Cart: 0Peerless GuaranteeThe Peerless Institute guarantees that you will pass the first time or we will work with you to ensure you pass the next time at no extra cost! Question: In 2013, Edward Snowden facilitated the release of more than 58,000 classified documents and exposed the Section 215 bulk data collection and PRISM monitoring programs. The June 2016 issue of Business Law Today will have two main themes: compliance and white collar crime. BLT is a web-based publication drawing upon the best of the Section's resources, including featured articles and other information from around the Section.
Includes timed on-line practice tests with over 800 randomized questions to help you pass the Law and Business section of the California State Contractor’s license exam. Our goal is for you to pass the exam and get your license and we stand by our commitment to you.
Who is credited in some circles as pulling off the first network “hack” in history? Please see Inside Business Law for the answer to this month’s Business Law Section Trivia Question. Compliance topics include practical tips ranging from hiring in the workplace to regulatory compliance with company jets.
According to a 2009 study by the Center for Marketing Research (CMR), 91 percent of the 500 fastest-growing U.S. White collar crime will look inside encryption for lawyers as well as multijurisdictional bribery enforcement. You will receive a pin code which will allow you instant access to our on-line question database of over 800 randomized questions. In this issue, readers will get acquainted with the brand-new cyber technology column and the second piece in a three-part series on commercial contracts. An estimated 200 million blogs are published worldwide, according to a study by social media consultant Erik Qualman.
Our questions are constantly being updated and reviewed so we are confident you will pass your exam! Qualman's study also reports that 55 percent of bloggers post content daily and 34 percent of that content contains opinions about various products and services. In addition, his research shows that 78 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations, while only 14 percent of consumers trust commercial advertisements.Judging by these statistics, consumers trust blogs far more than they trust traditional advertisements. The Problems Associated with Employers Policing Employee Blogs and Social Networking Sites Reginald Govan, William Martucci, Ginger McRae, Jennifer K. Perhaps because of consumers' overwhelming trust in blogs, the FTC has now decided to get involved in trying to ensure that blogs and social networking posts are accurate and truthful. Part 255, address the application of Section 5 of the FTC Act to the use of endorsements and testimonials in online advertising. Section 5 prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices and unfair competition in or affecting commerce.According to the CMR study, only 36 percent of those 500 fastest-growing companies maintained a formal social media policy for employees.

