Law Offices of William Cafaro

Law Offices of William Cafaro

Law office of Bonnie Lawston

Web Perseverance - Web Development, Internet Marketing, SEO, Graphic Design

Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP

Law office of Bonnie Lawston

Law Offices of William Cafaro

Are You Opening a New Restaurant

Legal Concerns for New York Restaurant Owners

Author: Stephen D. Hans

NY Restaurant LawsIf you’re opening a new restaurant in New York City or the surrounding area, there are certain legal requirements you must put in place. You will need to choose a business entity and get your licenses and permits. You must address health and safety issues (ventilation, garbage removal, sanitation, etc.) before opening your restaurant. You will also need to purchase insurance.

When all the above is said and done, you still have the matter of employees. An employment attorney is a vital resource who can help ensure you are up to speed with New York employment laws.

New York Employment Laws

You will have to know which employees must be paid for overtime, the rules about paying tipped employees and the laws for employing minors. You will have to verify the legal work status of every employee at your restaurant and fill out an I-9 form for each employee.

Before you begin the hiring process, it is wise to know what questions you should avoid. Our blog on job interviews will give you a basic idea but to ensure you have all the information, it is wise to consult with an attorney.

Our lawyer can assist you by reviewing your job application to ensure it does not contain illegal questions. You also need to understand how to check references without making illegal inquiries.

It is wise to devise an employee handbook and ensure it is legally sound.

You must set up sexual harassment training for all of your employees based on recent New York State law.

If you feel overwhelmed about the laws involved with opening a restaurant, you are not alone. You can avoid some employment nightmares at the outset by consulting with an experienced New York employment attorney.

At Stephen Hans & Associates, we work with restaurant owners to help them comply with labor laws and to deal with employment issues.

Website Accessibility: ADA Lawsuits Against Websites Go Mainstream

More Lawsuits Are Emerging to Pursue ADA Violations

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)Website accessibility based on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) became an issue for the Beyonce website. Media outlets featured articles about it in January 2019. A blind person sued Parkwood Entertainment, Beyonce Knowle’s management company, because the site wasn’t accessible for her.

Many business owners and people in the general public don’t think this has anything to do with them. They may think, “Beyonce is a celebrity, high profile and worth millions of dollars. People like her get sued all the time because they have fame and money.”

That may be true for small business owners with few employees. However, there is a problem with this line of thinking. It often doesn’t take long before an issue like website accessibility goes mainstream. Almost every business today has a website. The ADA is federal law that affects businesses with 15 or more employees. It is a fact that the ADA accessibility issue has already gone mainstream.

Ten New York Galleries Are Defendants in Civil Lawsuits

The New York Times published an article about a blind Manhattan resident who filed federal lawsuits against 10 art galleries. He alleged that their websites were not ADA compliant for the blind. The list of galleries that were party to the lawsuit included: Adam Baumgold Fine Art, Adelson, Agora, Albertz Benda and Acquavella. After filing a lawsuit against these galleries, his attorneys started going through the alphabet, naming other galleries that began with the letter “B.”

As it stands today, numerous lawsuits filed on grounds of ADA non-compliance exist across the nation, and the numbers keep growing. The New York Times article states that ADA lawsuits against websites tripled in 2018 over those filed in 2017.

What Types of Business Are Being Sued?

The lawsuits that allege websites are ADA noncompliant name parties that go well beyond celebrities. They include: insurance companies, colleges, moving companies, sightseeing tours, yoga studios, fashion industry companies and restaurants, to name a few.

Accessibility is a serious issue. The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has an article on its website entitled “Improving Your Website’s Accessibility.” The article lists steps that a web developer should take to make the site accessible for blind people.

Are You Concerned About Website Accessibility? Is Your Website Accessible for the Disabled?

We are glad to discuss how we can make your website accessible. Contact a NY Internet marketing specialist today.

The Ever Changing World of Web Design & Websites

The Ever Changing World of Web Design & Websites

A Brief Look Back and Look Forward at Websites

 The Ever Changing World of Web Design & WebsitesIt’s a fact that the world of web design and websites is ever changing. New improvements in design and technology emerge all the time.

Can you imagine growing up without being able to browse the web or carrying a cell phone with you everywhere you go?

Many of us can. But for the new generations such as iGen and Gen Z, born between 1995 and 2012, it’s unimaginable. Not having a mobile phone, not being able to jump online or text or visit a social media site is a foreign concept.

