but right now, their patents that they put into this LLC, they literally transferred it to a separate LLC that they’re going to be auctioning off. I mean, they’re saying that – at least Yahoo is saying that – it’s valued over a billion dollars. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: And so, that’s not insignificant. They included – of course – a lot of their search stuff. I mean, I basically went through every single one here. MATT: I bet. NASIR: No, I didn’t, but I did skim through a lot of them. A lot of them are like something to do with search or targeted advertising or user generation of keywords for content authored by them is one of them. It’s pretty fascinating because you’ll look, I mean, they still have, of course, all patents. They retain the names of the actual inventors but patents are treated as personal property in the sense that you could sell, transfer, and assign just as you would a car or a can of soda – which is definitely a commodity as well. But, of course, when you assign a can of soda to somebody, the paper work is pretty simple. In fact, you don’t need any paper work at all. But patents are a little bit of a different story when it comes to the actual formality of transferring it. MATT: Yeah.

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Why Millions of Employees May Now Be Entitled to Overtime Pay [e270]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, May 25, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss the increase in the salary threshold for exempt employees and how employers can try to avoid paying overtime as a result. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast – padcast. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. Padcost. NASIR: Well, we’ll have the padcost next week. Today is our podcast. But, man, huge news, right? I mean, this is something that we talked about last year – big impact for many listeners. I hope you listen carefully because this is – what is it? December 1st this new law will go into effect? MATT: Well, the date I had in mind was I was going to ask you when we talked about this last year if you can remember. NASIR: I was going to say summer. MATT: Yeah? NASIR: June? MATT: Now, I’m forgetting. I think it was July 5th but I looked earlier just to see if you’d remember. NASIR: How can you ask me the question and test me if you know the answer. I thought it was going to be some trick answer like today’s date or something. Yeah, it feels like it’s almost been a year, I know that. MATT: Now I feel bad. Yeah, July 6th – that’s what I said, right? Or did I say 5th? NASIR: That’s the date that it was published or the date that we recorded it? MATT: Hmm. Good question. NASIR: It’s an okay question. It’s not great but… MATT: Not a good question – a good point. That was the day it went up so it’s possible that we recorded in June. Yeah, you could have been right. NASIR: What should we do? Should we just refer to that episode and have everyone listen to it because it’s pretty much the same? MATT: I meant to go back and listen to it to see what we had to say and I just didn’t do it. NASIR: Yeah, ditto. MATT: I don’t know what the number was at that time but I don’t think much has changed in-between when that first came out and what it is now. NASIR: I think the dollar amount is different by, like, $3,000, right? MATT: Yeah, because we were closer to 50 before, right? NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Okay. You said this was going to affect a lot of people. I had a number of how many people it’s going to affect. It’s quite a few. NASIR: Some say it’s up to 4.2 million. That’s what the DOL estimates. MATT: We should probably explain what we’re talking about because we haven’t done that yet. NASIR: Let’s just leave it in the dark. Okay, go ahead. MATT: So, the dollar threshold for exempt employees. The way I think of it is this; the way an employee can be exempt is if it checks two different boxes – the first of which being the duties test – it’s one of a couple of different categories here. We have executive, administrative, professional, outside sales person and then some computer professionals as well. NASIR: Or what we like to call computer geeks. MATT: So, that’s checkbox one. I mean, there’s a lot of people that can fit into those categories – quite a few, actually. I think we’ve talked about those before so I don’t want to go back and explain all those different ones. That’s box one. Box two is the salary amount. So, previously, it was what? 23,660? I’m just going off of memory. Yeah, 23,660. It got a substantial jump up to 47,476. So, what is that? Almost double. NASIR: Yeah, just about doubled. What’s interesting on how they actually determined what the amount is and it’s actually kind of important because this formula or standard that they created is going to be used ongoing so this number – 47,476 – is actually going to be automatically updated every three years. MATT: Three years, yeah. NASIR: And so, the basis for that is basically they take the 40th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage census region – which currently happens to be the south. And so, the idea is they take – just to kind of rephrase that a little bit – they take the lowest-wage region of the country – which happens to be the south – and then take the 40th percentile...

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Exactly How Restrictive Are the Laws to Operate a Food Truck? [e269]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, May 18, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss the Baltimore law that makes it very difficult to operate food trucks in the city. They also discuss all the legal restrictions to having a food truck. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And so, in preparation of tonight’s podcast, I did some research and I went down the street to a food truck and I got myself a fish taco in Houston, Texas. You know, I don’t know how many times we’ve mentioned “fish tacos” but I had to try and see. It was pretty good. MATT: You actually did this? NASIR: No, I actually did it. MATT: Okay. NASIR: I’m trying to look around to see if I have the trash somewhere so I could figure out what the name of the food truck is so I can plug them but I can’t remember what it is. I feel bad now. MATT: Yeah, food trucks, they definitely have peaked. I think we’re on the downhill but there was definitely a time a few years ago when it just seemed like, it’s kind of like craft breweries where it just seemed like almost everyone had a craft brewery or some tie to one and that it was kind of like the same thing with food trucks. I kind of saw it that way. NASIR: It is kind of hard to understand the real appeal to it because, I mean, you’re right, people do go crazy over it and I feel like maybe it’s just the novelty of having something new, especially when they get all those food trucks together in one parking lot, it’s almost like going to a food court in a mall because you have all these choices. But, at the same time, if you end up going again, it’s always ended up being the same food trucks every week it seems like, right? MATT: Well, I think you hit the nail on the heads there. I think that’s the appeal if you have multiple food trucks and particularly if there’s some sort of rotation because, yeah, that’s a good comparison – it’s like a food court in a mall because you can go with a group of people and presumably there’s something there for everyone. But, yeah, there’s a couple close to where I live that are essentially just permanently – well, not permanently because they do drive away but they just set up in the same spot every day and that’s all it is. NASIR: They might as well be just like a restaurant that’s parked somewhere. MATT: Yeah, I think that’s one of the issues we had. We’ll talk about a specific issue in Maryland – Baltimore specifically but we talk about more broadly after that. The Baltimore city code, there’s a new law and, essentially, to summarize it, food trucks can’t be parked within 300 feet of a brick-and-mortar or an actual restaurant if it serves similar type of food which obviously leaves some room for ambiguities there but it’s an interesting law because I imagine what probably happened was these food trucks were parking outside of restaurants and I think the two that we’re going to talk about specifically is the pizza one, of course, and a barbeque. NASIR: Barbeque, yeah. MATT: Yeah, they just parked in front of a place that is going to have significantly more overhead and they probably just were upset about that. That’s I’m guessing what happened. NASIR: Yeah. And so, as you can imagine, this law is a little controversial and, obviously, that’s why these two particular food trucks are suing and basically saying that it’s unconstitutional. I think they actually mean they’re suing for this under the state constitution which I think there might be some wiggle room for under the US Constitution too as well. But this seems to be a local ordinance and we can get into some of the constitutional aspects of this. But, first, let’s just talk about overall fairness. Like you said, I understand the want to protect some of these retail brick-and-mortar restaurants but doesn’t it seem kind of contrary to our culture of free competition to restrict and to have such a specific law against food trucks? It seems a little strange,

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How a David vs Goliath Battle Over Donuts is Developing in Vandalia, Ohio [e268]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, May 11, 2016


Matt listens to Nasir recap the developing battle in his hometown of Vandalia, Ohio over whether a Dunkin Donuts can move into a location in close proximity to a local favorite donut shop. They then discuss whether the issue is more legal or personal. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: What are we doing today, Matt? MATT: Well, I’ve never been to this place or this city but I’m going to give a little bit of background and then we’re just going to kind of take it from there, I guess. By the way, for the listeners, I feel like this is close to where you’re from so I think there’s something in here that you’re not telling me but, anyway, Vandalia, Ohio – I think that’s how you pronounce it. NASIR: Vandalia, Ohio. You got it. MATT: Okay, got it. So, Jim’s Donut Shop, from what I can tell, it sounds like they’ve been there quite a long time by kind of what this public backlash has been. Anyway, Jim’s Donut Shop has been up and running. It seems like a pretty small town. But, apparently, Dunkin’ Donuts – as it did in San Diego, I think they’re still only the one location but they’re expanding out – they want to put not only a new location in the city but very close to, in close proximity to where Jim’s Donut Shop is located. I think I’ve seen differing numbers but it seems like the farthest it would be is a few hundred feet. NASIR: Yeah. First of all, you did get the name right. This is the town that I grew up. Jim’s Donuts, I think we need to span at least the first twenty minutes of this episode just on Jim’s Donuts. MATT: Okay. NASIR: I think it’s very important to understand that, yes, I mean, literally, my family talks about going to Jim’s Donuts on a Sunday morning to get donuts. It’s funny because this place actually has this feel. You know, there’s a lot of older people that seem to go there and I don’t know if they still do this. They used to smoke in there and I think a lot of people would go there for the coffee and maybe truck drivers. You know, it’s a stop. Vandalia, Ohio, is basically Highway 75 and Highway 70 Intersection which are two very long highways that, if you’ve ever traveled cross-country, you’ve probably rode on one of those. MATT: You said 70? NASIR: Yeah, Interstate 70 and 75. When I moved to San Diego, I literally got on with my high school buddy, Nathan, and we drove from Vandalia, Ohio, all the way to Las Vegas, I think, on Highway 70 and then got on Highway 15. But, anyway, you know, I don’t know if they still do but the donuts there – it sounds derogatory but, trust me, it’s not – it had this taste to it, almost as if some of the cigarette smoke would get into the batter but it was part of it, you know? What’s funny about this story is I’m very torn and the reason is because, you know, I can’t talk some of it but the property that Dunkin’ Donuts is planning on buying us actually owned by my dad. I’m actually very familiar with the transaction so, obviously, I can’t talk about some things but, obviously, if somehow the city mixes this deal, then we’re not going to be able to sell that property so it’s kind of a big deal for us. But I do like Jim’s Donuts! MATT: I knew there was something secret you had planned for this. You wanted me to give a background on a story where you seemed much more familiar with than I did. NASIR: It’s just so weird that Dunkin’ Donuts would be built on 34 and 42 East National Road which, of course, 42 East National Road is where my dad’s office used to be before he retired. MATT: Oh, well, we should have had him as a guest. NASIR: I know, I was thinking about calling him. It’d be funny. I already know his take, luckily. So, I can speak on his behalf as his attorney. MATT: It seemed like there was a couple of things or there’s things – some legal, some non-legal – preventing Dunkin’ Donuts from moving into this space.

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Can a Company Fire an Employee for Not Supporting Scientology [e267]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, May 09, 2016


The guys kick off the week by discussing a Nevada employee who is claiming she was fired for not supporting the Scientology beliefs of her employer. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And are you a member of the Scientology Church? I want to preface… I just want to make sure because it might be a sensitive topic otherwise. MATT: Not that I know of, I’m not. NASIR: Okay, good. Well, I think you’re required to be one. I think that’s a new requirement for the firm starting now. MATT: I mean, it’s actually died down a bit. It peaked for a period of time when… NASIR: The HBO special or documentary? MATT: Well, I think the Tom Cruise thing is probably when it peaked, maybe. NASIR: Oh, yeah, that’s true, and when it became more exposed and people started making fun of it a little bit. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: But it’s definitely still out there. I don’t want to say “in full force.” You’re right, it’s probably peaked but it’s not that it’s not strong. I think it’s still pretty strong. MATT: Yeah, you just definitely don’t hear about it as much as you used to. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: We have an interesting case and this one’s out of Nevada but, actually, I guess both episodes this week if we’re going to talk about things in different states where we don’t necessarily practice but they’re interesting items nonetheless. So, there is a woman who is working for this company. I don’t know if it’s called Real Alkalized Water. Is that what it’s called? I saw a different name somewhere else. NASIR: Real Alkalized Water. MATT: Okay. NASIR: I guess their website’s AffinityLifestyle.com but they’re also known as Real Alkalized Water. MATT: Yeah, that website. The URL didn’t go anywhere so I don’t know. NASIR: Oh, it didn’t? MATT: No. NASIR: Oh. MATT: DrinkRealWater.com is what they’re… NASIR: Oh, okay. MATT: Before I get into this… NASIR: It’s just so fitting. Yeah, we have to talk about this. Go ahead. MATT: I think this seems like this is just a scam, right? I mean, water? NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Like, real water is just water. It’s tasteless, colorless, odorless. It doesn’t have anything weird. I mean, it’s just water. That’s the whole point of it. I have a problem with this. I’m sure whatever weird science stuff that they say they’re doing to it – which maybe you know about and I don’t – but there’s no way it’s legit. NASIR: Well, you have to talk about some of the claims. So, “Real Water is a premium drinking water with alkalized pH of 8.0 that utilizes the proprietary E2 technology—” whatever that is, it’s trademarked though, “—making it the only drinking water on the market that can maintain a stable negative ionization.” This supposedly premium water promises to “unleash the power of negative ions.” I mean, if you read some of the things that they claim, they talk about infused electrons, they talk about how regular water has all these free radicals, I mean, there’s been a number of people that just basically labelled this as junk science, right? MATT: Yeah. I mean, that’s what I’m definitely leaning towards. You know, water is what it is. Maybe you can create some sort of side thing that resembles water but this is not real water being that. So, I don’t know. We’ll just leave that at that. So, this woman worked for this company. She was a brand ambassador, I believe. Yeah, brand ambassador in March of 2015. I guess, you know, right off the bat, they had her start watching these Scientology videos. They described it as a self-betterment course. They also mentioned to her she would receive a raise of 25 cents per hour if she sat through these videos, but I guess she just wasn’t very comfortable watching this or didn’t. I believe she was raised Catholic – not off the alley of Scientology. NASIR: Her name is Echevarria… Logan told me how to pronounce it. I forgot but anyway…

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How Houston Handled the Flash Floods and Employer Storm Advice [e266]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Apr 27, 2016


The guys discuss the massive floods in Houston, how employers responded, and why one meteorologist became a local hero. They also discuss the steps businesses should take in preparing for storms outside the workplace. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And I am all dry from the weather. I think that’s the first question. Everything is safe and sound in Houston, Texas. MATT: I mean, I didn’t hear about this, I don’t think, until Tuesday? Monday? NASIR: Well, Monday is when it happened. MATT: Okay, it must have been Tuesday. NASIR: Yeah. So, what happened last Monday which would have been last, last Monday when this episode comes out? Basically, overnight – and I was kind of half-awake – it was just raining like crazy all night. Of course, I’m not in ivory tower on the eighth floor of our building so I wasn’t really too concerned about anything in my own selfishness. But I knew something was going on and I woke up at like 4:30 in the morning, checking my phone, to see if there’s floods or whatever. And then, I think, at 5:00 or 6:00, the weather warning goes off on your phone and so forth. But, overnight, things just started to flood like crazy and people woke up to flooded homes, flooded streets. You see, Houston, just picture a huge area that’s completely flat and then cover it with cement and then pour rain on it. That’s Houston, basically. Of course, it’s going to flood. So, it’s been kind of a rough week and so we thought we’d cover some of the implications of that flooding. MATT: Well, yeah, that’s what I was going to ask because I’ve never been there. Is it like San Diego that the city was not built for any sort of rain? I mean, it would never even rain that long in San Diego but the drainage system in San Diego is so poor that it just can’t. NASIR: That’s true. In San Diego, if it rains pretty hard, I remember in Mission Valley, there would be spots where it’d just be impassable. But you’re right, it’s because San Diego is not built for that and it hardly gets any rain. When it does rain, the ocean water or the sewage water goes into the ocean and you can’t swim for X number of weeks, et cetera. But, in Houston, I mean, first of all, it’s basically swampland. And so, to answer your question, it’s supposed to be built for rain. The problem is it’s just flat. The only thing that they can do, for example, in Galveston, what they did is they literally – this was decades ago – Galveston is a beach city close to Houston on the gulf and basically they raised everything, like, ten feet – meaning the buildings – and so, that way, when there’s a surge of water in the ocean, you know, it doesn’t flood every single time. That’s really the only thing that they do here. Basically, when they build new buildings, they make sure it has a run-off and what is it called? A reserve? MATT: Moat? NASIR: Not a moat. Like, depending upon the size of the lot, they dig below and then they build up so that the water has somewhere to go. Most of the time, that works. But, of course, all of these old neighborhoods which, frankly, tend to be the lower income areas, are the ones that get affected most when these things happen. MATT: How long did this happen for? Just one day or was it multiple days? NASIR: Sunday night and it was basically flood waters that would not recede until the next day but then, also, Tuesday, there was more rain. On Wednesday, there was more rain. That kind of exasperated it a little bit. But the worst of the worst was on Monday. I think a total of eight or so people have passed on most of those on Monday, I believe. MATT: Yeah, that’s crazy. I mean, the reason I ask is what we’re going to talk about today is kind of the employer response – maybe how employers in Houston responded and how they should respond and kind of this vigilante meteorologist that stepped up in the Houston area.

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Is There a Right Way for a Business to Handle a Boycott? [e265]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Apr 20, 2016


The guys discuss the boycott of Amazon over the products of an unnamed presidential candidate.  They also talk about how a business should handle a boycott and whether it's possible to exit one unscathed. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: Did you say Nasir Pocket? Sounded like it. NASIR: Yes, my name is Nasir Pocket. MATT: I’m Matt Staub – couldn’t think of something creative to say. NASIR: Very good. MATT: Sometimes, you forget you forget your name. NASIR: It happens. It can’t see you, Matt. My internet connection’s down. MATT: That’s fine. I think that’s why. You might have said your name correctly. I just, without the visual, I can’t… NASIR: You didn’t know it was me, right? MATT: Yeah. I do know a Nasir Pocket as well so it could have been them. I’m going to check. I didn’t see who was on the other line of this call. So, here’s the goal for today. We’re going to not try to say – other than right now when I bring it up – we’re going to try to not bring up Donald Trump at all even though we’re going to talk kind of about what’s going on with these boycotts and everything else. Is that a deal? NASIR: I kind of have to bite my tongue but, yeah, I’ll try. I’ll try my best. We’ve had more Trump articles in the last month than I think most people can stand but it’s topical. What can we do? MATT: Yeah, I think we can do it even though one of the stories we might talk about is kind of related to that. Amazon – I think people are familiar with who Amazon is. You can buy products on there. We’ve talked about it a few times. I think people know. They’re getting a pushback from what’s the group? Ultraviolet is the group. I’m not even familiar with it – an online community that promotes equality and fights sexism. They’re kind of boycotting or protesting against Amazon for selling a certain candidate’s… NASIR: You created the rules! MATT: Well, it’s going to be difficult. NASIR: “A certain Republican candidate’s menswear collection.” MATT: Yeah, exactly. NASIR: The only candidate that has a menswear collection. MATT: Well, I don’t know that. There could be other ones. NASIR: Cruz does have some style. MATT: They’re wanting essentially for Amazon to remove these products from its marketplace and that’s kind of the gist of this. Amazon has policies in place. You know, it won’t sell offensive products. If you go to what these are, listed as some examples, I mean, really, it’s offensive things. We’re talking, you know, promoting hatred; violence; racial, sexual, or religious intolerance; crime scene photos; other more graphic things – which would make sense. I don’t think Amazon wants to be selling that. NASIR: Yeah. For example, I think Amazon prohibit confederate flags was in the news – whether that’s allowed – and I think they prohibited that, correct? MATT: Yeah, I’m not sure but that would make sense kind of based on, I think, that would fall under this first category they have. But what about a product that is sold under somebody’s name or a business’ name and it’s the person that might have these beliefs particularly of sexist nature – or alleged sexist nature. NASIR: Or racial or religious intolerance. MATT: Yeah, exactly. What if it’s that person that has those beliefs? Like, in this example, I don’t think the shirts themselves are promoting sexism or racism. It’s the person behind the shirts I guess that is the one that’s doing it. It’s an interesting idea. NASIR: Well, I do have a Trump tie. Oh, I said his name. Whoops! Sorry. I was wearing it out and someone did call me a racist but I’m trying to figure out if it was the tie or not or it was just my racial comments or something. MATT: Yeah, you know, a quick side note, I also have a tie and I used to have a shirt – I got rid of it – and I actually like the actual product a lot. It’s pretty good quality, in my opinion.

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How Startups Pay Employees With Limited Capital and No Profit [e264]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Apr 13, 2016


Click here to read HubSpot's response on this topic. Nasir and Matt discuss the trend in startups to compensate programmers and other early employees with stock options and how the company culture at HubSpot isn't what it seems. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Why are you laughing? Is it too formal or what? MATT: No, it wasn’t too formal. It was just, uh, interesting breaks and peaks in your… NASIR: Oh, because, well, the reason is because I was starting to think about what the name of our podcast is because, you know, since I never say it in our intro anymore, I almost forgot what it was. MATT: There’s somebody else that does the intro, says the name, says our names, and then we immediately just repeat it. NASIR: Well, we don’t say the name of the podcast which, for the life of me, I can’t remember what the name is, but that’s okay. MATT: I say it at the end, I guess – in a way, I do. NASIR: Uh, keep it sound and keep it smart? MATT: Yeah, close enough. I hope you went to that game on… NASIR: I did watch it. The final? MATT: Great game, yeah. NASIR: You know me. It’s surprising that I sat through a game that I have no idea who the teams are or players are but, yeah, it was a great game. I think I just watched the last half. MATT: Yeah, the whole game was good but the last half was good. Yeah, my wife did the same thing. If she’s able to watch a whole half of basketball, you know it was a good game. NASIR: Yeah, exactly, and we’re talking about the… uh, what are we talking about exactly? I just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing. MATT: College basketball. NASIR: Oh, yeah, yeah, college. MATT: Because it was in Houston, that’s why I bring it up. NASIR: Yeah, we’re talking about the same thing. Anyway, what have we got today? MATT: You know, this is a topic that – I’m assuming you do as well – I seem to talk about it all the time with people – mostly with startup companies. We’re going to go through an actual company and kind of the tribulations that they’ve had. So, you have a startup company. Oftentimes, you have multiple people that are involved. Unless you get some sort of investment right away or unless one of the founders has some money from some other source or some money to pump through, they’re pretty handcuffed in terms of money they can pay out to people that are performing services for them which – you know, this is just a complete estimate I should say – over 90 percent of startups – and I use “startups” loosely – probably have this issue. NASIR: The so-called “tech startups” or kind of dotcom startup. MATT: Well, I think tech is a classic example because all businesses can probably use some sort of programming or tech person, but the tech ones in particular obviously have this huge need. And so, oftentimes, what happens for these startups, it’ll have the means to pay people. You know, we’re just talking minimum wage. We didn’t even talk about that yet but, in California, it was going to be quite the increase here in the next few years. NASIR: $15.00 – and New York. MATT: New York as well, that’s right, but we’ll talk about that at a later time. NASIR: I think we have a story about it. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: So, in lieu of paying these people at least minimum wage, they pay them nothing but they pay them in equity meaning that – well, only if you stock in this company or membership interest if it’s an LLC – in exchange for your services, the one thing that they often do though is they tie it into some sort of vesting schedule. So, in order for this person to receive this, you know, think about it this way – we’re going to give you five percent of the company which is probably pretty high but we’re going to give you five percent for doing the work you’re going to do as a programmer.

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The Consequences of Artificially Inflating Your Social Currency [e263]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Apr 06, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss various lawsuits against social media platforms in which users are accused of artificially inflating their social currency. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Do you ever just think about how, like, we do a podcast and, in a way, it’s really weird because we’re attorneys and we spend our time on Thursday nights recording a podcast. I mean, I have a great time but, when I start looking at it from a third person’s perspective, I’m just like, “What are we doing?” but I love it. MATT: Yeah. Well, I mean, it’s only – and I guess it’s technically evening for me – it’s early evening. For you, it’s a little bit later. NASIR: Yeah, 7 o’clock. MATT: People don’t really want to listen to attorneys for the most part. NASIR: Yeah, exactly. But people have been listening. We have a nice little following now. I mean, it’s pretty neat, you know? MATT: It’s a lot to live up to. NASIR: That’s true. MATT: Are you sure that we haven’t been artificially inflating our listener counts? NASIR: No, we have, for sure. I mean, I’m saying the number of fake listeners we have is just enormous. It’s in the trillions, actually. MATT: I bring that up because that’s what we’re going to talk about today. You could count that as social currency, couldn’t you? NASIR: Absolutely, yeah. MATT: It’s a pretty broad definition of what social currency is. I don’t think there’s any definite things that fall under it but that’s what we’re going to talk about today – social currency. It raises a lot of interesting questions because I’m sure – well, we know for sure because it’s happened to the firm before with artificially inflating not necessarily view counts or things like that or times someone’s viewed a video. NASIR: But definitely manipulation, right? MATT: Yeah, it was voting, right? When we ran that photo competition. NASIR: We’ve got to tell that. Because it happened so long ago, most people probably don’t know the story. I’ll give you the 30-second version which will probably be a two-minute version but, anyway, it was a really cool idea. We had these – I don’t know what they are – these little piggy banks and we gave them out at events and we had a contest. Basically, take this piggy bank and take a photo with it and make it interesting. Matt’s holding it up. No one else can see it, by the way. We’re not on TV, by the way, Matt, just so you know. And so, we gave them out and the idea was, okay, take a photo with our piggy bank with our logo on it and make it interesting and then post it on our Facebook page and we’ll do an open voting and whoever gets the most votes will get an iPad. Of course, we get a lot of photos but they’d email it to us. They don’t follow the rules and all the stuff like that. We’d get a good number of submissions. By the way – correct me, Matt, if I’m ruining the story because I forget the details but one of the persons got like 100 more votes than everyone else. MATT: It was like immediate, too. NASIR: Yeah, within a day or so. It’s like, “Okay, maybe he got his friends to do it.” But then, we started looking at the actual people that were voting and it was obvious – basically all of them were from the same country and it was like either the Philippines or Indonesia or something like that and there was exactly 100 of them. Then we’re like, “Wait a minute. We’re familiar with the fact that you can just buy social media likes and things like that online.” Of course, you can do the same thing. You can buy people to vote for you online as well and that’s exactly what happened. This person basically cheated himself to get an iPad. Of course, we didn’t give him one but we were so pissed off about it that we literally blacklisted him in our CRM software. Remember that? Because I was like, “Whoever this guy is, we’re not dealing with him,” but anyway.

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Jessica Alba’s Honest Company Sued For Being The Exact Opposite [e262]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Mar 30, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss the class action suit against Jessica Alba's Honest Company for allegedly selling products that contained harmful chemicals. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And we get to cover your favorite actress today, right? She is an actress, right? MATT: Yeah, and I have something to bring up. She has like a bio on their company site. It’s Jessica Alba and it says, “Golden Globe-nominated actress whose career includes roles in films such as Fantastic Four, blah blah blah… and television shows like Dark Angel, The Office, and Entourage.” When was she on The Office? That’s what I trying to remember. Was that a typo? NASIR: Yeah, it’s a typo. MATT: She’s prone to typos or making mistakes. NASIR: Making mistakes, yeah. MATT: We’ll get down to the bottom of this before the end of the episode. You know, how do you choose the name of your company if you’re starting a new company? You know, there’s a lot of thought that’s put into the name, probably – or at least I would hope. Her company is called Honest – The Honest Company Inc. Started in California in 2011 – maybe a little bit later, 2014? Somewhere in that range. NASIR: Sorry to interrupt. I had to look it up, of course, on The Office. I couldn’t get over it. Apparently, remember there was a movie within the show where Jim and Pam would watch? MATT: That doesn’t count. Yeah. NASIR: She was in that with Jack Black. I guess she was on The Office. MATT: All right. Well, that’s fine. She’s not lying about it but why would that be…? NASIR: How she’s known for? I know. It was like one episode, right? MATT: And that one was tricky, if you remember, because it was I think someone right after the Superb Bowl and they kept billing it as “oh, we have all these big names in this episode with Jack Black, Jessica Alba and all these people” and then we got into the actual episode which was funny. The episode was funny, I’ll give them that. But it was tricky because these actors just being in a separate show. NASIR: It was a little deceiving or dishonest, I would say, no? MATT: Perfect, there you go – dishonest – and that’s what we’re getting to and it is deceiving. It was misrepresentation. Whether it’s intentional or negligent, it was something. NASIR: That is the question. MATT: Here is the problem. So, she has this company that has all these I guess we’ll call them beauty products and products for babies and kids. NASIR: I think they’re trying to expand in different vertical. I mean, they do baby wipes, too. MATT: Oh, I that was the reason it started – because she’s a mom of two and she wanted to have these “safe products” that are not full of all these chemicals like most things out there and that’s fine and that’s why she named it The Honest Company because our products are honestly made without all these things and there’s a whole list of them on the website. And so, one of the them is SLS – this is listing it as sodium lauryl? Do I have the right thing? NASIR: Yeah, it’s a sodium lauryl sulfate. MATT: Okay. Yeah, sodium lauryl sulfate – SLS. NASIR: They’re not selling that. That’s what’s in it. MATT: Just bottles of that. NASIR: They’re selling a laundry detergent that is apparently SLS is a common known chemical. It’s used a lot in soaps and different things like that. It’s a common active ingredient but apparently – for whatever reason – some people say it’s not good so they were basically selling this laundry detergent. If you look at the product, it will list out all the chemicals that it doesn’t have. As we commonly see, we see a list of ingredients. Part of their transparency is they list all the ingredients that it doesn’t have and that’s one of them. MATT: Right, and that’s the whole Honest aspect of it, you know? It’s trying to be honest about things. “We honestly don’t have these chemicals,

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Can Restaurants Deny Service To Trump Supporters? [e261]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Mar 23, 2016


Nasir and Matt talk about the story out of Texas that Mexican restaurants were reportedly attempting to ban Trump supporters from eating at their restaurants. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Today, we’re talking politics. MATT: I wanted to bring up one thing first. I don’t know if you do this one purpose but I think this is the third March we’ve done the podcast. I think all three years we’ve recorded on the same time when Dayton is playing. NASIR: Dayton’s playing right now? MATT: In about five minutes they’re starting up. NASIR: Oh, okay. Well, I’ll pull that up, too. San Diego State didn’t make it this year which is a pretty big deal. MATT: No, they didn’t. Long story short, they had some bad losses at the beginning of the year. They lost their conference tournament the final so they lost the automatic bid and so they were on the bubble. I’m not going to say they should have made it but there might have been one or two teams. There’s definitely at least one, maybe two teams that made it that San Diego State should have made ahead of but that’s kind of how it works. NASIR: I mean, I heard they should have won the championship. They were favored in that game, right? MATT: Oh, yeah, their conference is terrible so they should have but, yeah, your Dayton Flyers are… NASIR: Dayton Flyers, all my high school buddies are not surprised that I have no idea. Well, anyway, let’s talk something I could actually discuss – not sports but politics. MATT: Yeah, this is an interesting one. You realize this was a fake thing that happened, right? NASIR: Yeah, not to talk actual politics but I was kind of hoping it was real but, okay, fine. MATT: When you first told me about it, I assumed it was real then I started looking into it and realized it was fake after I read a couple of stories. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: But I think this was in the San Antonio area, is that right? Or was it all spread out through Texas? NASIR: I feel like it was just in the area because it was one person that was doing it but I’m sure it may have happened in other places but these are the two stories that we picked up. MATT: Basically, what was happening is someone was going around, putting up these signs at Mexican restaurants and I’ll read this one because it’s kind of humorous at the end. “We stand with our fellow Mexican restaurants and their efforts against hateful speech. We will also no longer be serving people who display support for the views of the presidential candidate, Donald Trump. You can’t have your taco and eat it, too. Standing together.” And then, the logo of this restaurant… NASIR: Taco Cabana. MATT: Yeah, and there was another one, not the exact same sign but a similar thing at another Mexican caf?, Mama Margie’s. Somebody I guess was going around, putting these signs up. Before the story kind of broke, people thought that these Mexican restaurants had band together and were going to outright disallow anyone who was a Trump supporter to eat at their fine establishments. NASIR: There was a lot of confusion because some people were saying that, no, some employee did it or whatever. But this Mama Margery’s in San Antonio, apparently, they had some video footage of someone else coming in from the parking lot, putting the flyer up, and taking a picture. In a Twitter response on their company account was like, “The message was not approved by Mama Margery’s.” By the way, it doesn’t sound like a great Mexican restaurant but okay. MATT: It’s Margie, I think. NASIR: Is it Margie? Oh, well, maybe that’s why. MATT: I don’t know if that makes it better. NASIR: Oh, yeah, but it says, “I’m in the business of tacos, not politics, which is way yummier!” which is a fine response. Yeah, it was fake, but then it really begs the question of can you do that? I mean,

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Employer Responsibility After The Mayor Of Austin Urges Telecommuting [e260]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Mar 16, 2016


Nasir and Matt talk about the mayor of Austin recommending employees work from home on Friday due to SXSW and the President being in town and how that affects employers. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: That’s correct. MATT: All right, that’s it. NASIR: That’s actually the first time you got that right. MATT: Yeah. Well, you know the phrase, “260th time’s a charm.” NASIR: Yeah. Wow. 260, huh? MATT: Yeah. NASIR: We’re getting up there. MATT: It’s a good amount – close to 300. NASIR: Closer to 300 than it was closer to 200, that’s true. MATT: Yeah, definitely. NASIR: Have you ever been to South by Southwest? MATT: Oh, is that what that means? I thought it was Swiss… I don’t know. I was going to try and pronounce it as a word. No, I haven’t. Never even been to Austin. NASIR: Oh. Most people compare Austin to San Diego – or I should say they see some comparables to it. I would agree, actually. The atmosphere, it’s a big small town just like San Diego. I have been in Austin during SXSW. It was crazy. MATT: Yeah, I remember that. NASIR: You remember that? But I was there because I was meeting with the Texas Department of Insurance – with eight or nine people from there – in this old office building. You know those old government buildings where smells of old books or something? And I was in the boardroom with, like, six or seven different people and, literally, outside – and this is Downtown Austin – there was like band music going off and drums and they were like, “Oh, yeah, that’s been going on all day and all week,” or whatever and I’m just thinking, “I drove all the way to Austin and SXSW is going on and I’m just sitting in this boring Texas Department of Insurance meeting.” But, anyway, that’s my experience. MATT: You didn’t even really partake in any of the… NASIR: No, I walked around a little bit. I needed to head home but, yeah, I just walked around. There were some activities going on. I don’t even think I ate lunch there. That was horrible. MATT: Time well spent. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Well, is it this Friday? NASIR: I think it starts this Friday, yeah. MATT: Okay. NASIR: At least maybe the interactive part. Don’t ask me. I always forget there’s like all these Austinians? What are they called – Austinites? MATT: Austines? NASIR: Austines? MATT: Austinites is probably right. NASIR: Okay. They’ll be upset that I don’t know but, if I recall correctly, it’s divided into two or three segments – one of them being South by Southwest Interactive which is all the startup scene and things like that then you’ve got the music and something else, too. I don’t know. MATT: Austonians, maybe. NASIR: Austonians. MATT: I don’t know. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: It’s a tough call. Well, anyway, the reason we’re talking about that is – I didn’t know about this. You told me about it so I’m not going to pretend like I knew about this beforehand but the Austin mayor is encouraging people to work from home or take a half day on this Friday which I’m assuming will be the previous Friday from when people from when people are actually listening to this. That’s why I asked about the dates but that’s fine. NASIR: By the way, Austinites, according to Wikipedia. Demonym I guess is what the term is – a word to identify residents or natives of a particular place. MATT: This’ll be a fun episode to transcribe. NASIR: I know. Sorry. Okay. MATT: Yeah. So, the mayor is saying to anticipate heavy traffic. Part of the reason is because SXSW. Another reason is because the President is going to be in town and I assume another reason is probably there’s just traffic there in general. It is a big city with a lot of people in it. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: I’m not going to act like I know what the traffic is like because San Diego traffic really isn’t that bad and there’s a ton of people in San Diego, too.

