Monday, January 4, 2016

Legal News & Knowledge: January 2016 Newsletter

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Happy 2016!

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New Overtime Rules' Implementation Substantially Delayed

By Adair Buckner, Esq.
 
Earlier this year, I predicted we would have to deal with the new Department Of Labor (DOL) regulations defining who can be classified as exempt on January 1, 2016.

Full Article
 



ACA Outlook: What Will 2016 Hold for the Affordable Care Act and Employers?

By Ilyse W. Schuman, Russell D. Chapman and Steven J. Friedman
 
For many employers, 2016 will bring new requirements and challenges with respect to Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance.

Full Article
 



Season's Greetings from the DOL! Two Rules Poised for Implementation in 2016

By Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus, P.C.
 
DOL Overtime Update and DOL's "Persuader" Rule Submitted to OMB for Review

Full Article
 



2016 will be the year of the niche law blog

By Kevin O'Keefe
 
You would be hard-pressed to find a better vehicle to accelerate a reputation and relationships in a speciality than a niche law blog.

Full Article
 



Year-End Planning: Who is an employee?

By Jenni Huotari
 
With this year-end planning comes a need to look at the reporting requirements related to your organization and its employees.

Full Article
 


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Employment and HR

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Alcoholism & ADA: Former USC Coach Files Suit Over His Termination

By Jonathan T. Hyman, Esq.
 
On October 12, University of Southern California (USC) fired its head football coach, Steve Sarkisian. On Tuesday, Sarkisian filed a 31-page, 14-count complaint in California state court challenging his termination.

Full Article
 



You've Received a Discrimination Charge: Don't Throw It in the Trash!

By Dora Lane, Esq.
 
When asked about a discrimination charge sent to them months ago, a client once answered "I did not know what to do with it, so I threw it in the trash." Needless to say, that was a bad idea.

Full Article
 



Companies That Use Staffing Agencies Must Be Careful to Avoid Joint Employer Liability

By Jacob M. Sitman
 
. . . several recent court cases and government agency rulings demonstrate that these increasingly common arrangements pose liability risks to companies who do not take measures to ensure that all staff members, regular and temporary, are paid appropriately and treated fairly.

Full Article
 



Harassment vs. Discrimination vs. Obnoxious Behavior

By Kristi D. Rothschild, Esq.
 
"[H]arassment consists of conduct outside the scope of necessary job performance, conduct presumably engaged in for personal gratification, because of meanness or bigotry, or for other personal motives."

Full Article
 



Employers and workers grapple with laws allowing marijuana use

By G. M. Filisko
 
"I think there's mass confusion," reports Lori Ecker, a Chicago lawyer . . . "The core problem is that marijuana continues to be a Schedule I drug according to federal drug law. That's the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

Full Article
 


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Immigration

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Immigration Executive Action Headed to the High Court

By Christian G.A. Zeller, Esq.
 
After Congress' inability to pass immigration reform of any kind, there was much excitement in the immigrant community when, as a result, President Obama announced immigration executive action in November 2014.

Full Article
 



USCIS Proposes New Form I-9

By Sara Zorich
 
In advance of the expiration, USCIS has issued proposed changes to the Form I-9 for public comment.

Full Article
 



$2.8M settlement of FLSA suit by foreign H-2A workers over expenses is approved

By Lorene D. Park, J.D.
 
Filing suit, the farmworkers claimed that these expenses were primarily for the employer's benefit and that the company violated the FLSA by failing to reimburse them for the travel and immigration expenses.

Full Article
 



Government Offers Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal I-9 Audits

By Robert Johnson
 
. . . adopting the I-9 audit practices outlined in the guidance should reduce the risk of employer liability related to the internal Form I-9 audit process.

Full Article
 



USCIS Approves 10,000 U Visas for 7th Straight Fiscal Year

By USCIS
 
Each year, 10,000 U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcement authorities investigate or prosecute those crimes.

Full Article
 


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Workers' Compensation

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Obamacare Expands Into Workers' Comp

By MaryRose Reaston
 
A complication related to Obamacare means that Medicaid can soon demand reimbursement from workers' comp settlements.

Full Article
 



Pregnant Workers Should Get Workers' Compensation If They Have a Claim

By Todd Bennett and Jon Rehm
 
. . . when an occupational or work injury and a non-occupational injury, combine to cause disability, employers still have to pay those disability benefits.

