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- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had set November 5, 2014 as the deadline for all but the smallest self-insured health plans to obtain a health plan identification number (HPID). On October 31, 2014 – less than a week before that deadline (and three days after publishing new FAQs on the process) – CMS announced an indefinite delay in the requirement that health plans get HPIDs.
- Emily Pan, an attorney in the Vorys Cincinnati office, authored an article titled "Trust Protectors: Does Ohio Law Leave More Questions Than Answers?," for the Probate Law Journal of Ohio.
- Although the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have agreed on standards for wellness programs, and Congress seemed to have blessed those standards when it authorized higher levels of incentives in wellness programs as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has long expressed concerns about those standards.
- Whistleblower Defense Alert: Court Finds Relator Ill-Suited To Question Federal Agency’s Judgment, Tosses Qui Tam SuitLast week, the District of Kansas granted summary judgment to Boeing in U.S. ex rel. Smith v. The Boeing Company, Case No. 05-10730MLB (D. Kan.), a False Claims Act case in which the qui tam relators effectively tried to second-guess the professional judgment of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
- Today, a business’s online reputation is a large component of how it is perceived by customers and potential customers. Businesses must be aware of what customers are saying about them online and via social media.
- Labor and Employment Alert: Workplace Bullying — a New Training Requirement in California — The Next Protected Category?Workplace bullying is a topic that is garnering a lot of attention. A new poll commissioned by CareerBuilder found that 28% of workers feel that they have been bullied at work and 19% of those workers have left their jobs because of the bullying. Twenty-Seven percent of those bullied are management employees (manager, director, team leader, vice president and above); 19% of employees bullied earn more than $50,000 a year.
- If given the opportunity, anyone that has been defamed on Reddit would surely “downvote” the popular website for its policy on defamation removal. According to Reddit, it is uncommon for administrators of the website – self-branded as “a source for what’s new and popular on the web” – to remove defamatory content.
- Whitney Gibson co-authored an article for Texas Lawyer titled “SCOTX Internet Defamation Ruling Helps Mitigate Damages.”
- Subpoenas, Forensic Exams and Cyber Investigation: How to Identify Anonymous or Unknown Internet PostersIt is no secret that people are more comfortable publishing harmful statements on the internet when their identities are masked. As such, the sources of internet defamation and other online reputation attacks typically publish damaging content anonymously or pseudonymously.
- Cease and Desist Letter an Effective Response Technique for False Online Reviews When Strong Legal Grounds ExistBusinesses and individuals have increasingly become victims of false online reviews. When a party has been the subject of such damaging internet posts, there are a variety of techniques an attorney or other hired professional (e.g. PR or ORM expert) can utilize to assist his or her client.
- Whitney Gibson, a partner in the Cincinnati office and the leader of the firm’s internet defamation group, authored an article for Social Media Explorer about “Twitter parties.”
- If your company sponsors a self-insured health plan, there are two November deadlines you may have overlooked in the midst of preparation for the ACA’s pay or play penalties and 2015 open enrollment.
- With developments over the recent years that include a number of high profile data breaches (e.g., Snowden and Target), the National Institute of Standards and Technology release of its recommendations titled the "Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity," and the enhanced regulatory exam focus on identifying an institution’s preparation and protections related to cyber risks, institutions and boards that fail to focus and create plans to deal with cyber risks do so at their own peril.
- Life as a mutual thrift is a good news/bad news proposition. The "good news" is that you’re not constantly facing shareholder pressures for performance and returns because you don’t have shareholders to worry about. The "bad news" is that your only current direct option for raising capital, when needed or desired, is severely restricted to the long-term mechanism of accumulating retained earnings.
- While the "big" banks and bank holding companies have been issuing preferred stock to raise capital for years, we have recently seen increased interest from community banks and bank holding companies in issuing convertible preferred stock to raise capital. In the past 12 to 18 months, there have been a number of convertible preferred stock offerings, including both registered offerings and private placements, by community bank and thrift holding companies.
- On February 24, 2014, the Federal Reserve provided better insight into issues that may delay or prevent its approval of applications and notices relating to transactions, including mergers and branch or line of business expansions. The Federal Reserve’s supervisory letter also announced that it would begin publishing a semi-annual report in the second half of 2014 to enhance transparency in the bank applications and notice process.
- There is good news for FCA defendants out of the First Circuit: According to a recent decision, settlement payments in excess of the government’s single damages are tax deductible if the defendant can show that the excess sums are compensatory, rather than punitive. The Internal Revenue Code allows businesses to deduct its “ordinary and necessary expenses” but not “any fine or similar penalty paid to a government for the violation of any law.” Applying this guidance to FCA settlements is complicated by the FCA’s treble damages provisions, which clearly implicate a punitive damages component.
- J.B. Lind, an associate in the Vorys Cincinnati office and a member of the litigation group, authored an article for the September issue of the Cincinnati Bar Association’s CBA Report titled “CALL Class XVIII: Youth Court.”
- On August 22, 2014, the Sixth District Court of Appeals affirmed on all counts a Williams County probate court’s September 2012 decision in favor of PNC Bank, National Association against successor trustee and beneficiaries’ various breach-of-fiduciary-duty claims. The decision in Newcomer v. National City Bank, (2014-Ohio-3619; 2007 Ohio App. LEXIS 6365 (Ohio App. 6th Dist.)) provides critical guidance for Ohio trustees on four key points of law.
- Whitney Gibson, a partner in the Vorys Cincinnati office and the leader of the firm’s internet defamation group, authored an article for Social Media Explorer titled “How to Respond to Online Brand and Reputation Attacks.”