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Can An Employer Be Held Liable For An Employee’s Facebook Post? [e259]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Mar 14, 2016


The guys kick off the week by discussing the lawsuit in Hawaii where an employee posted a defamatory remark about a customer and tried to hold the employer liable. They also discuss the new anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy posting requirements for California. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And, today, we are covering… actually, I don’t think we’ve had a case out of Hawaii yet – except maybe that time we covered that surfer that was eaten by a shark. MATT: We’ve done so many episodes, I don’t even know if that was even… I would believe that that’s something we’ve talked about but I really have no idea. NASIR: I don’t know. I just made that up. I don’t know if it sounds like I have something in my mouth or not, does it? MATT: Uh… NASIR: I have a cough drop in my mouth because I’m still coughing. I’ve been having a cough for like a few weeks but I was having these Halls soothers which are basically just like candy. Apparently, they don’t do anything to the cough. They just soothe your throat which I just thought they didn’t work and I was having them anyway. Apparently, I got the cough suppressant ones now and it’s actually working. MATT: The point of it is, I guess, if you have been coughing. NASIR: Yeah, something like that. But I was just picking the one that tasted the best so that was a mistake. MATT: I was probably all those Red Bulls you had last week. NASIR: Oh, I’m having trouble giving them away. I’m down to one actually, I think. That’s not bad. I’ve given away two. MATT: I still have all four so my fridge is going to explode in a week, probably, when they sit in there. NASIR: Next lawsuit. MATT: See, this Hawaii thing – well, not Hawaii thing – this happened in Hawaii and I guess the end result was there was a motion for summary judgment granted and it’s specific to Hawaii obviously but we’ll talk about the general end of things for employers to look out for in this but let me get to the facts. This was at a Hertz Rent-a-Car and there was a customer that showed up. I’m not sure what the capacity was of their interaction with the business but basically what happened was this person left and one of the employees for Hertz I guess knew who this person was and went on their Facebook page and started writing stuff about them that – I’m not going to say what it was but it wasn’t – well, I’m not going to say what it was partially because I don’t know what some of this stuff means. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: And, partially, because it’s not appropriate for this podcast. Anyway, they wrote these comments on there which apparently the customer was not happy with. That customer went and then complained to Hertz Rent-a-Car. I guess they fired this employee and I think a couple of other employees as well. The customer then turned around and sued Hertz for negligent supervision, negligent retention, and negligent training because this employee apparently – or not apparently – this employee wrote these things on this customer’s Facebook page while they were an employee or while they were working for Hertz. We’ll get to the reasons why the result ended up being what it was but, long story short, there’s a motion for summary judgment that Hertz filed and it was granted meaning that the case was then dismissed and, I mean, in the easiest terms so we can put it for these purposes. NASIR: He mentioned the actual post. I mean, I read this maybe at least two times now and I still don’t understand what exactly they were saying. Somehow there was some defamatory statements in there and what’s interesting, in order for a statement to be defamatory, it needs to be understood to somehow be damaging or defaming in itself, right? So, apparently, someone understood it to be defamatory. I would have read and I would be like, “I have no idea what’s going on,

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Employee Monitoring and Wearable Technology [e258]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Mar 09, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss the new iPhone update that employees should pay attention to. They also talk about the pitfalls of employers issuing wearable technology to their employees. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to the business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Welcome to our podcast. MATT: Let’s first talk about… NASIR: I had another sip of this Red Bull. MATT: Yeah, that’s what I wanted to talk about. This is an update. We finally both got our class action Red Bulls. NASIR: I mean, it’s literally like cough syrup. It’s possible there might be another class action settlement because it might be considered poison. I’ve been drinking this thing for the last – I don’t know – almost an hour I’ve been sipping it. MATT: You don’t have to. It’s not required. NASIR: That’s true. But I want it. I deserve it. I worked so hard for it. MATT: Yeah, by going online and filling out your name and address. NASIR: Which I did during the recording of the podcast, if I recall correctly. MATT: So, yeah, I haven’t had any of mine yet but we at least got it. NASIR: I would just throw it away. MATT: I’ll probably have mine at some point but they might be in my fridge for a while. NASIR: Okay. MATT: I can’t imagine they go bad. NASIR: Yeah, like, they’re already bad. In fact, it may even actually get better. MATT: It ages well. Well, we’ve got a lot of security issues to talk about today. We’ll relate all these to how it relates to employers but apparently there’s this new iOS update and I was trying to look at it on my phone. I wasn’t able to figure this out. NASIR: This is 9.3 so I don’t know. MATT: Yeah, I don’t know what I even have. I imagine I have the most recent one. NASIR: You don’t even have an iPhone, Matt. In fact, you’re holding a brick right now. It’s not even a phone. MATT: Yeah, but anyway, this 9.3 update, I guess in the past there’s ways to do some sort of mobile device management by employers with employees. NASIR: I didn’t know about this but apparently Apple provides some kind of software. I don’t know if they provide it or they give access to some kind of software where you can monitor everything from GPS location to god knows what else, I don’t know. MATT: Yeah, I wasn’t aware of that either – probably because I don’t have an employer that has issued me a phone to have that on there – but with this new update, employees will now be able to see and know about employers are tracking them. I guess once on the lock screen where it says “this phone is managed by your organization” and, of course, if you go in the settings too, you can see it that way. Obviously, the lock screen makes it a little bit more obvious but I guess this is going to be a situation where, like you and I and many employees probably didn’t know that their employers were monitoring what they do and it’s not going to change the fact that they’re being monitored but they’re just going to know about it now which they possibly didn’t know about in the past. NASIR: And so, there’s different types of monitoring, right? I mean, there’s the cellphone and then there’s your computers – you know, that’s been going on for a while. I mean, maybe cellphones are a little bit new. Internet activity, key strokes can easily be tracked, cellphones, also GPS tracking on vehicles is pretty old as well – everything from truck drivers to delivery persons. And then, there’s also video and audio recording within the office. So, there are lots of different types of monitoring but each are a little bit different. But let’s put the law aside for a second – which we like to do 99 percent of the time – giving notification to the employee, specifically with the cellphone, is it morally good to do it? Is it required? Do you think the law should give notice to the employee? What do you think? MATT: If I was an employee, I would expect that almost.

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Why CBS and Paramount Are Not Beaming Over a Star Trek Fan Film [e257]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Mar 02, 2016


The guys live long and prosper by welcoming Star Trek expert Michael Liberto to discuss the Prelude of Axanar fan film and the copyright infringement claims alleged by CBS and Paramount.Transcript:NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. With us, we have our Star Trek expert, Matt Staub.MATT: Oh, no. Well, we talked about Star Wars – it was in December, right? Or maybe January? NASIR: The last thing you want to do is basically say Star Wars and Star Trek are the same thing but go ahead. Please, go ahead. MATT: I know. I almost didn’t because I know it was going to be bad. But, yeah, I only brought it up because of this. We talked about Star Wars a month or two ago – or whenever the movie came out – and I knew some but Star Trek I know even less – actually, very little at all. So, I’m not the expert by any means. But, luckily, we found somebody who is a Star Trek expert and this is Michael Liberto. MICHAEL: Hey! How are you doing?NASIR: Thanks for joining us!Just so everyone knows, he is our resident Star Trek episode for all our Star Trek episodes that we’ve had and will have going forward which I’m sure will be a ton. But thanks for joining us!MICHAEL: Yeah, thanks for having me. NASIR: So, Matt, why do we have him on? What are we talking about here?MATT: Michael is going to chime in on a lot of this but let me give the premise as I understand it.There was a group of fans that actually started a Kickstarter to raise some funds to produce this fan movie, essentially, about Star Trek called Axanar and I think, at this point, they’ve only produced kind of the prelude of it – not the full-length picture that they ultimately want to end up doing. You know, to be honest, I looked at it and it’s actually pretty good quality. It looked very professional in my opinion. They’ve put out this prelude to it. Now, CBS and – I can’t remember who else.MICHAEL: Paramount.MATT: Yeah.NASIR: We’ll fill in the blanks for you.MATT: Basically, they’re saying, “Look, this is straight up copyright infringement. There’s a lot of issues with this. You can’t be doing this. Blah blah blah.”In order for us to kind of explain the legal side of things, we need to understand the factual side of things. That’s why we were hoping, Michael, that you’d be able to fill us in on some of these holes that we can’t really help with. My first question – and maybe this is a stupid question – what is Axanar?MICHAEL: Well, Axanar is a planet that’s part of the Federation. It’s nearby Vulcan and Andoria and a bunch of other Federation planets. But, more importantly, it would be kind of a Prelude to Axanar – you had mentioned that before – is this brilliant piece done. Seriously, the quality of this is exceptional. But it’s a pretty long story. Axanar is basically a planet where the Federation Admiral Ramizer is the gentleman making the Constitution class vessel which we know could be the original Enterprise. NASIR: I’ve heard of that. MICHAEL: Yes, they’re kind of warship models because the Federation didn’t have any warships until four years’ war with the Klingons and Axanar where it is being produced. In the Prelude to Axanar, we can see in this documentary feature the Supreme Warlord sending their brand new D7 battle cruiser to Axanar to wipe out the Federation’s ability to fight this war. Prelude to Axanar is the beginning of this huge battle that’s going to decide the four years’ war.NASIR: Everything you’re describing is completely new stuff, right? This isn’t something that Paramount or some of their Star Trek writers came up with. This is a spin-off, right?MICHAEL: It is a spin-off but there are a couple of caveats. First of all, Garth of Izar is mentioned in a couple of original series – well, actually, in one original series show – and he is the role model of Captain Kirk. Also, Ambassador Soval – who is played by an actor named Gary Graham – he is in the Enterprise shows that was shown...

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Why a Startup Offering Wedding Loans Divorced Its Business Model [e256]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Feb 24, 2016


Nasir and Matt talk about the Seattle startup SwanLuv, which quickly shifted its business model of giving couples free loans for weddings.Transcript:NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist.My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub.NASIR: Matthew Staub, we are continuing our week of talking about startups that have had some growing pains.MATT: Yeah, this one seems to be all pain, actually. NASIR: Yeah, from the beginning, right?MATT: Well, I was trying to figure out when exactly they started all this. From what I can tell, there was a ton of stories in December – you know, a couple of months ago. I’m guessing it’s been about two months since they ramped up and started. But let me just explain what this company is. I had not actually even heard of this, surprisingly. This is the type of story that my wife would have come across and said, “Hey, have you heard about this? You should have this on the podcast.” It’s called Swanluv. I’ll tell you the original premise and what they are now. The original idea was they would give a loan up to $10,000 to a couple for their wedding expenses with no obligation to pay it back. All right, sounds too good to be true, right? NASIR: Great idea!MATT: But, yeah, terrible business model of just giving away up to $10,000 in request. But the catch was, if the couple didn’t stay together – i.e. if they got divorced – I assume it’s just divorce and not any sort of death or anything like that, I think it has to be divorce – if the couple end up getting divorced, they would have to pay the loan back, the principal back with interest. That’s the general idea of what they were doing. There’s a lot of problems with this, one of which was apparently they had this algorithm or formula or something like a questionnaire and the couples would enter this information and they would calculate the risk based on how they answered certain questions.NASIR: You know that’s all made up, too.MATT: Oh, yeah.NASIR: As if they can actually predict that. What’s crazy too is that they planned on funding the loans from people breaking up.MATT: Yeah.NASIR: That means that, in theory, they’d have to front a lot of money until these things actually started coming in. Forget about the whole collection issues and the issues that people would try to get out of this by not divorcing but just separating and how are they going to keep track that people are staying married? I mean, I can go on and on but, I mean, can we at least agree that it’s not a good idea as far as a startup business? Like, if someone came to you, like, “Hey, here’s my 60-second pitch, this is what I like to do. Could you not laugh at the idea?” That’s the question.MATT: Was the idea to just constantly search for recently filed divorces? How are they going to keep track of it? Even if they found out that a couple got divorced, how are they going to collect on it?NASIR: And we’re talking about years later, right?MATT: Yeah.NASIR: I suppose people are going to remember that, if they get divorced, they’re going to have to pay $10,000. But, when people divorce, from a financial perspective, it’s a mess, right? Most of the time, both parties lose money – or at least one party. I should say, a collective community property, there’s a lot of money lost. There’s money lost on attorneys, a lot of credit cards get left unpaid, credit goes down. In other words, there’ll be other debts. Let alone, of course, people that are borrowing this money – so-called borrowing – may not have been in a very good financial condition anyway. Also, a lot of divorces are caused by financial stress.MATT: Ah, that’s the point I had.NASIR: Oh, okay, you did? Okay.MATT: You brought up a good point before that and, obviously, the people that were going to do this needed the money so they might not be in the best financial position. But the thing I was going to say was I thought that – this is not substantiated but from what I’ve heard – t...

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Exponential Growth For HR Software Company Proves Costly [e255]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Feb 22, 2016


The guys break down the rapid growth of HR Software company Zenefits and why it is now facing an investigation from the California Department of Insurance. (Photo: Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic)Transcript:NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha.MATT: I’m Matt Staub.NASIR: This week, we are covering – what did I call it? Rapid-rise startups or rapid-growth startups? And the problems that they face with that.MATT: Yeah. Well, the one today is I guess they both technically fall into that category but I think the one today is a much greater version of that. Wednesday’s episode, I don’t think it was over that long of a period and I don’t know how much growth they’ve had in terms of financial…NASIR: Yeah, that’s true.MATT: Today, we’re talking about Zenefits which had some pretty substantial growth.NASIR: Yeah, three-year-old company, I think last year – 2015 – they had a $4 billion – with a B as in “boy” – valuation. MATT: Yeah, reached $1 million at the end of 2013. They have a subscription-based software with health insurance but $1 million by the end of 2013 – not bad in year one. This is revenue. $20 million late 2015 and then $100 million projected late 2015. Like you said, $4 billion valuation based on half a billion dollars they raised somewhat recently. That’s pretty rapid growth, I’d say, for many sort of characterization.NASIR: Yeah, I would say so.MATT: The way I see it is basically they’re health insurance brokers that basically help out companies and I think they started off fairly small and then, at some point, in terms of the companies they were assisting, they started ramping up to these bigger companies. Obviously, bigger companies, more employees, more opportunity so you can charge more because it was subscription-based. But, more or less, they kind of broker or intermediary in helping these companies figure out the convoluted and complex issue of health benefits for their employees.NASIR: Yeah, pretty much. They’re basically insurance brokers and I think that’s the best way to characterize them but the novelty of what they do is they provide a software that helps small businesses manage these kind of benefits and so-called Zenefits. It is difficult for small businesses to kind of wrap it around and they make it easy, especially with the paper work and things like that – everything from onboarding an employee to terminating them and how that works. Even most, frankly, employment attorneys don’t necessarily know that stuff because it’s a lot of logistical issues and forms and filings and things like that and so they make it easy for you. But the catch is the software is free and so, of course, how they make their money is through the actual brokering of the insurance policies.MATT: Yeah, and I shouldn’t have said specifically health insurance. That’s kind of what got them into trouble. It’s more of a greater HR – they call themselves an HR platform – payroll benefits, time-keeping, other compliance issues, things like that. They are much more than just basically a broker for insurance but that’s really what got them into trouble. Let’s see. When did this happen? Their CEO just stepped down.NASIR: It was like February 8 so about ten days ago or so, yeah – around that time. MATT: Once you look in a little bit deeper into this, you can see some other issues. But, I think, kind of the big thing here – at least the thing that really drove him to stepping away as CEO – is there was an investigation. Where are they based out of?NASIR: I wanted to say Seattle – no, California-based. MATT: I was going to say Seattle, too. Then, I remembered that was the other company we’re talking about. Well, they operate in California and Washington State. But, basically, there was an inquiry or an investigation in California.NASIR: San Francisco. MATT: That they’d created macros that allowed the employees of Zenefits to essentially bypass the online broker lic...

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Texas Gym Tests the Limits of Unfair Competition feat. Leiza Dolghih [e254]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Feb 17, 2016


Nasir and Matt welcome Leiza Dolghih to discuss a former vice president of Life Time Fitness that used company resources to open a competing gym. Check out Leiza Dolghih's blog here at www.northtexaslegalnews.com.Transcript:NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist.My name’s Nasir Pasha.MATT: And I’m Matt Staub.NASIR: Matthew Staub, and today we are covering non-competes again for the second time this week. Well, the first time wasn’t really non-compete related but it was tangentially related.MATT: Yeah, Monday’s episode, I guess it fell under the non-compete umbrella. We have a guest today – first time having a guess in a while – Leiza Dolghih. She is a litigation attorney out of Dallas, specializing in a few areas here – one which being unfair competition, trade secrets, and non-competes.The reason we’re having her on today is she specializes in this area and we’re talking about a non-compete agreement that was actually held to be enforceable here in Texas and I think it’s going to be a real help to have her on the episode today and discuss. NASIR: It’s one thing for us to talk about transactional work of actually drafting these non-competes but litigating is a whole different issue. So, she’s actually an employment litigation attorney. Leiza, welcome to our podcast!LEIZA: Thank you, guys! Thank you for inviting me.NASIR: I know this is a hard question to start out with, and we’re going to get to our topic, specifically what’s going on, but you’re in Texas, our firm’s based out of California. Non-competes in California are just you just don’t see them and, when you do see them, you know there’s going to be a problem because the court’s not going to enforce it. What is going on in Texas? Why do they tolerate these non-competes? LEIZA: Well, you know, as we say, it’s not that they tolerate. Actually, for most non-competes, we have a non-compete statute that says that non-compete agreements are allowed as long as they’re reasonable and there are a few other requirements that you have to meet. I feel fairly recently the way that courts interpreted the statutes is they made it very hard for employers to enforce their agreements. Well, that changed about five years ago. The courts came out with a new interpretation and it’s slowly catching on. The employers are now realizing that they can actually use the agreement to tie up their employees. A lot of employees are still under the impression that these agreements are not enforceable so they sign them, you know, without giving it a second thought. Of course, when they part ways, it becomes a big issue. So, I’m seeing disagreements constantly. I’m seeing them across all industries and I’m seeing all kinds of language ranging from something very ridiculous – you know, five years you can’t work anywhere in the country – to very specific limitations and everything in-between. So, Texas, I mean, they have a very good – or we have a very good – body of law on this issue.NASIR: Yeah, but you’re right about those year terms. I mean, you get a wide range of what people do and we’ll talk about what we find reasonable and how to actually determine that which I have a feeling we’re not going to get a straight answer from you on that but let’s talk about what’s going on. Actually, it’s a Houston case, right? What’s going on with this? What is it? Global Gym?LEIZA: Right. Well, it actually involves Life Time Fitness. Are you guys aware of that chain?NASIR: No, I’m just trying to think, I just joined Equinox but I talked about that in another episode. I’ve never heard of that.LEIZA: It’s a higher-end gym that also has a spa built in. In this case, it’s in Houston. A vice-president and his wife were working for a Life Time Fitness location that was very profitable and the VP was interested in opening his own competing spa which is, you know, it’s okay, it’s allowed. You can do that as long as he doesn’t violate his non-compete.

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When Employers Can Seek Expense Reimbursement From Employees [e253]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Feb 15, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss a rare win for California employers and when they can seek expense reimbursement for voluntary employee training.Transcript:NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub.NASIR: Episode 253. This is a monumental episode. I think it’s the highest episode number we’ve ever done.MATT: I don’t know. It could be.NASIR: I think so.MATT: You’re just saying that because I’m recording this from a plane, right? Physically, the highest I’ve ever been up off the ground.NASIR: Altitude-wise, it’s the highest.MATT: Yeah.NASIR: Correct, exactly. MATT: Definitely 253 is the highest number-wise because we record going up. But, yeah, I think altitude-wise, this has to be the highest. But we’ve actually evened it out because I think you said you were in Death Valley recording this so I don’t know. Who knows?NASIR: So, two milestones, definitely put it in the books. But, today, what are we talking about today, Matt? Give us a little taste of the topic here.MATT: People may not have listened to this before or might not be in California or experienced any sort of business or competition in California. The general idea is any sort of restraint against competition – I’ll use the word “competition” generally not enforceable and we’ve talked about different ways where, you know, it can be considered that and with trade secrets, you know, things like that.NASIR: Yeah.MATT: We had a decision – and this was end of January here – that kind of changed this a little bit. Let me just get into kind of the facts behind this. I’m just going to abbreviate. UPI is how they abbreviate it but USS-POSCO Industries, they faced a vacancy in this certain type of skilled worker that they need – if someone really is interested, maintenance, technical, electrical MTE workers. Here’s what they did; they needed to find these people. It’s a highly skilled area so they needed to train these people which, generally speaking, if you have employees and you’re going to train them, you have to compensate them for that.This program they created, 135 weeks of instruction, 90 weeks of job training, and 45 weeks of classroom work – pretty substantial. Cost was also pretty substantial; $46,000 per employee that they estimated this program cost.NASIR: Geez.MATT: It’s pretty significant. I mean, I think that’s higher than the median family income in San Diego last year which is crazy. During this time, the employees still got paid their regular wages. This was kind of in addition to train them, I assume, for this higher level or more technical side of it. If they completed the program, they would be assigned to this MTE vacancy and that was that. But the thing to keep in mind here is participation in this was voluntary because they still had their normal position, but this would be a higher skilled position where I assume they would get much higher pay than they did before. I don’t know the exact numbers but I think that’s safe to say.NASIR: Do you know if the training was while they were working or was it outside? The reason I’m asking is because you mentioned, generally, if you’re training an employee, you have to pay them – unless, like, there’s a four-factor test, right? If it’s voluntarily, if it’s outside of regular work hours, and not directly related to the employee’s job, and that the employee doesn’t perform any productive work during that. It’s a little ambiguous about that but it seems like these guys did it during their employment and they were paid their regular wage. And so, really, the main factor we’re talking about here is that it’s voluntary. It may not have been enough to not pay them for that training time but we’re talking about something a little bit different here.MATT: No, and that’s a good point. That’s why one of the important things to see here is that it was, in fact, voluntary and that’ll come into play later.

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Why Yahoo’s Performance Review System Was Flawed From the Start [e252]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Feb 10, 2016


Nasir and Matt talk about Yahoo's quarterly performance review system and why it was flawed from day one.Transcript:NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha, and…MATT: I wasn’t quick enough there. My name is Matt Staub.You gave me a fraction of a second to say something and I hesitated.NASIR: Well, I give you a one out of five then in your performance review. MATT: Ah, well, very pertinent to what we’re talking about today.NASIR: Yeah, that’ what I do. MATT: That could end up being all right based on this stacked ranking system. I believe it’s kind of a bell curve on how all of this works but was it the QPR Quarterly Progress Report?NASIR: Yeah, this makes my eyes roll. It’s some kind of corporate program that it needs an acronym to it.MATT: Well, yeah, this isn’t the first time this has been implemented and I think some other big companies have run into similar issues before but one thing that Marissa Mayer did when she came into Yahoo was install these quarterly performance reviews. What did I say, “quarterly progress report”? I was one-third of the way correct.NASIR: You got the quarterly correct. MATT: Well, I got the QPR. I just hadn’t opened up the article yet to remember what it was. So, they have this rating system to rank the employees and there’s a couple of issues that are going on here. One, well, the person that ultimately brought the lawsuit is claiming a couple of things but one of which is that this stacked ranking system is just unfair in general. Two, I think this probably would be the bigger one, the scores or this rating system was manipulated and there’s a few issues with that but it was manipulated to then I guess give some sort of legitimate grounds for terminating people and the number of people that were terminated is also another problem involved in all this but it all kind of comes back to this rating system. I mean, I don’t know how much you want to talk about that and the actual rating system itself on how fair it is.NASIR: Well, yeah, let’s talk… The rating system is like, it’s so silly. Honestly, it really represents Yahoo as a company because I don’t think it’s ironic – or I don’t think it’s a coincidence, I should say – that around the time that the stack ranking – like, which Matt said, it’s literally a one to five rating, bell curve – that means only so many people can get fives, only so many people can get fours, et cetera, and one, and most everyone’s going to get threes. And so, this system was pretty much abolished by Microsoft and GE. As they were ditching it, Yahoo was starting it. It’s very reminiscent to Yahoo as a company. I mean, they always seem to be kind of late in the game. Frankly, if you’re kind of late to the game compared to Microsoft and GE, I mean, that’s telling you something.MATT: Yeah, and it just reminds me and I know there are some schools that this is the way they do all their classes. I took a class in college – some accounting course, I can’t remember which one – it was the same sort of concept. It was like, well, you’re going to take the exams and the top ten percent are going to get an A – or maybe it was the top twenty percent – the next thirty are going to get a B, the next thirty are going to get a C, ten percent D, and ten percent fail. So, ten percent automatically failed every single exam. To be fair, I thought that was ridiculous until the exams all ended up being tough so definitely more than ten percent of people failed every exam so it kind of worked itself out in that aspect.NASIR: Yeah.MATT: But, in terms of people’s jobs, I mean, I don’t know what percent applies here but let’s say everyone that worked for Yahoo was a good to great employee – which probably wasn’t the case, it definitely wasn’t the case but let’s say it was – you have to throw people into this bottom. I mean, there’s a top, there’s a middle, and there’s a bottom. People have to be on the bottom based on this ...

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Do NBA Players Own Their Own Tattoos? [e251]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Feb 08, 2016


The guys take the court to discuss the recent lawsuit against a video game company claiming copyright infringement over tattoos on NBA players' bodies.Transcript:NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist.My name is Nasir Pasha.MATT: And I’m Matt Staub.NASIR: And I have zero tattoos. How many tattoos do you have?MATT: 32.NASIR: 32. Actually, you know, I just read, by the way – I don’t know what made me think of this but – someone ranked the best football cities and I think San Diego is ranked, like, 34 or 32 or something like that. I don’t know how it goes, but there’s only like, 30-something teams in the country, right?MATT: Yeah. Well, there’s 32 teams so I hope they weren’t 34th.NASIR: Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was 32.MATT: Well, so there’s a couple of things – well, it wouldn’t matter because they’re either going to count Saint Louis or they’re going to count Los Angeles. But New York has two teams.NASIR: Does that count as two cities? No, they did best or worse cities.MATT: They played different spots.NASIR: Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Well, let’s not analyze it too much. The point is that you have the same number of tattoos as the rank of San Diego in their fan base. MATT: Well, you figured it out. I have all 32 NFL logos tattooed. NASIR: Okay, perfect.Well, actually, I mean, that may be a copyright violation. Did you think about that before you put it on?MATT: Well, I’m glad you mentioned that because it’s something I did want to bring up. It’s kind of a second layer. If this episode was an onion, this would be the second layer of what I was going to discuss here.NASIR: What if it was an orange? Same thing – second layer?MATT: Maybe. It could just be the peel or the rind – whatever that is.NASIR: Okay.MATT: Yeah, but the actual juice of this episode is the deal with the tattoos. It’s something I never thought about before. You know, when I go out and get my 32 tattoos, you know, obviously, it’s on my body, but who owns the tattoo of the artwork that’s done on the individual? I never really thought about it at all until I saw this lawsuit this past week with the NBA. Well, I don’t think it’s even with the NBA. I don’t think there’s any players involved either. I think the actual lawsuit is…NASIR: With the videogame maker, right?MATT: Yeah, the creators of NBA 2K are getting sued by this company that did the tattoos.NASIR: They bought the license or the copyright ownership from all these tattoo artists, actually.MATT: Okay. Is that who it is? NASIR: Yeah.MATT: Are they the company that employed or the house artist that did it?NASIR: No, I think what they did was they wanted to license out these tattoo images – who knows why? Maybe other people wanted to get these same images as a fan. And so, I think it was Solid Oak Sketches. They purchased. They went to these different tattoo artists and actually bought the rights to that particular art piece – that copyright image.MATT: I saw that there were these licensing agreements from the artists and this company that ultimately sued but the point is this company sued NBA 2K – whoever has the ownership in that – for copyright infringement because what this game is doing is it has all these NBA players and, you know, it’s 2016 so it gets better. The graphics get better every year.NASIR: By the way, that’s debatable. If anyone plays sports games, it’s like, “Yeah, you can see one more freckle than you did before.” Well, this is my area, right? At least we’re getting into videogames and you can talk the sports stuff. But, from the videogame perspective, it’s kind of frustrating because, you know, especially with Madden, it’s like every year they come up with something new and try to make the graphics a little bit better but, really, you know, we’re still pretty far from where we need to be, I think. I mean, really, we want just realistic, you know, we want to play ourselves. Literally, in order to play a basketball videogame,

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Why Joint Employment Will Become a Major Issue for Employers [e250!]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Feb 03, 2016


Nasir and Matt celebrate episode 250 by discussing the Department of Labor opinion about joint employment and how to distinguish between horizontal and vertical joint employment.Transcript:NASIR: Welcome to Regally – uh, regally? Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. I’m your king, Nasir Pasha, and this is where we talk about… I don’t know, I’m so off now. This is the podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name’s Nasir Pasha.MATT: I’m Matt Staub and I thought I was on mute for a second – all sorts of off.NASIR: We’re so off. Horrible beginning but we’re going to keep recording.MATT: We’ll be fine.NASIR: I think that’s actually the first mistake we’ve ever had in this podcast now that I think about it. MATT: It’s not bad. This is the 250th episode so one mistake every 250, I’ll take that. It’s a pretty good success rate. NASIR: Did we forget to do something special for 250?MATT: Yeah.NASIR: Of course. MATT: I just had lunch with a couple of people and they asked about the podcast. They actually asked – I’m not making this up.NASIR: Okay, yeah.MATT: I said, “Well, yeah, we’re actually recording 250 later today.” It seemed pretty impressive when I said that to them.NASIR: Not as impressive now that we’re actually in it. MATT: 300 will be pretty big because that’s your favorite movie.NASIR: Mostly the second one, though. What is it – 301? I don’t know. MATT: Is that a parody?NASIR: No, there was a sequel to it. It’s horrible. Not that the first one’s that great, too. I mean, I think the first one, you know, didn’t have much of substance to it but it was kind of eye candy, you know?MATT: Well, when we talk about employment law, we usually talk about the same few things. It’s obviously employees and independent contractors.NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Wrongful termination, discrimination, things like that. What we’re going to talk about today, I think is going to become a pretty big issue in the employment front and I don’t think it gets talked about too often and maybe that’s the reason that we – just this past week or two weeks ago – the Department of Labor came out with this. It’s not new law; it’s really just an explanation or it goes into more detail about the topic of joint employment which I don’t think many businesses are even aware of this – outside of the ones that probably fit the idea.NASIR: Even if they’re not aware of it, I think more and more businesses are entering this world and where these types of relationships kind of occur is where you have one person, an employee, that has so-called loyalties or obligations or are being controlled by two different entities. Where that line is drawn and what kind of liability that’s exposed is what really the Department of Labor has kind of shared their opinion on. MATT: I think that’s a good way to describe it or to sum it up very briefly is when more than one business is involved in the work being performed by somebody and they might possibly have two separate employers and that’s when the whole joint employment analysis comes into play. This isn’t a situation where, you know, I have my normal 9 to 5 job during the day and then I go moonlight at night working wherever. NASIR: Burger King? MATT: I was trying to pick somewhere that’s open… I guess it’s open late? I don’t know. I don’t know the last time I’ve been to Burger King. NASIR: Wait, you do work at Burger King, don’t you?MATT: Yeah.NASIR: I thought that’s what you do in the evenings. I always call you and I always hear people talking in the background, ordering French fries. But, yeah, that’s completely different because, obviously, the owner of Burger King – or I should say Burger King and the other employer – really have no relation to each other so we’re talking about real true joint employment. And so, the Department of Labor has – and we’ll talk about the significance of this in a second but let’s just figure out, okay, when is joint employment implied?

