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- Ordinary consumers are often unable to distinguish counterfeit products from legitimate products. In fact, according to a recent study, nearly one in four consumers has unknowingly purchased a counterfeit product on the internet.
- The issue of accommodating medical marijuana users in the workplace is becoming more common. As we reported last year, the Colorado Supreme Court has unanimously held that employers may still terminate employees who use medical marijuana – even though medical marijuana use was specifically authorized by the Colorado Constitution and even though Colorado law protects employees’ lawful off-duty conduct.
- During 2015, the number of appeals to the Ohio Supreme Court from decisions of the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) declined from historical highs in 2014, but are still significantly above appeals from prior years.
- The court reversed a Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) decision that denied a property tax exemption to a board of education that leased a 34-acre parcel of property to a farmer. The local board of education (BOE) acquired 154 acres to build a new high school.
- The State of Ohio requires counties to reappraise properties for tax purposes every six years and update those values in the middle of that cycle. This cycle is not evenly distributed between Ohio’s 88 counties.
- In 2002, the New York City Council enacted the Transgender Rights Bill to expand the gender-based protections under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) and ensure protection for those whose “gender and self-image do not fully accord with the legal sex assigned to them at birth.”
- There are several ways in which a disgruntled beneficiary or disinherited heir can challenge a last will and testament or a trust.
- In August 2015, the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, enacted a paid sick leave law (see our previous Labor and Employment Alert on the ordinance). The ordinance would have required all private employers in the City of Pittsburgh to provide their eligible employees with at least one hour of sick leave for each 35 hours worked.
- On January 11, 2016, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) final rule on pay transparency became effective. The rule implements Executive Order 13665, issued in April 2014, prohibiting federal contractors from discharging or discriminating against an employee or applicant "because such employee or applicant has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant" (See our previous Labor and Employment Alert on the final rule). The OFCCP’s final rule applies to all federal contractors with contracts in excess of $10,000 entered into or modified on or after January 11, 2016.
- The Ohio Department of Taxation recently issued an updated Information Release that unmistakably targets digital advertising fees for imposition of sales tax. Traditional advertising services placed through TV/radio broadcasts or through newsprint have never been subject to sales tax.
- On January 5, 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law legislation prohibiting employment discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived status as a caregiver.
- It’s all over the news and it’s top of mind with bank regulators: “Cybersecurity.” What happened with Target, Home Depot and Wyndham hasn’t helped. The last several years have been fraught with news story after news story about those crafty hackers who find vulnerabilities in a company’s system and steal private information or even redirect funds. And despite all of our technological advancements, the escalation in successful hacking attempts has no end in sight. Call them hackers, fraudsters or good old-fashioned crooks, from computer-savvy teenagers to state-sponsored groups, they are not going away. And, unfortunately, they seem at times to be two steps ahead of the latest security software and security vendors that are offering you and your financial institution protection.
- With an industry-wide focus on enterprise risk management, and with the particular vulnerability of banks to the adverse impact of “reputation risk,” it is important that banks understand and take appropriate steps to mitigate risks associated with internet defamation. Online reputation attacks, including internet defamation, are affecting all industries and professionals. Banks, –including community banks,– are not immune from being attacked and disparaged online.
- Bank and thrift shareholders are “different.” Direct or indirect ownership or control of large blocks of stock in a bank or a thrift institution brings with it the need to be cognizant of complex state and federal laws and regulations that may well trigger applications with state and federal regulators to approve the ownership, and/or a proposed transfer of ownership, in advance.
- Labor and Employment Alert: Form 1095 Deadlines Extended and Other December Developments Impacting Health Benefits
In a welcome development, the IRS announced on December 28, 2015 (IRS Notice 2016-04) the following extensions of Form 1095-C and Form 1095-B deadlines:
Original Deadline New Extended Deadline Distribution to employees February 1, 2016 March 31, 2016 (2-month extension) Electronic filing with IRS March 31, 2016 June 30, 2016 (3-month extension) Paper filing with IRS* February 29, 2016 May 31, 2016 (3-month extension)
* Paper filing is only permitted if an entity is filing fewer than 250 Forms 1095-C or 1095-B.
- Recently the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced three settlements to resolve investigations into potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- Rodney Holaday, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office, and Paige Kohn, an associate in the Columbus office, co-authored an article for the Winter 2016 edition of the Columbus Bar Association’s Lawyers Quarterly. The article was titled “The Duty of Competence and Trends in E-Discovery.”
- Jessica Knopp Cunning, an associate in the Vorys Akron office and a member of the litigation group, authored an article for The Whisper, DRI's Young Lawyers Committee Newsletter titled "A 'Drone’s Eye' View of State Laws Governing Drone Use.”
- In October 2015, Representative Tom Brinkman introduced House Bill 377 in the Ohio General Assembly to make Ohio the nation’s 26th right-to-work state (along with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).
- The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices recently released guidance for employers conducting internal I-9 audits. The guidance covers topics including how to define the scope of an internal audit, how to communicate to employees regarding the audit, how to fix specific errors discovered during the audit, and other related questions.
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