Rust Belt Business Law - June 2021

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June 2021

THE FINE PRINT Do You Know What’s in Your Insurance Policies?

who had access to credit cards or other financial accounts, and they stole money, that money is difficult to recover.

Insurance is a big deal. Many people and businesses are underinsured. To complicate matters, they might not realize they are underinsured — or they may not know what they need, so they only buy basic policies. June 28 is Insurance Awareness Day. To most people, “insurance awareness” sounds like an odd day to appear on the calendar, but it’s important. Too many people don’t know what they’re getting when they buy insurance — or decide not to buy insurance or an add-on to an existing policy. For instance, many of my own clients get general liability insurance and assume that’s enough for their business. When you first start out, you can get away with it. However, as a business grows, so do the problems. General liability insurance simply doesn’t cover all of the issues that can arise as a business grows. I’ve worked with businesses that lack employment practices liability insurance (EPLI). This form of insurance covers claims made by employees or former employees. This includes wrongful termination, retaliation, discrimination, sexual harassment, and other workplace issues that can arise in virtually any business. We also get a lot of calls from employers who discovered that employees have stolen from them. Here’s the kicker: They don’t have an employee theft or dishonesty policy. In many cases, if you’re dealing with an employee (often a former employee at this point)

If the employer was properly insured and had coverage for employee theft, they would be able to recoup some, if not all, of the losses. Don’t assume that because something has yet to happen to your business (such as employee theft) it will never happen. The reality is, you never know. This especially applies to cyber liability. The great thing about cyber liability insurance is it generally costs very little — and yet it has the potential to save your business. Many businesses assume that because they have never been hit by a cyberattack or been victim of a cyberthreat, it won’t happen to them. This is a dangerous line of thinking. Yes, the odds are slim that you will be hit by an attack or be taken down by a computer virus or malware, but it happens, and it’s increasingly common. If you are a victim of a cyberattack, the damages can be massive. Cyberattacks have destroyed many small businesses simply because they do not have the money or resources to recover lost or stolen data. Not to mention the hit to customer confidence. Ransomware is a good example of a common cyberthreat. One day, you find that your computers have been locked down. You can’t access anything. Instead, you’re greeted with a message: “Send us $25,000 in bitcoin or we will destroy your files.” How much bitcoin do you have? This cripples businesses. The bottom line is this: Skip the basic policies and look at what you really need. Insurance is all about protecting you and your interests. When you buy a policy, it’s easy to assume you have certain coverage. Never assume! Always read your insurance policy and review it annually. If need be, we can look through your policy with you to determine exactly what you have and what you need. You can also work with a trusted insurance agent. This Insurance Awareness Day, celebrate by reviewing your current policies. If you notice any gaps in coverage, take a moment to fix it. Your future self (and your future interests) will appreciate it.

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The Super Benefits of Yoga

Multiple studies agree: Yoga can significantly decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. In one study, 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) participated in a 10-week program, performing yoga at least once a week. By the end of the 10 weeks, 52% of participants no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all. As with starting any new hobby or regular exercise, it may help to set clear goals for yourself. By doing yoga regularly, there are several physical improvements you can look forward to, such as:

June 21 is International Yoga Day, which makes it a great time of year to talk about the unique benefits of yoga — the “superfood” of fitness. As a mixture of exercise and mindfulness, yoga is not only challenging but also has myriad health benefits. Many people assume yoga is mainly useful for increasing your flexibility. However, it’s also excellent for further developing your strength, mobility, and balance. These can be key benefits for living a healthier lifestyle, whether you’re an athlete or concerned about aging.

• Improved range of motion or ease of movement

Kaitlyn Hochart, a yoga instructor from San Diego, California, writes on Healthline, “During yoga, your body goes through a full range and variety of motion that can counteract aches and pains associated with tension or poor postural habits.” Yoga can help you become more aware of these habits, “[allowing] you to fix these imbalances and improve overall athleticism.” Many forms of exercise are useful against depression and cardiovascular disease, but in yoga’s case, you don’t have to break a sweat to start benefiting from its stress-relieving properties. “The breathing exercises you practice during yoga can help lower your heart rate and shift your nervous system into a more relaxed state. It also promotes better sleep and increased focus,” Hochart writes.

• A reduction in pain, discomfort, or other symptoms

• An increase in physical strength and endurance

• Less weight fluctuation

• Changes in the way your clothes fit

• Better-quality sleeping habits and increased or stabilized energy levels One of the best qualities of yoga is that you can be of any age or fitness level. So, pull up a YouTube video, find a soft surface, and give it a try!

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However, more restrictions have come up. In Miller v. California (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court found that the First Amendment’s freedom of speech doesn’t apply to obscenity.