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Is Consumer Outrage Over Reneged Grandfather Clauses Justified? [e249]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Feb 01, 2016


Nasir and Matt discuss the different ways that Netflix and 24 Hour Fitness handled backing out of grandfather pricing to customers. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Today, we’re covering a very interesting topic, but you’re going to have wait to see what it is. MATT: I can see that you think subscription-based or monthly pricing or whatever you want to call it is an interesting topic. NASIR: Well, honestly, I didn’t name the topic because I wasn’t sure exactly how to summarize the topic. I just know we get to talk about Netflix and 24 Hour Fitness. MATT: We’ll get into the Netflix part of it first. I guess, for people that pay or for people that have been signed up, 2014 or before that, they were paying $7.99 a month which I believe is what I pay. I’m not positive but I think that’s when I signed up. I don’t know. I don’t even know when I signed up. NASIR: I know I used to pay $7.99 a month but I kept giving away my username and password to family and friends that I ended up using Netflix one of these days and it said that there was too many users on or something like that so I upgraded from there to where you can pay more to have access to more screens or whatever. But I’m pretty sure I was paying $7.99. I don’t know what I’m paying now. It’s probably like a billion dollars per month. MATT: Probably not that much because I think it’s only going up to, well, the most someone was paying was $9.99 a month. NASIR: Oh, good. I can afford that. MATT: Yeah, that’s what the more recent people are paying. Now that I think about it, I want to say… I don’t know if it was Netflix or maybe it was somewhere else that put up a promotion somewhat recently of “sign up now and you can get this lower rate” and I’ll get to why that’s relevant but what Netflix has now come out and said is, “Anyone that’s paying $7.99 a month, it’s going to get bumped up to $9.99 a month. You know, the silver lining is we’re going to still give you two full years of that $7.99.” I guess I shouldn’t say that fully. You can stay on the $7.99 a month plan but you’re only getting standard definition. For anyone that wants to watch in HD which has got to most people, it’s going to go up to $9.99. NASIR: So, it’s effectively a downgrade though because, with $7.99, you had access to HD, right? MATT: Right. NASIR: It is a downgrade. MATT: It is definitely a downgrade. You could technically still stay on $7.99 a month, though. You just get a lesser version of what you had. NASIR: Got it. MATT: But they’re giving you two years before they do that so they’re giving you a little bit of notice here and it is a month to month arrangement so I guess you could still jump on the $7.99 a month for two years and then back out if you’re really upset about the $2.00 per month increase which is what, $24.00 a year? NASIR: Approximately. MATT: But it’s the principle of the thing and I think that’s why a lot of people are complaining about it now as, “Hey, I thought this was supposed to be a $7.99-a-month arrangement. You’re supposed to be grandfathered into this price. Why do I have to pay more for this now?” and we’re going to get into 24 Hour Fitness which might be one of the bigger culprits of this scheme but, to me, they’re giving you the two years of kind of a buffer to figure out if you want to stay on or not. I mean, that’s about as fair as you’re going to get. NASIR: Yeah, that’s reasonable, and it’s a couple of dollars, like you said, approximately $24.00 more per year if you’re doing your math correctly. I can’t verify that but, yeah, I mean, it’s reasonable and, frankly, I’m pretty sure, without looking at the contract, I mean, Netflix is month to month and we can cancel at any time and, therefore, so can they and they can increase the price at any time. And so, when they did increase the price to $9.

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Minnesota Vikings File Lawsuit Over Alleged Aerial Photobomb [e248]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Jan 20, 2016


Nasir and Matt throw the pigskin around in discussing the Minnesota Vikings' allegations that Wells Fargo is photobombing their new U.S. Bank Stadium. Nasir also gives the Chargers a proper eulogy. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And welcome to another football episode even though the season’s ending. MATT: Well, I mean, actually, it’s not really ending. I mean, we’re kind of going right into the most exciting part of the year. I guess, for you, it’s ending because (1) your local team just got crushed last weekend – I guess, by the time this comes out, the previous weekend – lost 30-0 at home. And then, your favorite team is no longer going to exist anymore. So, I guess, for you, it really is ending. NASIR: It’s true. It’s been a bad year for myself and football. I’ve pretty much given up on the Chargers. Of course, my wife’s upset at me about it because it feels like I don’t have any loyalty but, hey, the Chargers have given no loyalty to me and they’re moving to Los Angeles now – or at least that’s what they’re trying to do. I think, as of today, there might be a chance that there might be one more year here until they make a deal with St. Louis which would be a very awkward year, by the way. MATT: I don’t get how they’re expecting that to go over. I mean, from my perspective, the people I’ve spoken to that are big Chargers fans in San Diego have kind of already said their goodbyes and they’ve given into the fact that the Chargers are going to be gone. So, now, it’s possible they might come back for this weird in-between year before they go to LA. I just can’t see people signing up for that – the season ticketholders. I don’t know. The real die-hards might a lot of people are just going to back out of that. NASIR: I think the ones that are not going to root for the Los Angeles Chargers – or whatever they’re going to be named – are probably not going to be too kind to them this next year if they stay in San Diego. But there is going to be a portion of fans – and, apparently, including my wife – that are going to follow the Chargers to Los Angeles and good luck to them. MATT: What it’s going to be is next year it’s the same thing. It’s going to be in LA and it’s basically going to be a gigantic game for all the away fans because both San Diego and LA are cities with a lot of people not from there. So, whatever team is playing there, they’re going to load the stadium with their fans and that’s what it’s going to be. NASIR: And then, ten years from now, they’ll probably come back from Los Angeles after failing there. MATT: Well, I think the interest is still there in San Diego if they would have been able to build a new stadium but too late, I guess. NASIR: Yeah, too late. MATT: So, let’s talk about another stadium that actually is getting built – I believe it’s going to be ready for next season – that’s in Minnesota. Was it US Bank? NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Stadium? US Bank Arena? It’s probably US Bank Stadium, I’m guessing that’s what it’s called. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: That’s important because they’re going to have this nice, big, new, fancy stadium with the US Bank branded on top of it. It’s going to look really nice in the aerial. NASIR: It’s a rooftop, of course. MATT: Yeah, it’s going to look really nice in the aerial photos. One thing that’s happening – and I think these other towers are getting built or maybe they were getting built at the time when US Bank Stadium got approved – is Wells Fargo is also building or has these high-rises I think that are seven-stories high – something to that effect. And so, let me back up a little bit. The Vikings are building the stadium and basically went around to the neighboring businesses – Iguess entered into agreements with them in terms of signage, things like that – whilst one of the nearby buildings is Wells Fargo.

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Can A Landlord Prevent A Cafe From On Premise Consumption? [e247]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Jan 13, 2016


Nasir explains his experience at a local sandwich shop, Relish Fine Foods, and the guys speculate as to how the cafe is restricted from allowing customers to eat on the premises. Check out the Relish website here: www.relishhouston.com Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we coiver business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And, this episode – I feel like I was about to go in a more formal introduction like, “In this episode, we’re going to talk about…” but when do we ever do that? MATT: Not often. NASIR: Not often. MATT: Or maybe ever I guess. I don’t know if we have. NASIR: Yeah, just look at the title and people know what we’re talking about, whatever the title may be. MATT: This isn’t a TV show where you do a preview. NASIR: Yeah, an introduction or a preview and then they show clips of the podcast. MATT: Yes, some podcasts do have… ours aren’t long enough so it wouldn’t really make sense but some of them will have a line or two from the episode at the beginning. NASIR: Yeah, I remember Zero did that, I think, did they? I’m trying to remember. Or maybe they did it for the past episode. We should have an update from the last episode even though one episode has nothing to do with the other. MATT: We recorded two back-to-back. I don’t know how much of an update we could do from one to the other. NASIR: Well, we can give an update of what’s happened with that fundraiser on GoFundMe for the last story. They’ve raised $5.00 more. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Anyway, I guess I should start out with this, right? MATT: Yeah, this is all you. I can sit back on this one. NASIR: Okay. Well, don’t sit back too much because you’re the one who usually does the intro. Anyway, there’s a restaurant – by the way, using the word “restaurant,” I use it very loosely – there’s a place where you buy food, okay? It’s around the corner from the office and it’s called Relish, I think. it’s been there for as long as I’ve been living here – which hasn’t been long – a few years, at least. It’s this food establishment. It’s kind of like a deli but not really. A lot of fresh ingredients and food and, also, it’s a little pricey. It’s in a nice neighborhood or whatever. I go there the other day and they have this flyer on one of the walls near the cash register and, of course, I don’t read this until they ask me, you know, I order my sandwich and they me, “To go or for here?” and I say, “To go.” I read this flyer and it says, “To our valued customers, we are sorry to inform you that food may not be consumed on these premises.” Of course, I’m thinking, “Okay, I guess I can’t eat here, but then why did they ask me whether I should eat here or not?” And then, they say, “This is due to a provision in our lease that our landlord and other food tenants on the property have decided to strictly enforce. We will be open for takeaway until further notice,” and then, in the next paragraph, it says, “We are actively seeking a different location close-by where this will not be the case. We look forward to continuing to serve you and hope to find a new location very soon. Thank you for understanding. – Relish Team.” Of course, then I look to my right and left and I see there were some tables there. There was never that much seating in the first place and there was a couple of tables there with chairs – like, high chairs, but those high chairs are gone – but then they have stools like at Starbucks or whatever, they have a bar on the window and they have a bunch of stools and I see a couple of people sitting there, eating, with their bags. So, of course, I’m confused. I overhear somebody, he’s like, “Oh, can we eat here?” “Yeah, we just have to pack it to go.” I was like, “Okay, that’s weird.” Then, I was like, “Oh, so you guys are moving?” They’re like, “Yeah, we’ve moving,” and they told me they were moving down… it’s actually not that close-by but relatively close-by. And then,

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How Businesses Can Fight Back Against Negative Social Media [e246]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Jan 11, 2016


Nasir and Matt kick off 2016 by discussing how one Indianapolis bar responded to a negative post on its Facebook page. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And, please, forgive Matt because he just informed me that he’s rearranging his room. I’m not sure what that has to do with the podcast but, for some reason, it was important to tell me about it so I thought I’d share that with you as well. MATT: Well, just in case, I thought you’d have more excitement for, well, none of the episodes ran in 2016 yet, I don’t think. NASIR: Oh, yeah, we’re back! 2016. I think every year we talk about, you know, when it’s not okay to say “Happy New Year” but, I think, yeah, at least for right now, being the first week of January, this coming out the second week, I think we can say this is the happy new year episode. MATT: We’re recording on the seventh so, I think, anything under a week, you’re fine. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: I think you’re safe. And so, good thing, we’re talking about the New Year because we have a New Year’s based story to discuss for today. NASIR: Exactly. MATT: We’ve been off a couple of weeks now, I think. there’s been a lot of really good legal-related things that have happened – none of which have been right up our alley – but this one’s pretty interesting and it comes from, I guess, my home city in a way – Indianapolis – and a place I’ve actually been to so I’m somewhat familiar with it. Let me tell you what happened. There’s this restaurant bar in Indianapolis called Kilroys and I don’t know what the situation was for New Year’s. I’m guessing they just had a bunch of people there. It’s a pretty popular bar and restaurant as is so I’m imagining it was pretty packed. I guess what happened was, an older woman – it’s up for debate how old she was, reading through the story and some other ones… NASIR: Like, they can’t find her birth certificate? MATT: Well… So, the first couple of things I’ve seen – at least in the response from the owner or the manager – was she was over 70 years old, but then I saw somewhere else she was only 57 but we’ll say over 50. NASIR: Oh, okay. MATT: So, it was a woman over 50, apparently she had a heart attack. They had to bring in people to come in and work on her in the middle of this big thing, terrible thing. NASIR: Wow. Way to kill the New Year’s, huh? MATT: Yeah. So, this girl that was at the bar was not happy with the situation – and I’m trying to see what time she wrote this because I bet it’s, yeah – she wrote it at 1:51 a.m. New Year’s Day so a couple of hours after and most likely with a couple of drinks in her probably, I would have to guess. She wrote this scathing review, just incredibly upset about what happened. I’m not going to read the whole review but basically… NASIR: Read some of it at least, yeah. MATT: Yeah, I’m going to pick and choose. NASIR: Okay. MATT: She says she’s never going to come back, after the way her and her friends spent over $700 to have their meal ruined by watching a dead person being wheeled out from an overdose. “My night’s been ruined.” Blah blah blah. I mean, that’s basically the gist of it, I think. Basically, she’s saying, “My night was ruined because somebody overdosed in the bar and had to be taken out and they died and it was a terrible event.” I don’t know why she would assume somebody overdosed at a bar but I guess that’s for her to make any effort to see who it was or whatever. So, she complains, writes this message on Facebook – this is on their Facebook page, you know, less than two hours into the New Year – and, at the time this was screenshotted, there was only a few reviews – sorry, a few comments. I’d imagine there was a lot more than that. NASIR: Actually, it was taken down. MATT: Yeah, and now I’m trying to find the one. The point is, the manager ended up writing a response to this.

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Director Edreace Purmul Explains Tarantino’s Problem with Star Wars [e245]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Dec 23, 2015


The guys welcome Edreace Purmul to discuss Quentin Tarantino's problem with Hollywood's Cinerama Dome allegedly backing out of its agreement to show his movie in lieu of Star Wars. Edreace Purmul graduated from San Diego State University’s Film and Business school in 2006. His first debut into the cinema limelight incidentally was also his first film attempt post-graduation. His micro-budget feature film MOZLYM received immediate international acclaim and interest for its controversial and socially conscious appeal. MOZLYM received a Nomination for Best Picture in 2008 at the Cairo International Film Festival and won the Audience Favorite award at Riverside International Film Festival. It also was selected for official competition at International Film Festival Thailand,  South Africa Film Festival, and British Film Festival of Los Angeles, where Purmul received multiple nominations for Best First Time Director. Check out Edreace's latest film here! Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and this time we’re joined with a Star Wars expert, Matt Staub, right? MATT: You know, you’ve said many different things for me. This was probably the one that’s farthest from the truth. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: I’m trying to think of some of the other ones you’ve said for me in the past like make-up expert. I think mine might be closer to that than Star Wars expert, unfortunately. So, I don’t know how much I’ll be able to offer on this but we’ll see what happens. NASIR: No. In fact, I’m pretty sure we talked last week about covering this episode and you’ve only seen the old ones which is forgivable because the new ones aren’t as good and we can kind of get into that discussion but it seems like you weren’t too familiar with it so I went ahead and got my own expert – since I knew you’d be lacking – my good friend, Edreace Purmul. He’s an independent filmmaker in San Diego. Edreace, are you there? EDREACE: Yes, I am! NASIR: Nice. Welcome to the podcast. EDREACE: Thank you guys for having me. NASIR: No problem. So, Edreace, Star Wars… This new film, is it going to be good, bad, or to be determined? EDREACE: Star Wars is kind of one of those unique – I guess you could say – sagas or series that the properties that it carries in terms of fan base and how it’s made and who’s behind it is very different than something that’s a little bit more consecutive because it’s spread out over the span of, you know, we’re talking 1976, it had its own fan base. George Lucas had his own – you know, he has his take on what he wanted to do with it and, really, the first Star Wars was not really called Episode IV. That’s not how it started. He actually just created the idea and didn’t really think about if this thing became a sequel. And so, after it kind of struck gold, then he started to kind of look at it and say, “Okay, let’s map it out.” But then, thirty years later, there’s a reboot and there’s another trilogy that’s part of the same clause, I guess, but you have completely different takes on it and you have a lot of jaded Star Wars fans who are like, “This is not the Star Wars I remember.” It got to a point where, you know, one of the reasons why Lucas even claims he left and basically sold it to Disney was he kind of lost control over what he thought was his own creative vision because the world had kind of owned it at this point and they were telling him, “You should have done this and you should have done that.” I think him kind of surrendering the reins to J.J. Abrams and Disney, it’s probably just going to feel different, in my opinion. I know J.J. Abrams, one of his goals was to try to really make it feel like the Star Wars that inspired him when he was young. I think he saw Star Wars when he was like eleven or something. And so, there’s a little bit of hope I guess for some of the older Star Wars fans that, “Wow,

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New Laws Employers Must Pay Attention To For 2016 [e244]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Dec 21, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss new laws that will go into effect for 2016 and how employers should adjust their practices accordingly. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. Welcoming my co-host who happens to be an expert on time travel of what’s going to happen in the future. MATT: Yeah, Matt Staub. I guess it kind of makes sense. NASIR: Kinda? MATT: Well, I’m looking forward to this episode because you were just going to tell me all the new laws for 2016 and I was going to comment on them I believe was the plan. NASIR: Let me just open this big book of new law. I mean, we’re focusing on some of the labor laws for California only. Granted, California is crazy but, if you have employees in multiple states but just if you have one employee in California, then there’s a lot of new issues you have to deal with. MATT: Actually, that’s a question a lot of clients ask. “Are there any new labor laws that I need to be aware of for the new year?” Just a common time that new things get implemented. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Obviously, there’s a whole slew of laws that get passed and are new every year but the labor laws in particular are the ones that we usually talk about and we’re going to talk about a little bit of that and then there’s some other laws – ah, I guess it relates to labor, too. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Which actually is way more interesting than some of these California ones and compared to previous, you know, at least the last couple of years, because I think we’ve done this, for the couple of years we’ve done the podcast I think this’ll be the third end of the year we’ve been doing this and I think this is the third end-of-the-year we’ve done new laws for the next year. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: I’d say, at least from the California side on the labor law, this is definitely the tamest. NASIR: That’s true, but there’s a lot of little things and, if someone asks what laws they need to know, there’s not a lot of laws that are passing that are really crucial to an employer but there are a lot of little things that have been passed that kind of adds a headache for us, I suppose. MATT: Yeah, this isn’t like last year or I guess the beginning of 2015 when the paid sick leave was obviously really big in California. NASIR: And I think minimum wage was around that time, too. MATT: Yeah. So, there’s a couple of big things. I mean, to me, from the employer’s side, the biggest law to me is one we’ve already discussed previously this year – at least we touched on it from what I remember. I don’t know if there’s a bill – Bill 258, I don’t think that’s very helpful, whatever this is called. NASIR: That’s how I reference it. MATT: There’s a lot to it. One of the things is this equality in pay regardless of gender and we touched on this before and, thinking about it a little bit since then, the way it’s kind of laid out is employers are I think still are going to be able to get by on this – at least when I say “this,” I mean paying men and women different amounts despite the fact that they can’t. At least initially, just reading through some of these criteria, the idea is men and women, if they’re performing substantially similar work have to get paid the say. You know, they can’t have a difference in pay. But employers can base things on seniority – okay, that’s fine; merit system – that’s kind of vague; a system that measures earning by quantity or quality of production – quantity is much more concrete than quality of production, that’s pretty subjective; and then a bona fide factor other than sex such as education, training, experience. My point is there’s a lot there. It’s not a loophole I would say but there’s a lot of wiggle room for employers. I think it’ll help a little bit but I still can see employers can find ways around this. NASIR: Oh, absolutely. Frankly though, I don’t think the law is going to fix that problem, right? I mean,

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Will the Bark Be Worse Than the Bite with Dog Parker [e243]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Dec 16, 2015


The guys end the week by talking about the New York startup Dog Parker that allows owners to leave their dogs in fancy cages.  They also discuss the treats surrounding the company's longevity. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that news. My name is Nasir Pasha and we’re welcoming our co-host, the dog whisperer of San Diego, California. MATT: Yeah, Matt Staub. I wish I was a dog whisperer. It’d be cool. NASIR: We just have to whisper to a dog. That’s it. MATT: But, yeah, if I knew what my dog was thinking at all times, it would just be nonsense. NASIR: Yeah, I would assume so. I mean, they’re smart animals but, at the end, they’re still just an animal. I really do sometimes wish I can talk to animals. Those faces seem to present so much personality yet they still do the dumbest animalistic things, you know? MATT: Yeah. You said it. I mean, dogs are pretty smart but my dog still does the same stupid mistakes all the time. It’s like he never learns. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: I mean, he can do really smart things but he also just does the dumbest things every single day. Like, every day. NASIR: It’s like we’re impressed but, at the same time, we’re still disappointed as if we’re expecting something more, you know. MATT: It’s my training perhaps. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: I don’t know how I feel about this business. You were the one that told me about it. NASIR: I didn’t find it. MATT: Yeah. Well, Chris was the one who found it, right? We’ll give her credit. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: I liked the idea in theory because I have thought about this before but then I kind of watched the video and it was a little bit sad almost and then I started reading comments on other people’s stories on it and it was such a backlash that I flipped back to where I was originally and was for it. NASIR: You’re saying the protestors, the negative response made you more positive for it. MATT: Yeah, and I’ll get into why later so just remind me but let me explain what this is first. NASIR: Yeah, explain what it is. MATT: We’ll link it because you’ll see the video and so it’s not just some dungeon that this is but basically I believe it’s only in Brooklyn right now – or at least in NYC – and it is I don’t want to call it a kennel but it’s basically a very nice cage – or not even a cage but an enclosed area – kind of like a locker but with a window. NASIR: It’s like a box. I would say a metal box with a vertical window with some holes in it. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: And I think there’s holes all around, right? MATT: Yeah, there’s holes in it so the dogs can breathe. Well, I guess it doesn’t even have to be just dogs. It doesn’t say. But, yeah, it’s basically, let’s say you’re going to the store and you have your dog with you, instead of tying the dog up outside and going in, this would allow you to take your card, get access in, the dog goes in there, they’re locked in there until you come back out and get the dog. You know, they’ve apparently worked on a bunch of things to make it operate well with the holes in it so they can breathe and I guess they don’t do it if it’s below a certain temperature or above a certain temperature – the extreme ones. There’s a whole bunch of other things but I liked this concept because I’ve taken my dog by myself before and had to go in somewhere. I’m just worried that someone’s going to steal my dog or do something stupid. I’m just over-concerned about it so I guess this is one way to prevent that. But, like I said, after I watched the video, I guess the dog would sit there anyways and look like that, all sad, but it’s kind of they’re just locked in this box and I can see dogs really freaking out – you know, if they weren’t used to something like this. Here’s the thing. Kids go up, they’re going to tap on the glass, but then kids are going to go up and pet dogs, too. NASIR: They may be more inclined if it’s indoors. Like, in a box so they wouldn’t.

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How Lebron James Secured a Lifetime Deal with Nike [e242]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Dec 14, 2015


Nasir and Matt pass the rock around to discuss the lifetime deal that Lebron James signed with Nike and how the deal is likely structured. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and we’re welcoming our co-host. What kind of expert is he? He is a shoe expert, not a basketball expert, not what you were thinking. MATT: I don’t know anything about basketball but I know a lot about shoes. Matt Staub here. NASIR: You are a basketball… I don’t know about expert. I don’t know whether you’d call yourself an expert but you’re definitely into basketball more than I am. MATT: I would say I know more about basketball than most people do. NASIR: Okay. MATT: I think that’s fair to say. NASIR: In the world or in the United States? Like, what’s your criteria? MATT: I mean, definitely in the world because, well, it’s getting a little bit different but it’s pretty US-focused. I would think basketball has to be extremely popular in the US compared to other places. NASIR: Yeah, I would say that. MATT: You know, it’s gaining a little bit of traction worldwide. You definitely see a lot more international players in the NBA so it’s always fun. But it’s funny you said the shoe thing because that was one of the things I was wondering about this when I was looking into it. For those non-basketball news-related people, Lebron James signed what’s being called a lifetime deal with Nike – Lebron James being a basketball player, Nike being a shoe and other apparel company. NASIR: Definitely explain what Nike is but, yeah, first of its kind. I don’t think it’s happened in Nike’s history. Frankly, it hasn’t happened… I can’t think of any like-contract in the sports industry even. Can you? MATT: A long time ago, the huge deal that was done was I believe, if I remember correctly, Magic Johnson signed a 25-year deal with the Lakers for $25 million – one million a year for 25 years. NASIR: What? MATT: Which, obviously, is nothing now. I don’t know if that’s even like the veterans’ minimum per year but no one plays 25 years either so, obviously, they were buying more than just his basketball time. NASIR: Sure. MATT: But I think David Beckham – which is more up your alley with the soccer thing – I think he might have signed something that resembled or was rumored to be a lifetime deal with Adidas? Reebok? I don’t know. I forget. But, yeah, this isn’t very common, if it’s ever happened at all. I mean, not even Michael Jordan who has been with Nike forever has done anything like this – probably because he can always justify he’s worth more every year. But this is a pretty interesting deal. I think Lebron was signed right out of high school in 2003 by Nike which also was the times when you could go straight from the high school to the NBA. They’ve basically had him at every point that’s been a professional and I guess, for the entire time… NASIR: And for the rest of his life. MATT: Yeah, not even just playing, that’s the thing. It’s not that this only goes to when he retires. It’s a lifetime deal which might sound silly to some people but Michael Jordan’s shoes are selling just as much if not more than they did when he played. You know, there’s definitely value in this deal even after Lebron retires. NASIR: I mean, there’s just so many issues here. By the way, David Beckham did sign a lifetime contract that’s said to be worth around $130 million or so with Adidas and I think this Nike one is supposed to be worth what? I think everyone’s ballparking it but $500 million? MATT: Yeah, the numbers that were thrown around were 400 to 500 million and there was a source close to Lebron that said it’s worth well more than that so I don’t know if we’ll ever find out how much it is. I mean, it’s at least half a billion dollars probably so that’s pretty good pay-out for him. NASIR: Yeah, obviously he doesn’t get all that in one day.

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Mark Zuckererberg Sets an Example Inside and Outside the Office [e241]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Dec 09, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss Mark Zuckerberg's decision to take two months of paternity leave, his pledge to donate 99% of his Facebook shares to charity, and the alternative motive of Gravity's CEO to drastically raise the salary of all employees. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and we’re joined here with our maternity expert. MATT: Paternity expert, right? NASIR: Uh, no, you’re an expert in mothers expecting or having babies. MATT: All right. Matt Staub, yeah, I’m here, which doesn’t apply to what we’re talking about today. NASIR: No. MATT: Your go-to is just listing expertise of mine in areas I have, well, I guess, I mean, it has a little bit to do today but not the topic. NASIR: It’s the closest I can get. MATT: Well, I mean, you could say “expert in MySpace.” I feel like that’s closer. NASIR: Okay. MATT: I was looking, you know, we’re going to talk mostly about Facebook – well, mostly about Mark Zuckerberg but do you know the last time we talked in detail about Facebook? Do you remember? This is Episode 241. It’s been a while. NASIR: Maybe one of their acquisitions of Instagram or something? I don’t know. MATT: The one I found when I searched our previous ones was the malicious prosecution lawsuit they were trying to file against DLA Piper who represented that guy who claimed 84 percent ownership of the company who I looked up and now they describe him as “now fugitive businessman.” It hasn’t gone well for him post-lawsuit. NASIR: Did we ever find out what’s happened to that lawsuit? MATT: Well, I just looked, and this was earlier in the year because Facebook filed that malicious prosecution suit against DLA Piper and the judge refused… NASIR: The law firm, yeah. MATT: I think the judge refused to throw it out. NASIR: Okay. So, it looks like the case is going on. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Yeah, that was an interesting story. MATT: You know, you think about it, and we talk about this all the time but why would Facebook even bother with it at this point? But this is a good example. They need to set the precedent that they’re not going to put up with this stuff. They obviously have the money to handle it. NASIR: Definitely makes a law firm think twice about bringing something like that again. MATT: So, Facebook, you know, there’s a couple of things here and Mark Zuckerberg and it’s been in the news a lot the last couple of weeks and there’s a couple of things. The first was what you had mentioned earlier at the beginning. They had their kid a couple of days ago, I think – earlier this week of recording, right? NASIR: I think it was more than a couple of days but, yeah, definitely recently. MATT: Yeah. And so, he had come out and said that he is going to take a two-month paternal leave, I believe. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Which is pretty crazy and I believe I saw that the company offers up to four months of paid paternal leave so that’s pretty big. But I think one of the big things a lot of people are discussing is, you know, this is a big step towards acceptance of this sort of leave for the men because I think there’s some sort of stigma attached to men taking time off after the birth of their child. People might look at that in a different way as opposed to the mother who would do it. But I’m sure there’s been many instances of the father who wanted to do this and just felt so obligated that they couldn’t. This is clearly a step in that right direction for more men to do this. NASIR: Yeah. But, at the same time, it’s almost crazy to think that a CEO of a company would be able to take let alone a week even let alone two months off of their job whether it’s a male or a female, right? Obviously, Zuckerberg is probably in a little more unique position. I think all of our status updates will still go through whether Zuckerberg is on the job or not. My assumption is that he’s in a little bit more of a privileged position tha...

