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Creating a Warranty Statement that Covers the Bases

The recent conversation around the shower door community has been about warranties. Providing customers with information about which things are covered under a warranty and which things are not is obviously important. Some shops don’t bother to provide a written warranty, but many do. My tendency…

Take smart risks with innovation

Smart risk assessment requires evaluating risk to ensure steps are taken that fuel innovation and lead to growth. Here are four ways to assess risk, the smart way.

Prevailing Party: The Contractual Booby Trap

A contractual booby trap often overlooked is the “prevailing party” clause. This contractual term shifts the risk and expense of disputes and legal proceedings in ways that not only harm the bottom line, but also limit leverage and options when faced with adversarial claims.

Are Design Activities Covered by Insurance?

Glazing firms increasingly take on additional design work in design-build and design-assist projects. However, design and specification activities fall into a realm of professional services not usually covered by a commercial general liability insurance policy. 

Avoid the Risks of Term Confusion

A common vocabulary: Differences in term definitions can put glaziers at risk. Find out how to avoid confusion.

The Legal Difference Between Standards, Specifications and Code

The artistic expression and technical precision in glass systems is found in installations regulated by standards, specifications and code requirements. Understanding the differences between these regulations can help identify where artistic and technical expressions cross into the legal realm.

Americans With Disabilities Act: What are employer obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, requires that employers make reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities, unless it creates undue hardship. This will have implications for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

First Look at the CARES Act

The Cares Act economic provisions include broad assistance and incentives to shore-up businesses and institutions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Damages Waivers

When faced with negotiating damages waivers, it is critical to recognize the language used and what it tries to capture. That way, if a breach occurs, the parties are not forced to rely on what a judge believes falls within the broad legal definitions of damages.

Are Your Claims Covered?

Recently there has been a change in the commercial general liability insurance marketplace that upends normal expectations. 

Contractor or Employee?

There is a battle in most states these days regarding how to define when an independent contractor is actually an employee. It is a battle that involves politics, legislatures and voters. And for companies misclassifying workers there are real risks of penalties, fines and even criminal charges.

Beware of Boilerplates

Boilerplate terms can lead to uncertain commitment that, if left unaddressed, results in gaps where liability can arise, or contractual rights are limited. Addressing these gaps at the time of contracting is essential.   A recent court decision from the Court of Appeals for Indiana, A House…

Online Recruitment

Social media is a powerful recruiting tool. It is estimated that upwards of 80 percent of companies currently use social media platforms when recruiting prospective employees. While social media provides information and exposure for those looking to hire and those looking for jobs, the…

Temp Workers

When using temporary labor from staffing companies or labor pools, clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the primary employer and the host employer. Not doing so could result in a joint-employer status and thus joint liabilities. Like many trades, glass and glazing companies find…

User Beware

Software is king. Today’s business environment relies on global platforms that are available to all users on an instantaneous basis. This environment is most obvious in the modern growth of “Software as a Service,” or SaaS. The range of SaaS offerings includes things used every day, such as…

The Risks of Innovation

For many years glass and glazing were considered passive participants in a building’s performance. Innovation is changing that approach. Today, the use of glass in active and dynamic energy management systems is growing. Now, glazing integrates variable opacity and shading elements that are…

Transportation Risk Management

Regardless of where a company is involved within the transportation market, an important step in managing transportation risk is being prepared when an accident occurs. Accidents happen. Claims happen, too. Whether it’s a lawsuit, a worker’s compensation issue, or otherwise, transportation-…

Pass-through Warranties

In equipment purchases, attention to warranty terms can fall down the priority list. Often, the existence of the warranty is simply a checklist item: does a warranty exist? However, attention to warranty terms, including their scope and limitations, should not be relegated to a check-box review…

Beware of False Advertising in Marketing Puffery

GlassBuild America is upon us. As always, the show presents an exciting opportunity to learn about new products and their capabilities. Marketing departments live for these moments. However, there is a fine line when a salesperson’s comment about performance turns from an opinion into a warranty…

When to Call a Lawyer

Claims and legal trouble can arise unexpectedly at a company. The decision on when and whether to involve legal counsel in the handling of a situation may not always be clear. Attention to a few practical considerations can help determine whether the investment in counsel can help a company…

A New Era of BIM

Building Information Modeling has been a large part of the architecture, engineering and construction communities since the early 2000s. It has been heralded as a hallmark of systems integration and simplification. It has also been challenged for increasing the risk imposed on design professionals…

Manage Risks of Quality-related Data

Data regarding product and system quality, both in terms of quality assurance and quality control, increasingly finds its way into risk management and legal arenas. While the requirements and obligations surrounding quality checks in the glazing market vary by segment, quality data—data related…

Minimize Risks in Shipping

Transportation of goods in interstate or international commerce is heavily regulated. There are laws and treaties governing who, what and how products are moved, allowing standard cargo claims to be resolved quickly. Less regulated, however, are claims brought against the shipper for accidents and…

Risk Management Guidelines for Additional Insured Coverage

Additional insured coverage: Additional insured requirements demand that one party agree to designate another party as an “additional insured.” The additional-insured gains the right to be treated as if it purchased an insurance policy, even though it paid no premiums. While most glass…

Seven Steps to Protecting Against Ransomware and Hackers

Glaziers and glazing manufacturers have large amounts of electronic personnel and project data ranging from information about financials, employees, and sensitive project files. Access to, and use of, this information is essential. Ransomware—malicious computer programs that lock data—can hold…

