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Mike Coyne

Michael P. Coyne is a founding partner of the law firm Waldheger Coyne, located in Cleveland, OH. For more information of the firm, visit: www.healthlaw.com or call 440.835.0600.


Articles by Mike Coyne

Spotting Legal Land Mines in Your Social Media Campaign

Your responsibility extends to third-party contributors such as customers and friends.
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4 Ways To Avoid Discrimination Claims Related to Hiring

Be aware that a person can sue you even before they become an employee.
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Hiring a Veteran Has Benefits

A number of government programs have been implemented to provide incentives for employers to hire veterans, and special incentives are available for employers who hire disabled veterans. Is this something you should consider?
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Address Texting-While-Driving Head On

This theory of liability applies when employees are acting within the scope of employment or for the benefit of employer.
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Keep Corporate Debt Separate from Personal Debt

If you are operating your business in corporate form, it is important to follow formalities. You should sign contracts in your capacity as an officer, and contracts should always be between your corporation and the other party. You should never be named as a party to the contract.
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Immigration-Law Changes Add To Employer Responsibility

Two developments in the immigration law area are causing employers a great deal of concern: the increase in so-called "I-9 Audits” and the Social Security Administration's resumption of the "No-Match" Letter Program.
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Give Your Section 401(k) Plan a Compliance Check

10 point checklist will tell you if your plan needs an adjustment according to the IRS's latest 401(k) Fix-It Guide
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IRS Targets Independent Contractors

IRS reclassification of workers as employees can be an expensive proposition, as the employer can be held liable for back payroll taxes, penalties, and interest.
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Partners Should Plan Ahead For Disability

Dealing with a disabled partner is never an easy matter. Human nature is such that many of us would find it difficult to ask a disabled partner to step aside due to his or her disability. Yet, this is often the only solution.
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Medical Marijuana Clouds Employer Drug-Use Policies For Employees

Until recently, it has been fairly well understood that an employer can require pre-employment drug testing and refuse to hire someone who tests positively for illegal drugs. However, changes in the law with respect to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes have made it difficult for employers to know how far they can go to maintain a drug-free workplace.
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How To Fire Employees

In making termination decisions, the owner is not acting on his own behalf but rather on behalf of the business and all who depend upon it.
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The Right Way To Fire An Underperforming Employee

A termination decision should be communicated quickly, calmly, and concisely to the employee. Rapoport notes that it is a time for action not talk.
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How To Resolve Disputes In Family-Owned Businesses

Family-owned businesses present unique and difficult problems that are generally not found in other closely-held businesses.
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Changes Coming To Retirement Plans

If you currently have a retirement plan that allows you to make large contributions, you may want to think about maximizing your contributions this year, as the opportunity may not be available in the future. It's also a good time to discuss personal contributions and 401(k) fee-disclosure rules with your plan investment adviser or broker.
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Does Your Business Need an Outside Board of Directors?

An advisory board might be a better option for business owners.
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Be Weary of Retirement-Plan Checks That Show Up Unexpectedly

If you get a check and do not know why he received it, check with your retirement plan advisers first. Chances are the check belongs to your retirement plan.
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Employee Handbooks Can Provide Important Legal Protection

Regardless of the number of employees you have, you have to inform them of you policies. The best way to communicate these is through an employee manual. It will also provide your business important protection.
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Copyright Vs. Trademark

How to navigate the murky waters of intellectual property rights. In this article, legal expert Mike Coyne differentiates between copyright and trademark and how they apply to your business name, slogan, fleet design and marketing materials.
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Simple Cafeteria Plan Could Address Health Insurance Fears

A new type of benefit plan created by President Obama’s healthcare reform that was passed in 2010 may help smaller businesses satisfy potentially costly nondiscrimination requirements
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Health Insurance: Be Aggressive About Redesigning Plans

Get answers to questions about the new healthcare law.
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Take Advantage of Estate Tax Benefits

Improvements to the estate tax law in 2011 offer business owners and familyowned businesses some interesting planning opportunities during the next two years.
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Social Media Poses Legal Risks for Businesses

Although social media has many benefits, be aware of the employer liability regarding employee’s participation on a social media sites.
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Use Trusts For Continuity Planning and Avoiding Probate

Trusts can provide benefits even for incorporated businesses.
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How to Plan For Your Extended Absence

Find the best way to plan for your business to succeed whether or not you are present for the daily operations.
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Are You Using Contract Labor?

Congress considering changes to address 'worker misclassification' regarding independent contractors.
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Healthcare Reform: Readers’ Questions Answered

Changes coming this fall but recipients won't be taxes on benefits. Readers raise questions about the healthcare reform and we answer.
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How Health Reform Threatens Small Business Health Plans

The problems facing small businesses due to healthcare reform are two-fold.
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Managing Fleet Liability Risk

Your fleet is an indispensable part of your business. Literally, it is your means to reach customers. It also represents a significant liability risk. These are ways to manage the risk.
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Estate-Tax Repeal Leaves Many Unknowns

Business owners should consider pitfalls and special circumstances before reviewing estate plans.
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How to Be a Savvy Negotiator for Commercial Leases

Consider more than just the rental rate when evaluating commercial property and negotiating leases.
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Tactics for Avoiding Lawsuits

Litigation is always the result of a failure of people to deal with each other reasonably.
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Carefully Consider Coverage for Liability

Too often, customers do not appreciate that such demands for protection against damages cannot be accommodated without exceptional costs that translate into significantly higher prices for services.
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Is Identity Theft a Looming Risk For Your Business?

