Alerts Archive

  • Sep 24 2019

    On September 23, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final rule regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) salary test for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions. The final rule runs 245 pages but its changes to the exemption test is relatively uncomplicated.

  • Aug 06 2019

    The so-called “Company Model” for providing anesthesia services at ambulatory surgical centers (“ASC’s”), modern health care facilities which provide same-day surgical care, continues to offer potential profits to physician-owners of ACS. But along with the economic opportunity comes long-standing legal controversy beset with civil and criminal sanctions. Georgia has taken center stage in the fight.

  • Jul 11 2019

    Amazon’s recent classification as a “seller” under Pennsylvania law could expose it to additional liability for product sales made on its massive online marketplace. A recent ruling issued by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals could expose Amazon to claims for strict product liability and negligence in states having similar laws to those in Pennsylvania.

  • Jun 27 2019

    As Bitcoin* continues to rise in value relative to the U.S. dollar (currently trading at $12,843 on Coinbase), renewed interest in the non-sovereign currency is sparking the question among some intrepid employers: Can I pay my employees in Bitcoin?

  • Jun 26 2019

    Trustees who have been paying taxes in Georgia on accumulated fiduciary income may want to reevaluate that practice based upon the language of the Georgia statute and the Supreme Court decision on the Kaestner case.

  • Jun 25 2019

    Brand owners often struggle to maintain their “minimum advertised price” (or “MAP”) in a world of ubiquitous online resellers. A recent decision issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah involving a consumer brand provides guidance to trademark owners who want to limit the unauthorized resale of their products.

  • May 23 2019

    On May 9, 2019, the state of Washington joined Massachusetts, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Illinois and Nevada in curtailing the use of employee non-competition covenants.

  • Apr 30 2019

    The Georgia Department of Revenue will be holding an auction Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at Century Center to sell a large quantity of distilled spirits and wine that their agents have seized over a period of time.

  • Apr 29 2019

    Based on an April 25, 2019, ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, employers who submit an EEO-1 Report must also submit the 2018 Component 2 pay data by September 30, 2019.

  • Apr 25 2019

    On Wednesday, April 24, 2019, the Supreme Court issued another decision supporting the use of individual arbitration agreements, and limiting employee and consumer access to class and collective claims.

  • Mar 27 2019

    On March 21, 2019, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its en banc decision in Lewis v. City of Union City.

  • Mar 26 2019

    New Jersey Senate Bill 121 bans nondisclosure provisions for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims, deeming future confidentiality agreements unenforceable and forcing employers to reevaluate their policies.

  • Mar 18 2019

    On March 7, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a proposed rule regarding the salary threshold for treating employees as exempt under the administrative, executive, and highly compensated employee exemptions.

  • Mar 18 2019

    One of the more helpful aspects of the change in administrations is the resumption of the United States Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) use of Opinion Letters to provide guidance to employers.

  • Feb 19 2019

    After several revisions and months of debate, Congress enacted The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) on December 22, 2017, the largest change to the Internal Revenue Code since 1986. The sweeping changes resulted in more take-home pay for some employees, but many employees will find that they did not have enough Federal income tax withheld from their paychecks to cover their entire tax liability for 2018. Employees that routinely get refunds may actually owe tax when ...

  • Jan 31 2019

    Attorneys Jeff Kuester and Brad Czerwonky discuss the importance of timely filing patent applications based on the Supreme Court’s Helsinn Healthcare decision. Mr. Kuester and Mr. Czerwonky specifically discuss best practices regarding on-sale events. They explain interpretations under the America Invents Act (AIA), qualifications for “on-sale” events, the availability (or unavailability) of grace periods, the effect of non-disclosure ...

  • Jan 22 2019

    With The Big Game quickly approaching, we wanted to remind you that the NFL is an aggressive enforcer of its trademark rights in the term “Super Bowl.” The City of Atlanta has extended hours for alcohol sales the week of The Big Game.

  • Jan 01 2019

    Georgia has a complex web of laws governing mandatory reporting, and the responsibility includes more than traditionally-understood abuse or neglect. This survey discusses only the mandated reporter statute in Georgia. 