Full Article
 



Hotel Janitorial Co. Owners Indicted for $7 Million in Workers' Comp Fraud

By WorkCompWire
 
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis recently announced that a grand jury has indicted the owners of Good Neighbor Services as well as six accomplices for a massive, ongoing insurance fraud and tax evasion scheme.

Full Article
 



Right Way and Wrong Way to Investigate a Work Comp Claim

By Attorney Theodore Ronca
 
Should employers be involved in investigating dubious compensation claims? Yes, of course--if they do it correctly.

Full Article
 



Rise of Online Shopping Bodes for More Dangerous Holiday Jobs

By Jon Rehm
 
. . . more temporary holiday jobs have shifted from in-store retail sales to more warehousing and transportation jobs that are more dangerous.

Full Article
 


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Real Estate and Property Management

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Landlords' Guide to the Eviction Process in North Carolina

By Peter D. Isakoff, Esq.
 
As a landlord, taking a tenant to court can be a confusing and daunting process. A common reason landlords take tenants to court is when tenants default on leases by not paying rent.

Full Article
 



Jail Time For Residential Landlords?

By Alex Dobrev and Hanna Edeback
 
Apparently residential landlords could face jail time if two companion bills introduced in the Florida House and Senate become law during the upcoming legislative session.

Full Article
 



How To Handle A Tenant That Is Being Abusive Or Irrational

By Marina Shlomov
 
Whether you're dealing with missed payments, middle of the night phone calls, or blatant rudeness, we have some tips that will help you handle a tenant that is being abusive or irrational.

Full Article
 



Airbnb Apartments? Is This Startup Ready to Invade the Apartment Space?

By Aaron Stubblefield
 
Revenue will tell the tale. We recently conducted an apartment feasibility study for a proposed new building where the developer was considering including some units devoted to Airbnb users.

Full Article
 



The Number Of Renters Is Exploding And It's Not Because Of Millennials

By AAOA
 
America is quickly becoming more and more a nation of renters – but it's not Millennials who are leading the charge.

Full Article
 


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Life in the Law

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A Holiday Tribute to All Our Non-Lawyer Spouses

By Holly Agajanian, Esq.
 
Years ago, I was reading an article by someone who was talking about how difficult it is to debate issues with friends who are lawyers...

Full Article
 



Nine Vital Numbers for Your Law Firm's Health

By Larry Port
 
Lawyers and law schools alike need to recognize that most attorneys end up running small businesses, and for them to have the best possible client service they need to run the best possible businesses. Period.

Full Article
 



What is the state of the legal blogosphere?

By Molly McDonough
 
Even the slow-to-embrace-change world of BigLaw is increasingly on board with blogging, whether to draw in potential clients or market the expertise of their lawyers.

Full Article
 



Which One is the Client?

By Megan Zavieh
 
It may sound like an academic question, but there are many real-life situations where attorneys are not sure of the client's identity. Here are a few of those scenarios . . .

Full Article
 



Early Signs Pointing to Increase in Law School Applicants

By Jacob Gershman
 
In the last five years enrollment at U.S. law schools fell by more than 20%, going from a record high to a decades-long low.

Full Article
 


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Staff Picks

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How a tweet from Shutterstock's CEO changed the way I think about customer service

By Mars Dorian, {grow} Contributing Columnist
 
I resolved to better serve my clients, regardless of overloading work, or any other excuse I could muster up.

Full Article
 



May Your Days Be Merry and Bright, and Your Drones be Registered for Flight

By Sharon Ormond and Jacquelyn Takeda
 
On December 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a "final interim rule" for registering unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, just in time for the holiday season.

Full Article
 



Give Employees the Option of Donating Vacation Time

By Sharlyn Lauby
 
You know how this works. Year-end is approaching. The finance department does not want a huge vacation accrual on the books. The policy says "use it or lose it."

Full Article
 



Working From Home Poses Tricky Issues

By Tony Boobier
 
Working from home can boost productivity but lead to isolation and insecurity for the employee -- and new liabilities for employers and insurers.

Full Article
 



Social Media in the 2010s: A Force Awakens

By Daniel Schwartz
 
Social media has become so mainstream that it is now just part of the myriad of things human resources has to keep track of.

Full Article
 


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