The Evolution of Web Sites and Web Design

It’s been more than 20 years since computer scientist and CERN engineer Tim Berners-Lee launched the first web page in 1990.

In fact, until other programming languages and codes came into existence like CSS, php, javascript and jquery, web pages lacked graphic design elements. They also lacked visual and marketing appeal.

Today, web development has moved beyond the realm of computer science alone. Fields like graphic design and marketing have become an integral part of website development evolution.

How important is it for websites to be mobile friendly?

“Mobile-first indexing means Google will predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query.”

Web Perseverance’s New Websites

While trends come and go, consumers want designs that reflect their company’s values. We’ve worked to make our websites unique and authentic. Here are a few recent examples:

  • Restoration Dry Cleaners. The branding for the new site incorporated much happier images. We shifted the focus from damaged materials to restoration of prized possessions. By replacing fire and smoke images and damaged articles with happy people, bright and colorful wardrobes and other images, we changed the look and feel of the site. Branding shifted from “damaged” to “restored.”
  • The Van De Water Law Firm and Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP websites incorporate hero images (large full width image at the top of the website). The viewer meets the attorneys at first glance. This emphasis brings a more personal experience to the viewer when visiting the website.
  • Anna’s Fried Dough is another new site we launched. We worked with the client’s existing logo to bring a colorful and fun feel to the site. The company initially introduced its product through concession stands at fairs but now it offers wholesale purchase as well.
  • Poseidon Irrigation grabs the viewer’s attention through its colorful logo over a sprinkler system background video with spraying water. It’s a colorful and eye-catching site where viewers receive great visuals of the product’s use.

Are you looking to boost your internet marketing? Keep up with the times and reach out to us.

Author: WebPerseverance: Cindy J. Silver

 

How Important Is ADA Compliance for Your Website?

ADA compliant websiteADA Non-Compliance and The Beyonce Website Lawsuit

Non-compliance with the ADA (American with Disabilities Act) has farther-reaching effects than many business owners might realize. Recently, a blind woman filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Beyonce.com website.

Details of the Beyonce Website ADA Lawsuit

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit alleges that visually impaired users do not have equal access to the website’s products and services.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Mary Conner is a New York resident who is totally blind. She is not able to browse the site and get information. Why? The images do not provide text equivalents. There are also no dropdown menus and navigation links that are accessible for her. She also cannot use a keyboard instead of a mouse to browse the site.

The class named in the lawsuit is “all legally blind individuals in the United States who have attempted to access Beyonce.com and as a result have been denied access to the enjoyment of goods and services offered by Beyonce.com, during the relevant statutory period.”

The requested injunction would require that Parkwood Entertainment, Beyonce Knowle’s management company make the site accessible to blind and visually impaired customers based on the ADA. The lawsuit also seeks compensation for damages for its class members who have been subjected to unlawful discrimination.

Web Accessibility and the ADA

The lawsuit regarding Beyonce.com is not the only lawsuit that has been filed against website owners who were non-compliant with the ADA. As we mentioned in an earlier blog article, more than 240 class action lawsuits have been filed against businesses for ADA non-compliance based on inadequate website accessibility (according to law360.com).

What Can You Do to Ensure Your Website Is ADA Compliant?

Business News Daily article states that no definite legal guidelines outlining ADA compliance exist for websites. However, website owners should make a good faith effort to incorporate features that would make your site more reasonably accessible.

Some of suggested features include:

  • Alt tags for images, videos and audio files. A blind web user cannot see an image. However, web software will read the image description contained in the alt tag used for the image, video or audio file.
  • Text transcripts. Transcripts for video and audio content can help the hearing impaired.
  • Organized layout. Organize the navigation menus, links and buttons so they are user friendly throughout the site.

At Web Perseverance, we use a website plug-in that increases website accessibility for disabled web viewers. Web Perseverance is an internet marketing company. You can see the plugin logo on this site. It looks like the wheelchair handicap logo and is located at the bottom left of your screen. Click on it, and it will display various boxes with features that help make our site more user friendly for disabled viewers.

Features include:

  • A keyboard key
  • Bigger cursor
  • Increased contrast
  • Larger text
  • Desaturate (the button removes color from graphics and images)
  • Highlight links
  • Legible fonts
  • Read page (audio software button that reads the words in the navigation, content text and tag information on the page)

Do You Have Questions About ADA Website Compliance?

We are glad to answer your questions and can discuss putting this plug-in on your website. Contact a NY Internet marketing specialist today.

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