Club Insider

About Paul R. Bedard, Esquire

Paul R. Bedard, EsquirePaul R. Bedard, Esquire

"Paul Bedard has nearly twenty years of experience in the health and fitness industry. He's currently a Partner and the Director of Operations for Crunch Fitness Connecticut. He's also a practicing attorney. Paul strives to be active in his local community and has served on the Southington Zoning Board of Appeals and the Board of the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency. He also volunteers and fundraises for various local charities."

Phone: N/A
Email: paul@crunchct.com

Previous Articles

Showing 1 - 13 of 13 Articles

About Our Authors

"Insider Speaks"
Transgender Legal Considerations for Health Club Operators


March 2016 - If a transgender individual requests access to the locker room within your club that corresponds with their gender identity, how do you or your front line staff respond? This question, like most, is one that is best answered with the benefit of advance preparation. This requires the proactive formulation of a policy that complies with your specific jurisdictional requirements and the thorough training of your employees in this regard. Once enacted, your policy should be included within your employee training materials and within your membership agreement. Read Article...

Club Legal Considerations for the New Year

January 2015 - Given the effort required to create a financially successful health club, it is imperative to protect your business by minimizing your legal risk. Potential legal issues, like sales objections, are best addressed by acting preemptively. The first quarter of each new year is as good a time as any to take stock of your preparedness for the legal hazards that lurk within our industry. This article has been produced by request of Club Insider Publisher, Norm Cates, to help club owners and operators focus on important legal matters for their clubs and deal with them appropriately. Read Article...

Federal Court Strikes Down Final Rule

September 2017 - In last September's issue of Club Insider, I wrote about the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) Final Rule: impending legislation that was, at that time, scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016. Last September's article focused on how health club owners and operators could prepare for this significant new legislation. However, in November of 2016, Judge Amos L. Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas stalled this legislation when he issued a preliminary injunction. Following this injunction, the Department of Labor (DOL) promptly filed an appeal, and the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments later this year. In the meantime, business owners and operators have been left in a state of limbo on this issue. Read Article...

Health Club Employee Non-Compete Agreements

March 2015 - It's no secret that most health clubs initially lose money. It typically takes months, and in some cases, years to painstakingly build a large enough membership base to turn a profit. As this membership base and the club's resulting goodwill are established, club owners and operators naturally pay close attention to member retention. Read Article...

Key Components of an Effective Compliance Program

August 2017 - Policies and procedures, including but not limited to those prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination, or those detailing how to respond to sudden emergencies or handle issues of confidentiality, are ultimately useless if they cannot be consistently complied with. Whatever the policy or procedure, an effective compliance program will help to ensure that theory translates into practice. An effective compliance program requires clearly articulated written policies and procedures, designated oversight, ongoing education and training, internal auditing and monitoring, reporting mechanisms, active enforcement and discipline and demonstrated response and prevention. Read Article...

Mitigating Liability Through the Proper Hiring, Training and Ongoing Certification of Employees

September 2015 - You've just signed up a new personal training client! A liability waiver has been executed and your new client has been placed with your head trainer! Other than failing to retain your new client, what could possibly go wrong? As I learned years ago when I would ask my law school professors which way a case should be decided, "It depends." Read Article...

Protect Your Confidential and Proprietary Information, Knowledge and Materials with Non-Disclosure Agreements

July 2017 - A non-disclosure agreement, also known as a confidentiality agreement, is a legal agreement that is made between at least two parties that details the information, knowledge and materials being shared between the parties and the legal obligations created by the agreement. Among other uses, a non-disclosure agreement can be utilized within an employment agreement to safeguard company-owned confidential information or to protect knowledge, information and materials shared with an outside party for the purposes of exploring a potential business relationship. Non-disclosure agreements can be mutual or unilateral. A mutual agreement is utilized when both parties are sharing anything that is considered confidential. A unilateral agreement is used when only one party is making a disclosure. Read Article...

Risk Management
How to Minimize Your Legal Exposure to Slip and Fall Claims


February 2017 - It's no secret that these are competitive times for the health and fitness club industry. Given the effort required to generate increased revenues, it can be challenging to find time to develop a sound risk management strategy. However, whether training your people to effectively respond to a medical emergency, designing your employment practices to minimize the likelihood of an employment dispute or methodically inspecting and maintaining your premises to mitigate your exposure to premises liability claims, you must be proactive from a risk management standpoint. Read Article...

Risk Management
How to Minimize Your Potential Legal Exposure to Employment Disputes


March 2017 - Employment lawsuits, including claims of discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination, are among the most common lawsuits filed against companies in the United States. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), nearly 75% of all litigation against corporations involves employment disputes. It has also been reported that the median judgment resulting from an EEOC charge is approximately $200,000 and that the average duration of an employment claim is 275 days. Read Article...

Risk Management
Minimize the Likelihood of Medical Emergencies and Mitigate Your Responsive Liability


April 2017 - Most health club owners and operators rightfully find themselves contemplating the inevitable medical emergency. It has been reported that more than 10,000 people are treated in emergency rooms daily for injuries stemming from exercise, sports and recreation. Many suffer injuries while using exercise equipment, with treadmills being involved in a significant percentage of these incidents. More than 250,000 Americans die annually due to sudden cardiac arrest, with a significant number of these cardiac events transpiring within health clubs. Although certain types of medical emergencies are beyond anyone's control, consistent operational practices guided by a targeted risk management strategy can reduce the likelihood of others. Read Article...

The FLSA's "Final Rule" and How to Prepare for It

September 2016 - The fact that many employers struggle with wage and hour compliance, combined with employees having a greater awareness of their employment rights, has contributed to an already healthy boost in wage and hour disputes. A new law will almost certainly increase the volume of these disputes. The Fair Labor Standards Act's "Final Rule" takes effect on December 1, 2016. This new law dramatically raises the standard salary level for exempt employees and will further accelerate the increasing trend of wage and hour litigation. Read Article...

Utilizing a Cease and Desist Letter to Enforce Your Legal Rights and Protect Your Interests

May 2017 - What is one of the first things you should do upon learning that one of your former employees is in violation of their non-compete agreement, soliciting your current and former clients while working for your greatest competitor? What actions should you initially take upon discovering that another health club is using your protected logo or engaging in any activity that violates your legal rights or damages your protected interests? Read Article...

When A Health Club's Dress Code Conflicts With A Member's Religious Beliefs

June 2017 - Most health club owners and operators have had to decline or terminate someone's membership against that person's will for any number of reasons. Theft, threatening conduct, inappropriate attire and unsafe use of equipment are just some of the reasons that immediately come to mind. Yet, when does denying someone membership constitute illegal discrimination? It depends. Some instances of such discrimination are blatant, while others require individual analysis of the facts at issue and the federal, state and local laws that apply within the jurisdiction. Read Article...

About Our Authors