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3 legal documents every 18-year-old needs to have

As 18-year-olds across the country prepare to take their first steps into adult life – whether attending college, university, vocational training program, entering the workforce, or taking a gap year – parents of those now-adult-children should be aware there are important legal documents that should be in place to ensure they can continue to be there for their child if needed.

At 18, your child has reached the age of majority and many parents are surprised to learn they can no longer act on their child’s behalf to assist in medical or financial decisions. Should there be an accident or an illness that requires hospitalization, a parent could be shut out from knowing what is happening due to HIPAA laws and would be unable to make healthcare decisions for their child. Parents could also be frustrated to learn they can no longer contribute money into their child’s account without all of the appropriate account numbers, and that they cannot make a financial decision to assist their child. Read more…

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Employment Law Q&A: COVID-19 Testing in the Workplace

Q.  Under the ADA, may an employer, as a mandatory screening measure, administer a COVID-19 viral test (a test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus) when evaluating an employee’s initial or continued presence in the workplace?

A.  Yes, if the employer can demonstrate that it is job related and consistent with business necessity under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  This approach is based on modified Guidance regarding the COVID-19 testing issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on July 12, 2022.  In earlier guidance issued during the height of the pandemic, the EEOC said COVID-19 testing for on-site employees was permissible without limitation.  The change in the EEOC’s position reflects the evolving nature of the pandemic and the EEOC’s return to its more typical approach to employer-required medical exams and tests. Read more…

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A corporate Swiss Army Knife: The Employee Stock Ownership Plan, Part 2: Shareholder transactions – navigating ERISA risks

Part 2: Shareholder Transactions – Navigating ERISA Risks

An ESOP is a paradox – an ERISA-covered tax-qualified retirement plan, which benefits employees, designed to invest primarily in securities of the ESOP sponsor, which benefits the sponsor. Given this dual nature, there are many ERISA risks. Giving short shrift to these issues can lead to significant liability. This article provides a framework for navigating these perilous waters and mitigating risk. Read more…

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New DOL Fact Sheet takes on rising workplace mental health issues

Recent reports from both government agencies and human resources experts confirm what employers already know: challenging times are taking a toll on employees’ mental health. With employers focused on how to properly address these issues in the workplace, the DOL has stepped in with two new guidance documents:  Fact Sheet #280: Mental Health Conditions and the FMLA and Frequently Asked Questions on the FMLA’s mental health provisions. Read more…

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Federal Trade Commission issues new and expansive guidance on data breach notification

The Federal Trade Commission has issued new guidance explicitly stating it now interprets the Federal Trade Commission Act as imposing consumer data breach notification obligations. Notably, unlike state data breach notification laws already in effect, the guidance does not specify particular data points that would trigger a notification obligation if compromised. Rather, the guidance imposes notification obligations when a compromise of any data would “increase the likelihood that affected parties will suffer harm.” Read more…

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Employment Law Q&A: What is AI and why does it matter for employers?

What is AI?

AI stands for “artificial intelligence.” Generally, AI is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the development of systems endowed with the intellectual processing characteristics of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience. Read more…

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Kall in Crain’s Cleveland Business Tax Tips: Potential risks and benefits of compensation in cryptocurrency

McDonald Hopkins’ David Kall, Cleveland Office Managing Member and Chair of the Tax and Benefits Practice Group, authored the April 24 edition of Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Tax Tips on “Potential risks and benefits of compensation in cryptocurrency.”

In the article, Kall explains, “Federal law does not permit payment of base wages in currencies that have not been issued by a government, and some states require wages to be paid in U.S. currency. If an employee has been paid in cryptocurrency, the employer may not have legally satisfied its obligations to the employee. Employers may be able to pay bonuses in cryptocurrency or pay in cash and then, with the employee’s approval, convert the cash payment to cryptocurrency. Either approach would raise compliance questions and add complexity and cost to the payroll process.”

You can read the entire piece at CrainsCleveland.com by clicking here.

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FTC considers new rule to address deceptive or unfair marketing using earnings claims

The Federal Trade Commission published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on March 11, 2022 that it is considering a rule to address deceptive or unfair marketing using earnings claims. The commission is soliciting written comment, data, and arguments concerning the need for such a rulemaking. Comments must be received on or before May 10, 2022.

The commission is examining and exploring: Read more…

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DOL issues guidance on cryptocurrency retirement plan investments

Earlier last month, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance relating to cryptocurrency as an investment option in participant directed 401(k) plans. It was the closest the DOL has ever come to saying “No way!” on a fiduciary issue. Read more…

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Surprise billing arbitration system for out-of-network payment disputes goes live

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury (Departments) last week announced the opening of the federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) system for initiating arbitration under the No Surprises Act process and updated their guidance to certified IDR entities for determining out-of-network payment amounts.

What is the No Surprises Act?

The No Surprises Act and related regulations protect patients from surprise medical bills for non-emergency services furnished by out-of-network providers at in-network healthcare facilities, emergency services, and out-of-network air ambulance services. If a provider and the health plan or insurer disagree on the payment amount for out-of-network services and are unable to resolve the dispute through negotiation then either party may initiate the IDR process within 4 business days after the end of the 30 business day negotiation period. A certified IDR entity will then be selected, the provider and the health plan or insurer will each submit a proposed payment amount and supporting information to the IDR entity, and the IDR entity will select one of the two offers as the out-of-network rate. Read more…

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