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Archives for December 2013

New Year’s Shout Out To Our F&B All Stars

Randy Freking

We congratulate members of Freking and Betz for their selections as Ohio Super Lawyers/Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters: Kati Neff (Rising Star among Labor and Employment Attorneys); Mark Napier (Super Lawyer among Personal Injury Lawyers); Kelly Myers (Super Lawyer among Labor and Employment Attorneys and Rated as one of the Top 25 Female Attorneys in Cincinnati); and Randy Freking (Super Lawyer among Employment Litigation Attorneys, One of Top 100 Lawyers in Ohio, and one of Top 50 Attorneys in Cincinnati.)

Selections are based upon nominations by peers, independent research by a third party research team, and evaluations that result in rankings in practice areas.

5% of lawyers in Ohio are selected as Super Lawyers; only 2.5% are identified as Rising Stars.


Merry Christmas from Freking and Betz (But not Rand Paul)

Randy Freking

As we celebrate the Holidays and Christmas this week, Freking and Betz wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season, and best wishes for 2014. For those suffering from unemployment, we wish you success in your efforts to find new employment and we hope Congress decides to continue extended unemployment benefits for workers unable to find new jobs.

On the other hand, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) hardly wishes the long unemployed well. Rather, he thinks we do a “disservice” to reach out a helping hand to those who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks. Read about his comments in this article from The New York Times.




Forced Arbitration Is Bad for All Americans

Mark Napier

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on December 18 on the pending Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013 (S.878 / H.R. 1844.) This bill is critical to employees, nursing home residents, credit card holders, banking customers, and other consumers – virtually all Americans. Forced arbitration language is becoming commonplace in employment handbooks and consumer agreements. Persons who agree to forced arbitration typically never know they forfeited their rights until a dispute arises.

Forced arbitration takes away the rights of the employee or consumer to seek redress in our courts. Forced arbitration favors Big Business who gets to call the shots on where, when, how, and who decides the employee’s or consumer’s dispute. Forget about an unbiased jury or judge, discovery procedures to uncover evidence, and reasonable costs. Without passage of the Arbitration Fairness Act, Big Business gets to eliminate most employment civil rights and consumer protections. Congress must protect Americans from forced arbitration and restore Americans’ rights to seek justice in our courts with unbiased jurors, not hired arbitrators paid for by Big Business.

Please email your U.S. Senator and Representative today to urge passage of the Arbitration Fairness Act.  You may also contact Richard Cordray, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.



Ann Wittenauer

A server from New York shed a spotlight on the effect that the practice of “dining and dashing” has on a server’s pay.  Suzanne Parratt used social media to report that she was terminated because she refused to cover the tab of diners who left without paying.  According to an article in Slate Magazine by Luke O’Neil, the practice of making servers pay tabs when diners do not is common in the industry.  Moreover, federal law offers servers only limited protection, and in many states, restaurants may legally dock wages from servers for unpaid tabs.  Thus, dining and dashing is not a harmless practical joke on a restaurant, it hurts hard-working individuals.  To learn more, read the article.



Judge’s Pension Ruling Disturbing for the Middle Class

Randy Freking

A federal bankruptcy judge in Detroit ruled that public employee pensions were not protected from a federal bankruptcy filing, even though the Michigan Constitution expressly protects them.

This ruling -the first of its kind- is disturbing and the impact will be catastrophic to persons who labored for years in reliance on the guarantee of a pension.

More scary, this decision may prompt other public employers with financial problems largely of their own doing to do the same.

The ruling is just the latest example of bankruptcy law changes in the late 1970s that we’re pushed through Congress by business lobbyists, and criticized by Hedrick Smith in his best selling book, “Who Stole the Amerivcan Dream?” The answer: wealthy businessmen who care more about short term profits rather than the employees who made their businesses successful.

For more information on pensions read Mary Williams Walsh’s article in The New York Times.