Client Alert
January 13, 2009
Preparing for a Rough Road Ahead?

In today’s difficult economic climate, it is critically important to position your company for any and all opportunities that may come along. As the private sector is generating less work than years past, those opportunities seem more likely to come from the public sector. If you are a woman-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned or other disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE), you can enhance your probability of obtaining state or federally sponsored work by becoming certified as a DBE by the requisite government authorities. Cohen Seglias has aided clients in obtaining certification and otherwise represented clients whose certifications had already been denied. If you are considering the prospect of becoming certified, please note the following:

As part of the application process, a prospective DBE must provide sufficient evidence that the disadvantaged person involved in the business has managerial and operational control over the day-to-day business activities of the enterprise. Without this showing, not only will the application be rejected, but the applicant will have to wait a certain amount of time (generally a year) to reapply for DBE status. In addition, when a business’s initial DBE application is rejected, the business’s chance of approval for DBE status often decreases significantly because the government may review any subsequent applications with an even more critical eye. Therefore, if you intend to apply for certification as a DBE, we strongly suggest that you contact us for purposes of helping you through that process. If you have already gone through the process and have been denied, we also urge you to contact us so that we can counsel you on the process of successfully appealing that denial. If you have further questions, please contact Edward DeLisle at EDelisle@cohenseglias.com.

     
News on the Employee Free Choice Act

Easily the biggest labor news in quite some time is the form that the proposed Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") will take.  President-Elect Obama has already indicated that this legislation will be a top and immediate priority when he takes office. EFCA essentially by-passes the decades-old secret ballot election process to determine if your employees wish to be represented by a labor union.  As part of the proposed legislation, lawmakers are requiring final, binding arbitration over the terms of the collective bargaining agreement that results from an election. In short, the federal government (through an arbitrator) will tell you the wage rates, fringe benefits and other terms and conditions of employment that you would have to provide to your employees.  Of course, this is very different from the current state of the law and something we will cover in detail in our company seminar. Fasten your seat belts -- we are all in for a bumpy ride!

     
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