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Facebook Docs Reveal Employees Had Expressed Their Fury with Leadership.

We have already learned many concerning facts from the leaked Facebook documents. Now, a new nugget of info is making headlines: Employees have expressed their outrage in not-so-subtle ways over how the platform has operated for the past several years.  

The backlash is spotlighted especially following the incidents at the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. When Facebook leadership posted on the company's internal message board for everyone to "hang in there," employees replied with furious comments, blaming Facebook for what happened.  

As an employee, what should you do in a situation like this? What's the best course of action if you feel like leadership or a colleague is mishandling a situation? Unfortunately, this isn't the first time anyone has ever witnessed and known about unethical behavior taking place in business. So, what can you do when caught in a situation you feel you need to report because you don't agree with how it's managed?  

What should you do if you see unethical behavior at work?

Have you ever been in a sticky situation at work that forces you to take a good hard look at your moral compass? Ethics can be tough to face, especially when waters get murky and the question of right and wrong is unclear. Sometimes, though, you need to take action when you have a gut feeling that something isn't right.  

Experts give these tips on what to do when you see unethical behavior happening at work:  

Be aware of your tendency to rationalize. It's easy to keep doing things because "everyone else is doing it" or perhaps "this is the way it's always been done." These thoughts might not be false, but they also might be ways to avoid coming forward and questioning the whole truth.  Understand the 'why.' Consider the reasons why the perpetrator is doing something. For example, are they lying to customers to sell something? Are they giving clients half-truths or wrong information to make themselves look better? Are they skewing information or numbers to make the data seem impressive to their boss? When you understand the "why" behind people's actions, you can navigate ethics.  Talk to the perpetrator first. If you've weighed out the facts and decide you need to take action to change this, experts suggest talking to the perpetrator one-on-one first. Give the person the benefit of the doubt that they'll change once their colleague (you) talks to them about it instead of immediately going to your boss or other leadership.  Ask, don't accuse. When discussing this with the perpetrator, avoid approaching it like you're pointing fingers at them or giving out a lecture on morality – this could backfire on you. Ask questions like "Can you help me understand?" and remain calm.  Practice before talking to them. Again, you don't want to come at the offender too quickly and aggressively. Rehearse before you have the conversation with them and think about different scenarios that could happen to prepare yourself.  Escalate if necessary. After talking to them and not seeing any improvement or changes, it could be time to bring this to someone higher up, like your boss. If the questionable behavior is coming from your boss or leadership at the company in general, it may be time to tell HR or leave the company.  Have a plan to protect yourself. Standing up for yourself and holding your ground under others who are higher up than you can be scary - retaliation is real. If you get caught in this situation, experts suggest protecting yourself by documenting conversations, enlisting allies for support and seeking legal guidance.  

Talk to your provider lawyer about how to handle legal matters at work. 

When something isn't right at work, it can be challenging to understand how to handle the situation. It becomes even more difficult down the line if you don't have legal help and consultation. A provider lawyer can present you with options and help you navigate what to do to protect yourself when reporting something illegal or unethical.  

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield ("LegalShield") provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield members through membership-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. If you are a LegalShield member, please contact your provider law firm for legal advice or assistance. 

The Importance of Trademarking Your Business Name

A business name is one of your most important assets; along with your logo, it’s your public persona. As such, it’s important that you make sure to protect that good name against those who may try to misappropriate it for their own benefit. A trademark is a valuable tool to protect your brand, but there are necessary steps to secure that protection.

Trademark vs Registration

For those new to either starting a business or the field of intellectual property, it would be easy to think that registering your business name with the state is the same as filing for a trademark, or at least that it serves an equivalent purpose. The truth is that the two processes are completely different; registering your name with the state doesn’t provide you with a trademark on that name, nor does it assure you that you have the right to trademark that name on the federal level. If anything, many businesses make the mistake of choosing a name and registering with the state, and in some cases creating a website, only to find that the name is already trademarked.

If you’re interested in trademarking your business name (and you should be), it’s best to take a more holistic approach. Instead of charging ahead with a name you’ve fallen in love with, be sure to search both your Secretary of State’s database and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database, plus a general Google search, to make sure the name is available. It’s better to go with a second, third, or even fourth choice that you can trademark rather than potentially infringing on someone else’s name or having to start all over again after spending money on branding.

How to Trademark your Business Name

Once you’ve found a preferred business name and done the appropriate search as outlined above, you’ll need to file a trademark application. When you’re filing for a trademark, it’s important to note that you can trademark more than just the word or words that make up the name of your company.

Most of the brands we encounter have distinct fonts, designs, and/or color schemes associated with their name and logo, and if you have similar creative elements associated with your name, they can also be protected as a design mark. If you’re just looking to trademark the particular word or words of your business name, that is known as a character or word mark.