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How Malls Can Require Stores To Be Open On Thanksgiving [e240]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Nov 30, 2015


Nasir and Matt recap how some shopping malls required stores to be open on Thanksgiving. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. We are starting an hour later than we originally scheduled, but you don’t know that. MATT: And, really, neither did I until I looked at the clock. NASIR: Oh, yeah, and my name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub, and I guess we’re technically starting earlier. NASIR: Because of the holidays, that’s true. MATT: Yeah, we’re a day early – a day and an hour early. We won’t reveal what day or time we normally record. NASIR: That’s a secret. MATT: I think it’s pretty obvious we’re recording dead middle of Thanksgiving Day. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Sitting in a table, surrounded by thirty people. NASIR: I have actually turkey in my mouth right now. MATT: Well, I guess, by the time this comes out, it’ll be past Thanksgiving. NASIR: I’m sure, like, at this time, all the local news channels will be doing the stories of all the chaos from last Friday and people running each other over, et cetera. But we’re not going to do that. MATT: Yeah, and you won’t be there, obviously, because you opted outside. NASIR: By the time this came out, I definitely opted outside. Hopefully, I hashtagged #optoutside in something or other. It may rain that day but, either way, I’ll be outside. MATT: Yeah, you can still be outside when it’s raining. That’s fine. NASIR: Oh, yeah, we’ll be hiking – you know, West Texas. Don’t stalk me there. MATT: So, what we’re going to talk about, it’s pretty interesting and, you know, I never really thought about this being the possibility before but, I don’t know, to me, malls – shopping malls – are kind of going out of style, almost, it seems like. NASIR: I think the traditional one is. But then, again, I mean, I have Galleria Mall right next to, you know, I’m right in the middle of the Galleria and it’s a pretty famous mall – at least in Houston – and it’s a very traditional indoor mall but it’s just huge and it has a bunch of stores. But I agree with you; that kind of style does seem to be kind of old or out of fashion. MATT: Yeah, and the reason I said “the typical shopping mall,” it’s different from obviously like a strip mall or even the open air – is it called “open air malls”? Is that what those are called? NASIR: Yeah, like in Fashion Valley Mall or Mission Valley Mall. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: What’s the one downtown? Horton Plaza. MATT: Yeah, but that’s the point. You know, for those, every store has its own entrance into the store – well, I guess it’s the same case for shopping malls. In shopping malls, you have to go through some sort of department store, usually, in order to get to the actual other stores, right? NASIR: Yeah. MATT: That’s the way you get in most of the time. I guess, sometimes, there are other ways. But, anyways, this is in Concord, California – the Sun Valley Shopping Center. I guess the department stores which they’re referring to as kind of the anchors of the shopping mall were going to be open on Thanksgiving Day so the mall is making these other stores that are not the main anchors of the shopping mall also be open on Thanksgiving Day. I believe, in this example, they are required to be open from 6:00 p.m. until at least midnight on Thanksgiving Day with the option of remaining open until 5:00 a.m. the next morning. This wasn’t a “Hey, this is a suggestion because there’s going to be a lot of foot traffic, et cetera.” This is the owner saying all these stores are required to be open from 6:00 p.m. to midnight whether you like it or not which I have a few questions about but, from a reasonableness standpoint, this can’t go over too well with a lot of these stores, I would think. NASIR: Yeah, for some of them, it may be a surprise. Let’s just give some benefit of the doubt that they can legally do this, but how can a landlord make you stay open and,

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Why In-N-Out Burger Chose A Lawsuit Over More Business [e239]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Nov 23, 2015


Nasir and Matt get in the Thanksgiving spirit by discussing In-N-Out Burger suing DoorDash for delivering their food and recreating their logo. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and, joining with me is our food delivery expert. MATT: Matt Staub. All right, I’d take that. I mean, I don’t know about expert but at least it’s more accurate than normal. Off to a good start, I guess. NASIR: By the way, I don’t know how I’m going to finish this episode. Not only am I hungry again, of course, but I haven’t eaten anything today. I think I had some gummy bears and I just got done with a run so this is going to be a tough episode for me. MATT: I don’t know how you did that. NASIR: You don’t know or why? MATT: Running without having any sort of… so, you’re working on, like, negative calories for now? NASIR: I don’t like running on a full stomach. That’s ideal for me, anyway. MATT: Well, there is a middle ground where you eat at normal times during the day and then go running at a more reasonable time after but… NASIR: That’s true. That requires reasonableness. MATT: Yeah, I guess so. That’s definitely not what DoorDash did in this recent lawsuit that was filed and it was even worse than I first thought that was reported actually. I did a little bit deeper digging. NASIR: Even when we first recorded this episode? MATT: Yeah. Well, yeah. NASIR: This is our second try. I mean, I was so sick last week that I don’t know what… I think I did record the episode, I just didn’t save it. So, this is our round two of it but bigger and better, right? MATT: Yeah, hopefully. I mean, I don’t remember how the last one went. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: I’ll just assume it’s better. So, DoorDash, what they are is… NASIR: Wait, wait, wait, should I record this episode, too? MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Let me hit record. MATT: Yeah, preferably. They’re a food delivery service. Think of it as Uber but for food, I guess, in a way. I guess people can figure out what a food delivery service is. I don’t need to explain it. NASIR: Yeah, that’s better out for a while. That’s an independent third-party food delivery service. MATT: I think, actually, the last time we got a delivery, it was a pizza delivery. We found out later they used a third party and it went so poorly that I have since not had a food delivery. I mean, it’s been at least three years, I think. NASIR: Really? MATT: I would just prefer to go out and do it myself as opposed to relying on somebody and have to pay them extra. It’s not that difficult to go do it, in my opinion. NASIR: Well, this is definitely a side-track but getting deliveries in buildings are always complicated. And then, if you order it in the evening, it can take, like, two hours sometimes – at least in this area. You’re right, there are some complications, but I guess that’s what DoorDash is trying to solve – that problem. MATT: I think the idea is that all these restaurants, the majority of restaurants don’t have a delivery service through their restaurant so DoorDash is acting as an intermediary between the two saying, now, every restaurant or mini-restaurants can now deliver food to the customers – apparently, whether they agree to it or not which seems to be the issue here with In-N-Out, amongst a couple of other things. Basically, what they did was put In-N-Out as one of their possible delivery restaurants without In-N-Out’s consent and started delivering their food. In April of 2014, In-N-Out asked DoorDash to not only stop delivering their food but stop using their logo. I’ll get into that in a minute but just keep that in mind. No response. May of 2014, In-N-Out sent a follow-up letter. NASIR: By the way, that no response is a big deal. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: I mean, when you get a cease and desist letter from a national corporation, maybe if it’s a rinky-dinky law firm or business or whatever,

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The Importance of Small Business Saturday [e238]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Nov 11, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss Small Business Saturday, the involvement of American Express, and how to participate if you are a small business. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and, today, we are here with our expert on small businesses and the law – which is actually true. MATT: Yeah, Matt Staub. Yeah, it’s probably the closes one we’ve had so far. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: We usually talk about this every year – or at least the years we’ve been doing the podcast. Actually, no, every year – it just wasn’t recorded in previous years. NASIR: That’s true; we always talk about it but we don’t always record our conversation. MATT: Yeah, it started in 2010 so this would be the fifth year. Wait. NASIR: Well, yeah, no… MATT: Sixth year. NASIR: Yeah, you’re right, sixth year. Dang it! I can’t do my math. MATT: Yeah, Small Business Saturday which falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving – two days after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday and Thanksgiving create the sandwich around Black Friday and then the thousand other days we’ve talked about – Cyber Monday. There’s a Tuesday now, right? Didn’t we just talk about this last week? NASIR: A Tuesday? Yeah, for something else, right? MATT: Yeah, it’s ridiculous. NASIR: Giving Tuesday I think it is? MATT: Okay. Well, that’s not ridiculous but… NASIR: Yeah, I know you’re against that, and I think there’s also Buy Nothing Day. What day is that? Is that the Sunday? MATT: You’re a big advocate of Opt Outside on Friday. NASIR: Oh, I’m definitely doing that. MATT: So much so that you went to REI last weekend after we recorded the podcast. NASIR: I know, it was just happenstance that I was, you know, by one so I was like, “I might as well head on in,” and I’m like, “Hey!” I asked everyone if they heard my podcast episode and they said… I just actually got kicked out but, anyway, Small Business Saturday… actually, most people don’t know, well, I don’t know, I think most people don’t know this was actually started by American Express. In fact, so much so that Small Business Saturday is actually a registered trademark of American Express which is very ironic because American Express is very far from any kind of small business. They are definitely trying to show their so-called support for small businesses. MATT: Well, that was my first thought. How many small businesses even accept American Express? It can’t be many. NASIR: No, you’re right, because American Express is classically more expensive for businesses to accept compared to others. But, at the same time, in the past, and this is why I’m wondering how much they actually support small businesses this year because, in the past, they used to give basically customers – I think it was customers, right? They gave a $10.00 statement credit for businesses that were participating in the program and that was a big incentive for us consumers to actually go out that Saturday and use our Amex cards to actually purchase. MATT: There’s a couple of things at play here. You know, what you just mentioned (1) American Express just made up this day and now it’s the sixth year it’s been around, and I think it’s had some pretty good success at the numbers. An estimated $14.3 billion spent at small independent businesses last year – good chunk of money that, you know, five years in. But, you’re right, they did use to give; it was up to three $10.00 credits to the cardholders of American Express at these qualified small businesses. But I guess it wasn’t worth it for American Express anymore and they’ve scrapped this offer but now they’re saying instead, “We’re going to increase support and resources to small businesses” – whatever that means, I’m not really sure. I guess we’ll just have to see. NASIR: Well, from what I’m looking at, they do have, once you register and if you have certain qualifications as a business,

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The Federal Law That Would Prevent Yelp Gag Clauses [e237]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Nov 09, 2015


The guys kick off the week by discussing the Federal law that would prevent companies from using non-disparagement clauses. They also discuss how to detect whether Yelp reviews are fake. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and, joining us today is our expert on non-disparagement clauses aka “gag clauses.” MATT: Yeah, I always have to be an expert in something. I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: That’s right. So, Matt, I mean, what makes you the expert in this area? MATT: Well, I think it all kind of started when I just used to give a ton of… NASIR: Disparaging reviews? MATT: I used to go into businesses and buy a product or pay for services or say I was going to pay for services or buy a product and then, once I finally got the product or the services were performed, I could pay you and write something terrible about your business or you could just give me the product or service for free. That’s where it all kind of started. NASIR: Okay. Basically, you blackmailed businesses? MATT: Oh, I wouldn’t say blackmail. NASIR: No, yeah, you just call it some type of mail but… MATT: Yeah, you know. We’ve definitely talked about this before – at least on the California side. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: If I remember correctly, initially, there was some sort of partial ban and then it got fully banned. I don’t remember the language but, right now in California, it’s been fully banned. We’re talking about non-disparagement clauses. NASIR: Yeah, you might want to tell everyone what was banned. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: They may think otherwise. But, yeah, non-disparagement clauses are those clauses and those agreements which basically say, “Okay, by signing this contract, you can’t say anything bad about us in the public or in general – in private too. “I mean, you can make it pretty general. Obviously, at first glance, it’s like, “Okay, wait a minute, I mean, I can’t speak?” That’s kind of encroaching on freedom of speech and things like that. But, classically, what is a confidentiality clause? I mean, that’s basically what it is. It’s for you to stop spreading information. It’s not like there’s no precedence of actually enforcing these kinds of non-disparagement clauses but, of course, as we’ve seen, it can be definitely abused by businesses. MATT: Yeah, and it can. I mean, I’ll read the… because it’s fairly short – at least this part of it – this is the Civil Code in California. NASIR: Wait, are you going to read the entire Civil Code? MATT: No, yeah, Section 1 – Definitions, probably. This is 1670.8 A1. “A contract or proposed contract for the sale or lease of consumer goods or services may not include a provision waiving the customer’s right to make any statement regarding the seller or lessor or its employees or agents or…” This is terribly written. “Or concerning the goods or services. It shall be unlawful to threaten or seek to enforce a provision made…” I don’t even know why I’m reading this. NASIR: I’d tell you, you should have just started at Section 1. That would have been probably better, more interesting. MATT: Basically, the gist of it is you can’t threaten some sort of penalty against the customer for writing a review. I mean, I think that was the idea behind it. NASIR: Yeah, and this goes back to I think one of the most publicized case on this was about two years ago – end of 2013. I don’t know if you remember the company but basically they sued their customers on this clause that basically said that, if you leave a bad review or basically disparage us, then you owe us a liquidation damage of $5,000 or so. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: They ended up suing and became this big case. Since then, there’s been other cases like this where some courts have said, “Okay, this is unconscionable, this is ridiculous. This is encroaching on this and that.” But I think most judges have been kind of reluctant to really get involved with two parties that are pri...

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Amazon’s Creative Way To Avoid Hiring Drivers As Employees [e236]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Nov 04, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss Amazon's creative move avoid having to hire drivers as employees and why it has already gotten sued. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and, today, we’re joined with our prompt delivery expert… MATT: Matt Staub. NASIR: Matt Staub. Once again, a master of everything and a jack of none. MATT: It’s easy to be a delivery expert. You know, it’s pretty simple. You pick up what you’re delivering, you get to the destination, and you drop it off, and then that’s it. NASIR: Well, I mean, you make it sound so easy, obviously. I mean, you’re the expert but it’s complicated for us. MATT: You buy a lot of things online. NASIR: I do. There was a time where, like, I think we’ve calmed down now but we just get something every day and we don’t even remember what we ordered. It’s great because it’s almost like you’re birthday because you’re opening presents like, “Oh, what’s this?” “Oh, yeah, the…” whatever we ordered. MATT: Cat-based things. NASIR: Yeah, cat food. MATT: So, this service that launched a couple of months ago in LA and I think it was in New York City possibly even as early as late last year – definitely early this year – that would kind of help you out in that situation where Amazon Prime now – because it delivers things in one and two-hour delivery times. If you ordered something, I think you would remember it by the time it showed up in an hour or two hours. NASIR: That’s true. It solves that big problem that most people have. MATT: Yeah, of remembering what you ordered. In LA, they launched, I believe it was August this year. Guess what? It didn’t take too long for them to get sued over it. They did try to solve the issue that we’ve talked about many times with the employees versus independent contractors. Not to rehash that too much but, you know, obviously, there’s a lot of discussion going on that these drivers, these delivery drivers should be employees according to some people. Companies like Amazon and Uber believe they should be independent contractors. And so, what did Amazon do? This is something I wasn’t even aware they did until this lawsuit just got filed I believe this week. It’s kind of creative. They hired this company. I assumed it’s called Scoobies? NASIR: Yeah, something Scooby Doo. MATT: Scoobies. They hired Scoobies which is just a courier service. Amazon contracted with them and then Scoobies, the courier service, has the actual drivers which unsurprisingly are independent contractors. The drivers in this situation are still independent contractors just one degree away from Amazon Prime which, of course, didn’t result in them not being named in this class action lawsuit that just got filed. Like I said, I mean, by the time this comes out, about a week ago. NASIR: Days ago. By the way, Scoobies, I think, like you mentioned, is a courier service so they’ve been operating for a while so it’s not like this is something new for them on this classification issue of drivers. And so, that’s why I’m a little suspicious of the claim itself of how accurate or legit it is but let’s just, for the sake of discussion and, as we always do, let’s assume that they’re correct. What’s interesting is that, okay, as Matt explained, you have Amazon hiring Scoobies who’s hiring other independent contractors, and then those independent contractors are suing Scoobies and Amazon saying that they are their employers. That’s interesting because, you know, we’ve talked about classification of employees and independent contractors probably every day on the podcast since the dawn of time it comes up. But I think this is the first time we really got to this issue. That means that, if you hire a third-party vendor and they hire independent contractors and they mess up, then in theory you could be liable for that misclassification and that doesn’t seem correct, right? MATT: It doesn’t but, you know,

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Did REI Start A Trend Of Businesses Closing On Black Friday? [e235]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Nov 02, 2015


The guys take this Monday to discuss the motivation behind REI making the decision to close stores and its website on Black Friday. #OPTOUTSIDE Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and we are welcomed here today with our outdoors expert. MATT: I’m at expert in everything, according to you, which is fine. Actually, very little things of actual value, but I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Being an outdoorsman is definitely a skill. MATT: If there’s a whole list of boxes I could check and I could check as many as I want to be an expert in certain categories, I’d probably choose outdoor knowledge because you never know. I mean, it’s always good to be able to do things in the outdoors in case a bad situation arises and you get stranded somewhere. NASIR: I think I would be called an “indoorsman,” actually. I am an expert in all things indoors. No, that’s not true. I actually love the outdoors. MATT: Coming from the person who probably 90 percent of the time we record this, your lights go off while recording indoors. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: But an expert nonetheless. NASIR: That’s because the motion sensor which I have been too lazy to fix is too far from me so, the place where I record, if I’m too still, then it goes off. That’s part of the effect. MATT: REI seems like something, a store you would like. NASIR: I love that store, absolutely, and I found out, I’ve never been to it but, out here in Texas, there’s a store called The Academy or something and I think it’s something similar. I haven’t actually been there but it has a bunch of outdoor stuff and things like that. MATT: Yeah. You’re probably more of the outdoors expert than I am but I’ve been to REI a handful of times. It’s got some pretty cool stuff. But, if you like stuff like camping or hiking, things like that, then this is right up your alley, if you haven’t been. NASIR: It is expensive though. I mean, it tends to be sometimes twice as expensive as things that you can get the same thing online and so forth. But it’s quality stuff, obviously, MATT: I don’t know if “obvious” is the right word. You know, just because something’s expensive doesn’t mean that it’s quality. NASIR: Well, that’s my rule. MATT: Well, maybe the reason stuff’s still expensive is because they close down on major shopping days, which is exactly what’s happening here. It might be something that listeners might have heard in the news, I think. Not only are they doing this but they’re pushing this whole marketing campaign – actually, like a full brand redesign over this opt out. NASIR: Opt outside. MATT: Opt outside, yeah. NASIR: You’re talking about, yeah, the hashtag. MATT: Yeah, it’s interesting. It’d be one thing to close your doors on the Friday after Thanksgiving – which they are – but the interesting thing too is they’re also I believe shutting down sales on their website that Friday which I guess you need people to work for customer service type stuff to run the website but it seems like that would be a lot more personnel than just people in the stores. NASIR: Well, how often does any online store close? Or does it ever, right? I mean, it’s a pretty unique thing to see and, I just realized, I think I’m actually going to be opting outside to use their marketing lingo and buy into it a little bit this Black Friday because my wife and I are traveling in West Texas and we plan on hiking trails back there so, on that Friday, I’m sure I’m going to be outside. I don’t know how I should celebrate. I guess I should tag them in some social media post so that it can help with their marketing. MATT: Yeah. Well, we’ll be on the lookout for that. This campaign’s a little bit flawed in the fact that a lot of spots are pretty cold the day after Thanksgiving so I don’t know how many people are necessarily wanting to go outside but… NASIR: True, very true. Well, I mean, they’re based in Washington and it’s getting c...

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How Nightclub Cover Charges Sparked Discrimination Claims [e234]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Oct 28, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss how a Houston nightclub is facing claims of discrimination for charging customers different cover charges based on their race. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and here we have our expert on clubs and nightlife in Houston, Texas. MATT: That’s you? NASIR: No, that’s you. MATT: I’m not in Houston. I’m Matt Staub. I’m definitely not in Houston. NASIR: No, but you’re an expert in clubs and nightlife in Houston, that’s why we got you on. If you’re not, then I don’t even know why, I thought that was what you were bringing to the table here. MATT: That’s the guest, yeah. Well, I think I’ll be able to do a better job than their attorney that was interviewed for this. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: We’re too deep into it now and I had an awesome start to this episode and now it’s too late. NASIR: No, let’s just all just restart. Okay. I say something like, “Welcome to the podcast. We’re awesome and I’m Nasir Pasha.” MATT: And I was going to say, “Houston, we have a problem.” NASIR: But, if you say that, it’s like, every time Houston comes up, then you could say that. MATT: It doesn’t come up that often. NASIR: That’s true. MATT: This is a pretty interesting case – it’s not a case, I guess, but it’s a pretty interesting d rgeur Teko oafe that happened. As the Houston nightclub expert, I first heard about this weeks ago but there was rumors of racism in these nightclubs meaning that they were giving preferential treatment to basically it sounds like preferential treatment to white people in charging other ethnicities certain money, things like that to get in, VIP, et cetera. A local news station, Channel 2 Investigates, tested this out and they sent groups of people at different times of the night to a few different clubs. I think most of them were okay but there was one, GasLamp, this is where they really ran into a problem. What they did is they sent a group of white people, a group of black females – both of those groups didn’t have to pay any money. They sent a group of Hispanic females, I think they got in free as well but had to pay… NASIR: The VIP or something? MATT: They sent black males in, I think they had to pay a cover just to get in. So, it got increasingly worse. They were even asking follow-up questions with the bouncer and things like that. Basically, at the end of the night or whenever they all gathered together the next day, they looked at it and said all the white people basically got in for free and got full access to everything and the non-white people, some of which got in for free as well, some of which had to pay extra to be in the VIP, some of which had to pay just to get into the nightclub, so this is kind of a problem that we’re not going to put up with. What happens is they ask the owner of the nightclub and he says something along the lines of, “We don’t charge money to good-looking people to pay in,” and then their lawyer comes in and says a bunch of bad stuff saying, amongst other things, you know, “We want successful people in here.” NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Also, misquoting the law multiple times but basically that was the one statement I heard is, “We just want successful people in here. We want good-looking girls in here. And so, we can do whatever we want basically,” and there’s a lot of problems with this but that’s kind of where we start. NASIR: That’s what happened in the last couple of weeks but this actually goes back about a month ago. There were these three attorneys. I think they were all black. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: And, somehow, they noticed this was going on. I guess they sat outside and just watched every white person, according to them, white person get in for free and non-white being charged, et cetera. And then, they made a hoopla about it on social media and it got picked up by the press and their Yelp page, the GasLamp’s Yelp page went crazy and so forth.

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Was Starbucks In The Wrong For Firing A Deaf Employee? [e233]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Oct 26, 2015


The guys discuss Starbucks firing a deaf employee and what is considered a reasonable accommodation for someone requiring a sign language interpreter. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and I have a Jolly Rancher in my mouth. MATT: Could have just waited, and I’m Matt Staub, and I’m saying you could have just waited for however long it takes. NASIR: I thought it would be melted by now. MATT: What flavor? NASIR: I don’t know if it melts. It’s sour apple. MATT: Oh. NASIR: I think the best flavor. MATT: The worst, probably. NASIR: Really? That’s the best. It’s the only one I think I really like. MATT: Well, if you ever noticed – actually, I don’t know – maybe the green ones but it seems like every time someone has Jolly Ranchers on their desk or like, when you walk into a building, it’s always grape. No one ever has the grape ones. NASIR: I actually like the grape and the green ones. All the red ones kind of just mash into each other like watermelon and cherry. MATT: Yeah, you can’t decipher one. It’s just red. I mean, it should just be colors – cherry, strawberry, watermelon, raspberry. NASIR: And blue. MATT: Yeah. Blue is usually raspberry, I think. NASIR: Yeah, but blue tastes unnatural – not that any of these others taste natural but… MATT: Well, at least the sour apples are usually green. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Not that the skin of the apple is produced in the Jolly Ranchers but, yeah, blue raspberry is obviously very unnatural. NASIR: Yeah, exactly. MATT: Not that any of them are very authentically flavored in terms of juice. Anyway, I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about today. Let me make sure. Nope, we’re not. NASIR: Any smooth transition into this? I don’t think so. MATT: No. I mean, there probably is, but I’m not going to even go for it. This is pretty interesting. I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about a sign language related issue before. NASIR: No, and I know we haven’t because, if we did, I would have definitely mentioned that I took a couple of semesters of sign language in college which was awesome. I still know some of the basics so I can kind of eavesdrop on a lot of people’s conversations from a distance which is very rude and taboo. MATT: Why did you take those classes? NASIR: I have no idea. In fact, my wife asked me the same thing. Like, “I don’t know why you took those classes.” I met my wife in a foreign language class so I didn’t need it for a language credit. I think I just did it because I was interested in it. MATT: That’s what I was going to ask because, my wife, they had to take some sort of language class and she opted for sign language but that wasn’t the case with you, I guess. NASIR: No, I’ve taken first year languages – many, many different languages. I’m not fluent in any other language but I’ve taken a lot of first for like one year or so. MATT: You basically can say “my name is…” in every language. NASIR: Precisely. MATT: “How are you?” and then just nothing. NASIR: Correct – which I don’t know which is better – which I would rather be. MATT: Fluent in one. Well, I guess fluent in multiple languages. I assume you’re fluent at least in English. NASIR: Barely. MATT: All right. NASIR: I can say my name then that’s it. I can do an introduction of a podcast. MATT: Ah. Well, anyway, this is a sign language based story we’re talking about which actually falls under disability which we’ll get to but let me tell some back story. This Starbucks in Arizona and I’ve read a couple of different stories on this so I’m going to pull the facts from one of them and, if it happens to be off, then I’ll blame this specific article but there’s a woman that worked at Starbucks from 2007 to 2014. That’s a pretty good amount of time. She was doing sign language from the beginning of 2007 throughout the duration of her employment and so she was working there, no problems.

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Exposing How Employers Get Salaried Employees Work For Free [e232]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Oct 21, 2015


The guys close out the week by talking about Urban Outfitters asking salaried employees to volunteer their time on the weekend and how employers can get free work out of salaried employees. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and, again, we’re joined with our fashion guru, our aficionado. Some would say an expert, others would say my co-host. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. I guess it’s kind of fashion-related, I suppose. NASIR: It’s not? Oh. MATT: I guess, as much as we’ll ever get into it. NASIR: Well, I mean, no, you’re the expert. You tell me. MATT: They do sell more than clothes at these places, I believe. NASIR: Oh, okay. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know much about this stuff so, yeah, please, tell us. MATT: Well, I haven’t been to one in a long time – Urban Outfitters – which I guess they also own Anthropologie and Free People. I feel like I’ve been to Anthropologie before. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. Urban Outfitters, I don’t even know where they’re headquartered but this happened in Pennsylvania. Somebody sent an email out recently basically saying salaried employees were urged to work side by side with paid workers to pack and ship orders as a team-building activity. I was going to make it sound nicer than that but, I mean, it’s just kind of silly. The people are getting paid by the hour, okay, it makes sense for them. But what about these salaried employees who I’m assuming they aren’t working in the fulfilment center most of the time – or ever. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: These are people not even doing a job they normally do asked to volunteer and come in on the weekends – this weekend. Slightly better than being told they have to come. Basically, what this amounts to is salary workers being asked to volunteer their time for free which could create a problem. NASIR: But that is a little bit editorialized. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Because the company would probably say, “Okay, they’re not coming in to work for free. These salaried employees are coming in voluntarily to work on this particular day,” because they’re still getting paid, right? I mean, they’re paid a salary whether they work 50 hours or 40 hours, they get paid the same amount. MATT: Right. And so, people, I think a lot of times people think that, once they’re paid a salary, that the exempt/non-exempt issue doesn’t come into play. I think that’s probably a pretty common thought, wouldn’t you say so? NASIR: Oh, yeah, and people don’t even realize, you can actually be a salary non-exempt. It’s not common. I don’t know why some people do it but I don’t particularly like it. Yeah, salary non-exempt employee. MATT: Yeah, what that means is you can still get paid a salary and still get overtime pay which is really the best of both worlds, I guess. NASIR: Yeah. Really, it can be problematic. That often happens, okay, “Look, I’m just going to pay you X amount for 40 hours a week and that’s it,” and there’s no expectation of overtime. But then, there’s that occasional week or two that goes over 40 hours and you’re like, you kind of just brush it to the side but it ends up being a problem down the line. MATT: Yeah, and you still have to pay. If that’s the case, you have to pay it out regardless of whether you told them to leave or not. You know, why is that not being brought up in this instance? And so, the exempt/non-exempt issue that we’re just talking about, amongst other requirements, there is a minimum salary threshold. In Pennsylvania where this was, it’s only $23,660 annually. NASIR: Yeah, and that’s actually a federal minimum – or $23,660 or $23,600? MATT: $23,660 is what I have here. NASIR: I thought the federal is $600 and maybe Pennsylvania is $60.00 more? I don’t know. MATT: Well, no, according to what I’m reading here which I think was pulled from the state website earlier, Pennsylvania maintains a test to determine exemption,

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How California Made The Night Shift Worse For Healthcare Employees [e231]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Oct 19, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the new legislation that allows for healthcare workers in California to waive a meal period on longer shifts. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business, our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Hello! MATT: Hi. NASIR: So… MATT: So, you jinxed the Houston Astros. NASIR: I know. MATT: Actually, the whole state of Texas because both Texas teams just full-on collapsed the last couple of days – Houston in Game 4 and then the Rangers in Game 5, the deciding game. NASIR: Oh, the Rangers, yeah. MATT: Yeah, both of them just full-on collapsed, pretty much your fault, I’m assuming. NASIR: I actually, yeah, I definitely caused that. I’ll take credit for that. MATT: There was a period of time it was looking like an all-Texas ALCS and then, like I said, both teams just blew it. NASIR: Yeah. Sorry to hear. MATT: Did you see the thing with… I think it was the governor? I don’t know. He posted something. NASIR: Abbott? MATT: Yeah, that’s who it was. He posted something. I know you didn’t watch or I’m assuming you didn’t. NASIR: No. MATT: Game 4, the Astros had a big lead at home, like, four runs with a couple of innings left so they had a very good chance of winning. And so, the governor posted something about like, “Congrats on advancing to the next round!” and then they ended up losing. So, it was a big thing. NASIR: I’m reading it now, yeah. “Hoping for an all-Texas ALCS. Looking at you, Rangers.” Why would he do that? I mean, especially in baseball, you never know. MATT: Someone else probably wrote that for him but I don’t know. NASIR: Yeah, most likely, and I guess he deleted it, of course. MATT: I think he should have just doubled down on it and owned up to it and posted it again at the beginning of Game 5 but a pretty rough one for Houston. NASIR: Yeah, I’m seeing if he apologized or something. What was the explanation? Is Sam Brownback someone significant? Is he the governor? MATT: Maybe. NASIR: Kansas governor Sam Brownback, he was like, “Congrats to the Royals. Not so fast, my friend, Gov. Abbott. See you Wednesday. #takethecrown” which I assume is some kind of code word for an assassination attempt on our Queen in England. MATT: I think you pieced it together. Well, just like baseball is a very number-intensive game, this is going to be a number-intensive podcast. There’s lots of numbers that are going to be thrown out so get your calculators out – well, probably not calculators but get something out – pen and paper, only if you’re in California, though. NASIR: Actually, you just need to have the numbers 30, 8, 12, and maybe 6 memorized and you’ll be good. Basically, there was recent legislation about two weeks ago that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown. He signed a bunch of bills that day but this is one of them. It basically made clear this very kind of confusing period for healthcare workers – or I should say “healthcare employers” – in California because, basically, there’s this laws in California that require meal periods and we can kind of talk about how that works but there was also a wage order created by an administrative body that basically said, “Okay, for healthcare workers, if an employee works for more than twelve hours, you can actually waive that second meal period or one of the two so long as it’s a written agreement signed and voluntarily waived by the employee.” And so, this case back in I think early this year or late last year, some healthcare worker sued basically saying, “Hey, the law states in statute that you can only waive it if it’s less than twelve hours – not more than twelve hours – so this is in conflict. I don’t care what this other administrative body of California says, that’s not proper.” The court ended up agreeing and it was appealed and they actually won. Now, it basically created this very strange circumstance for these healthcare work...

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The New California Law That May End Gender Pay Inequality [e230]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Oct 14, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the passage of the California Fair Pay Act and how it aims to end gender based pay inequality.  They also talk about how certain industries will be more affected by this new law than others. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And, today, we are covering a new law in California that just passed despite Matt’s strong objections. You know, this actually passed unanimously, 39-0, but, Matt, I remember he wrote me an email that day of. He was like, “If I was in the California Senate that day, I would have voted no.” It would have been the sole “nay” vote. MATT: I don’t know if I should even be on the rest of this episode. Actually, I need to be on so I can defend myself against these allegations but it’s pretty impressive it was 39-0. NASIR: I guess that was for the California Senate back in August 31st. MATT: Yeah, I did see that, though. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Unanimous passage. Yeah, we’re talking about the California Fair Pay Act. It’s not talking about the state fair. It’s talking about fair pay between men and women. I mean, there’s a few specifics on this. I’ll run through them and we can just discuss it here. I think these first couple of things are probably the biggest things. It’s requiring that men and women receive equal pay for what is now substantially similar work regardless of whether they work at the same physical location. In the past, I believe it was just defined as the same work, yeah. NASIR: Yeah. Just so everyone’s clear, this is not, I mean, it’s new and it’s not new in the sense that, you know, always before you couldn’t discriminate between men and women. But, in order to prove discrimination or to violate the law, the burden of proof was not easy to prove, in other words, because, you know, same work and then, well, go ahead. I think you’re listing out some of the other changes. MATT: Yeah, no, but you’re right – same work is pretty vague. Just to go with that, substantially similar work means the positive skill, effort, responsibility performed under similar working conditions but need not be the exact same job. I think that’s a much more defined way of putting it than just same work which I think pretty much anyone can get around unless two people are doing the exact same thing. That’s point number one. The other big thing is this business justification defense. It modified that. Inserted by employers to accept an otherwise prohibited pay discrepancy from the equal pay requirement based on a recognized justification. We’re talking about things like seniority system, merit system, a system that measures earnings, by quality or quantity of production, or a bona fide factor other than sex such as education, training, experience. Let’s see, there was one other part of this. The employer has to establish. It kind of shifts the burden on the employer almost to establish that this business justification for unequal pay is accounted for the entire wage discrepancy that exists and also was reasonably relied upon by the employer. If anyone’s still following what I said… NASIR: No, it’s a kind of subtle thing and so it’s not easy to follow, actually, because there was actually this rule of a business justification defense, basically. That’s been there, too. But the difference is, for example, you know, they made it clear that, okay, if there’s two people, similar work, but one is senior to the other, then them being seniors is a business justification for giving them a higher salary. Now, that’s fine but, in the past, let’s say that you have two people – a woman that’s been there for five years, a man that’s been there for six years – same job but, because of that extra year, he’s being paid double salary – that may not make sense under the new law because the entire wage discrepancy has to be justified in the sense that maybe that more senior male may be ...

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Has Fantasy Football Turned Into Gambling and Insider Trading? [e229]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Oct 12, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the scandal involving an employee of DraftKings winning a contest for competitor FanDuel and why this has sparked a discussion on gambling and insider trading. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to the business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And we have a huge problem because I have a list of articles that we’re covering but no title so I’ve no idea what we’re doing. Who was responsible for putting the title in? Matt, was that you? MATT: Possibly. You know, I almost wrote something up there and then I didn’t. I usually just copy and paste from an article. So, this is big for you because you’re probably oblivious to… NASIR: Oblivious? MATT: Right now, what do you think is going on where you’re located? Are there any sports happening today? NASIR: You know, what’s funny is – if he’s listening, it’s going to be funny – I was in the elevator with somebody today. He’s like, “Hey, are you going to watch the games tonight?” and I’m like, “What games?” Yeah, as a pure accident, I am aware that the Astros and the Texans are playing – not each other. MATT: No, it’d be interesting. NASIR: It would be interesting, and I saw a bunch of people wearing Texas jerseys out and I’m like, “Man, it’s kind of odd.” It’s like, not Sunday, and I realized it was a Thursday night game. MATT: There’s a Thursday night game every week so the Texans are playing. That’s not that big of a deal but the Astros are in the playoffs. They won the other night in this weird one game wildcard. They’re actually playing right now as we record. I guess both of those games will be going on while we record but I’m guessing you probably can’t name one player on the Astros. NASIR: Of course, I can name one player on the Astros. MATT: I hope you Google and say someone who’s retired. NASIR: Yeah. I mean, isn’t Scott Kazmir going to pitch Game 2 tonight? MATT: Well, it’s Game 1 tonight. NASIR: I mean, that’s what I mean. Oh, no, I meant he’s going to actually pitch Game 2. MATT: It’s possible, yeah. It’s only funny because he’s been on the team for probably a couple of months because he got traded in the middle of the season. NASIR: Oh, yeah, of course, I know. Actually, you know, I know we’re covering fantasy sports but, you know, fantasy football, I get, but fantasy baseball, with so many games per year, that’s too much. MATT: That’s why I led into this sports-related question and I don’t know, I would assume they have some sort of baseball… Fantasy sports, we’re talking about specifically DraftKings and FanDuel which fantasy sports used to be you’d have a team, you’d pick your team, you’d basically go with that team throughout the year, adding or dropping players, making trades. These companies – and I think there are some more out there too but these are probably the two biggest ones – DraftKings and FanDuel – for football, it’s huge because basically what you do, from what I understand – I’ve never played – is you have an allotted amount of money of your salary or your payroll and you pick whatever players in the different positions and you have to come in under the payroll and there’s some contest every Sunday because there’s one game every week per team in NFL. You take the total points and they have this big contest and I think it’s either a million dollars or close to a million dollars for the first place every week. NASIR: At least not FanDuel but… MATT: DraftKings. NASIR: Don’t they advertise a million dollars? MATT: Yeah. I mean, I should know since there’s about a billion commercials between the two, if you watch any sports channels. So, here’s what happened. There was an employee who worked for DraftKings. Like I said, these are two different companies. He worked for DraftKings and I guess he’s privy to some information on, you know, who is selecting what players for this big contest and I’ll get to that why that’s ...