How does the court define obscenity? There are three things they’ll take into account:

1. Will the average person (applying contemporary “community standards”) find the work appealing to the overly sexual interests?

2. Does the work depict or describe, in an offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions as defined by state law?

deletes a post, these actions don’t count as violations of free speech. Could that change?

3. Does the work, when taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value?

According to legal experts, the big question now is how to treat large social media platforms. Clay Calvert, professor of law at the Levin College of Law, asks, “Should we treat them differently and regulate them more closely? Have we reached that stage where we need to antitrust litigation, perhaps, and say they have such powerful platforms, they’re like near-monopolies that we should do some trust-busting and break them up?”

Certain types of hate speech are legal, so long as they don’t incite violence and cannot be categorized as obscenity as described above. But what about more ordinary political opinions? Can those be legally censored?

The First Amendment’s Boundary

Corporate censorship and censorship by private entities are legal because the First Amendment only applies to government censorship. That’s why when Twitter bans an account or Facebook

Would it be a good idea for the First Amendment to apply to private entities? We’ll leave that to the future debates that are sure to come.

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TAKE A BREAK

ARE GROCERY SUBSCRIPTION BOXES WORTH IT?

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, so let’s explore one popular way to get more fresh produce into our lives: subscription-based delivery services like Full Circle and Imperfect Food. Are these services actually worth it? Do they save money and provide what they promise? Here’s what the research turned up. Can they save you time? The Verdict: Yes, without a doubt. Subscription-based grocery delivery services appeal to consumers because they save time. With somebody else doing your grocery shopping, you don’t have to think about when you’re making a trip to the grocery store this week. Someone else is doing it for you! Plus, some services even offer meal kits if you can’t decide what to make. There’s no argument here — these services definitely save you time. Can they save you money? The Verdict: Sometimes, since it depends on your existing shopping habits. If you find yourself making impulsive purchases while strolling down the aisles at the grocery store, then a set (but customizable) weekly list of delivered groceries might be a great way to stick to your budget. Unfortunately, not many grocery subscription-box delivery services offer nonfood items like toilet paper or cleaning products, so you may still have to make a trip to the store every once in a while. Is the food quality great? The Verdict: Yes, but it depends on your area. You have a higher chance of getting better grocery items if you buy from an organic grocery box service, like Imperfect Foods or Farm Fresh to You, since these companies work closely with your local farms. Keep in mind that some services, like Imperfect Foods, are designed to deliver fresh foods that are a little “imperfect” in size, shape, or color to help prevent food waste — but, as a benefit, it’s more affordable! However, we’ve found some services, like Full Circle, will prepackage their boxes from warehouses that may not be local to you, so do a little research before picking one. All in all, we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that these boxes aren’t such a bad idea. Consider looking into it if you’re tired of the weekly grocery store time crunch!

GRILLED CHICKEN SHAWARMA

Inspired by FeastingAtHome.com

A spice-filled marinade and time do all the work in this recipe that features Middle Eastern flavors.

Ingredients

• 2 tsp allspice • 8 garlic cloves, minced • 6 tbsp olive oil • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

• 2 tbsp ground coriander • 2 tsp kosher salt • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper • 2 tsp turmeric • 1 tsp ground ginger • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

1. To create marinade, whisk all spices with the garlic and olive oil in a medium bowl. 2. Add chicken to the bowl, coat well with marinade, cover, and let sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes — or up to 48 hours. Strain off excess marinade before cooking. 3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill thighs for 10–12 minutes

on each side, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 F. 4. Serve with rice, vegetables, or pita bread with tzatziki.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Don’t Let a Lack of Insurance Take You Down

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The Super Benefits of Yoga

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Grilled Chicken Shawarma Are Grocery Subscription Boxes Worth It?

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Legally Speaking, What Is Censorship?

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Legally Speaking, What Is Censorship? A Brief Dive Into the First Amendment

The Freedom to Speak — Without Obscenity or Inciting Violence

The First Amendment has been the centerpiece of a contentious debate about what can legally be posted (and deleted) on social media like Twitter and Facebook. But before we can define “censorship,” we need to know what is defined as “free speech.” What exactly does the First Amendment say about free speech? What are the boundaries for what people can and cannot do?

The First Amendment covers the freedom of speech, press, and religion. It’s arguably one of the most fundamental amendments to American democracy, but its interpretations can vary significantly. This is how the full First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Why is it that the Ku Klux Klan and Westboro Baptist Church have gotten into legal trouble for expressing their opinions? Their groups often promote acts of violence against another group, which violates the “peaceably” qualifier to the people’s right to assemble.

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