If you’ve determined what kind of trademark, you can start the online application and pay the necessary fee for a trademark application. Given the nature of the process, it can be complicated to fill out a trademark application on your own, and mistakes made can be costly (there are no changes only do-overs with additional filing fees), so it’s a good idea to work with a lawyer when going through the trademark application process. (More on that later.)

From there it’s a waiting game. Government agencies move slowly, and the USPTO deals with a tremendous number of applications each year, so it may take months before you hear about approval or rejection. There’s also a chance that the USPTO will come back seeking more information or asking you to make changes or corrections, so it’s important to keep tabs on your application to make sure you’re doing what’s needed.

Benefits of Trademarking Your Business Name

Discussing the trademark process may make it seem like more of a headache than it’s worth, but having a registered trademark on your business name is incredibly valuable. While you can gain a ‘common law trademark’ on your business name just from using it in commerce, that type of trademark can leave you at a disadvantage. If you should ever need to take legal action to stop someone from misappropriating your name or design, having the real registered mark puts you on more solid ground.

A registered trademark offers the ability to file suit in court for cases of infringement. It also allows you to hopefully prevent others from using your trademark, inadvertently or otherwise; registering your trademark allows you to use the registered trademark symbol ® on your website or other printed material, and your trademark will be in the USPTO database if others search for similar marks.

Let LegalShield Help with Your Trademark Application

Your trademark application is too important to make easily avoidable mistakes. Rather than trying to handle it on your own, become a LegalShield member and talk with a lawyer the same day about your trademarks or other intellectual property legal matters to make sure your applications are done correctly the first time. With plans for small businesses starting at $49 a month, you can get the help you need at a price you can afford.


Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield members through membership-based participation. Specific limitations apply. See a plan contract for specific state of residence for complete terms, coverage, amounts, and conditions. The benefits described, including trial defense, are not available in all legal plans or in all states. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or legal advice (business consulting or business advice). This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. If you are a LegalShield member, please contact your provider law firm for legal advice or assistance.

What Legal Protections Do Gun Owners Need?

As a responsible gun owner, you’ll want to do everything to the letter of the law to avoid any potential legal issues. In addition to proper permitting and training, it’s critical to ensure that you’re using a gun only in instances that are permissible under the law, whether that be in emergency situations in the home or in the context of hunting and sport. However, things may still go wrong, and the law must get involved. In those cases, you’ll want to know your rights and also need access to affordable legal advice.

Home Intrusion

A majority of people who own guns cite personal safety and protection as their primary reason for gun ownership. And like any safety measure, you’re hoping there’s never any need to turn to it. However, there may come the day when you must do the unthinkable, and you’ll need to know what protections you have legally for discharging your firearm in the event of a home intrusion.

While state laws differ, all have adopted some variation upon “castle doctrine” into their state laws, which permits homeowners to use reasonable force, up to and including deadly force, in protecting themselves against home invaders. There is variance among the states around the duty to retreat for homeowners or the standard and burden of proof of self-defense in any criminal cases, so if you find yourself in that situation, you will of course need a lawyer to help guide you through any legal process.  

Self-Defense Insurance

While many gun owners might assume that any incidents within their home would be covered by their home insurance, that may not be the case in the event of any injury or damage that results from discharging a firearm. Some insurers offer self-defense insurance policies for gun owners for such occasions. These self-defense insurance policies may cover the expenses of a criminal court case if the policyholder is charged for a shooting in self-defense.

Accidental Discharge

Despite the best efforts and intentions of gun owners, there are often far too many incidents involving accidents or negligence, sometimes with grave consequences. In instances where a firearm is accidentally discharged by its user and actual physical harm is done to individuals or property, the gun owner may be subject to accidental discharge laws, depending upon state law and the circumstances.

An accidental discharge is defined as an incident in which a gun is fired unintentionally, whether that be due to someone pulling the trigger accidentally, believing the gun was unloaded, or that the safety was engaged. Where the matter gets complicated is in trying to differentiate genuine accidents from instances of actual recklessness or negligence.

Some state laws and/or police and prosecutors may view any accidental discharge as negligent, save for instances of mechanical malfunction, with any corresponding negligence or recklessness only adding to the severity of the possible penalties. This is a complicated area and legal advice should be sought.

Legal Protection for Gun Owners

If you’re concerned about potential legal issues related to your gun ownership, LegalShield’s Gun Ownership Supplement is for you. For an additional $14.95 a month, you get access to a lawyer for all your gun-related questions, and in the event of a criminal case or civil lawsuit, you get 20 pretrial hours and 40 trial hours of defense as part of the plan. Sign up now to make sure you’re protected.