Marijuana Laws Lead to Headaches for Employers

Within the last decade nearly half of U.S. states have approved some form of medical marijuana usage. Within the last five years, many states have decriminalized recreational marijuana use altogether. The push for voter review of this issue in states that have not addressed it continues in earnest…

Regulation Watch: OSHA Reporting Requirements to Affect Glass Companies

New regulations: New OSHA requirements for electronic reporting of workplace injuries and illness rules went into effect Jan. 1. Affected companies: The reporting requirements apply to all companies with 250 or more employees, or companies with 20 or more employees in industries that are…

Manage Risks and Standardize Practices with Workplace Policies

Workplace policies dictate corporate life. Companies’ legal claims and defense often succeed or fail on the question of whether a workplace policy exists, be that policy positive or negative, written or unwritten. What is a corporate policy? In short, a corporate policy is a practice followed by…

Demystifying ADA Compliant Entrances

The UCLA Luskin Conference Center features multiple enhancements to optimize accessibility. Pictured is the CRL-U.S. Aluminum Balanced Doors with 10-inch ADA bottom rails and low energy power operators. According to the Americans with Disabilities 2010 report, approximately 30.6…

Drones in Construction Offer Benefits, Present Risks

Top companies are always looking for a technological edge over their competitors. One burgeoning technology being incorporated into construction is the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones. As UAS use increases for quality assurance and project assessment, it is…

Avoid Antitrust Exposure with Conscientious Competition

Tradeshows are wonderful opportunities to meet new people, reconnect with old friends and learn something new. They also put glass companies into close contact with their market competitors. And where market competitors come together the specter of antitrust violations is present. Before eyes…

Protect Your Company against Spontaneous Glass Breakages

Exploding glass is a term growing in popularity with consumer affairs reporters. The spontaneous, sometimes random, shattering of tempered glass in doors, showers and other consumer glass products, such as tables, has generated lots of news and complaints to the United States Consumer Product…

Changing the Rules

On October 23, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of the “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electrical Generation Units” 80 Fed. Reg. 64,662, also known as the “Clean Power Plan.” The CPP’s unwieldy official title only…

A Legal Perspective on Life Cycle Assessment

Windows are often treated more like raw materials than what they actually are: an assembly of parts and pieces operating in a designed system. This reality has become more apparent as the overall fenestration industry addresses Product Category Rules (PCR). These rules are ultimately part of a…

The Benefits and Legal Limits of Certification

Company certification can prove a powerful testament to quality process and procedures. It has the potential to prove positive for both those hiring certified companies and for the certified companies themselves that are willing to take a magnifying glass to how they conduct business. In fact, the…

Contract Termination

Americans view their contractual freedom—their ability to form contracts without government interference—as practically sacrosanct. When signing a contract, both parties expect the other to meet their commitments. When a party terminates a contract, however, they are announcing the agreement is…

Incorporating Product Recalls into Risk Planning

Product recalls seem to be growing more prevalent. Everywhere you turn, there are stories of manufacturers recalling toys, food or cars. And while it might not seem like it, attention to product recalls is part of an effective risk management plan, especially for the glass industry. First, some…

Retainage Protection

Retainage. The word strikes fear into accounting departments and owners of glass shops everywhere. For the uninitiated, retainages are contract terms allowing a percentage of a job’s value to be withheld until a later point in time. They allow money “earned” to be withheld or delayed. Retainages…

Managing Risks in Condo Conversion

When the economy shattered eight years ago, many people were forced to leave their homes though foreclosures or simple economic pressures. This resulted in an increased demand for the development of apartment buildings. Now, many of these apartment buildings are converting into condominiums,…

Warranties as Contracts

Warranties are more than marketing tools. They are legal, risk allocation contracts that tie companies to their products or work into the future. Project owners and general contractors can use warranties to limit their responsibility long after project completion. These risk-shifting efforts can,…

Tips for the Trade in an Owner's Market

It is an owner’s market. Competition continues to keep building costs down. This lowers margins, allowing owners to dictate job conditions and contract terms. It also leads to owners cutting out middle levels for direct contracting with trades. And, there are some issues that need to be kept in…

Legal Risk Management Solutions for the New Year

One year comes to a close and opportunities arise for the next. Many use New Year’s resolutions to set personal or business goals for the next year. Perhaps now is also the time for some legal risk management resolutions to help lay a foundation for a prosperous new year. And while not a complete…

Protecting Your Company in the Wake of Beacon v. SOM

Industry attention has recently turned toward a decision of the California Supreme Court allowing homeowners to sue an architect they did not hire for claims of negligence. The case was Beacon Residential Community vs. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. While it may seem like another unique…

Before You Bid, Know the Digital Demands of a Project

Digital and data controls have moved to the forefront of today’s project risk management, both before projects begin and after their completion. It is becoming more common for suppliers and trades to encounter contractual terms that address who, when and how electronic project data and plans are…

Understanding Insurance Coverage is not Optional

All companies must have current and adequate insurance coverage, but the insurance marketplace can be confusing, making it hard to know if you have what you need. Consider the following practical guidelines when selecting insurance. If you’re a consultant… Professional liability concerns…

Scam alert

     Red flags for fraud Orders through relay operator for the hearing impaired  Email orders with numerous typos and grammatical problems Orders for large quantities of standard glass sizes  Orders that require long-distance shipping Orders that request use of a shipping…