However, the potential liability for employers under the FTC's new guidelines is far too high for the other two-thirds of the 500 fast-growing companies to ignore any longer.Understanding the New FTC GuidelinesThe guidelines make it clear that employees endorsing their employer's products or services have a duty to disclose to their audience their relationship to an employer at the time they give the endorsement or testimonial, wherever the posting may appear. According to the new guidelines, the FTC plans to utilize a "net impression" approach to evaluate whether companies using new media to advertise their products or services should be subject to liability for false or unsubstantiated statements made through endorsements, or for failing to disclose material connections between themselves and their endorsers, or for failing to properly explain atypical results. The FTC's net impression approach begins with an analysis of each advertisement or promotional commentary on a case-by-case basis.The key to compliance appears to be to focus on the consumer's overall impression of the advertisement, rather than on its specific details.
The first question is whether the endorser is making a personal recommendation in the post at issue. A second question is the kind of compensation, if any, the endorser received for posting the recommendation; obviously, an endorser who is a company employee is receiving a wage or salary from the company.
Third, the company should try to determine what consumers' expectations were about the endorser's compensation in this particular context, if any.
Taking this three-step approach may help employers better determine whether a particular post is problematic.New Media. Much ado has been made about whether the FTC's new guidelines hold new media to a higher standard than traditional print media, since some print media—even well-known media brands—have long followed the "quid pro quo" publishing model without explicit disclosures of this practice.
More important than the medium is that employers should make sure their employees are transparent and truthful in their public communications, wherever those statements are published.Material Connections. These "material connections" typically arise in the form of in-kind or cash payments from advertisers to bloggers to review a particular product, but also could arise in the form of an employee posting a comment on a third-party blog or participating in a non-company online forum without stating his or her company affiliation.
Employees endorsing their employer's products or services have a "duty to disclose" to their audience their relationship to the employer at the time they give the endorsement or testimonial. This duty would even apply when the employee's endorsement is posted on a site that is not maintained by the employer, such as a popular bulletin board or chat site.Atypical Results. Advertisements that convey a consumer's experience with a product as "typical" when that is not the case should clearly disclose the results that a consumer should typically expect to receive from the product at issue. Instead, the new guidelines suggest that endorsements that reference specific positive results should either 1) discuss the typical results that a consumer also could expect; or 2) be accompanied by a disclosure of the typical results. The guidelines do not, however, require general testimonials such as "It smells terrific" or "This is my favorite cereal" to be accompanied by a typical results disclaimer.New Interpretations, New QuestionsNew guidelines inevitably create issues of first impression that companies will need to address. The following are some of the far-reaching issues in which businesses should be most interested.One is the level and severity of potential FTC enforcement of its new guidelines. Even though the guidelines technically are administrative interpretations of the law and are not binding law themselves, advertisers could face FTC enforcement actions if their advertisements are deemed false. Additionally, because postings on blogs and social networking pages can reach wide audiences, false advertisers may also be vulnerable to large-scale class-action lawsuits if consumers are injured, and could even face legal action taken by state prosecutors.The bottom line is that any type of enforcement action is terrible public relations and also can be financial damaging for a company. If the FTC simply announces that a company is a particularly bad actor, the action can be devastating to a company's bottom line.The "Rogue" Employee. If a company routinely has numerous employees blogging falsely about its products, it can reasonably expect an FTC enforcement action.

But what about the company that is trying hard to honestly portray its products and control its online presence, but employs one "rogue" employee who strays off message and deceptively endorses the company's product?
Would the FTC pursue an enforcement action against a company because of the actions of one employee?The FTC has suggested that it would be unlikely to take action against a company for the conduct of a single employee. However, the FTC has pursued enforcement actions against companies that failed to establish or maintain appropriate internal procedures and whose employee actions resulted in consumer injury.
Ultimately, the FTC's decision to pursue enforcement against a company because of the postings of one employee may depend upon how much actual damage or injury was caused to consumers.
If there was significant injury to consumers, the company with the one rogue employee may still face FTC enforcement, regardless of the company's social networking policy. Nonetheless, instituting strong social networking policies for employees could go a long way toward helping shield a company from liability based on the actions of one employee.At Work vs.
Another open issue is the employer's liability for online comments posted by an employee while at work versus those posted from the employee's own home.
Clearly, businesses should assume that, if the misleading online posts occur while the employee is at the office, the FTC could more easily argue that the employer was or should have been on notice of the conduct. If those same posts were to occur while the employee was at home, the link to the company is more tenuous. Having a good social media policy addressing at-home comments could further strengthen the company's defense. In addition, monitoring references to the company's brand online could also help catch deceptive employee endorsements posted while off site.Disclaimers. The social networking policy should be in writing, consistently implemented throughout the company and effectively monitored.
For example, a company could instruct its employees posting online to include the following explanation "I am an employee of Company A. If free products or services are being provided, the company should make sure bloggers are disclosing their commercial relationships.When using expert endorsers, companies should make sure these experts review products they are endorsing to a degree that is at least equal to what most other experts in their field would deem adequate.
If your company provides services or sells products and your employees are blogging about them or talking about them on their Facebook accounts, the presumption may be that they are doing so with the company's blessing and for the company's benefit.Such online posts can reach thousands of consumers at a time, increasing an employer's exposure to liability under the FTC's new guidelines.
If consumers later claim they were misled into purchasing falsely advertised products by the employee's comments, the company could be liable. To best avoid liability, a company should take the time upfront to train employees on proper online social media usage and draft a strong social media policy. Doing so may be the best protection a company can get from an FTC enforcement action or worse.

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