Companies that accept and extend credit need to comply with the new "red flag" rules.
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How to Take Control From Minority Shareholders

Several options focus on shares and voting. Also, consider alternatives before rewarding key employees with ownership shares.
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Corporate Control Can Be Complicated

Agreements among shareholders concerning corporate control must be carefully drafted and usually must comply with very specific state laws. This is one time when a competent lawyer's help is absolutely necessary.
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Consider Taxes and Other Factors When Acquiring New Equipment

This article will summarize the business, tax, and other financial considerations associated with the lease-versus-purchase decision. Ultimately, only you can decide which approach is best for your business.
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Controlling Healthcare Insurance Costs

Every contractor should be watching what is happening with healthcare costs. If you already provide employee health insurance, you are well aware of how rising insurance premiums affect your business.
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Who Can See Personnel Files?

Who in your company do you permit to see personnel files? The second question is a legal one: Who is permitted to see personnel files as a matter of law?
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Homeowners Have Limited Liability for Worker Injury

Is an hvacr contractor responsible for injuries to an employee by hazards in a customer's home?
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Rules for Retaining Tax Records

An explanation and some clarity on the IRS guidelines
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Tax Planning

Forecasting your annual tax benefits for 2009 may help you increase your business.
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Protecting Your Right to Get Paid

Mechanic’s liens can assist you in collecting from a non-paying customer; however, statutes exist in all 50 states, and the rules vary dramatically. If you’re going to use this statute, first know the law as it exists in your state.
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Addressing Business Disputes

Incorporate the option for alternative dispute resolution in your service agreements as an inexpensive and less detrimental way of resolving would-be problems.
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Overtime Pay?

Whether an employee is labeled "salaried" or "hourly" does not answer whether the employee is entitled to overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act has very specific rules regarding overtime pay, and every employer needs to be familiar with these rules.
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Exercise Caution With Government Contracts

Detailed records are the best defense against potential false-claims allegations.
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Workplace Violence - Are You Liable?

Your employees could land you in trouble.
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Retirement: What Plan Is Best?

Indeed, properly planning for retirement will ensure you retire with the income you desire. But for many hvacr contractors, retirement is a foreign concept and providing retirement benefits to employees is a challenge.
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The Impact of Consumer Protection Laws

Being a good contractor means being truthful and fair. Know what is expected of you.
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Disability Insurance Basics

Helping companies attract and retain good workers.
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Preparing For An Audit

If you happen to be among the 60,000 businesses that will be audited in 2008, don’t panic. Make certain your paperwork is in order and consult with your tax professional.
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Can Big Brother Watch?

Adopting workplace privacy policies is a prudent business practice.
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Growth by Acquisition

Identifying and acquiring businesses takes finesse.
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Take Stock In Rewards

There are a myriad smart ways to reward key employees. Issuing company stock isn't one of them.
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Rules for Business Entertainment Expenses

Understanding deduction and documentation regulations will keep you in line with the IRS.
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Pre-Employment Screening Requires Caution

To find the best people, you need to adopt good hiring practices. Pre-employment screening should be one aspect of these hiring practices. However, you need to be aware that there are important limitations on an employer’s right to pre-screen potential employees.
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Minimizing Bad Debts

Ask for proper information up front, and collect aggressively.
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Is An ESOP Right For Your Company?

Mike Coyne describes what an employee stock option program is and how it can benefit your company.
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When Soldiers Return From Service

What you need to know about military personnel's reemployment rights.
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How Effective Are Non-competition Agreements?

If you need a non-competition agreement to protect your business, you will need to get legal help and follow these guidelines.
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Combating High Health Insurance Costs with Health Savings Accounts

Because skyrocketing health-care costs frequently limit an employer’s ability to increase wages, both employers and employees would benefit from controlling such costs. Will health savings accounts (HSAs) be the answer? It is too soon to tell, but employers considering such plans have much to consider.
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Take Sexual-Harassment Claims Seriously

Written policies and clear instructions are two ways to protect your business from costly claims.
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Complying With Immigration Law In Hiring

The safest way to avoid problems under the immigration laws is to understand your responsibilities as an employer.
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Know Your Liabilities Before Borrowing

Commercial lenders have a great deal more latitude in designing their loan agreements. Likewise, borrowers have the opportunity to negotiate for terms that will fit their business needs.
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How to Protect Your Business Secrets

Your trade secrets may consist of customer lists, training manuals, financial records, contracts with distributors, and the like, that would be very valuable to your competition. Keep them secret with some of these simple, inexpensive steps.
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Tips For Serving Alcohol Responsibly

If you are planning on serving alcohol at your business or office party, here are some planning ideas that can minimize your liability risk.
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Independent Contractor or Employee?

The Internal Revenue Service has rules for determining whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor.
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Protect Your Company with a Corporate Minute Book

Corporate minutes can help ensure that owners shield themselves from being held legally responsible for corporate business failures. In addition, they can help quickly settle inevitable shareholder disputes, smooth business transactions and even help answer questions during an audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
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Why your limited liability company needs an operating agreement.

A good operating agreement can be a useful tool for running your business as an LLC.
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Be Careful with Letters of Intent

Find out why letters of intent may be binding and some practical advice when crafting them.
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Will Your Business Die With You?

Strategies for leaving your company to family members.
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Getting Ready To Sell Your Business

A successful sale of any business requires planning, and some of that planning must start well before the business is even offered for sale. Here are some ideas on how to get your business, and yourself, ready for a sale.
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