According to "Business Law" (2007), “Business law addresses statutes and regulations affecting businesses, families, and individuals. Businesses operate in an increasingly global environment where the laws of different governments and judicial systems might conflict. Law has been defined in many ways.” (para. 1). A body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by a controlling authority, and having legal binding force (Melvin, p. 4, 2011) is one of the most generally accepted definitions. Essentially law provides a way of resolving disputes and dealing with individual who break the rules and regulations set forth from our government. The body of American law is so diverse business law is broken down into three categories: Criminal and Civil Law, these laws are of criminal or civil nature. Criminal law is for the protection of society of an individual breaking the law.
Most violators are subject to fines and possibly imprisonment. Civil laws are designed for individuals to be compensated for losses as a result of another’s actions. Substantive and Procedural law, substantive law provides individuals with social rights and duties while procedural law gives structure for pursuing substantive rights. Public and Private Law, public law is between an individual and the government. Private law is where individual contract with each other where no specific statues or regulations are involved. These categories of law are very important to business and society by having guidelines setup for individuals to abide by. These laws were also setup for the protection of society (Melvin, p. 18, 2011). The most recent changes in business law involve the courts and the legislature on how to deal with how technology has impacted the law, particularly with computers and the Internet.
Cyber law has been added as a separate topic in these standards because of its emerging importance in the workplace. Specifically, this area of the standards addresses intellectual property law, with an increased focus on patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyright law. Contract law, including legislation related to electronic transactions. Statutes dealing with the impact of computers on privacy and crimes and torts related to computers. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations also known as administrative law, published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government of the United States.
My first experience with business law has to do with the CFR-49 Hazardous Transportation Code of Federal Regulations. There are 4 modes of transportation for hazardous goods but I will concentrate on the CFR-49. The CFR-49 deals with hazardous regulations for ground transportation throughout the United States. All hazardous materials have to meet certain qualification to ship across the United States. If we fail to follow the regulations we can be fined with major penalties. The fines are pretty steep and can ruin a person life. You can face up to 10 years of prison time depending on the severity of the situation and up to 110,000 dollars.
This is a motivation factor for me to stay on top of all of the changes that are applied to the CFR-49 ever quarter. Every so often civilian companies try to send us material and pass it off as non-regulated material. When this happens we contact the companies and explain to them what they have done wrong, advising them to correct their mistake immediately or they will face federal charges. Most of the time the companies are more than willing to fix the problem and then there are a few that think they can get away with it and try to push their luck.
One company sent 6 truckloads of regulated batteries to our depot and they packed and shipped them not in compliance with CFR-49. We called the company to inform them of their mistake and needed them to fly some of their employees to our depot to repack everything. At first they did not want to comply and refused to send someone out to fix the problem. We took immediate action and the company was fined and lost their contract with the government. After all of this took place they still had to come to our depot and fix the problem so they could ship all of it back to their facility.
References Business Law. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.nbea.org/newsite/curriculum/standards/law.html Melvin, S. P. (2011). The Legal Environment of Business A Managerial Approach. Retrieved from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary2/content/DownloadList.aspx?assetMetaId=975f42c4-9d85-4785-93f4-867c4ee6986d&assetDataId=ba00b38d-2bb3-465c-b189-549fe15eedf4.