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How Subscription Model Pricing Is The Gift And The Curse [e228]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Oct 07, 2015


Nasir and Matt talk about JustFab's crazy valuation for a company that offers subscription based clothes.  They also get into topics of the evils of subscription model pricing and cancellation policies. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to the business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: I would say you’re like the fashion guru of the two of us, wouldn’t you say? MATT: Well, first of all, I knew you were going to say that. I was about to say something because I knew you were going there and, two, I would disagree with that. I think you’re more fashionable than I am. NASIR: Well, no, that assumes that I’m making my own fashionable decisions. I would say that you make your own fashion decisions in a very fabulous way – just fab way. MATT: Just fab? Okay. Now I got you because that’s what we’re talking about – JustFab which apparently is a start-up worth one billion dollars. I’d never even heard of it so it’s kind of crazy how it can be worth that much. I guess I also don’t buy any clothes or anything like that online. NASIR: But you’re right. There shouldn’t be anything worth a billion dollars that we haven’t heard about. That’s just wrong. MATT: Yeah. Well, I think we can explain why they’re worth so much with the kind of their business practices and it all kind of stems from… it sounds like, well, there’s a bunch of different things going on with them but one of the things is this subscription model that they kind of lock these customers into but, you know, just going back a bit about the history of the company, I mean, it looks like they started off more so with diet pills and wrinkle creams, using free trials, and then locking people, and this is something that’s not new to them. That’s why, any time I see a free trial, I’m always hesitant and I rarely ever actually sign up for it. If I do, I make sure that it doesn’t automatically roll into an automatic reoccurring subscription because that’s when you get locked in and end up having to pay and you forget about it and that’s a lot of money out of your pocket for something that was supposed to be a free trial. That’s what they started doing here with these diet pills. Eventually, they moved on to more fashion clothing items, things like that. But then, they did a couple of curious things and I’m not even fully sure how exactly this works. It’s a subscription model to buy something like shoes. They pay for the subscription model. This one person was saying, “I thought I was getting a good deal on shoes and I didn’t realize that I was signing up for a subscription that would be difficult to cancel. I was trying to buy one pair of shoes. Instead of that, I got signed up for a VIP club which charges me $40 every month,” and basically, you know, it was apparently difficult for this one person to get out of it. They just tried to do a one-time transaction and ended up getting caught up into a month-to-month – or I assume month-to-month – at least some sort of subscription where it probably took them a while to get out of. I’m sure there was long times of notice you had to give before terminating the subscription, things like that. And so, do that with one person, okay; do that with a lot of people, I think that’s how you kind of get to that one billion dollar mark. NASIR: Yeah, the subscription model for products and services, it’s in every business now. I mean, pick any service – whether it is transportation to selling any kind of products online – there’s a subscription for that. I think one of the most famous ones is that razor club, right? MATT: Dollar Shave Club. NASIR: Dollar Shave Club or whatever. I think they seem to be one of the most successful – well, I don’t know compared to JustFab or not. But I think the problem with it – and I don’t believe the other subscription models do this – is that you only have a five-day window to cancel. That seems very strange.

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Why The Government Is Trying To Shutdown The Uber For Flights [e227]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Oct 05, 2015


The guys kick off the week by discussing why the Federal Aviation Administration shutdown a startup trying to be the Uber for flights and how the company is trying to fight back. Transcript: NASIR: Hello! Welcome. That’s how I’m going start to our podcast from now on. No, welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: I was thinking, like, I feel like I’m starting a phone call so I have to say hello and you have to say hello. MATT: Does that happen on a phone call? Both people say hello? I think it’s just one, right? NASIR: No, I don’t know. I thought you say hello and the other person says hello back, no? I guess that doesn’t happen. MATT: You call me, I would say, “Hello,” and you wouldn’t go, “Hello.” You would say… NASIR: That’s true. MATT: At least I don’t think so. I guess you could. NASIR: I may start doing that but it might get confusing and they may think it’s a question like, “Are you there?” MATT: In the days of answering machines, the best one I ever came up with was, you know, it would ring and then there must have been a beep or else it wouldn’t work but the answering machine would start and I would just say, “Hello?” and I would wait, like, ten seconds, and then I would say, “Sorry, we’re not here right now…” you know, whatever, and so they would be like, mid-sentence into talking because they thought someone was answering. NASIR: Those were the worst. So, you were one of those guys, huh? MATT: Unfortunately. I mean, I guess you could do it with voicemail, but I think there’s too many beeps and noises nowadays where I think it wouldn’t work. NASIR: Yeah. I remember I used to, on voicemails on cell phones, I would get caught on that too with people like you. MATT: Most people text nowadays so phone calls are a thing of the past. NASIR: I usually text “hello” first. “Hello! Are you there?” MATT: That’s a good way to start and then I write back, “Hello.” NASIR: And then, I start talking. “How are you?” MATT: So, I don’t know if you’d heard about this. I hadn’t heard about this company prior to reading some of these stories or seeing this lawsuit. NASIR: No, I haven’t. For some reason, I thought it probably exists because it’s almost obvious now but I didn’t know the actual company. MATT: I’m assuming they’re called Flytenow. That seems like that makes sense but… NASIR: Well, I’m pretty sure they just misspelled “flight.” MATT: Problem number one. NASIR: But I do think that’s how it’s pronounced. MATT: Well, that’s how they were able to go under the radar for a little bit before the FAA shut them down. Maybe they were just searching flight-based companies. So, Flytenow, it’s an I guess you could call it a flight sharing company – something like Uber or anything in the sharing community is obviously really big right now. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: The difference being that a lot more people have driver’s licenses as opposed to a pilot’s license so it’s a little bit different. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: How it worked and I believe it looks like it is still up and running. Is it still up and running? NASIR: Well, it seems like their website’s up and running but then, on some of their releases, they say they have suspended operations. Maybe their marketing is such that they haven’t. 7 MATT: I mean, just getting to that, they started this company, this flight-sharing company where basically pilots and non-pilots could get together and go from one destination to the next and possibly a round-trip too but just essentially sharing the costs of that so kind of an everybody wins situation. The Federal Aviation Administration, the US government agency, basically said, “Well, this is unacceptable,” and they shut it down. That’s why I was wondering about whether it was still up and running or not. They shut the website down but the site is operating. I haven’t tried to book a flight to see if it actually – or I guess ...

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How One Business Was Awarded Money From An Untrue Yelp Review [e226]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Sep 30, 2015


Nasir and Matt talk about a judge in New York awarding a business owner $1,000 as a result of a bad Yelp review left by a disgruntled customer.  They also discuss a recent lawsuit appeal made against Yelp and how Yelp determines what reviews are hidden. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And someone keeps calling me while I’m doing this podcast. Third time and it’s from North Carolina. I don’t know who it is. I don’t know anyone from North Carolina. MATT: Well, it’s not who we’re talking about today because it’s not in North Carolina. NASIR: Okay, good. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: That was my first thought – they were trying to call us, they’ll talk about them, which would have been a good sign – that means we have a good story. MATT: Well, I don’t know. I don’t know which side of this story would… I guess probably the reviewer. Actually, I don’t know. I don’t know which side would want us to talk about this story less. We can decide later but, basically, here’s what happened. Woman contacted this company, Mr Sandless, to refinish the floors in her living room and dining room for $695 which, depending on what they did, that’s actually a really good price. NASIR: Yeah, I think so. MATT: I would take that up and, of course, how much space there is, but it seems like a good deal. NASIR: Yeah, that probably matters most but yeah. MATT: So, she wasn’t satisfied with how the work went. She, of course, does what a lot of people do nowadays and went on Yelp and posted a review. It wasn’t that favorable for the business, used some words like “scam” and “robs customers,” “scam liar bleep something.” I don’t know if she actually edited it out herself or they just did that in the article. NASIR: I think it says “scam liar…” I don’t know. MATT: I know what it’s saying. I don’t know if the article edited it or if she edited it. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: If you write something obscene, you know, usually that’s grounds for having it taken down but, anyway… NASIR: I think Yelp’s policy is they don’t allow foul language in there so the reviewer herself might have edited it. MATT: That’s my guess. So, she posts this and, you know, there’s different ways to resolve these issues but she ends up getting sued by the company she hired to do the work and the worst part is, for her, that the judge found that she’s liable for $1,000 because some of the words she used – like “scam,” “con artist,” “robs,” – implies that the actions were criminal wrongdoings rather than someone who just normal breach of contract. This was in Staten Island so a very isolated case, isolated jurisdiction, but it’s very interesting that a judge would rule, you know, decide: “Actually, the business gets $1,000 because this poster is insinuating that there was criminal acts that were done.” Obviously, there’s nothing criminal here. Well, based on what we know. NASIR: And I think this lady is appealing or I don’t know how practical that is, that seems ridiculous to me that she’s appealing, just pay the $1,000 but, you know, I think every judge in the country, with the same facts, at least they should rule in the same manner – obviously, no judge is perfect – but that’s what I think should happen. But let’s think from the reviewer’s perspective for a second. I hate doing it but let’s do it. You know, using a word like “scam,” “liar,” and things like this is very hyperbolic, obviously. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: But so is, when you say, “Oh, I’m going to kill you!” et cetera, like, everyone should know, you can’t say those things, right? Even hyperbolically, you can’t say it, especially in writing. Everyone knows, when you put it in writing – whether it’s in an email or online review – it can be viewed much more differently. So, even if she meant that, when she says it’s a scam, liar, or whatever, she’s not necessarily saying that she was scammed but that sh...

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Taking A Customer’s Money When You Know You Can’t Perform [e225]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Sep 28, 2015


The guys discuss a wedding venue that took deposits for weddings that were set for dates after the venue was going to close.  They also discuss return policies and good customer service. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And here we are today once again. We missed a whole week. But you didn’t record. I thought you were going to record by yourself or with your imaginary friend. MATT: I did, but it was so bad that our editor refused to actually edit it and put it up. NASIR: Oh, okay. MATT: We’ll do the thing that the Wu Tang Clan did and put out one version of it of a CD that sold for $5 million or something crazy like that. NASIR: I think that’s a great idea. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: But for right now it’s in the archives. MATT: Yeah. Well, I mean, I think that’s what they did. They took something that was twenty years old or something like that and only produced one version and had an 88-year copyright on it and all this nonsense. NASIR: Very good. MATT: Well, speaking of nonsense – let’s see – I’m sure that probably applies. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: I would say that probably one of the most… People say the most important day – but I would say probably one of the most worrisome days – I mean, I guess I wasn’t too worried but I think a lot of people that put time and money into weddings, it’s probably one of the most stressful days they’re going to encounter just because so many things have to go right and everyone wants everything to be perfect and lots of people show up, everyone you know, things like that. So, what if you put a deposit down on a wedding venue but the wedding venue didn’t exist by the time you had your wedding? Do you think that would be a problem? NASIR: For me? No. I mean, I’m pretty resourceful. But, for most people, yes, of course, it would be. MATT: Yeah. That’s basically what happened here and this was in Washington State. There was a bunch of couples. I mean, it was more than just one because I believe it was a bunch of them on this case here, but a bunch of couples put down money for this venue for wedding receptions. The problem is the people that operated the venue knew it was going to be shutting down but took the deposits anyway. I think these people probably found out prior to the wedding actually taking place because the venue shut down. I mean, maybe not for the ones right away, but for the ones down the road a little bit of notice, but still they took the deposits knowing that they weren’t going to be operating whenever that wedding date was set and probably what happened was the couples were more upset with the fact that they have to scramble and find another venue than the money side of it, but then, of course, the money side of it came into play as well and there was a pretty hefty default judgment for this venue that didn’t even show up to the hearing. NASIR: What’s interesting, the reason they didn’t actually return these deposits is they depended upon this clause in their agreement which is basically force majeure which is a fancy word. I think it’s French but, for some reason, attorneys still use it. I’m sure it may have a Latin root of some sort which a lot of legal terms come from but usually it means some kind of act or force that’s outside the control of the parties. Usually, the legal term of “act of god” or some kind of war or riot or things like that – fire, hurricane, things like that – come into play which is why, apparently, what the company first did is they sent out an email basically saying that there was some kind of electrical fire therefore the venue is not available. We’re laughing because, later on, they found out that fire story was bogus and an email was later sent that says, “This was not a problem with the building. It was the landlord who chose to end our lease, ending our business.” I think it was a little more complicated than t...

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Woman Challenges That Barbershops Are Only For Men [e224]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Sep 16, 2015


Nasir and Matt close out the week by talking about the woman that was refused a haircut at a barbershop because it was described as a men's only business. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub, and sometimes we cover haircuts as well. NASIR: That was a great lead-in to our story which is our barber’s episode, actually – our annual barber gratitude episode of the year. September is haircut month, I believe. MATT: I don’t know if you did this on purpose. NASIR: First of all, I do everything on purpose, unless I do it on accident and it’s not good. MATT: So, the term “barber,” I’ve heard people say that A”barber” is only for people that cut men’s hair. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not. NASIR: I think that’s the implication. MATT: Okay. NASIR: When someone says “barber” or “barber shop,” they’re referring to a male – not necessarily a male haircutter but a haircutter for men. MATT: See, I never know because you’ll hear “hair cutter” or “hair stylist.” I never know what to say so I just say “the girl that cuts my hair.” It always sounds awkward, but that’s the only way I know how to describe it. NASIR: I always say “the person that cuts my hair” because who knows if it’s a man or a woman? MATT: You don’t see gender or you’re better than I am. NASIR: What I say is just “the animate object that cuts my hair, just in case it’s a robot.” MATT: Yeah, anyone that listened to our last episode, you went into, after your Bank of America experience, you went to a virtual haircutting spot where it was just a person on a camera and they robot-cut your hair. NASIR: Or they directed me how to cut my own hair. MATT: That’s be impressive. So, I didn’t even look to where this was located. Oh, Pennsylvania. NASIR: Of course. It’s in the title but okay. MATT: Yeah, I didn’t look at the title. We have this self-described “high-end gentleman’s barbershop” – at least it’s how it’s described on its website – and, basically, long story short, they had a woman who came into the barbershop to get a haircut, specifically a fade, and she was turned away because they said that – and the funny part is the person that turned her away was a woman – they only cut exclusively men’s haircuts. It was funny because it was a woman who turned this woman away but, like they said, “we are a gentleman’s barbershop. We only cut men’s hair and you will not be able to get your hair cut here.” It’s kind of a slap on the wrist, a $750 fine which I guess adds up for haircuts, but I think they did pretty well with that. I mean, if that’s what the fine is, I think they can handle that. NASIR: Yeah, of course, they can handle it. Well, actually, I had a barber tell me, it’s like, you know, he happened to be male and obviously trained. Actually, no, she was female. Now that I remember who told me this, she was saying that a lot of stylists are not trained to cut men’s hair. I mean, apparently, there’s a better market or more money in styling women’s hair than men’s, but a lot of times, when they go to training and whatever school they go to – barber school or what-have-you – they spend very little time on learning how to cut men’s hair and I think, for our purposes, I think, you know, physically, the heads are the same but, just from a perspective of the types of haircuts that men get versus women, I think that’s what we’re talking about here. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: It goes to this concept of why this particular woman went to this gentlemen’s barbershop because she wanted to get a fade which was more traditionally for a men’s style haircut so it kind of fits that kind of concept that you’re going to the barber that is trained in that kind of type of haircut. MATT: Yeah. I mean, not to generalize or do any sort of stereotyping but, typically, men’s haircuts are shorter. NASIR: That’s so sexist.

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How Telecommuting Has Changed The Employee Landscape [e223]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Sep 14, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the rise of telecommuting in the workforce and relay some pros and cons for both employees and employers. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. My name is Nasir Pasha, where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. Welcome to our midnight episode. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. That was an old school introduction by you. NASIR: Well, yeah, I mean, I feel like I’m going back in time with how late we’re recording this. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: I’m actually half-asleep right now. MATT: Which half? NASIR: Well, my legs are in my bed in pajamas right now and I’m just yawning like crazy. MATT: That would be pretty sad if you were actually recording a podcast like that. NASIR: Practically. I went home, had dinner, changed, and then came back to the office in shorts and a t-shirt. Well, that’s what I do for you guys, just to produce quality episodes. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Today, we’re talking about telecommuting, telecommuting… what are we talking about? I’m so off, I’m sorry. MATT: You said it twice – telecommuting. NASIR: Yeah, telecommuting. Yeah, exactly. There is a trend. Let’s face it, this has been going on for a while of moving your workforce to a telecommuting workforce or select employees that may request it in doing so and the legal implications of that and so forth. MATT: Yeah, you did mention it’s a trend. I saw some numbers somewhere which dated a couple years back – obviously the increase. Obviously, when technology gets better and people have different tastes with things, I mean, it’s just bound to happen. I’m sure it’s like all things – employers, it’s just something they need to get used to and, once they get used to it, then yeah. If it makes sense for the employees they’re asking to telecommute, then great. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Or it could be great. I mean, from the employer perspective, they might think, “Oh, this is great. I free up more space in the office. It’s one less thing to worry about.” But it actually could be quite the opposite and it could actually end up being more work for the employer having an employee work from home. NASIR: Oh, yeah, no doubt. Obviously, the reason there is a trend is because of technology. I mean, that’s the driving force behind it and, sometimes, like you said, it can be an advantage but I think a lot of times, employers forget that these telecommuters are still employees so the rules of creating a safe work environment and issues with meal periods, breaks, overtime still apply. But, you know, speaking of technology, and this kind of relates to what we’re talking about, you know, what is actually telecommuting? Because, usually, we think telecommuting is working from home but I went to Bank of America today and so I walk in, I’m trying to find where the actual tellers are and I can’t find them. There’s a kiosk in the center of the room and it’s this woman and she’s, like, welcoming and I’m, like, trying to figure out where to go and I’m like, “This isn’t a normal Bank of America, is it?” and she’s like, “No, it’s not,” and she kind of directs me to this big computer system that’s waist-high and I look down and it’s a screen with someone staring at me with this Bank of America background logo and apparently it’s a real person and she’s probably basically telecommuting from wherever she’s filming from and has a camera on me and is basically performing as a bank teller. It was a very surreal, weird experience. I wanted to bring my wife just to come and look at this amazing branch of Bank of America. I thought it was neat. I don’t know. MATT: Knowing your wife, I’m sure she wouldn’t have a blast getting dragged to a bank to check out a person on video. NASIR: I literally got on my phone. I didn’t do it and she probably is glad I didn’t. I got on my phone to text her about it but don’t text and drive. MATT: You didn’t mention that the Bank of America was on space or somewhere in the future, I guess.

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Cycling Company Accused of Robbing Customers After Registering For IPO [e222]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Sep 09, 2015


The guys go with deuces wild in an episode discussing why SoulCycle is being accused of "robbing customers" by selling certificates that are used to purchase classes. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And welcome to our Wednesday episode, my second favorite next to Monday’s episode. MATT: Deuces wild today – 222. NASIR: Wow! 222nd episode, that’s amazing. MATT: I wonder if we can make this episode 2:22 or 22:22. NASIR: Or can we somehow come up with an excuse to make it another clip show, the 222. MATT: Probably, it makes the most sense. NASIR: Probably. Let’s do 22:02 or 22.2 minutes, that is difficult. MATT: Yeah. Still, even if we tried, it probably wouldn’t work out, but we’ll see what happens after we’re done recording and see where it’s at. We’re going to talk about this company, SoulCycle. I guess it’s in the process of an IPO or registering, right? NASIR: Yeah, it’s registered. It hasn’t come out yet. Have you heard of this or no? MATT: You know, I have because it’s pretty popular in LA. NASIR: I’ve heard of the cycling classes and stuff like that but I’ve never heard of SoulCycle specifically. MATT: I’ve heard of a couple companies or a couple of businesses, yeah, that are this and it was either this one or something similar to it. It was probably this one if it’s this popular and, you know, about to go public. There was the class action lawsuit that was filed pretty recently, I believe – August 25th. NASIR: Yeah, August 25th. MATT: At least by when we’re recording this. This class action lawsuit that was filed and they took it a little bit vicious basically saying that the company robs customers by requiring them to buy certificates for classes with unreasonably short expiration periods. One example in particular, this customer in California paid $30.00 for a future class which probably is a rip-off but that’s fine. $30.00 for a cycling class that she basically couldn’t end up using because, like she was saying, the expiration time was unreasonably short and I think they give some more details. NASIR: I think, for one class, it’s like 30 days or something to that effect. MATT: Single classes expire within 30 days – that’s not unreasonably short by any means, but anyways. A series of five classes expires within 45 days – that’s what? Every nine days. Still, plenty of time to use that. That’s kind of what they’re hanging their hat on and I guess the bigger thing is a couple of other aspects of it, too. One, they’re saying it violates the Credit Card Accountability and Disclosures Act. None of the packages available are longer than a year. They were making the argument that these certificates which are the words of SoulCycle – not even the customer’s – these certificates are gift certificates which we’ve discussed before are not allowed to have expiration dates shorter than five years under the law. NASIR: And, by the way, it’s funny that this came out because, literally two weeks ago, I was almost about to go with my wife to one of these things but, from what I know, you have to reserve ahead of time and that’s kind of one of the allegations I believe too was that, even if it’s 30 days in theory, what if there’s no space available because it’s so busy and so forth, or it’s so hard for you to plan ahead of time and so reserving last minute may not work for you, and then on top of that you have this possible statutory violation for the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility Act which has specific requirements and how gift certificates work. Of course, the question is: “Is this a gift certificate?” But pretty much it meets the definition. I mean, they can call it whatever they want – a voucher or a ticket or what-have-you – but it seems to fit that definition where you’re buying something in the future. I mean, it has elements – you purchase on a prepaid basis...

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The Consequences of Scraping Data From A Competitor [e221]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Sep 07, 2015


The guys discuss the lawsuit filed by PhantomAlert against Waze concerning accusations of data scraping a database. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And here we are today on another episode. Today’s Monday – my favorite episode day, second to Wednesday. MATT: In the top two. NASIR: Yeah, top two of the week. MATT: Well, that’s good. You’re the one that kind of discovered this. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Were you familiar with it beforehand? NASIR: Actually, it’s funny enough, how I found out about this, I happened to look at Google Maps and I was navigating somewhere and it said that there was a traffic incident reported by Waze and Waze is kind of like a navigating app but it’s really cool on road trips because what it’ll do is it’ll tell you if there is an accident in front of you or if there is a cop, a speed trap, and how it works is that you can actually report – like, if you see a police officer, you can say, “Okay, I just saw a police officer,” and hit a button and then it’s basically reporting it to the app and now everyone else sees it and so now there’s this kind of social aspect to reporting the traffic and different incidences or even attractions and so forth. And so, their data became so valuable because of the users that Google Maps actually acquired them for their data, of course, to integrate within Google Maps. Those of you who use Google Maps pretty regularly, you’ve already noticed in the past six months how much more information you have as far as traffic data. I remember in San Diego, it used to show those red, yellow, and green lines for traffic data only on highways because that’s the only way it had sensors. If you were in another city that wasn’t as advanced, you would have no traffic data whatsoever. But, now, you have traffic data on side streets and pretty much every street that has enough people based upon this kind of reporting data from Waze and other sources as well. MATT: I think that’s pretty common. At least I’m one of the few people that uses – or at least I feel like I am – that have an iPhone and use the actual Maps app that comes on there. I mean, people complain about it all the time. I never have problems with it. It works just fine for me. NASIR: I think it had problems in the beginning but that’s it, you know, because I think when Apple decided to, if you recall, I think at one point they said, “Okay, we’re going to not list Google Maps on the store at all,” and they had some backlash with that so I think it was more of a PR thing that anything else. MATT: Yeah, and I guess Waze, if you’re stuck in a traffic jam, you let people know so, maybe down the road, when you’re trying to decide where to go, someone might do the same for you. NASIR: Well, what’s neat about it is, if you have the program running – I think this is how it works – it’ll actually record how fast you’re going and things like that so it can actually record average traffic pace. MATT: Yeah, that’s what I was trying to figure out. Is that what all these little weird creatures are that look like Kirby? NASIR: Yeah, Kirby, from Nintendo, I believe. MATT: Is that what these things are? NASIR: Uh, I guess. They’re basically little dialogue bubbles with smiley faces on it, if you can picture that, if you’ve never seen them before. MATT: Yeah, but some of them are Kirbys and then there’s like a dog. Anyways… NASIR: Yeah. MATT: There’s Waze and there’s another site called Phantom Alert which looks to be a similar thing. one of the problems I have with them is it’s like, “Oh, DUI checkpoint.” It’s like, “Well, if someone should get a DUI, we don’t need to be telling people. NASIR: Yeah, speeding is one thing, but DUI traps are a different thing, that’s true. MATT: You’re causing more harm than you are doing good by letting people avoid DUI checkpoints. Anyway,

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Does The Pizza Delivery Driver Get The Customer Tip? [e220]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Sep 02, 2015


Nasir and Matt talk about the difference between a delivery fee and a tip and why a New York Pizza Hut may owe its drivers some money. They also discuss how the minimum wage increase has affected tipping. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Welcome to our annual pizza episode which we celebrate every month. MATT: Annual. What’s the word for…? NASIR: Monthly? MATT: Yeah, I mean, like, bimonthly two, trimonthly… NASIR: Biannually? MATT: I don’t know. What’s twelve? NASIR: Twelvely? N, that’s not right at all. MATT: Sure there’s a word for it. We’ll figure it out before the end of the episode. I’ll look it up when you’re saying something or vice versa. Yeah, you’ve been wanting to talk about… we’ve been scouring the interwebs for a pizza-related legal story for a month now because you really want to talk about it and then we had some that’s at least a little bit and it deals with Pizza Hut which I know we talked about before too but this is a pretty interesting thing that happened. This was in New York. What happened here was a couple of delivery drivers – and then it looks like it might turn into class action lawsuit, or at least that what they’re discussing right now, the possibility of it but – two delivery drivers for Pizza Hut are suing the company, claiming that delivery fees – and I’m using the word “delivery fees,” we’ll get into this but – the tips versus delivery fee is an issue and we’ll get into that but they’re saying that these delivery fees should be money that goes to the delivery drivers and instead company or the employer – aka Pizza Hut – is keeping them. What is exactly is happening? You call in to Pizza Hut, you order your whatever, and they say, “All right, delivery… “ NASIR: Wait, wait, wait… what do you order? MATT: I don’t know I haven’t been to Pizza Hut in a while. I like pepperoni jalapeno is pretty good. I think that was the Philip Rivers thing. Did you see that? Not to get too far. You know Philip Rivers? NASIR: No. Yeah. I know Philip Rivers, yeah, quarter back of the San Diego Chargers. MATT: Yes, he got a big contract a couple of weeks ago, making him one of the highest-paid players guaranteed money wise – like, just an insane amount of money. He was at the press conference and they were like, “Well, what did you do with the money? What did you do after you found out?” He was like, “Well, I guess I’m Domino’s, Domino’s Pizza.” It was like, “Okay. Like, what you get?” He’s like, “Oh, pepperoni and jalapeno and black olive is my choice.” NASIR: Wait, was it a commercial or was it a press conference? MATT: This was his actual press conference. They asked him what he did to celebrate he said he ordered Domino’s. NASIR: That’s funny! MATT: I guess he also has like eight kids or something crazy like that so maybe it makes sense. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: But anyways, that’s what I’d get. Pepperoni jalapeno is pretty good but, man, you got me off- track now. Okay. You call Pizza Hut, you get this and they say, “Pick up or delivery?” You say delivery and they say, “All right. Well, there is a delivery fee of $3.00 or whatever it is.” I don’t know the actual amount. NASIR: I think it was $2.00 and now it’s $3.00, I think. MATT: Okay. So, you say yes and then pizza’s made, delivery guy or girl goes out to deliver the pizza and some people might look at that and be like, “Oh! I already paid the delivery fee. I don’t need to tip. This is the tip.” While others say the delivery fee is something or the tip is something that’s on top of the delivery fee. You probably wouldn’t know this unless you delivered pizzas like I did but it’s something a lot of people probably just don’t even know about. What happened here – in New York at least – they distinguish between “delivery fee” and a tip or gratuity and so the delivery fee can be held by ...

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How The Ashley Madison Scandal Has Turned Into An Affair [e219]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Aug 31, 2015


Nasir and Matt revisit the Ashley Madison scandal for a third time to discuss data breaches, class action lawsuits, and fraudulent accounts. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: Did you say Nasir Pasha? NASIR: No, I said Nasir Pasha. MATT: Well, I’m Matt Staub, but it sounded like you said Sir Pasha. NASIR: Yes, Nasir Sir Pasha. MATT: You’ve reached another level of royalty, I guess. NASIR: I was at one level of royalty but I got to the next level of royalty. MATT: Yeah, you were at one then you went to two. NASIR: Oh, very good. Well, life is short, Matt. You should have an affair and then get caught with it. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: That’s my advice. MATT: They cancel each other out so then you’re at square one. NASIR: Yeah, exactly. MATT: Well, I think that’s what a lot of men were trying to do. Well, let me step back. I don’t think any men were trying to get caught but a lot of men were. NASIR: But, in a way, were they though? They weren’t; they were just asking for it, no? MATT: No, they were asking for it, but we’re talking about the Ashley Madison stuff again just because we have to because there are so many things going on. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: But I don’t see how any reasonable person could sign up for that and be like, “Yeah, this could definitely work out.” I mean, I don’t think they were expecting this massive leak of information or all the accounts that got signed up. NASIR: No. MATT: Just who are the people that were signing up with their work account? NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Why would these people ever do that? I don’t really understand it. NASIR: Exactly. There’s a lot of issues here and hopefully we get to cover it all. One of the main things that these class action lawsuits that are coming out now, there’s one in California that’s pretty big and another one in Toronto – that’s where the company is based – and they’re suing them – not only Ashley Madison but the parent company as well. Basically, if you paid $19.00, you would get your data deleted. Apparently, they were doing some of it, but there were some accounts according to the California lawsuit that weren’t scrubbed. But, if you look at even what they did purport to scrub, in the raw data that was released, they don’t quite delete the whole email address; they just delete the first part of it which is pretty strange. And then, second, apparently, they also include the GPS location of where you’re at and what your likes and dislikes are so it is anonymized to a certain degree – at least the default is – but, even then, they say that there were some accounts that weren’t deleted at all or somehow their personal information was still identifiable. MATT: Yeah, which is not surprising because that seems like how everything was run with this company from the get-go. I mean, one thing I thought that was funny that came out was, you know, they advertised this 70 to 30 split male-to-female which isn’t too great but, you know, it’s still decent. NASIR: Believable. MATT: Yeah, but after all this information’s been coming out, they’re saying it’s more akin to a 95 to 5 split with the 5 percent of females pretty much not even using the account. NASIR: And then, 50 percent of that 5 percent were actually men. MATT: Yeah, I mean, we don’t know for sure yet but what’s believed is this is what happens and I think there’s pretty good evidence of it is that Ashley Madison was just creating these fake female accounts to ramp up the numbers and now that’s just one of the many deceitful things that this company did. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Now, I mean, it’s one thing to have the data hacked into and all dumped out but, you know, that’s one problem. But now they’re really digging into the company and seeing all these other fraudulent things that have occurred. I saw some pretty sizeable numbers. I mean, the class actions alone,

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How The Jared Fogle Scandal Is Going To Impact Subway [e218]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Aug 26, 2015


Nasir and Matt close out the week by discussing the fallout of Jared the Subway guy and how his sponsorship will impact the company. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name’s Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Eat fresh. Subway. MATT: You got it. NASIR: Sad story but we have to cover it. MATT: Yeah. Well, probably not too much will happen between when we record and when this episode gets released. I think most of it has kind of fallen out. For those of you that don’t know, Jared Fogle, he’s definitely one of, probably the biggest spokesman. They have athletes all the time. NASIR: They do, yeah. MATT: But I think everybody knows who he is – the guy who lost over 200 pounds or something like that, you know. Basically, he was obese and would walk to Subway every day. Unfortunately, at my alma mater but that’s fine. He would walk back and forth every day, get whatever, I forget what the subs he got. He got a six-inch turkey sub for lunch and a foot-long veggie for dinner or something, I don’t know. Walked there and lost a bunch of weight, become famous. Well, he’s still going to be famous but he’s probably not going to be with Subway any time soon because he got dinged and he’s going to enter a guilty plea now – at least as of reading this – for child pornography charges. I think his foundation that he had, the guy who was running that I think got brought in for similar charges earlier in the year, maybe last year, tried to kill himself in prison, didn’t work. NASIR: Yeah, if you read the details, I don’t really want to get into it because the details will just make you sick. MATT: Pretty rough. NASIR: But it’s not only child pornography but also illicit sexual conduct with a minor. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: At least that’s what he’s pleading guilty to but, even with the pornography that he had, apparently, it had to do with that founder. Anyway, that’s not the big point of all of this but just really sickening all around. But, nonetheless, I mean, what the heck do you do from Subway’s perspective? I mean, this guy, I mean, I think his net worth now – I don’t know now but at the top of his game – was around $15 million or so, according to the New York Daily News a few years ago. They were paying him quite a bit of money. You know, Subway has had huge success since then. I mean, they’ve had other successes with their $5.00 foot-long promotion and so forth but this guy was Subway, you know. If you asked who the spokesperson was, it would be Jared. Now, they had him do a pretty quick exit and they found, I think, when he was first arrested which was about a month ago is when they first heard about this and they ceased their relationship. MATT: Yeah, and like you said, I mean, this happens all the time, it just happened with someone that – well, in Donald Trump’s case, he was more of a prominent figure. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: If you recall back to – I don’t even know how many years it’s been – I think 2008 if I call the Tiger Woods stuff. NASIR: Yeah, that’s right. He lost sponsorships too but they brought them back, right, eventually? MATT: Yeah. I mean, I don’t think Subway’s bringing… NASIR: No, they’re not bringing him back. Well, Lance Armstrong lost a bunch of deals after they found out he admitted to doping or whatever the story is. I don’t remember. MATT: Yeah, I’m thinking like Michael Vick and stuff too. But this is an instance where it’s one guy who I’m sure he probably actually has other or he had other sponsorships, but he’s basically known for being the sponsor of one company – not vice versa. NASIR: I don’t think so. I don’t guarantee it but I bet you that Subway made an exclusive deal with him because, again, he was Subway. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: I’ve had clients that have had celebrity sponsorships. It’s not an uncommon way for marketing, even for small businesses,

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Filming People For Reality TV, Video Releases, and Shark Tank [e217]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Aug 24, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss a variety of topics the legalities of filming people for a reality TV show to releases to Shark Tank. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha, and you are listening to the best episode ever. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub, and I hope that’s correct or it turns out to be correct. NASIR: Actually, I’m nervous about this episode because it’s about reality TV and it’s your favorite genre so I just don’t want to mess it up. MATT: My favorite genre? Uh, I don’t know about genre. I mean, if sports is a TV genre, that’d definitely be favorite. NASIR: Oh, yeah, sports. MATT: I mean, after that, I like comedy more than… I think that’s very well-documented on it podcast. NASIR: Do you know what the best show on television is right now? By the way, if my family’s listening, they already know the answer to this question because I say it all the time – best show on television, do you have a guess? MATT: According to you? NASIR: No, just period. MATT: I can guess but it’s not going to be right. NASIR: It’s a reality show and it’s a comedy show and the name of the show is Impractical Jokers. MATT: Yeah, you’ve told me this before. NASIR: I have told you this before – best show on television, hands down. Anyone who says otherwise, I will correct them. You can just let me know and I’ll correct you. MATT: You know, you did tell me that before and I watched it and it was actually, I’d never seen it before, I just thought it was going to be really stupid and it was better than I thought. I wouldn’t go “best show” but… NASIR: I don’t know. It’s the only show that I can just be like, put it on and just enjoy, you know. But we’re not here to talk about that – I want to but we’re not. MATT: We’re not? NASIR: No. MATT: That’s all I prepared for. I had all these pranks ready. So, this show, I didn’t even look at… is it NY Med? Yeah, NY Med is a reality show and I’ve never seen it. I knew there was a Boston one that was similar that was on so it’s basically like a real-life ER or Grey’s Anatomy – except probably a lot less or probably a lot more realistic – but it’s this reality show called NY Med and it’s shooting footage of an emergency room essentially – or it was in this instance – and it actually caught some footage of someone in the ER, a patient, passing away and I guess that showed up on the show. Of course, they wouldn’t have obviously gotten the person who passed away’s permission but they didn’t get permission from the family or anyone. They just kind of put it in there and kind of went on with their business and I don’t think the family even knew they were shooting it until the video showed up on TV, I believe. NASIR: No. Apparently, they just found out which is weird in itself, of course. MATT: Yeah, I wonder why they were watching. So, they did some procedural of what’s happened so far. They sued ABC and the hospital and actually the judge has already dismissed that so they’re in appellate court in New York right now, state court. NASIR: The faces I think were unrecognizable so people don’t actually know who they are. You know, if you’re in the medical industry, the first thing you’re thinking about is HIPAA which is a statute that basically protects the private information of patients. But one thing that everyone knows about HIPAA is that, if you de-identify the information – because HIPAA information or medical charts and so forth – that data becomes very valuable but, in order to share it, sometimes, what they do is they just de-identify the patient information by taking away the name and any kind of other identifiable information and then you can typically transfer it freely. There’s conditions to that but the point is that, in the reality show context, you put a little blurred face in there and then you should be good, and I think that’s where the court kind of came down to and where they’re appeali...

