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Volume 26/Number 17; January 7/14, 2013

WORKPLACE FRAUD: In recent years, the Maryland Northern Virginia Floor Covering Association (MNVFCA) has become one of the most active associations in the industry, and its actions last month are a great testament to how it is looking out for the best interests of not only its members, but all retailers in Maryland and northern Virginia. Earlier in 2012, MNVFCA successfully convinced Maryland to amend its Workplace Fraud Act of 2009 and had thought the matter resolved with the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). Unfortunately, that is not the case and MNVFCA was forced to keep a heightened watch on the subject. A great example happened last month when a video, “1099 Worker Misclassification: It’s Time to Play by the Rules,” was posted on a DLLR website.

REMOVED: Produced by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the video directly addresses the use of independent contractors in the construction industry and makes it clear what DLLR and the union think about companies that don’t treat subcontractors as employees. Calling the video “offensive and inappropriate,” MNVFCA went to work through its lobbyist and by contacting elected state officials who have been supporters of the association’s efforts. Less than 24 hours after its initial contacts, DLLR took down the video. Saying the “war is still on,” MNVFCA officials “are determined to continue fighting these battles on behalf of all our members.”

SUPPORT NEEDED: In order for MNVFCA to keep up the good fight, it needs support, i.e, money, to do so, especially as the new legislative session begins. “This affects everyone who does business in Maryland and is an ever-growing problem around the nation.” To make a contribution to the association’s legal fund, send a check to MDNVAFCA Legal Fund, P.O. Box 5724, Fredericksburg, VA22403 or call 877.896.3605.

READING TIME: The start of the new year invariably means industry personnel will be crisscrossing the world attending markets, conventions and meetings as they prepare their businesses for the coming year. That means lots of time in airports and on planes, which is the perfect time to catch up on those business books you meant to read but never got around to doing. To help the businessperson on the run choose which books were the year’s best, Strategy+Business (s+b) published its 11th annual Best Business Books of the year list. “Many books are new each year,” noted s+b’s Theodore Kinni, “but those with genuine insight and value are very rare indeed,” noting how the promise of “new and improved gets slapped on business books as often as on household cleansers.”

TOP PICKS: S+b’s team of experts looked at books published between the autumn of 2011 and the autumn of 2012 for those that fulfill their promise. In culling through the myriad of books published during that time, 21 were selected over seven categories — Biography, Strategy, Marketing, Innovation, Healthcare, Organizational Culture and Capitalism. Each category includes the reviewers’ Top Shelf selections, those books considered to be the year’s best-of-the-best. Among these is a new appraisal of Eisenhower that will “prompt you to consider your own effectiveness as a leader,” Kinni said, and an exploration of cloud computing “that gets beyond the surface technological story to look deeper at how it will change business practices.” Whether you are a retailer, distributor or manufacturer, there is sure to be at least one book on the list that will make you think in a way you haven’t before. To view the list of 2012’s best business books, go to strategy-business.com/business_literature for the complete breakdown, along with essays on why each book made the list. Happy

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