Recent Articles

  • Shale revolution in doubt — so what?

    Stefanie Heerwig

    No single day seems to go by without praises of the shale revolution. And no assessment of the oil market seems to work anymore without including the U.S. as a global supplier.

  • Just say no to MVFR

    Mark Huber

    Pilots by their nature are largely optimistic and dedicated to completing the mission, a trait that seems to be stronger in those who fly helicopter EMS. The reluctance to turn down a flight when a patient's life is potentially at stake, even when low clouds are moving in, and/or the temperature/dew point spread is narrowing, is understandable, even emotionally laudable. Life-savers are heroes after all. It is their job to fly into uncertain, dark skies. Wrong. By doing so they needlessly put their lives, the lives of their crew — and patients — at risk.

  • Make the most of your staff’s skills

    Michael J. Berens

    It was one of those "aha" moments. A staff member had received an email inquiry from a potential customer, but she was unable to help because the message was written in Spanish. Since I was the communications director, her supervisor stopped by my office to ask if I knew of any affordable translation services that could help decipher the message. As it happened, the colleague in the office next to mine overheard the conversation and called out that she might be able to help, as she had studied Spanish in school. However, she said, there were several other employees who were fairly fluent in Spanish. In a matter of minutes, and at no additional cost, the message was translated and a reply, in Spanish, was on its way.

  • The most important employment documents

    D. Albert Brannen Business Management, Services & Risk Management

    Employment litigation can be expensive and time-consuming. An employer’s success or failure in defending itself can turn on the law or the facts. Employers cannot do too much to change the law that applies to any given case. But, experience shows that employers can do a lot to shape the facts and to improve their position in employment litigation. Most of the time, this shaping of the facts depends on the documentation. Moreover, while the particular facts may be different from case to case, the same types of documents are at issue in nearly every employment law case.

  • Beware of misclassifying workers as independent contractors

    D. Albert Brannen Business Management, Services & Risk Management

    If your workforce includes contract employees, freelancers, casual workers or independent contractors by any other title, you should seriously analyze whether such workers should be recategorized as employees. The risks of not properly classifying workers can be substantial and include having to ante up back pay, liquidated damages, unpaid taxes, penalties, interest, accounting and attorneys' fees. In addition to these economic risks, other negative consequences can include interference with ongoing operations and harm to an employer's reputation.

  • What Chinese investment in Latin America means for the US energy sector

    Lucy Wallwork

    The rise of China in Latin America's resource-rich nations is already having an impact on U.S. crude imports.

  • 7 practical tips for effective supervision

    D. Albert Brannen Business Management, Services & Risk Management

    Experienced managers have increasing difficulty navigating today's alphabet soup of federal employment laws — ADA, ADEA, FMLA, IRCA, OSHA, NLRB, etc. State and local laws further complicate the making of employment decisions. At the risk of oversimplifying things, we prepared this list of seven tips for effective supervision to avoid legal liability in the workplace.

  • America’s natural gas dilemma: To export or not to export?

    Lucy Wallwork

    The United States is facing a problem it couldn't have envisioned in its wildest dreams a few years ago as liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals were being hurriedly thrown up along the coast to plug the nation's energy deficit.

  • King-Devick Test: An effective concussion screening for athletes?

    Dr. Denise A. Valenti Medical & Allied Healthcare

    An estimated 160 players suffered a head injury during regular-season play in the National Football League last season. Head injury is not unique to the American sport of football, but the concern about concussion and head injury in professional football, youth leagues, high school and college teams has caused the sport to be front and center in the controversy regarding concussion and long-term effects of such head injury.

  • Employers beware when conducting criminal background checks

    D. Albert Brannen Business Management, Services & Risk Management

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued enforcement guidance on arrest and conviction records in employment decisions. Employers need to revise their use of criminal background checks in light of this guidance. Ninety percent of employers perform criminal background checks. Reasons for using criminal background information are to prevent theft, fraud, workplace violence and liability for negligent hiring or to comply with various laws.