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Under What Circumstances Will A Charity Turn Down Donations? [e216]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Aug 19, 2015


The guys close out the week by talking about the Houston based restaurant that failed to make a donation to a local food bank and later tried to rectify the situation by running an unapproved fundraiser. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to the business news. My name is Nasir Pasha and also joining us… MATT: Is Matt Staub. NASIR: Very good. We just got done with Restaurant Week a couple of weeks ago in Houston. When’s Restaurant Week in San Diego? I can’t remember. MATT: There’s a full-blown restaurant week and then there is some sort of half restaurant week or something or a pre-restaurant week but it’s not really… I don’t know. But I never participated because I don’t eat desserts. NASIR: Oh, yeah, it’s always like a three-course. I’m sure everyone’s aware. I usually go to restaurants during Restaurant Week but never order the fixed menu. MATT: The prefixed? Yeah. NASIR: It’s usually at least a three-course meal, right? Sometimes it’s five or what-have-you, depending on the restaurant you go to. MATT: Yeah. Usually, you’re looking at an appetite… like, an appetizer/starter, an entr?e, and a dessert. And so, I’m not a big appetizer fan. I don’t eat desserts – period. For me, it doesn’t really make sense. NASIR: Period? MATT: Yeah. NASIR: I don’t eat desserts – question mark. I do eat desserts. Actually, it looks like San Diego Restaurant Week is coming in in a month. In fact, they have one month, seven days, two hours, thirty minutes, and four, three, two, one seconds. MATT: By the time this episode comes out, it’ll be closer. NASIR: Yeah. Why are we talking about this again? MATT: We’re talking about it because, in your backyard, in Houston, have you been to the Sparrow Bar + Cookshop? NASIR: No, it doesn’t sound like my cup of tea anyway. MATT: Well, yeah, it does. I mean, you like cool, trendy places. NASIR: I guess that’s true. I don’t like that it has a plus sign within the name. Like, how do you pronounce that? “Sparrow Bar plus Cookshop?” Just thinking about putting it into my Google to search for it or telling people, “Oh, meet us at…” I guess it’s just Sparrow and then it says Bar and Cookshop. Anyway… MATT: It’s because you don’t like math so the plus sign, you’re confused. NASIR: Yeah, there’s no equal sign. Where is the solution? If it gave me the solution, then I’d be fine. MATT: Yeah. So, this Sparrow Bar + Cookshop put on or announced a $45.00 prefixed menu in August to help raise money for the Houston Food Bank. The only problem is this fell outside of the Houston Restaurant Week so people were thinking, “Well, that’s kind of weird. I mean, usually, we do this $45.00 prefix or whatever the prefix menu during Restaurant Week like everyone else does.” Then, people did some digging and found out that, back in 2013, there was supposed to be a donation made to the Houston Food Bank. There in fact was not a donation made so the belief was that this $45.00 prefix menu was to cover that donation from two years prior. Also, I guess there’s guidelines for the food bank and you can’t use a charity’s name without their permission and failing to disclose how much of the $45.00 will be donated – both of which SB+C failed to do, didn’t get permission, and did not disclose how much would be donated. NASIR: What’s interesting is that, apparently, the person that wrote this article tried to get comment from the chef who apparently is some famous chef – or I don’t know if famous – she won Top Chef Masters Veteran, Monica Pope – it’s the person that owns it, I guess. But she was on vacation so she couldn’t comment. It’s hard to know exactly what happened here. All we know is that this Houston Food Bank didn’t actually receive any funds. By the way, Houston Restaurant Week is actually Houston Restaurant Weeks. Apparently, it lasts for like, I don’t know… MATT: 52 weeks. NASIR: It’s 52 weeks a year. That was a good one,

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Can You Get Fired For Being Racist? [e215]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Aug 17, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss how racism led to employees getting fired and another instance where a judge overturned a decision to terminate a racist employee. Transcript: NASIR: Okay. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And welcome to our program. I’m excited today because we get to talk about racism – my favorite topic. MATT: Your favorite topic? NASIR: Well, every podcast topic is my favorite topic. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: That’s how I justify that comment. MATT: So, right off the bat, I’m a little curious about this story that we’re going to start with. I guess there was a manager at a Lowe’s in Virginia and they had an African American delivery truck driver and I guess assuming a white customer was not happy with the fact that the black driver was the one making the deliveries so that person requested that they have a white driver do the deliveries. My first question is – before we get too deep into it – like, how many deliveries from Lowe’s is someone getting where this is an actual issue? I don’t know if that’s going to be answered in this but that was my first question. And so, the customer makes the request in asking if someone else can be the delivery person that was white. When the manager of Lowe’s asked why and she said, “Because you’re black.” NASIR: I think you’re misreading it. MATT: Oh, that’s the manager. NASIR: Yeah, that’s the manager, because actually what happened was some woman was I guess inside the store and I guess they knew beforehand because apparently she wouldn’t deal with any of the black customer service representatives or salesmen. And so, when she had a delivery, they already knew beforehand that she didn’t want any black delivery drivers for her particular delivery. For some reason, I picture an old, old woman but I suppose it could be young, too. That’s just I guess my image of it. MATT: Now you’re running into age problems. NASIR: Ageist? MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Is it better to be a racist or to be an ageist? MATT: I think it’s worse to be racist because, if you’re ageist, the older people are going to die off sooner than the… NASIR: Wrong answer. They’re both equally bad. MATT: Oh. NASIR: It was a trick question. MATT: That’s fine. I’m sticking with my answer. NASIR: All kind of prejudice is wrong, Matt. MATT: If you’re ageist and you’re against older people, eventually, you will become older presumably and it doesn’t work the other way where, if you’re against one race, you’re most likely not going to become the other race throughout time. NASIR: You could be against younger people and you’re no longer going to be younger either so, even though you once were, it’s like you’ve transitioned out. It’s like, “Okay, I’m better than that now, I’m no longer five years old.” MATT: Or maybe you’re just against anyone who’s not your age? NASIR: Also very similar. Well, anyway, back to racism… MATT: So, we had this incident with this customer and the manager – I mean, they say the customer is always right but I think this was one of those times where the manager has to step in and say something. I think it’s worth losing this one customer over this issue because the manager ended up going forward with it and, as a result, this manager – and I believe two others involved, right? – ended up getting terminated as a result. NASIR: Yeah, and it’s weird. Of course, the conversation you were referencing is that conversation with the driver and one of the managers. It’s like, “Okay, well, why can’t I just go?” and this is according to the driver and he describes the manager as telling him that, “Oh, it’s because you’re black.” Of course, that’s probably the worst answer you can respond to that question. I kind of understand it because it’s like, you know, “This lady is being unreasonable or whatever. I just want to do my job. I don’t want to make a whole fuss.

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When an Indian Restaurant Can’t Hire an Indian Waiter (or Waitress) [e214]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Aug 13, 2015


Nasir and Matt close out the week by talking about the Indian restaurant in New York City that was fined for trying to hire an Indian waiter or waitress. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha and I’m hungry. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub and I was actually going to comment; I could tell that you were because you, you know, it was straight business when you ran through that intro. It’s not going to get any easier for you because we’re talking about a restaurant. NASIR: And all these articles have nice pictures of Indian food on it. MATT: What are they called? Above the fold? NASIR: Yeah, like header image. I’m literally staring at that right now, by the way. MATT: What is that dish? NASIR: It looks like it’s a standard chicken tikka or masala or a buttered chicken masala. I’m not sure which. MATT: I was thinking masala but I wasn’t sure. I don’t know. It’s not pizza so I don’t know. NASIR: I’m no expert though. MATT: It’s either pizza or other for me. NASIR: I was looking for some pizza episodes for today. MATT: We’ll try to bring one in next week. Anyways, we have this Indian restaurant and it put up an ad for an experienced Indian waiter or waitress. Okay. It did this in October 2013. And then… NASIR: Wait. Wait, if you’re listening to this, pause and think about that and see if you can tell if there’s something wrong with that posting. By the way, it’s okay if you don’t get it because it’s not obvious. MATT: So, we have an Indian restaurant. It looks like a pretty authentic Indian restaurant looking for an experienced Indian waiter or waitress. As a result, the city’s Commission on Human Rights went after this restaurant and ended up, well, the fine was actually initially bigger. It got pushed down. It went after it to fine them because of, I guess, the discriminatory way that they put up the ad in terms of asking for an Indian waiter or waitress. Now, they did say waiter or waitress which actually is an issue I guess that could also be brought up. You can’t just put waitress; you have to put wait person. Like, actor or actress to me is kind of the same thing. I don’t really, you know… NASIR: Can a waitress be a waiter and a waiter not be a waitress? Kind of like an actor be an actress but an actress can’t be an actor or vice versa? MATT: People in the industry that are female in the acting industry call themselves “actors” and not “actresses.” Actresses, I guess, refers to a lesser. But isn’t it “best actress” in the Golden Globes and all that? NASIR: I thought so. Maybe there was a connotation to it that we’re not aware of? MATT: I don’t know. NASIR: I used to be an actor for about 26 years or so then I quit because it got too Hollywood for me. MATT: You were in all of those movies. NASIR: Yeah, all of those. We don’t need to name them though. MATT: Yeah, you were in all the Rocky movies. NASIR: That’s about the right age, right timing for 26 years. MATT: Well, let me finish this up here. So, they hit them with a fine. The law doesn’t allow ads that discriminate based on national origin. It ends up going to hearing. The funny part is – or one of the funny parts are – that, by the time that this hearing happened, it ended up being a year since the business had closed. So, the business wasn’t even open. It’s a pretty ridiculous premise to begin with and I guess the judge felt so bad that they reduced the fine from $7,500 to $5,000 – still saying that there was a discriminatory ad based on national origin even though it was an authentic Indian restaurant looking for an Indian waiter or waitress. NASIR: Yeah. Let’s first talk about this commission because this is something unique – the New York City’s Commission on Human Rights. That’s not something very typical but is specifically in New York City. I’m trying to think if there’s anything else equivalent. There might be something in San Francisco that I ca...

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Why Social Media Policies Can Subject Employers to Lawsuits [e213]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Aug 10, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the National Labor Review Board's challenge of an employer's social media policy and the reason why the employer was able to prevail. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And that is all. I’m going to stop talking now because I tend to just… you pause and then I get nervous and then I don’t know what to say. MATT: You come in so excited and then it’s just stage fright. You’ve only memorized that first line. NASIR: Exactly. No, I might as well just end the podcast. I don’t know what I’m doing. I need a script. MATT: I don’t think it’d be as exciting if we read straight off a script. It’d probably be more factually accurate but… NASIR: Probably, instead of like, “Okay, what are we covering today?” Well, what are we covering today? Social media policies, right? MATT: Yeah, social media policies and I guess employer policies in general. It kind of springs off this social media policy case. It’s actually, well, I’m a little bit surprised. It’s usually that it comes down pretty harsh on employers. We’ll see if everyone can follow me on this to explain the procedure of how this case worked. The general council on the NLRB – National Labor Review Board, I believe – they challenged an employer’s social media policy saying it was unlawful – basically saying it was too restrictive, prohibited protected activity – essentially free speech it looks like. General accounts of NLRB challenges this policy as unlawful which then went in front of an administrative law judge which decided that the policy was in fact not unlawful. Then, it was reviewed by the NLRB that affirmed the ALJ’s decision that the policy was not unlawful. Long story short, this policy of Landry’s Inc… NASIR: Is not unlawful lawful. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Is that what it is? MATT: Yeah. You know, I was reading something written by an attorney the other day and it had so many just negatives in it. It was just impossible to read. Like, “Just use clear language.” NASIR: Yeah. MATT: It was a court decision so it was even worse. NASIR: That’s even worse, yeah, written by a lawyer, still. MATT: I think it might be worthwhile for me to read this policy – at least this section because it’s not that long. We’ll let the listeners decide. “While your free time is generally not subject to any restriction by the company, the company urges all employees not to post information regarding the company, their jobs, or other employees which could lead to morale issues in the workplace or detrimentally affect the company’s business. This can be accomplished by always thinking before you post, being civil to others and their opinions, and not posting personal information about others unless you have received their permission.” NASIR: It’s actually a very well-written policy, believe it or not, and it’s proven to actually withstand its criticism. By the way, Landry, I guess they operate Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurants which I think I’m only familiar with, they always seem to be on piers across the country – San Francisco, Seattle, I think they have one here in Galveston, Texas, too. MATT: You’re familiar with it because of Forrest Gump, I would assume. NASIR: Oh, well, yeah, obviously, but I’m familiar with it as a restaurant. What’s funny about this – oh, not funny, it’s just frustrating, actually – the NLRB general council, in my opinion, this policy is pretty well-worded and yet still they challenged it and it just goes to show you, like, it doesn’t even matter what the law is sometimes. You have to be ready to defend yourself when it comes to these employment matters, especially from the NLRB. MATT: I agree with you too and I’m reading through the general council’s sort of thought process through this and I’m not surprised by the things that he highlighted. He had issues with the language referencing morale and being ci...

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The Class Action Lawsuit That Managed to Take Down Nike and Apple [e212]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Aug 06, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the settlement from a class action lawsuit involving Nike and Apple for an underperforming product. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I am Matt Staub. NASIR: Right on cue. Did you see how I pointed to you? I was going to do the “three, two…” with the silent one and then for you to go. MATT: Always helpful. NASIR: No problem. That’s why I’m here – to make sure you’re on-time. MATT: Who do we talk about today? Cecil, the Lion? NASIR: No, poor Cecil. MATT: Oh. NASIR: They still can’t find the dentist. I guess the authorities went to his door and knocked on the door and then he didn’t come out. Like, literally that was the article I read. Like, they don’t know where he is. But, if you’re just going to his house and knock on the door, that’s probably not the best way to find him. MATT: “We saw his car. We saw somebody walk in five minutes earlier but, when we knocked, nobody answered. So, you can only assume he’s not there.” Well, no Cecil, the Lion. But, we are going to talk about these FuelBands. NASIR: Yeah, Nike Fuel. MATT: Nike Fuel. Do you have one of these? Did you buy this? NASIR: No, I didn’t buy that version. Nike Fuel’s actually been out for a while, but I did know people that used to have it and I think that my dad ended up buying one, eventually, but what’s goofy about it, is that he would just shake his arm – and I’ve seen other people do that – and basically it acts like you are moving or whatever so you could reach your goal pretty quickly that way. MATT: Well, that’s probably why we’re talking about it and there was this class action settlement, and not only Nike but Apple was involved as well in this too. So, let me get to the class action part of it, I guess, the settlement terms. Basically, the agreement is, if you bought a FuelBand from January 2012 through June 2015, you are going to be entitled to either a $15.00 payment or a $25.00 gift card which reminds me, I never received any Red Bulls. NASIR: Yeah, I haven’t either. Sometimes it takes time. MATT: I haven’t moved. I’m still here. Red Bull, if you’re listening, I haven’t got my two Red Bulls that are probably going to be not tasting very good because it’s going to be so hot and bottom of the barrel Red Bull. Anyways, there is this class action settlement and it kind of centers around this false advertising claim essentially saying that the things that it’s supposed to do – the FuelBands are supposed to do like, track steps and count calories – actually didn’t do that very accurately and that comes as no surprise based on what you just told me that you essentially move your wrist around and you’re burning tons of calories. NASIR: Yeah, exactly. There’s plenty of these things now. I had the FitBit when it came out – well, actually, after it came out about a year or two ago – and then now I have a Samsung Gear Fit that goes really well with my phone. But, frankly, I mean, these are all pretty useless when it comes to accuracy. In fact, when I was buying mine, I remember to figure out what was the most accurate. People would take like five or six arm bands and wear them for the day and they’d all have different numbers. So, I guess, in theory, one of them could be accurate. But, most likely, they weren’t and I think the most important thing is consistency because, just the nature of measuring steps and distances, it’s not a complete science – you know, it’s not a ruler where you’re measuring something in that respect. But, the problem is that, when you’re selling something – in other words, okay, they settled, right? Nike and Apple, they say that they want to avoid litigation costs so let’s just get rid of these guys and settle this lawsuit and that’s well and good and that possibly may be the case but there could have been liability here because, think about it,

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When an Employer Can Be Held Liable for Negligent Retention of An Employee [e211]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Aug 03, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the staffing agency that is being accused of negligent retention of an employee who embezzled funds with the company she was placed with. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha, here in Houston, Texas. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub, in an undisclosed location, not in Houston, Texas. NASIR: Undisclosed, in the middle of the desert of San Diego which is a desert, by the way. MATT: You know, it has been pretty warm. Today was pretty warm. Rumors are there’s going to be some more rain which it rained a couple of weekends ago. It’s pretty rare but, yeah, it never really happens. NASIR: By the way, I think we should start a tradition. Every Monday episode, let’s talk about the weather for five minutes before we start. MATT: It always is you mention something and I’m just staring at the window as I’m talking and usually noticing what the weather is like as I’m recording. It’s just kind of how it happens. NASIR: Well, my wife is there right now, enjoying the weather. MATT: Oh, is she? NASIR: Hello to her. MATT: It’s a big city so I probably won’t see her. NASIR: Oh, just keep an eye out. You may run into her. MATT: I’ll keep an eye out. NASIR: But everything’s going on in Texas. MATT: We got a Texas story to start off here. There was a staffing agency and a company. The staffing agency placed a certain employee with this company and what the details of it are basically the staffing agency placed this – I believe it was an accountant, or at least I’m assuming such because it was dealing with funds – but the person that they placed with this company embezzled $15 million over eight years which doesn’t even really seem possible. I mean, if you’re generating a lot of income, then okay. But, still, for any business, that’s still a decent chunk of change. I mean, that’s what? A little under $2 million a year that this person was able to embezzle out of the company. NASIR: But what’s weird is… I think this was a “she,” right? MATT: Yeah, she. NASIR: She was placed as a receptionist and then she was promoted to the head of accounting. MATT: Not even Pam Halpert could get all the way to accounting. She went from receptionist to sales. Actually, not to get too far off-track but wasn’t it Kevin who came in for a receptionist position or something? Maybe even like janitor? And Michael’s like, “You know, I had a hunch so I hired him as an accountant.” NASIR: Exactly, and I suppose the “head of accounting” – who knows exactly what that means of how big this company is but $15 million, obviously, how you lose that money and not notice it, I’m sure it was a large enough company for that to happen. MATT: I would think so. And so, there was this big theft of $15 million essentially and what the company was saying was this was the staffing agency that’s at fault here because they should have conducted a criminal background check on this individual because, in this instance, she did have a prior theft record. I mean, I’m sure it probably didn’t amount to $15 million in over eight years theft issue but, still, nonetheless, there was a criminal background. And so, the company was saying the staffing agency failed to notify them of this individual’s criminal record. I guess, at some point, they discovered it down the road – and I’m not sure exactly what that was – but that was kind of the bulk of their argument and the first thing you’re going to think of was, “Well, what was in the agreement between the staffing agency and the company?” Because that’s probably going to give us a good idea of who’s ultimately going to be responsible for this. NASIR: By the way, I have more information now. You know, Jacob, our law clerk helped us research this and he linked some old article from back in 2012 and I’m just like, “Why is this relevant?” and it’s because this is the exact same embezzlement. Apparently, this goes back,

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Why Users of Ashley Madison May Not Sue for Data Breach [e210]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Jul 29, 2015


The guys close out the week but talking about the data breach on the second largest dating website and why we may not see the lawsuit you would expect. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha, the host and co-host of Legally Smart Sound Business dotcom – not dotcom, the podcast. MATT: Host and co-host. NASIR: And also joining me is Matthew Staub. MATT: Exactly. Don’t even have to say it. NASIR: And who are you? MATT: You already said it. NASIR: Well, I mean, I said someone’s joining me. No one knows who you are though. MATT: Oh, Matt Staub. You said my name, too. NASIR: Yeah, but what are you doing here? MATT: I’m co-host, not host. NASIR: Co-host of the podcast. MATT: Exactly. NASIR: By the way, how did you do research for today’s topic? Did you do it on your computer while you were next to your significant other? MATT: No. Actually, I think you had sent me a link about this earlier in the week so I already knew about it. My wife had seen it because she browses Yahoo! top stores for some reason – the only person that goes to Yahoo! NASIR: No, my wife does too. In fact, she already knew it as well. I’ll ask her to find out how she found out about it. MATT: We were sitting there and she’s like, “Oh, there’s a site for cheaters.” It’s like, “Yeah, we talked about this on the podcast.” NASIR: Don’t you listen and take notes. MATT: We definitely talked about this. NASIR: We barely mentioned it, yeah. MATT: Yeah, because her point was like, “Why wouldn’t the spouse just create an account and see if their other spouse is on there?” I was like, “I don’t even know how it works, to be honest.” I mean, maybe that could work but I think it’s secret. NASIR: Yeah, I assume it’s anonymous or something. MATT: It has to be. But we’re talking about… NASIR: Or is it? MATT: Well, yeah, it has to be based on what we’re talking about now. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: So, Ashley Madison, I guess they classified as a dating site because it’s considered the second-largest dating site. NASIR: No way? Second-largest? MATT: Yeah. NASIR: I’m so surprised, actually. MATT: Behind match.com, 37 million users. NASIR: Wow. No way. I honestly cannot believe that. That’s crazy. MATT: With more than 37 million members worldwide, Ashley Madison claims to be the world’s second-largest dating website, only match.com has more or is bigger. NASIR: Wow. MATT: Yeah, pretty new site. The problem now is that the site was hacked and whoever has hacked it – or whomever has hacked it – is threatening to reveal the information of the users which is going to be a problem because now all these adulterers are going to be revealed to the general public. I guess it’s going to do something that’s going to match the information to find out names and addresses, et cetera. I mean, I don’t know the details of the actual threatened hack but this could pretty much be a game-changer. It probably is already a game-changer for this site. I bet it’s probably ruined now. NASIR: Yeah. I mean, this has been heavily populized, no? MATT: Publicized. NASIR: Publicized. Populized… Publicized in the media to the extent that pretty much even people that didn’t know about the site now know about the site but know it as a place that, if you want to cheat on your spouse, your information is not necessarily private. The most interesting part about this and I think where we’re kind of covering this is that Ashley Madison apparently told its customers that, okay, if you pay $19.00 then they’re going to completely erase your profile information. The implication of that is that, okay, well, if I pay this extra amount then that means that pretty much your information is protected and it’s pretty much deleted. I can foresee this where – I don’t know – maybe your subpoenaed or Ashley Madison’s subpoenas for its records to some kind of legal issue, legal dispute,

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Employment Discrimination Claims Shift to Gender Identity [e209]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Tue, Jul 28, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the EEOC decision that may prohibit gender discrimination before Congress passes its own law. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: What’s going on, Matt? MATT: Uh, doing pretty well. We’re in the weird phase of San Diego weather where it’s either gloomy or humid or both so it’s unenjoyable… I mean, it’s probably way worse for you. NASIR: I know it rained last week and the only reason I knew it rained is because I got all these pictures as if it was some kind of miracle in San Diego which it practically was, I suppose. MATT: I mean, the rain, that’s pretty rare bit there was lightning and thunder which is extremely rare for San Diego. NASIR: Pretty commonplace here in Houston except I don’t think we’ve had rain in the last thirty days which is… I don’t know if it’s unusual for the time but unusual in general. MATT: Well, I’d still probably take this weather over yours. NASIR: Yeah, I think so. I think that’s established as far as weather – Houston versus San Diego. That’s a good court case. MATT: Houston versus San Diego. They’re suing over… NASIR: Better weather. MATT: All right. Enough of lame legal jokes. We’ve got a pretty interesting topic. NASIR: No, let’s talk about the weather some more, that’s usually a good topic. MATT: Yeah, also a good podcast subject. So, this is a topic that I think is obviously going to get a lot more mention here in the upcoming probably years. Actually, I could see this even being… maybe not this specifically or at least a little bit – this could be a big issue even in like the presidential election coming up – possibly. I don’t know. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. NASIR: Absolutely, I think so. MATT: We’re going to talk about it I guess the employee-employer context. We’re dealing with employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. What that community and other advocates are trying to do is lift this federal prohibition on employment discrimination against the – like I said – based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But there was a recent EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – decision that possibly could have already made this a non-issue – or at least some people are saying. Basically it’s saying that this is already illegal on the grounds of Title 7. What this ruling was I think there was a three to two I believe panel decision. It kind of all centers around “the sex” in Title 7. And so, what does that really mean? I think they had mentioned it’s included transgender in the past but that’s kind of what we’re getting to and it’s not interchangeable with sex and gender necessarily but there was a decision that outlaws discrimination on the basis of sex and the panel ruled that the job discrimination against gays violate this against this Title 7 under the Civil Rights Act. I don’t think that made any sense. NASIR: We’ll get it out by automatic translator here. I think, first, to really understand the EEOC’s reasoning, I think you have to kind of take a look at what Title 7 was and Title 7 is a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and basically it specifically provides that employers cannot discriminate based upon gender but also religion, color, race, national origin. But what’s interesting is that there’s been previous rulings held that even the association thereof of an employee – for example, if the employee is associated with a person of a certain race or color or religion, then you can’t discriminate on that basis. The EEOC takes that same kind of logic and they say, “Well, if the Title 7 does that, then it also applies to gender as well.” So, if you’re associating yourself through your spouse or your partner as a same-sex partner or spouse, then discriminating based upon that same reason is also prohibited. The logic may or may not be accepted by other courts a...

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Structuring a Licensing Agreement to Prevent Copyright Infringement [e208]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Jul 22, 2015


Nasir and Matt talk about the lawsuit alleging Zillow of copyright infringement even though it has a licensing agreement to use certain photographs. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And we are here to tell you about business and the law. MATT: And, for some reason, it got a lot hotter where I’m recording from the last episode to this one, and I don’t know what exactly happened but I don’t really like it. NASIR: I think it’s the excitement in the air. Actually, I think everyone’s feeling it right now. I mean, I think, as soon as people started playing this, people are feeling the heat – just the excitement of this episode. MATT: It must be. NASIR: I’m pretty sure. MATT: We’ve definitely talked about Zillow before – I had to have think, right? NASIR: Yes, it’s “wolliz” backwards. MATT: “Willoz” – I’m very aware of Zillow but I was not aware of Zillow Digs which I guess is their home improvement site. NASIR: I think it’s new. MATT: It has to be – well, I’d have guessed it’d have to be. I’ve never heard of it at all. NASIR: Yeah, I’m pretty sure, yeah. MATT: Well, in the context of what we’re going to discuss, it would make sense if it was new, if they’re just now bringing issue of it. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: So, what is that issue? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s going to be a copyright infringement issue. Let me give a little backstory on this – not a personal backstory but a backstory for this thing. There’s a company called VHT? NASIR: Yeah, I’m sure it stands for something but that’s what the name says. MATT: Yeah. So, VHT and then, of course, Zillow. So, VHT is in the business of essentially having a huge database of real estate photos. I think more than 4 million real estate photos – kind of everything – home exteriors and interiors, a whole bunch of different photos. But they have a licensing agreement with Zillow which allows Zillow to use the photos that VHT has on their site – on the regular Zillow site – they’re allowed to use the photos for the purposes of marketing the properties for sale which makes sense because, I mean, I guess Zillow is a way to find information on just finding information on a property but also the ideas to see which houses are for sale and learn more about them – kind of an open MLS to some degree for non-real estate people. So, Zillow Digs is the home improvement site that they have which VHT was aware of but they’re saying that, you know, this new thing was supposed to be for home improvement. It’s more for marketing, things like that. VHT was concerned because they were saying, “Well, this isn’t really for our purposes that we agreed to of marketing the properties for sale. This is the purpose of selling advertising or for design elements that you’re using our photographs,” and it really hasn’t been too many. I think they only said a little over 300 of their photographs have been used so it’s not like we’re talking about a lot but it gets into the question of, because there is this licensing agreement, and I guess we would need to know who it was between, if it was between VHT and Zillow and if Zillow is a parent company that wholly owns this other Zillow Digs or how exactly it’s set up. We’ll assume for this purpose that the agreement covers it – the licensing agreement. But the scope of the license that’s granted is really what’s an issue here. This is going to come up for any time that there are photos that are going to be licensed out because, if it’s not under the scope of the license, then we’re going to run into infringement issues. NASIR: So, VHT, basically… I’m trying to think of other equivalents to this in like the music industry or what-have-you but basically, if you’re a real estate agent, you can call VHT and I’m not surprised if people have already heard this already but they’ll send a “VHT professional photographer” out to that ...

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Where Can Your Social Security Number Be Printed [e207]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Jul 20, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss when businesses can display a customer's social security number and what to do if your social security number is shown on a letter or credit card receipt. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our business podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to those business news items. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And welcome to the best episode ever of Legally Sound Smart Business. Matt and I were just discussing prior that this is probably going to be our best so congratulations everyone, you’ve made it. MATT: That’s also what we discuss before every episode though. NASIR: That is true. I’m hoping this time we’ll make it. Or is every episode better than the next? So, the latest episode is always the best episode, is that what’s been going on? MATT: It’s possible. I’d have to go back and listen. NASIR: Okay. Let’s just do that now. MATT: I’ll pause. NASIR: And we’re back! So, what did we decide? MATT: It was true. NASIR: It was true, yeah. So, this one has to be the best one. Hopefully it’s not as good as the last one then. MATT: Even the clip show episodes were somehow better than the previous versions of that. NASIR: The previous ones? I think that makes sense. That really makes sense, yeah. MATT: So, we’re going a talk about a couple of things here – one of which is social security numbers. I guess we’ve talked long enough that hopefully people aren’t going to turn off the rest of the episode, I guess. If we’re gotten them this far… well, I guess I’ll probably end up putting social security in the title so maybe that will turn people off as well but… NASIR: Well, credit cards, too. We’ll talk about basically private information that you’re holding of your customers. MATT: Well, I mean, there’s a couple of things. There’s getting something in the mail, getting a letter in the mail and, you know, what are the guidelines of when – if at all – can be your social security number on there? And then, two, using a credit card and you get the receipt back. I bet most people probably don’t even look for this every time that it comes up but, you know, we’ll discuss the laws in place with that as well. I guess we’ll start with the getting something in the mail and I guess this came up recently because the California EDD – Employment Development Department – was sending out letters in the mail and I guess people’s social security numbers were listed on there which, I’m trying to think, I mean, I deal with a lot of IRS stuff. I know there’s been social security numbers on there in the past which is fine if it falls under the exception that they’re allowed to put on that is, well, this is for California but California prohibits the printing of an individual’s social security number on any materials that are mailed out to the individual unless state or federal law requires a social security number to be on the document to be mailed. EDD’s argument here was it was a necessity for the social security number to be on there so we can ensure that the information is correct for the person it was sent to. NASIR: And this California law is actually in many other states. I don’t know how many but it’s not atypical. But this whole EDD’s position that it’s somehow necessary, even if it is necessary now, why is it necessary? You know, there are ways to protect your identity and so forth. In fact, I was just reading this basically interview of this guy – and I think he was in Russia or maybe some Eastern European country – where his job was to basically make phone calls to these credit card companies posing as these victims of identity theft because the people that actually stole their credit card had needed further verification so his job was to basically take on the identity and pretend that they’re that individual. Of course, they do that by finding the social security number, other information, pulling the credit report somehow, and so, I mean,

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How Reddit Caused An Uproar With Unpaid Volunteers [e206]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Jul 16, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the recently firing of a popular Reddit employee that caused an uproar and questioned the status of Reddit's unpaid volunteers. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that news. My name’s Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. I thought, for this episode, I would let you ask me anything. NASIR: Oh, okay, AMA for Matthew Staub. MATT: Yeah, AMA. NASIR: When was your first pizza job? Oh, wait, we’ve heard that story fifty times. MATT: Those of you not familiar with reddit, the reason I said the Ask Me Anything is there was some news – another thing people are going crazy about – last week… NASIR: End of last week so, when this episode comes out, two weeks ago, I suppose. MATT: Yeah. Basically, one of the employees who I believe was in-charge of the Ask Me Anything sub-reddit which is a forum – people go on there and they ask, “Ask me anything,” and then the people on reddit can ask them questions and they’ll answer them, that’s what that is. NASIR: It’s one of the most popular subreddits. You know, some people may not be aware what reddit is so, just really quick, first, if you haven’t gone there, go ahead and go there. It’s reddit.com – pretty popular site, really interesting, you can kind of get lost into the different subreddits because they basically have a different subreddit for every topic that you can think of. And so, one of the most popular ones is a subreddit called IAMA and you’ll have many celebrities or different people that have certain specialties or in certain industries that will go on there for a couple of hours and basically answer a bunch of questions that you would ask. Very fascinating, actually. MATT: Yeah, so the person that was responsible for managing the Ask Me Anything, they recently got fired and they thought it was possibly over this AMA that went awry with Jesse Jackson which I haven’t really read into that and saw what was so bad but that’s what people believe was the case of the termination but Ellen Pao, CEO of reddit and other say, “No, that’s definitely not the case,” and it kind of sparked not only a backlash with the people that visited reddit but the people that are managing a lot of these bigger subreddits did a thing where they made them go dark, causing even more of an outcry I guess from all the people involved. NASIR: Yeah. Basically, it was like a period of nine hours where all these pretty popular reddits went dark. I missed it because, when I went on, it was like everyone was talking about how it went dark so I wasn’t really affected. But, apparently, what they mean is they make the subreddit private so that, unless you are permitted through the moderator, you can’t access it. The number of subreddits that actually went dark was such that it basically ended up being mostly the user population that couldn’t access the site. MATT: Yeah, it’s obviously not good for reddit and, while it was only temporary, I mean, it was much bigger news after the fact than during, I think, from the broader population. But, for the people that are really into reddit, then they were probably outraged during that time. So, this person was an employee, I believe. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: But it brings up the question – you know, I’m sure there’s going to be claims, some sort of wrongful termination, et cetera – but it brings up the idea of these other people that are moderating or these people that are moderating all these different subreddits – like you said, there’s probably thousands of them, right? At least hundreds. NASIR: Definitely hundreds. I would definitely say thousands, if not tens of thousands. MATT: Yeah. These people are volunteers – because you need moderators or else things get out of hand – maybe not for the obscure ones but for the ones that enough people go to, they have these people volunteering to essentially be the administrator of these different subreddits and it begs ...

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Why Almost Every Major Site Can Sell Your Personal Data [e205]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Jul 13, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss how many companies maintain privacy policies which allow for the sale of personal data. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. This is our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And thank you for joining us once again for a series of information and events which you can take in your consideration. MATT: A series of letters that form into words which form into sentences and who knows what will happen from there… NASIR: Which eventually forms a podcast episode. MATT: Yeah, hopefully. We’ll see. NASIR: At least that’s the objective. MATT: If we have our personal data after this episode then we’ll have a podcast episode. NASIR: Well, this personal data thing is crazy. I know you’re just leading into your transition but we’re talking about this because it’s somewhat dated. Everyone remembers the whole RadioShack bankruptcy and then basically sold everything from A to Z. We covered a little bit about it but what was not as publicized is what happened to the actual private data that they’ve collected for over 100 million customers, including everything from social security numbers to credit card numbers to everything in-between. MATT: Well, luckily, for most people, they hadn’t shopped at RadioShack for a very long time so maybe there’s no personal data on file. NASIR: Most of the people are probably dead by now of those 100 million customers. MATT: It’s been at least ten years since I’ve been inside – probably fifteen years since I went to a RadioShack. NASIR: You know those times where you just need a cable or something like that? I was giving a presentation in the middle of nowhere – when I say middle of nowhere, I didn’t know where I was – and I needed a cable so I had someone go in looking around and they ended up going to RadioShack and they brought in the wrong cable and they went back two or three times and they ended up not having the cable, of course, that I needed. I was like, “What’s the point of this store? I don’t get it.” MATT: Well, at least it wasn’t your data. You had somebody else pay for it or buy it. NASIR: True. MATT: There was a bankruptcy case with RadioShack but it’s not just that. I mean, any sort of merger acquisition, asset sale, any sort of other transaction – let me get the data on this – the 100 biggest sites in the US, 85 of them included language in their privacy policy saying they could transfer user data if one of those triggering things happened – merger acquisition, asset sale, et cetera. NASIR: And that’s 85 out of… you said 100? MATT: Yeah. NASIR: You know, what’s interesting about these privacy policies that are pretty much required – you know, California is one of the first and I think we’ve talked about it in the past, it’s one of the first states to actually require privacy policies – you can pretty much put whatever you want. A lot of times, like Matt said, they’ll say, “Okay, we won’t sell your data unless we are acquired,” or something like that – that’s best case scenario. But, a lot of times, you can just say that, “Yeah, we’re going to use your data and we’re going to use it for marketing purposes,” or they word it in such a way that may not be as egregious but, at the end of the day, allows them to do what they want. MATT: Yeah, and similar to terms of service – probably even less so than terms of service – people don’t read the privacy policy on websites. I mean, typically, it’s either at the bottom of the page in the small link or you have to go to the site map and find it that way. It’s not something people openly go to – I mean, other than an attorney or someone really interested in tech-related stuff. I can’t see many other people going and checking that out. NASIR: Which I think is not unreasonable because, you know, when you surf and enter in forms and so forth, it’s hard to kind of go through that every time you ...

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Who Is Liable When Two Driverless Cars Collide? [e204]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Jul 08, 2015


Nasir and Matt talk about the incident involving two driverless cars almost colliding and employer liability in using driverless cars. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to those business items. My nes—my—m—How did I get a stutter all of a sudden? My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. You know, I was actually thinking, right before that happened, I was like, “Wow. This is the first time you did two intros that were normal and you didn’t screw up on.” NASIR: I know, Monday’s episode did come out a little too normal so I had to twist it up a little bit. MATT: Yeah, you went all Porky Pig on us. Is that who that is? NASIR: Yeah, pretty much. Porky Pig represents the stuttering community which, apparently, I’m ready to join. MATT: So, we have a pretty interesting thing to talk about. Well, I don’t know. You were way more interested in this than I was. I’m not really sure why but I’ll give my summary and then you can give your summary of it. But, from what I can tell, it’s basically Delphi – I believe I’m pronouncing that correct – had a driverless car and Google had a driverless car. Apparently, they almost got into an accident, but they didn’t. That’s how I see this story. But you were way more intrigued about this thing than I was. NASIR: Yes, that is accurate, I would say. The internet kind of got interested in this and maybe it was just kind of the time that I happened to be surfing because, you know, as we know, driverless cars are kind of coming about and really making its way into actual roads and, when you have two driverless cars almost get in an accident but they don’t, it’s as if, like, “Okay, we’re getting closer to that point where we just have a bunch of cars zipping around without people in the driver’s seat.” MATT: From the accounts here, and I think both sides are kind of really downplaying this, especially Google – no, sorry – especially Delphi that says the vehicles didn’t even come close to one another because they actually had an official in one of the cars and basically said the Google car cut it off and the Delphi car took the appropriate action and didn’t change lanes and that was that. But I’m not sure how fast these were going but the Google cars that are driving around now are going, like, five miles an hour that are going around taking photos of Street View and everything. Even if they did hit each other, it’s not going to be significant by any means. But what about when it gets to the point – assuming it does get to the point – where these cars are going down the highway and there’s an issue of a lane change that’s obviously a much bigger issue at that point. NASIR: I think they’re going faster than five miles per hour, right? MATT: The instances of other issues where the Google car, the ones that do Street View and everything, have been in wrecks, I think they’ve every time said it was the fault of a human driver but the actual accidents have been very slow speeds that cars have been traveling. That’s why I assumed. They could have been going faster. I’m not really even sure. NASIR: Well, actually, Google’s car, I think they’ve had three-plus accidents over the last few years of nonstop driving and all the accidents were – you’re right – they were caused by other drivers, actually. For example, the car would stop at a light and they’d be hit from behind or something to that effect. You know, whether they could have stopped later or whatever, given more room in the back, obviously, Google’s car isn’t responsible for that. But, anyway, the point is that I think they’re on regular roadways but it begs the question that, okay, what are some of the liability aspects that are going to come from these types of cars? And not only these types of cars but, also, what if your employees start driving these types of cars? Or, in general, what is the liability of your employees driving cars out there in the resu...

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How Obama Plans To Increase Overtime Pay Eligibility [e203]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Jul 06, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss Obama's plan to increase the threshold for who can qualify for overtime pay. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And here we are on our 204th episode and I think we should be due for a recap episode in about, what, sixteen or so? So, I’m looking forward to that. MATT: Yeah, if we did it like the first hundred, but I think we ran out of topics. NASIR: Yeah, right! MATT: We’re just going to talk about the things we talked about in the first episode and see if there’s anything new. NASIR: Well, really, we should start with Episode 4 or whatever we covered in Episode 4 we could cover in 204. MATT: Hmm. NASIR: And see how it’s updated. MATT: I’m trying to think what that was. NASIR: I can look it up right now. MATT: I think Phil Mickelson was Episode 6. NASIR: Some memory there. MATT: I don’t remember any of the other ones but, for some reason, the Mickelson one I think was 5 or 6 maybe. I don’t know. Are you actually looking it up? NASIR: Yeah, I’ll let you know in a little bit. MATT: It’s coming up on two years ago so I guess that would be a pretty impressive memory. So, President Obama has been in the news – not as much as maybe he used to be. NASIR: By the way, starting the sentence with “President Obama in the news” is probably not that unique. MATT: No, I know. I said “probably not as much as he used to be.” NASIR: Oh, okay. MATT: Because there’s the new presidential election so he’s kind of fading out. NASIR: Episode 4, by the way, sauce versus crust – classic episode. MATT: I should have known that. Now I’m ashamed. Let’s edit that out. NASIR: Let’s edit that out? MATT: I definitely remember that now. NASIR: I don’t even know what you’re talking about with Phil Mickelson. I don’t even remember covering him – ever. MATT: I’ll try to look it up. NASIR: Oh, yeah, that was Episode 9. MATT: Gosh, not bad. All right, enough of this. NASIR: Anyway… MATT: So, we’ve talked a lot about minimum wage and most of it has been not only just specific states but I guess more specific cities as well though we’ve talked about I know San Francisco. We mentioned recently the city in Washington State that changed their minimum wage but we haven’t talked too much about overtime pay and eligibility for it so, like I said, Obama’s administration’s coming to an end. This is the perfect time for him to kind of get some of these things in before he exits the White House and this is quite a change from just raising minimum wage a dollar or whatever it was. This deals with overtime pay and, now, on the federal level, he’s raising the threshold, the minimum threshold from what’s currently $23,660 to $50,440 so I guess that would be more than double the current amount that it’s at and so those people are now eligible to receive overtime pay within certain restrictions but I think I saw this as estimated to affect five million workers in the US. I think I saw that somewhere but pretty significant change to what it currently is. NASIR: What’s the federal minimum wage now? I think that’s $8.25 I want to say? Actually, no, $7.25. So, $50,000 a year, that’s about three times… I’m trying to do my math which I’m horrible so $50,000 is about $24 an hour just to make it simple. That’s about, yeah, three and a half – almost three and a half – times the minimum wage which is a substantial increase. But let’s break down what this whole overtime exemption is. We’ve talked about independent contractors and employees and the differences between the two and it’s one of the most common misclassifications that employers can do. But the second is probably the difference between exempt and non-exempt. When we say exempt, it can mean a lot of things. But, generally, people mean that we’re referring specifically to exempt to overtime requirements so they may other exemptions as well but...

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How Employers Can Avoid Liability For Employee Injuries [e202]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Jul 02, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the Texas Supreme Court decision that ruled a Texas employer was not liable for work-related injuries sustained to one of its employees. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name’s Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Welcome. Welcome to you all. MATT: We’re in the 200s now so I think we’ve officially made it. NASIR: We’ve officially made it. We should have just started with Episode 200. It would have been better for our egos. MATT: Well, what’s crazy is there’s usually not a lot of podcasting news, but there was a bigger story this week with Marc Maron when he had Obama on. He didn’t put podcasting on the map but it was like a big moment for podcasting – or so I’m told or so I heard. But the crazy thing is he’s done over 500 episodes and he only releases once a week. Maybe he used to release more frequently but, I mean, to get in the 500s releasing once a week, he had to have done multiple episodes a week in the past. I know he was really early into the game but that’s insane. NASIR: Well, it could be, I mean, if you think about it, it’s just ten years – 2005. That’s not crazy because podcasting has been around before 2005. MATT: Yeah, it’s been around a lot longer because that lawsuit with the guys that had like a recording system claiming they were podcasting that ended up ultimately getting dropped because they realized there’s no money in podcasting. Joke’s on them. NASIR: Could have fooled me. MATT: Yeah, we’re making lots of money on this so I don’t know what they’re doing wrong. NASIR: No. MATT: So, we’re in your backyard for this one. NASIR: You’re in my backyard right now? MATT: I don’t know how close you are to the Supreme Court in Texas. NASIR: It’s in Austin. MATT: The story was in Dallas. NASIR: Well, the Supreme Court’s in Austin. MATT: Okay. Well, this story was in Dallas. NASIR: I’ve actually never been in Dallas yet. I’ve pretty much been everywhere else except Dallas. MATT: Everywhere in Texas? That seems impossible. NASIR: That’s right. I stand behind that. MATT: Okay. So, ultimately, it was a decision by the Texas Supreme Court and they were clarifying some previous decisions which we can get into the procedural side of it but, basically, here’s a rundown of what happened. There was a man who worked for a Kroger and there was a situation where I believe it was some sort of oil leaked through the ventilation and it was leaking onto the floor or something and so he was told to clean up the mess. And so, it seems like this might have happened some time in the past because it’s not the first time he’s done this task, I believe. What their protocol is for this is they use this powder absorbent that they call Spill Magic to clean this up – and I’m not exactly sure what this is but that’s what they used to do it. NASIR: Spill Magic? MATT: Yeah, Spill Magic. NASIR: Of course. It’s actually the Spill Magic system – whatever that means. I assume it’s just like that powder that just absorbs spills. MATT: Is that what you deducted when I said it was a powdery absorbent? NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Fair enough. NASIR: I’m just deducing from Spill Magic. MATT: So, he’s cleaning this up and it’s going all right, no problems, and then at some point – I guess while he was mopping it up – he slips and falls and actually fractures his femur, dislocates his hip – some pretty rough injuries. NASIR: Ouch. MATT: Yeah, obviously not good. There’s some major medical issues. You know, there’s going to be some medical expenses involved. The kicker of this – and this is something that you can inform us about it – is Kroger didn’t have workers’ comp to cover this or there probably wouldn’t be an issue in the first place. Like I said, you can confirm this but it looks like in Texas you’re able to bypass the workers’ comp or there’s no requirement in some instances to have worke...

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Best Of The Second Hundred Episodes! [e201]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Jun 29, 2015


Nasir and Matt look back at the last 100 episodes. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our 200th plus one episode. Wait. MATT: So, the idea was, this is #201. The idea was you can’t do a best of the first 200 if the episode is #200. That makes sense, right? NASIR: Well, I was also thinking, like, is it one of those things where 201 is the 200th episode because we didn’t start at episode 0? MATT: That’s not how math works. NASIR: That’s not how math works. Well, I was thinking, you know, the year 2000 where people talked about the new millennium and, like, never mind, because there was no year zero. Anyway, welcome to our business podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to these business news items that we cover, and we’ve done it about a couple of hundred times minus a couple of episodes here and there which were also recap episodes, right? Yeah, I think we’ve done one recap episode, right? MATT: Well, we did one on #20, I believe, because we were both gone or something. NASIR: Yeah, we were both gone. MATT: Then, we did one, I think 20 and 100 and then this one. There might be… I don’t remember. NASIR: Like, a true recap like a replay, kind of like a TV show where they just splice a bunch of clips together. That’s basically what we’re going to do. MATT: Ah, yeah. One, at most two, but definitely one because I remember doing it but, yeah, at most, two of them. NASIR: The first one, yeah, I was out of town and you just did the intro for it. It was like episode 20 which I think we should do. We should do it for this 201st episode and then again 20 episodes later. MATT: Just do a recap every 20 episodes. Well, that’s why the episodes are longer too. It’s made a little bit more sense. NASIR: That’s also true. Well, anyway… what we have coming up are basically the most popular episodes that we’ve had in the last hundred episodes, I think, the best of, right? MATT: Yeah, and I can probably give you a summary right now. it had to do with Uber, independent contractors, The Office, and pizza. NASIR: And Yelp. MATT: And Yelp. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Yeah, those five things. NASIR: All right. Well, enjoy the show! [] MATT: We have a great episode today. We haven’t had a guest on in a while – at least it seems like it’s been a while – but we have Mark Faggiano with TaxJar, the founder and CEO of Taxjar. Did I get your name right, Mark? MARK: You did. Nice work. Good to be here, guys. MATT: Well, yeah, thanks for being here. NASIR: Yeah. So, taxjar.com is a company in San Diego but what’s interesting about what they do – and, obviously, Mark can speak more of it – is on sales tax and dealing with, especially from a small business perspective doing online e-commerce, I know a popular business that seems to be kind of sprouting up probably in the last few years – and, Mark, you can probably correct me if I’m wrong – is these kind of online sellers that are using Amazon to fulfil its shipment and basically use a shopping cart instead of setting up their own website. What about the sales tax implications in that? I think sales tax in general is just a mess of laws because you have to deal with how each states applies different taxes, depending upon where it’s being sold and who it’s being sold to. Mark, this is something you deal with every day, right? MARK: Yeah. So, to call it a mess is really an understatement. There’s probably some more words that you don’t want to use to better describe it but you’re exactly right. So, you know, five years ago, if we were having this conversation, if you talked to an online seller, they would probably say, “I’m an eBay seller” or “I just sell on eBay” and what’s really happened and where we’re at now is that folks are multichannel, right? They’re selling on eBay. They’re also selling on Amazon most likely. They also have their own website and they’re using a point-of-sale device. They’re using Square to go to a craft fair on a weekend or,

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Why The FBI Got Involved With A Major League Baseball Scandal [e200]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Jun 24, 2015


Nasir and Matt celebrate the 200th episode by discussing America's pastime and why the FBI has decided to get involved with a scandal in Major League Baseball. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha – first baseman. MATT: Oh, no, I’m Matt Staub and, actually, I played first base because I’m left-handed. NASIR: Oh, that’s just my last name – first baseman. I don’t even know what you’re talking about. MATT: I only really ever played first base and pitched for a little bit but I was mostly first base just because, if you’re left-handed, that’s pretty much the role you get thrown into just because it’s advantageous. You have the glove on your right hand and you can catch all the balls that are thrown from the rest of the infielders. NASIR: I didn’t play much baseball but I think I was in the best position. Isn’t the best position in tee-ball right outfield? That’s what I was. MATT: There’s probably four outfielders. Well, in regular baseball, there’s only three outfielders but there may be, like, a left, a right, a right center, and a left center. NASIR: I’m pretty sure there was just three. I just remember – gosh, I hated that tee-ball. I did one season and it was horrible. I was a soccer guy. MATT: Yeah. I mean, I liked baseball but focused on other sports after a while – not soccer. NASIR: You were tennis and golf? You look like a tennis and golf guy. MATT: Yeah, I play tennis. I liked playing golf but I was never really good at it. But, yeah, tennis was what I went with. No regrets for me – easier sport to play than baseball. All right. Well, this is a pretty interesting story. It kind of just came out of nowhere. By the time this goes up, it won’t be fresh in the news but, as of the day we’re recording this, this is still a pretty new story and I guess there could be a lot of things that happen between now and then, but the FBI’s gotten involved with one of the baseball teams in the Major League Baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals are investigating this hacking issue. Let me give a little background facts here. The current Astros general manager used to work for St. Louis Cardinals. I’m not sure in what capacity but he had developed this system that was used that they called Redbird – this computer network that he was a part of. Eventually, he left the Cardinals and went to the Astros and developed a similar style computer system that he called Ground Control and there’s a lot that goes into this. I guess one of the big things – for those of you who don’t know a lot about baseball – there’s all these different levels before you come up to the major leagues. This whole minor league system and there’s a strategy of when you bring players up because you don’t want to bring a player up too quick because he might just not be ready and then it ruins his… it’s a mental game after that and then it just ruins him for the rest of his career. So, part of it was they have this whole system in place of when to bring players up but they also have more confidential information as well such as trade proposals – stuff that would be a great thing to have if you’re trying to get inside information on a team. So, Houston set this up. As of right now when I’m going over this story, they don’t know who the people in the Cardinals organization was that did this, but they basically were like, “Oh, yeah, that guy that used to work for us, he had that master password list, let’s take a look at it.” They took a look at it and I guess one or multiple passwords lined up and they were able to hack into the Houston Astros system at that point because I guess he used the same password. I guess that’s a whole other issue of where that’s crossing the line in terms of hacking but, you know, they were able to gain access to basically a lot of confidential and proprietary information in one of their opposing team’s systems and, yeah,

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The Decision That Could Change The Way Uber Does Business [e199]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Jun 22, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the decision handed down by the California Labor Commissioner that classified an Uber driver as an employee instead of an independent contractor. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our Uber podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: I hate how “uber” is an adjective as well as a company. I don’t like the company. I don’t like the adjective. MATT: Well, I don’t know, I mean, I guess there’s probably some sort of connection to why they named it what they did, but I don’t know if it really.... I don’t know if they... I don’t know. I don’t know. I can’t wait to read that transcript back when I just say “I don’t know” five times in a row. NASIR: In fact, that’s the only reason we have a transcript – to laugh at you. MATT: She could always cut it out I guess and make me look a little bit more intelligent. NASIR: No. MATT: Yeah, this is a double whammy because we’re talking about two things you don’t like – Uber and the whole independent contractor employee issue. If this podcast was live, we would be hitting the front page here because we’re quick to the scene but I guess, by the time this comes out, it’s going to be pretty delayed but that’s all right. NASIR: Unfortunately, but that’s okay, yeah. MATT: This shouldn’t be anything too big that happens legally between right now and when it comes out since they’re filing the appeal and waiting. NASIR: That’s true. MATT: Just different takes, I guess. NASIR: So, what’s the news? MATT: So, yeah, what happened exactly, decision handed down by the California labor commission. Long story short, one of their Uber drivers, she got this complaint trying to get unpaid wages reimbursement for expenses, liquidated damages, waiting time penalties – which what we just talked about recently – but she brought this against Uber and the California labor commission determined that she was, in fact, an employee of Uber and not an independent contractor like every single driver up until this point has been classified. In fact, they have a big group of I think over 1,000 employees in San Francisco but, other than that, that’s pretty much it, right? I mean, all of the drivers have been classified as contractors. NASIR: Yeah, and when you say 1,000 employees, you’re not talking about the drivers. You’re talking about actual employees – probably in offices somewhere. MATT: Right. NASIR: So, when we’re reading this – and we’ve been talking about this – besides the independent contractor versus employee issue – we’ve been talking about that since the beginning of the podcast – but even the Uber issue, we’ve talked about class action lawsuits against them, we’ve talked about a bunch of cases against them. I’m pretty sure this is the first case – and I use the word “case” kind of lightly here and I’ll tell you why in a second – that has classified one of their drivers as an employee and the internet is going crazy off of it and I think it’s fair to start out with what’s Uber’s response in the statement because I think it’s very accurate and they say that the California labor commission’s ruling is non-binding and applies to a single driver. Let’s talk about what that means and I think this is important for those in California but also in other states that have administrative hearings which is basically this employee went to the California labor commission and, through their administrative hearing, you know, if you talk to any litigation attorney, it’s a very loosey-goosey kind of atmosphere. The rules of evidence aren’t as strict. You don’t actually need an attorney to represent you. I wouldn’t even be surprised if an attorney wasn’t representing the driver here. MATT: Yeah, she was pro per. NASIR: There you go and that’s not surprising. I think that employers should be conscious of this that, if you do have a violation, it’s not as if there’s this huge burden for employees in Cal...

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Have We Seen the Last of On-Call Scheduling for Retail Employees? [e198]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Jun 18, 2015


The guys close out the week by talking about the legal concerns of on-call employees in the retail industry and how states are working on legislature in support of these employees. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And welcome to the world of the law and business. MATT: The world where we talk about one topic per episode, more or less. NASIR: That’s right. Only Mondays and Wednesdays now though, right? This is our last episode for the week so make sure you guys pace yourselves. MATT: So, will this be…? Oh, no, we’re well before the 4th of July weekend. I’m getting way ahead of myself. NASIR: I know. It’s still June, man. It’s like the middle of June. MATT: We’re on the second, third of June as we’re recording this so it wasn’t incredibly far off. NASIR: Today’s not the second or third of June. MATT: The second one-third of June. NASIR: Oh, second… it’s going to be the second third of the month. MATT: Yes. NASIR: I know how everyone kind of refers to months and to split it up into thirds – that’s one way to do it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone do that but okay. No, actually, we’re going to be – let’s see – the third sixth of the month, I think, actually. MATT: Yeah, that’s correct. Okay. First time getting something math-related correct on the show. NASIR: Or actually what’s better is I think this episode’s coming out on the 17th 30th of the month. MATT: All right. I’m going to move on to the topic here which I wasn’t even really aware this was going on – probably because I don’t work in retail – but we’ve all heard of on-call shifts, especially for doctors or surgeons – I guess surgeons are doctors – nurses. NASIR: Lawyers – just start naming professions. MATT: Police officers, maybe. NASIR: Firemen. MATT: Firemen, for sure, yes. NASIR: Or women. MATT: But, in retail, there’s a thing that’s apparently legal – or for now somewhat legal. It’s on-call workers. Basically, it’d be someone – there’s a whole slew of different stores that are being accused of this but we’ll just take the first one I see here. So, J. Crew, for example, has a list of the employees they have and they set their schedule for the week and maybe I get my shifts and I’m going to definitely work on Tuesday and Thursday but I’m on-call for Monday, Wednesday, Friday. What that means is I have to call the store close to an hour before – I know I saw two hours so we’ll say at least two hours before – to find out if I’m working that day because I’m scheduled to work from 4:00 to 9:00 but I don’t know until I call in at 2:00 pm which, as you can probably think, this causes a lot of problems for the employees because they can’t really schedule anything else during those times which, going back to the doctors and different professions, yeah, those people get compensated higher based on reasons like that. But, for the people in these retails jobs that might be making minimum wage or a little bit more, this is a huge issue because you can’t work another job. Maybe you want to go to school part-time, you can’t do that because you might have to work on a Wednesday night and when you have class. So, I could see how this would become a huge problem if I was in this position. Were you aware this was so rampant in the retail industry? NASIR: I mean, on one hand, I understood that you could be called in last minute, but this whole concept of you have to actually call in. Like, they described one worker who worked at Bath & Body Works, she was a part-time worker but she would call literally an hour before. This is what she says. She calls an hour before, she lives 25 to 30 minutes away, and then they would put her on hold where she would have to wait to call the store several times before someone would pick up and then she says she would be looking at her watch, starting to sweat because she might be late if...

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The FTC Finally Intervenes With a Kickstarter Campaign Gone Awry [e197]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Jun 15, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the FTC's precedent decision to go after a Kickstarter campaign that is alleged to have taken backers' money. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Matthew Staub joining us once again with nice covered facial hair, I would like to add for the record. MATT: Actually, the last time you said that – or I think probably the only other time you said that – we recorded and then I just hated it afterwards and immediately shaved. It’s not going to happen today but I just remembered that happened last time because you made that comment and then I don’t know if the episodes were even uploaded yet. NASIR: Probably not. So, what are we covering today? It seems like, I mean, this is a common issue of ours – crowdfunding – but at least some good news coming from this issue. I mean, usually, we’re pretty critical of what’s going on. So, what happened this week? MATT: Well, it’s good in one sense and it’s not necessarily bad. I guess it’s kind of bad as well so we’ll get to that. But it’s really the first of its kind as far as I’ve seen. The FTC is stepping in over one of these crowdfunding projects and I believe this one was done on Kickstarter. It is a board game that combines Monopoly and the science-fiction of H.P. Lovecraft – which I’m not familiar with that, I don’t know if you are. NASIR: I have no idea what you just said. I just heard Monopoly. MATT: Yeah, I think everyone knows what Monopoly is. NASIR: It just seems like a version of Monopoly which frankly is not that original. It seems you can pretty much buy any kind of Monopoly version and I also noticed that, by the way, it doesn’t look like they got permission to use the Monopoly trademark or anything. I don’t know. I mean, I’m looking at the game now – the board game – it just looks like a Monopoly board game with different names. MATT: Oh, I’ll get to that, but let me finish off the back story here. So, he puts his project up on Kickstarter and it actually was really, really successful. I think it raised 350 percent of its goal – a little under $123,000 for this project which, back in 2012, that’s pretty serious raise for a Kickstarter project. NASIR: Let’s see. 1,246 backers, that’s not too shabby. MATT: So, yeah, very successful. But what happened, of course, was no one got the actual game and you said the thing about Monopoly – the trademark infringement – and that was one of his excuses, saying he ran into legal problems. NASIR: Oh, really? Interesting. MATT: One of which if the company owns the rights to Monopoly and things like that. but what was found out after the fact was he was actually – I say “he,” I think it was all one guy who was doing this even though there might be other people. NASIR: The back story does refer to other people that were helping but they deny any knowledge of what happened so they may have just been kind of on the side of things – maybe some designers here and there. MATT: Yeah. And so, it looks like some things might have been used to develop the game – who knows? But he also was found that he was essentially taking the money from the Kickstarter campaign and using it on personal expenses. I think it talked about paying his rent. NASIR: Did they actually find out that’s the case? Because I’m seeing some comments that people are actually saying that but I don’t know if they approved it yet, did they? But $100,000 is not that much money to create an entire board game. Take away the legal issues for a moment, right? Just $100,000 itself, that can go pretty quick in starting any business, let alone it’s looks like they have pieces that are pretty detailed and so you have to create the moulds and get that done and mass produce and then you have to ship and let’s say you have 1,000 or so backers, they paid about $100 each and so, you know, if someone paid you $100 for a game,

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Why Companies Are Weighting to Hire Obese Workers [e196]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Thu, Jun 11, 2015


The guys close out the week by talking about businesses dealing with hiring and firing obese employees. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name’s Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And one of my favorite songs of Weird Al Yankovic is his parody of “I’m Bad” which is appropriately named “I’m Fat.” Do you agree? Yes or no? MATT: I agree that is a parody. I don’t know. That song is pretty good. Yeah, I do remember it. He has a couple of good lines in there. NASIR: Do you have a more favorite Weird Al Yankovic song? I’m not a big fan of his but, out of the songs that he has, I think that’s one of the best – at least the video is pretty good. MATT: I mean, “Amish Paradise” is pretty good. It’s a classic. NASIR: Ah, that’s true, and that’s a little bit later in our generation too. MATT: “Eat It” – Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” NASIR: Oh, yeah, “Eat It” is good. I’ll go with a classic, “I’m Fat.” MATT: So, why did you bring that up? Is it a disability to be overweight? I guess not even overweight. Obese is the classification we’re really looking at. NASIR: I think everyone’s kind of settled that, okay, your weight, that’s not a disability. You could typically be discriminated against based upon your weight. But, obese, that kind of has a clinical association to it, right? Because that’s like a category of your BMI which we decided last week is worthless. MATT: You said that, like, a second after I thought of it and I was going to bring that up, yeah. I think that is technically a way to calculate if someone is overweight. Like, it’s definitely overweight and I think obese is a category too. But you could be an NFL player and be classified as obese according to BMI. That’s why it’s dumb. NASIR: To be fair, some of those guys are frankly obese. I mean, they are just huge. MATT: The offensive linemen but not, like, J.J. Watt who’s a Houston guy for you. He’s not obese but I bet he probably qualifies as overweight or obese under that. Anyways, why is this an issue? Because let’s say you terminate someone as an employer and they come back and they say, “Oh, I have a disability under the ADA – obesity,” like, “Oh, well…” It’s that or you need to accommodate their disability at work too is another thing that comes. This all kind of falls under the same umbrella. Obesity isn’t a disability under the ABA and I think – let’s see – the EEOC is now saying it is, right? NASIR: Yeah, I personally have always said that obesity can be considered a disability but depending on this or that, and this was maybe I think the last time I really looked into this issue is a couple of years ago but I think, more recently now, it’s trending to go the other way. It’s very hard to prove that obesity is a disability and one of the particular cases that I saw was the employee had a difficult time from a medical expert’s perspective to establish that obesity was somehow caused by some physiological disorder and that it didn’t have to do with any habits. And then, in the particular case that I saw, if you were obese when you came into the workplace and then fired right afterwards, then you can’t really say that you were terminated because of obesity or from some disability because you were already obese in the first place. MATT: Yeah, and I think the difference with this disability or with obesity as a disability versus other items that would fall under disability is you can be born with a disability in terms of… let’s say, you know, you can’t walk. Like, that’s a disability you were born with or if you got into a car accident or something like that. Oftentimes, if you’re overweight or obese, I mean, you can have some sort of genetic issues as well but it kind of just falls on the individual and I think that’s why – this is kind of what you were alluding to – there needs to be some sort of symptom there and I think that’s kind of the key point with all thi...

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Why Price Discrimination Is (Sometimes) Legal [e195]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, Jun 08, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the topic of price discrimination and how businesses are able to legally charge more to different customers. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to those business news articles that we cover on this podcast. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: Terrible, and my name is Matt Staub. NASIR: I’m trying to be descriptive to the thing that we’ve been doing for the past year and a half now. MATT: That was straight up typical attorney talk right there – just way too many words to a conclusion. NASIR: I fall into that trap too in my contract drafting, depending upon my mood. Sometimes, I want to try to impress with my writing skills. MATT: Yeah, I always remember, if anyone’s seen your art of contracts presentation, how you take a huge paragraph and boil it down to like a couple of words, more or less. NASIR: That’s classic. MATT: Yeah, I enjoyed that. You know what I don’t enjoy is price discrimination though. NASIR: I hate price discrimination! MATT: Yeah. NASIR: We should talk about that. MATT: Yeah. Well, I guess we can talk about it. People might be surprised that, in some cases, what they would label price discrimination might be acceptable. I guess it just depends on what their definition of price discrimination is but there is a way it can be seen, I guess, as legal. Really, this is getting back to my economics courses that I took many years ago. We’re looking at perfect versus imperfect price discrimination. NASIR: What does that mean? MATT: It’s basically, if you’re a business and someone comes to you, whatever price they’re willing to pay is what you should feasibly charge I guess is how I look at it. NASIR: Oh, I got you, yeah. MATT: Yeah, and imperfect is going to be what’s seen as acceptable that, for different locations for example or different ages, you can charge different prices. In an ideal world, as a business owner, you would like to see perfect price discrimination or pure price discrimination because you’re just getting the maximum amount of money someone’s willing to pay but that’s not seen as acceptable. It’s the imperfect price discrimination meaning charging different prices based on some sort of differentiation is going to be seen as acceptable. NASIR: Basically it’s somewhat similar to – what’s it called – supply and demand, right? MATT: Yeah, that’s what I was getting at. NASIR: Why didn’t you just say that? I’ve been waiting here for so… MATT: I mean, it is somewhat supply and demand but I think one way to look at it is charging different prices based on, you know, San Diego, for example, they’re going to charge higher prices than somewhere in rural Utah and different ages. If you go to the movies, you and I might be charged the highest price. There might be children or seniors that get charged a lower price. NASIR: That’s messed up. That’s discrimination. MATT: That’s messed up? NASIR: An example of this price discrimination so-called is that Staples, what they do with their online prices, if you, as a consumer, are shopping from a location that has a lot of competitors – you know, Office Depot, et cetera – then your prices may be lower. You know, if you’re in a location, maybe a rural area that doesn’t have as many competitors. And so, that’s the kind of price discrimination we’re talking about. You know, in general, I think it’s been accepted that price discrimination is legal. Whether it’s ethical or not, I mean, to me, it’s the aspect of charging as high of a price you can for those that can afford it. You know, I think everyone’s in that kind of boat – you charge as much as you can – but it just depends upon what you’re selling. If you’re selling bottled water to people that are trying to leave a disaster area, that’s one thing. Or gas prices. Or if you’re just providing some service where you want to charge as much as you can because you’re really good at what you’re doing,

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Why Office Wellness Programs May Not Always Be Positive [e194]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, Jun 03, 2015


Nasir and Matt are back and discussing the popularity of office wellness programs and the problems they have caused for employers. Transcript: NASIR: Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name’s Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Right on cue. Yeah, so we’re finally back after a week-long – well, two-week vacation for you, a week-long for me. That’s why we were absent and I’m sure you guys missed us this last week and a half, I guess. MATT: Yeah. You can always go back and listen to previous episodes as well but I think it’s actually a pretty common thing because a lot of the podcasts – or not a lot but some of the podcasts that I listen to, I notice there is also some gaps or they were doing rebroadcasts of previous episodes so it just must be I guess the time of the year that people go on vacation. NASIR: Yeah, it was right after Memorial Day and people did mention they thought that the reason we didn’t have episodes is because Houston was under water which was not the case. There was definitely a lot of flooding here but we had planned already that there was going to be no episodes last week. MATT: Yeah. I’m glad to hear that you’re all right. NASIR: Yeah, so long as I’m okay, that’s all that matters. Actually, you know, Houston was bad but, obviously, the rest of Texas got hit pretty hard. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: But that Tuesday after we came back from Memorial Day holiday, I mean, offices were just kind of half-filled because people couldn’t get out of their homes and the water was still draining into the bayous and so forth. MATT: Crazy. NASIR: It was definitely off week last week. MATT: Well, that happens. Hopefully that clears up and everything’s all right. But we’re getting into our topic for today. We’re talking about wellness programs. This isn’t the same thing necessarily as, you know, there’s way more talk about health care and that’s obviously been a big focus last year, the last two years, the last three years. Wellness programs are a little bit different because it’s not something that’s necessarily going to be a mandatory part of anything as an employee working for someone but it’s something that many companies are implementing. I think I saw something… roughly over 90 percent of big companies in the US have some sort of wellness program in place and a good chunk of those are trying to stick to those programs so it’s definitely something that’s happening or that’s at least an option for a lot of the major companies in the US but one of the things that’s really coming to the forefront here is, you know, is there questions of discrimination with these wellness programs? You know, there’s all these different laws in place, the ADA being obviously a big one and, you know, you can’t discriminate someone on the basis of a disability and these wellness programs are just kind of infringing upon that. It’s one of the questions that’s being asked right now. NASIR: Yeah. And so, it’s an interesting world we’re living in now because the Affordable Care Act having a requirement of employers of 50 and more to have health insurance – which most do already – then a lot of these companies are actually self-insured where they’re actually taking on risk. Even smaller employers or relatively smaller employers that wouldn’t usually be self-insured are starting to do this as well. When you’re doing that, even if you’re fully insured – meaning you’re actually buying a policy from a regular health insurance company as opposed to funding it yourself – even if that’s the case, your incentive is still to have a healthy employee population. And so, in theory, if you have this wellness program, then you’re able to keep your health care cost low and, if you’re fully insured, then your premium is low and even 73 percent I read that of smaller employers offer at least one wellness program. Even larger employers, of course, 90 percent or more, that makes sense.

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Why Companies Are Implementing Their Own Minimum Wage [e193]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Sat, May 23, 2015


The guys close out the week by discussing why companies like Google and Facebook are raising their own minimum wage pay and how one company in Seattle is blowing up the minimum wage model. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that news. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: I feel like I don’t have to introduce myself anymore – like, ever – not even on the podcast. I’m just talking about in general anywhere. MATT: Just go right into it. NASIR: People should know who I am. MATT: You’re the new… I don’t know. Who’s the most recognizable person? NASIR: Abraham Lincoln. MATT: Most recognizable living person. NASIR: Oh, Abraham Lincoln. MATT: I was going to say Obama but I think it’s an athlete – like, Michael Jordan, I think used to be the most well-known person, most recognizable person in the world. NASIR: But maybe not now. If you think about it, there’s a whole generation of kids that haven’t even seen Michael Jordan play. MATT: What was it? Like, Jordan and then Tiger Woods was really popular. I don’t know. Maybe Lebron James now. NASIR: No, it has to be a movie star or celebrity, not an athlete. It’s more universal. MATT: There’s not even any big movie stars or musicians. NASIR: Actually, it depends – like what you referenced last week – their Q score. My Q score has gotten up there enough that I should just not have to introduce myself anymore. MATT: Yeah, you should wear a shirt that has your score on it. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Very good. Well, good work. NASIR: Thank you. MATT: Next time you and I are in the same spot and we’re meeting someone for the first time, I’ll just introduce myself and you won’t say anything. NASIR: Exactly. And, if they don’t know me, I’ll get upset too. MATT: Just leave? NASIR: I’ll act offended, yeah. MATT: Well, I can’t make a connection from that to this so I’m just going to go into this but there’s a couple of things that have popped up, one of which is a little bit older but just increases in pay in general. And so, the reason we’re talking about this – for those of you who haven’t heard – Facebook just announced or recently announced that they’re going to pay a minimum $15.00 per hour to contract workers, right? Yeah, to contract workers such as cafeteria staff and janitors just to deal with this minimum wage thing that’s going on. I mean, $15.00 is higher than pretty much everywhere else other than the one spot in Washington State. NASIR: I don’t know if they’re at $15.00 yet. I think they will be or something but, yeah, you’re right. MATT: What’s interesting about this is it’s raising the minimum hourly rate of contractors, contract workers, so not employees. NASIR: Yeah, I thought that was strange too. MATT: Contractors will receive a minimum of 15 days of paid vacation, $4,000 new child benefit for parents who don’t receive parental leave. Isn’t that, like…? NASIR: Exactly. That’s why I think, when they say “contractors,” I think this article’s incorrect somehow. MATT: It has to be – inc.com? NASIR: No, I’m serious, because also they’re talking about lower paid workers regarding their janitorial staff and cafeteria. Like, okay, you could have a janitor or cafeteria workers in contractor status but, with Facebook having a campus and a building and they probably need something there on the full day, I don’t think that’s the case in this case so I still think they’re still employees. MATT: Yeah, that was the first thing I noticed, too. Just the job they were performing, it seemed like it was an issue. This has to be employees, I guess. NASIR: First of all, no contractor gets paid vacation or new child benefits, you know? MATT: Well, we won’t dig too deep into that. If it’s the case that they are independent contractors, we’ll maybe talk about it. But this kind of connects to this company in Seattle. I guess Washington State really loves to treat people well.

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Does Hiring Millennials Give Rise to Age Discrimination Claims? [e192]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, May 20, 2015


Nasir and Matt talk about an age discrimination lawsuit filed by a 64 year old software engineer against Google and whether H&M will be subject to age discrimination claims for targeting millennials as new hires. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business. My name’s Nasir Pasha. This is the podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. I’m also joined with a special co-host for today… MATT: Special, Matt Staub, I’m here. NASIR: Matthew Staub, special co-host. MATT: Lots of energy from you to bring in this Wednesday episode. NASIR: Yeah. Well, that’s what I do. MATT: You know who else has a lot of energy? Millennials. NASIR: That’s right. MATT: That’s part of the focus for today but we’re also going to talk about the flipside of that which is age discrimination against non-millennials – people that are much older than millennials. The story is a few weeks old and we were kind of waiting for some more developments when we first heard about it and there just hasn’t been anything yet. The 64-year-old engineer who applied for a job at Google and essentially he felt that he was discriminated against based on his age. I think the average age at Google is 29. But there were some certain things that happened in the interview that made him think that he was being discriminated against, et cetera. But the thing that, I mean, this is essentially the plot from that movie that Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn was in, right? It was two older guys. NASIR: Oh, yeah, Internship or something, right? MATT: Basically, just ripped off that movie and now he’s suing for age discrimination. NASIR: Yeah, exactly. This is just a big copyright infringement actually case. MATT: But, yeah, I guess there were certain things that went on in the interview. The interviewer used a speakerphone that did not function well. NASIR: If you actually read what the allegations are, it’s very confusing because they lay out this aspect where there’s some interviewer that has a bad accent and no one understands what’s going on and it just sounds like a bad interview with poor communication, and somehow that’s been translated to age discrimination. It seems like a little bit of a leap to me. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Especially when age discrimination is not an easy thing to prove – at least in more recent years – because it’s a little bit different when it comes to racial discrimination and things like that because, if you have a motivating factor other than age discrimination but then it ends up having age discrimination, it’s not necessarily illegal which is kind of funny to say. Even though age discrimination may be a factor, it still may be okay if motivational factor is a legal reason. It’s a very subtle distinction and I wouldn’t go too far into that if you’re an employer and are making decisions because it’s a little more complicated than that. but the point being is that age discrimination is not a very easy thing to prove, especially in a hiring phase, because even if you’re able to show that most of the work force is below the age of 40, that doesn’t mean that there’s age discrimination. There has to be a little bit more than that. MATT: Yeah. I mean, especially in a situation where it’s Google and – I assume – they’re looking to hire an engineer position – yeah, software engineering job. You know, it’s very plausible that a 64-year-old person doesn’t have the same sort of background that someone who’s under the average age of 29 might have because they’re fresh out of school where they learn this stuff. I’m not saying that was the case here but it’s definitely, in terms of the hiring phase, it’s definitely a possibility and I’m sure that happens all the time. When this guy was first trying to get software engineering jobs, it was a completely different landscape than it is now. Maybe he’s kept up with it and that’s not the case, but it’s definitely a possibility. NASIR: Yeah, absolutely. You know,

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Expectations of Privacy and the Limits of Employee Monitoring [e191]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, May 18, 2015


Nasir and Matt get into the story about a California woman who was fired for deleting an app on her phone that allowed her employer to track where she was at all times. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: That’s Matt Staub. Episode 191 about to be put into the books of records. Probably I suspect that this episode in particular will probably end up in the Library of Congress – maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. MATT: Yeah, probably not but… NASIR: Well, what I mean by that is I’m going to take the episode and then walk into the Library of Congress. MATT: Okay. Then, it will happen, I agree with you. NASIR: Next time I’m in DC. MATT: So, you know, the more I think about the story we’re talking about today, I think I might have actually gotten an invite for this app in the past. If it wasn’t this one, it was a similar one. My mother-in-law sent me this request for an app and I don’t know if it was… is it Xora, I’m assuming? NASIR: Yeah, Xora – except now it says Xora is now a click software solution. I don’t know what that meas. MATT: So, it was something where it would basically just track wherever you were 24/7/365 because I had got the request. I was like, “I am definitely not doing this.” She sent it to a bunch of people in the family so it was like, yeah. NASIR: Oh, okay. There’s other apps like that and I think my family used Life360 which you can see where your family is at all times. MATT: That was it. That was it. NASIR: Oh, that? MATT: Yeah. NASIR: That’s completely different than what I think this is but anyway... MATT: Similar idea – it’s tracking. It would have been more appropriate I guess than what happened here. This was a woman in California who worked for this company and I guess part of the requirement for her job was to have this Xora app on her smartphone. It’s a job management app. I guess that’s the big difference – it’s a job management app with a capability of monitoring as a GPS where people go. That is the difference. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: Okay. But still… the idea’s still there. So, she had that on her phone and I think she said she was okay, she was fine with it. Her employees were fine with it when they’re working but the problem is, when they leave the office, it’s on the employee’s phones and so it’ll just track wherever they go so it’s essentially a GPS for that. That’s my Life360 whatever aspect to it. And so, she didn’t like this aspect of it – and I think most people wouldn’t as an employee – and so she deleted it from her phone and the employer responded by firing her because he said that she needed to have it on her phone. I guess I haven’t looked at the actual or haven’t used the actual app itself so I don’t know how crucial, if there’s an easier alternative that this employer could have used to achieve a similar thing that didn’t track where she was at 24/7 but, yeah, I mean, there’s obviously some clear privacy issues with this story, especially when they leave the office. NASIR: Employers are funny sometimes. I mean, they want to have so much control over their employees. My first question is, “Why?” This person is a sales executive. Why do you need to know where they’re at 24/7 or frankly even during the job? Like, do you have such mistrust of your employees that you want to micromanage them that way? It seems strange to me, no? MATT: With certain exceptions. You shouldn’t really care what your employees do when they leave the office. I mean, they’re in there for the time they’re paid to work and the other time it’s their time. They take the money they’ve used by working for you and do things that they like to do. I mean, I don’t have employees myself but I don’t think I would really care to keep tabs on them outside of the office, like I said, so long as they’re not doing anything illegal or being on the news for some...

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Why Comcast is Asking Customers to Sign an NDA to Receive a Refund [e190]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Fri, May 15, 2015


The guys close out the week by discussing Comcast's decision to require customers to sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to receive a refund for overcharges. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: Comcast. MATT: Comcast. NASIR: That’s what we’re covering today. MATT: I think I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before but this isn’t exactly what Comcast did but I told you my theory on how our phone provider, how I think they just overcharge us some data, like, once or twice a year and they do that to everyone. NASIR: Yeah, you mention that probably every few episodes but, yeah, go ahead. MATT: Yeah. I mean, I use the same amount of data every single month and, magically, some months I’m well under the limit and, other months, I’m just over it and have to pay an extra $10.00 or $15.00 a month. So, I feel like this is getting us closer to my ultimate goal of trying to get money back out of that. Comcast, and I think this all kind of started from a person that realized that they were overcharged, I think it was only $600 over a few years here but – oh, no – charged hundreds of dollars for a cable box they returned five years ago. Customer reached out to Comcast and they’re like, “Oh, sorry about that. You know, we’ll credit you the money. While we credit you the money, you have to sign this non-disclosure agreement.” Have you heard this before for this sort of credit back? I have never had to sign an NDA for this. NASIR: No, and the thing is, like, in our industry – when I say “our industry” as in legal industry – putting in a confidentiality clause within a settlement agreement is very common. It’s still a negotiated point but it’s very, very common. But, when you’re dealing with consumers and this kind of thing, it’s like a return or what-have-you, it’s strange to me. But, at the same time, let’s put this in context, like, Comcast, I don’t know if you follow this but, on the internet, it is like the butt of every joke of how bad customer service is for Comcast. I mean, they are rated on the worst companies in customer service almost every year and I think they’re trying to make an effort – at least from a PR perspective in their public media – to reach out to customers and so forth. But, if their way of going about it is just to shut everyone up, that’s probably not the best idea. MATT: We’re asking the obvious question here, “Why do we even know about this?” I guess the person didn’t sign the non-disclosure agreement or else we wouldn’t know about it. But I would like to see this NDA, just see what was in there. I’m just curious on what they’re not wanting to have people disclose. NASIR: Yeah, and it looks like this Philadelphia Comcast customer after the local news have covered this story, right? Then, they were offered the return with no strings attached. But, you know, going back to your theory about what Verizon does, I know this happened to me personally. I was moving and I think this was AT&T if I recall and I needed to give them the box. Sometimes, you can mail it there but you can just drop it off and I think I went to… I’m trying to think of the location that I went to to drop it off. Actually, it wasn’t AT&T. I can’t remember which one it was. It might have been Cox Communications. I can’t remember. Anyway, I remember dropping it off and then, like, a month later saying that I didn’t return it. How am I supposed to prove that I returned it? You know, they were asking for a reference number and I didn’t write that down or whatever and it’s like, I just said I’m not paying for it or whatever. Luckily, they didn’t have a credit card or something on file that they could take the money because I think they would have otherwise. And then, they just said, “Okay. Fine, we’re going to remove the charge.” MATT: Especially in a situation where you’re moving,

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How Pacquiao May Have Lost the Fight but Could Win the (Legal) War [e189]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, May 13, 2015


Nasir and Matt put on their gloves to spar over the class action filed over Manny Pacquiao's shoulder and the defamation claim filed against Floyd Mayweather. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist to that business news. My name’s Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub, and I was hoping to find, you already started talking when I thought of it, I was hoping to find the classic bell sound that you hear when a boxing… NASIR: I was thinking the same thing, ding-ding-ding-ding! Yeah, yeah, yeah, we can just have Matthew add that. MATT: Yeah, that’s true. NASIR: Our sound producer. MATT: At the beginning. NASIR: At the very beginning. But then, if we’re talking about it now, how about we just do it now? Like, right now. Let’s start. MATT: Well, I think we’re going to talk about a story that I haven’t seen anything in the media about and there was this boxing match between some guy, Floyd Mayweather. NASIR: Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier? MATT: Yeah, and Manny Pacquiao. No, I’m just kidding. Obviously, this was just blown up. I mean, I don’t even know when they even announced this but it seems like it was years ago. There’s been so much story on it but we’re going to talk about the legal side because these lawsuits that are popping up are more recent. We’re recording this – when is this? – five days before it’s actually going to be released so there could be many more lawsuits that are filed in-between now, right now and when this gets released. So, update yourselves appropriately, and the reason I’m saying that, there’s a couple of lawsuits that are involved but one of which is this crazy trend that these class action lawsuits are being filed against mostly Pacquiao but some of them include him, Mayweather, HBO, the broadcasters, everyone involved. NASIR: I think I got sued a couple of times, too. MATT: A lot of named defendants. So, this lawsuit, the class action lawsuits are in relation to I guess, after the fight, Pacquiao said that he has had a shoulder injury that happened in April. He was fighting injured and they wouldn’t allow him a shot before the match to whatever. But this class action suit is saying, “Oh, well, you know, if you were injured, we wouldn’t have paid the $100 or whatever it was for the fight. We wouldn’t have paid for this.” The people I guess that went to the boxing match is even worse because those were some expensive tickets. But I haven’t looked too much into these actual complaints and I think I saw up to seven class action lawsuits that have already been filed kind of with this same sort of idea. But this is just so crazy to me. It’s obviously people that are upset. From what I heard – I didn’t see the fight but from what I heard – it just wasn’t very good. NASIR: I saw parts of it. I think it was pretty much what I expected it to be. I’m surprised everyone was surprised. I think we even talked about this. In fact, I remember listening to our podcast that these over-hyped fights tend to be a non-event in the sense that it’s just kind of, you know, whatever. What I think a lot of people are accentuating is this May 1st form that Pacquiao signed – which was May 1st would have been I think it was the Friday before, the day before the fight – and him checking “no” on pretty much everything except the meds that he took beforehand describing if he has any injuries or things like that. You know, like, hey, this is the proof that he misrepresented, almost as if, like, everyone was relying on this form and, on May 1st, before they ordered, they’re like, “Okay. Let me take a look at the pre-fight medical questionnaire before I order this fight.” But, I mean, there’s some truth to that, right? I mean, if he would have disclosed it, HBO and all the other news articles that were abuzz about this fight would have said, “Oh, he is injured,” and Mayweather was already a little favored so maybe people thought, “Well,

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Do Nail Salons Have the Worst Working Conditions? [e188]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Mon, May 11, 2015


Nasir and Matt discuss the investigative report concerning nail salons and the abusive treatment that many workers are experiencing. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and we also add our legal twist to that business news. My name’s Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: And we are two lawyers that have nothing better to do than talk about business and the law. I love it. MATT: You don’t see many lawyers with podcasts, I’ll say that. NASIR: You know, I was thinking, we’ve been doing this for a year – like, more than a year now, I think, right? We missed our anniversary. MATT: We’re closer to two years than one. NASIR: Oh, that’s true because we started in December 2013? MATT: I think it was at least October. NASIR: Oh, really? Okay. Then you’re right. You’re right. But, I don’t know, it’s fun. MATT: Possibly even before that. NASIR: Our listenership is much more than it used to be. I mean, it took a while to get where we are but that’s fun – fun stuff. MATT: Neither one of us is a celebrity so putting something out there is not going to… NASIR: Neither one of us is a celebrity but, collectively, if you add our celebrity status, you know, collectively, I think collectively we’re a celebrity. MATT: There’s a score for that. Everyone’s assigned a score based on your notoriety or presence as a celebrity and it has to do with online. It starts with a “K” I think. NASIR: Is it Q score? MATT: Yes. NASIR: The recognized industry standard for measuring consumer appeal of personalities, characters, licensed properties, programs and brands. Man, I need a Q score. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: Let’s figure out how we can do it. Nasir Pasha… MATT: This is our whole episode of you trying to come into the ultimate conclusion we have low Q scores. NASIR: It says we don’t have any data for me. They just need to update it. Obviously, this is way behind. MATT: All right. Well, we’re going to talk about a few things, one of which really is I say it comes as no surprise but maybe that’s just because we’re more familiar with it than other people but there was a recent piece that came out in the New York Times that did – I don’t know if it was an investigative search but – a detailed story on nail salons and just the abuse that these workers are getting and their treatment at these nail salons. It kind of details all the things that have gone on or that are going on in New York and it’s kind of crazy. Like I said, I mean, you and I were familiar with these things, but even reading through some of these findings, it’s still pretty insane. NASIR: Wait. Wait. How was I familiar with nail salons again? I know you were but… MATT: I thought, well, I don’t know. I guess maybe it was just me. NASIR: I just know everything because of what you tell me in your experiences. MATT: I don’t think I’ve actually ever been to one. NASIR: You just have them come to your house or something? MATT: Not quite but never had any work done on the nails. NASIR: Well, the bottom line in very New York Times-like fashion, they do go into pretty good detail. They talk about even just how many manicure places there are, particularly in New York City. If you compare it to cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston, of the maps that I’m looking at, and just the concentration in New York City is just a little bit different and it’s because of the cultural association with the Vietnamese nail salons and I think that has a lot to do with it. MATT: Well, yeah, I mean, in this story here, they even talk about a cultural hierarchy or a racial hierarchy. A lot of these shops are owned by Koreans. NASIR: Okay. MATT: This is the racial hierarchy as is described – Korean, China, and then non-Asian. That’s kind of the hierarchy of these places and I guess that it is what it is and I’m not surprised there’s any sort of racial discrimination going on just based on the other things that have happened. But,

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Why New Companies Should Always Do An Extensive Name Search [e187]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Fri, May 08, 2015


Nasir and Matt talk about how one company rebranded in New York but failed to do a name search nationwide. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast, Legally Sound Smart Business, where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist – just like a little lemon, as I like to say – to those business news stories. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. I don’t know if you like to say that but you’ve said it, like, a couple of times. NASIR: That’s all I say. I love to say that. MATT: Yeah, this podcast is like a lemon – sour. NASIR: And yellow. MATT: Used for lemonade. NASIR: And it’s a fruit. You listen to it when you’re thirsty. MATT: Exclusively during the summer. Getting off-track here, we’ve got to talk about this – where is this is? Well, Texas and then New York, I guess. NASIR: Nice. MATT: Two of your favorite states. NASIR: Yup. MATT: This has been a very Texas and New York themed week it seems like. NASIR: We covered California too, a little bit. MATT: Yeah, it’s the spread of our firm, I suppose. NASIR: Yeah. We’ll need to get Illinois soon too, once we start practicing there. MATT: What we have is a company who came up with a new name for their startup called TripleMint. NASIR: That’s original. MATT: I didn’t realize it actually means something in the real estate industry. Triplemint means you have a pristine – sorry – immaculate condition of an apartment with an immaculate living space kitchen and bathroom. NASIR: Oh, okay. MATT: Yeah, triplemint, I get that. They have this startup which actually has already raised some funds - $1.65 million – from some people. NASIR: Wait, this is pertinent because some of the investors are Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, those two twins. MATT: Winklevoss. NASIR: Yeah, those are the twins that are famous for accusing Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their idea for Facebook. Go ahead. I think it comes into play. MATT: So, they’re just a real estate brokerage in New York. That’s it? NASIR: Yeah, but they’re a little bit different – funny enough, I’m looking at a screenshot of their site and it says, “Why we are different.” MATT: That’ll answer our questions. NASIR: There’s pictures of the city and some pictures. So, you see what we see. No sales pressure. Technology rules. I have no idea what that means but what I do know is that they kind of have a startup mentality. I think their capital and their assets are in their technology. They allow a lot of innovative searching and those kinds of things. I’m trying to figure out exactly what makes them original but I’m sure some of our listeners are familiar with them already. MATT: Yeah. NASIR: They have kind of like a Zillow interface to be able to see listings and things like that which I guess is cool. MATT: Yeah, there’s another business in Texas – Austin, specifically – called Triple Mint Real Estate, also a brokerage, smaller brokerage, less people. But, you know, it’s going to be doing the same thing as TripleMint – one word, lowercase – in New York. The Texas one started in 2006, well before this New York one started up, and I guess that’s where – well, we’re not really at a dispute right now, but just an interesting point because the New York one wants to be nationwide. Well, as you alluded to at the beginning of the episode, Texas seems to be a pretty big state in where some of the action is at so I think, if you want to be nationwide, Texas is probably going to be a spot you would want to be. Maybe New York, California, Texas would probably be my go-to three, at least initially. NASIR: Yeah. MATT: What’s going to happen when TripleMint 2 expands out of Texas where Triple Mint Real Estate already exists? I guess that’s where the potential problem lies. NASIR: We can dig deep in the law here. Let’s just do that now and then we can talk about kind of conceptually about naming yourself and so forth. Here we have Triple Mint Real Estate based out of Austin.

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Are Employers Permitted to Search Job Candidates on LinkedIn? [e186]

Author: Pasha and Matt from Pasha Law PC
Wed, May 06, 2015


Nasir and Matt talk about a recent decision that ruled on whether employers could run a reference check on LinkedIn for job candidates. Transcript: NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and add our legal twist. My name is Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. NASIR: I’m sorry, who? MATT: Matt Staub. NASIR: Oh, Matt! Oh, great. MATT: Didn’t have your headphones in. Are those the new cordless Beats headphones or whatever the thing they got unveiled at the draft yesterday? NASIR: I thought those were out for a while, no? MATT: There’s these new cordless, they might be intended for athletes, but they’re not even cordless because there’s still a cord that goes behind the head connecting the two headphones. NASIR: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I actually have one of those for running. I didn’t like them. They didn’t stick in my ear because it has Bluetooth in it so it has some weight to it. I’d just rather have something light to plug in and that’s my story on that. Let’s talk about the law and business. MATT: And LinkedIn which I don’t know if we’ve even talked about LinkedIn ever. In California, there was a decision – actually, in Federal court – that a reference search on LinkedIn is not a consumer report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. What people are saying or what people were complaining about was a prospective recruit applies for a job and the employer could do a reference search via LinkedIn and kind of see the backstory, the history of these potential prospects. NASIR: Well, when we say “people,” keep in mind that it’s not like some LinkedIn user decided to file this lawsuit. I mean, this has definitely been perpetuated from an attorney and they see LinkedIn as a target. I mean, that’s how I see it because I can’t really see any wrong here, what prompted someone to complain that LinkedIn is not presenting information correctly that all the requirements that are required with this Fair Credit Reporting Act, how is this consumer or this LinkedIn user hurt in some way with the information that was provided since especially they are the ones that actually provided the information. MATT: I didn’t really understand that at all because it’s people complaining about potential employers can see their past work history, references, anything like that. But, if you don’t want that on there – you voluntarily posted that on LinkedIn – if you’re that concerned about that, just don’t post it in the first place would make the most sense, right? NASIR: Yeah, and that’s pretty much what the court decided as one of the factors. But they actually broke it down in step-by-step, you know, whether LinkedIn’s profiles are considered or it’s information that’s been provided are “consumer reports” or reports that contain information solely as for transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person making the report. And so, not only did it not fit in that definition but also they went on to explain how it’s not a consumer reporting agency, these plaintiffs actually provided this information. You know, when we go on LinkedIn, it’s not like our employers are putting our past history on their work; we’re putting it on there. In fact, we could put whatever we want in there. It could be true or false. MATT: I still just don’t understand the idea behind bringing this lawsuit in the first place. Like, the employers are discriminating against them before they can even do an interview? Or I guess discriminating against them in the employment search process? NASIR: I think what it is is that, if they’re able to say that LinkedIn is a consumer reporting agency and that they have to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, then they can say that, in the past X number of years, they haven’t complied with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and they’ve made all these violations and, therefore, this class of LinkedIn users is entitled to all these money damages.

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