  • Nov 26 2018

    On November 19, Institutional Shareholder Services, the leading proxy advisory firm (“ISS”), announced revisions to its 2019 proxy voting guidelines[1]. While the revisions consist largely of minor tweaks to existing policies, two of the 2019 revisions are noteworthy. 

  • Aug 30 2018

    A recent Delaware Court of Chancery case, ChyronHego Corp. v. Wight, C.A., explores the interaction between several of the typically relevant provisions.

  • Aug 29 2018

    On August 28, 2018, the United States Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (“DOL”) issued an opinion letter that could be a game changer for organizations that employ inside sales representatives.

  • Aug 20 2018

    On August 10, 2018, Massachusetts’ governor signed into law a bill that significantly changes the Commonwealth’s law on covenants not to compete in the employment/independent contractor context. The law narrows the categories of workers who can be bound by a covenant not to compete, specifies the notice to the contractor or employee and consideration required, and limits the circumstances in which such covenants can be enforced against former employees.

  • Aug 08 2018

    Late last week, the U.S. Justice Department indicted three Ukrainian nationals in connection with a hacking (malware) scheme that stole more than 15 million credit and debit card numbers from the restaurant, gaming, and hospitality industries.

  • Jul 18 2018

    The insurance coverage purchased in a blanket policy may seem broad, but this broad coverage is then limited by definitions, conditions and exclusions. These terms narrow the perceived coverage and can render the presumed coverage purchased for lost or stolen rare coins or similar collectibles merely an illusion.

  • Jul 02 2018

    On June 28, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final rules amending the definition of “smaller reporting company” to extend the benefit of the smaller-reporting-company reporting regime to more registrants.

  • Jun 2018

    South Carolina has a complex web of laws governing mandatory reporting, and the responsibility includes more than traditionally-understood abuse or neglect. The law imposes a responsibility to report such things as emotional abuse, teen sexting, and some cases of domestic violence. Furthermore, the statute specifically includes volunteers, thus placing a responsibility on youth-serving organizations to train volunteers as well as employees.

    This survey ...

  • Jun 07 2018

    If you have received a deluge of emails regarding updated privacy policies from services you use, you are not alone. They relate to a new set of data privacy rules that went into effect across the European Union on May 25, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The new rules have sweeping implications for businesses around the world.

  • Jun 05 2018

    An almost overlooked provision[1] in the recent amendments to the Dodd–Frank[2] legislation extends the benefits of the highly popular Regulation A+ offering regime to public companies for the first time.

  • May 21 2018

    On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court continued its work in evening the playing field for employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the Court held that arbitration agreements between an employer and employee that contain a waiver of class or collective actions are enforceable.

  • May 17 2018

    The scandal in the USA Gymnastics program that came to light in 2017 recently prompted Congress to do what legislators do and pass a new law. As of February 2018, many youth sports leagues have new requirements for the reporting and prevention of child abuse, mandated by the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017. All youth sports leagues should be aware of the new rules, which requirements, even if they don’t apply ...

  • May 09 2018

    If your organization is gearing up for a non-residential summer program in Georgia, remember to review childcare licensing requirements. If your program cares for children less than 24 hours a day, then it must be either licensed or exempted from licensing requirements. 

  • May 08 2018

    The Time’s Up and #MeToo movements continue to affect change in workplaces across America. Most recently, comprehensive anti-sexual harassment measures have been passed on both the state and local levels in New York.

  • Apr 30 2018

    On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed into law the Tax Reform Reconciliation Act, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“the Act”). The Act is a major overhaul of the tax system and contains numerous revisions of tax laws applicable to both business and individual taxpayers, including professional service firms and their owners. Some states, including Georgia, have already enacted corresponding legislation.

  • Apr 11 2018

    The IRS recently announced that it will be discontinuing the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”) on September 28, 2018. Taxpayers wanting to enter the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program must postmark their Voluntary Disclosure Letter and requisite attachments (FAQ 24) by September 28, 2018. Taxpayers entering the program can avoid onerous penalties and possible criminal prosecution by voluntarily disclosing their offshore assets and ...

  • Apr 05 2018

    On April 2, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion that could have significant impact in the defense of misclassification claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, the Court held that the longstanding principle that exemptions under the FLSA should be construed narrowly was not supported by the statute. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for himself and four other justices, wrote:

    The Ninth Circuit ...

  • Mar 02 2018

    On March 1, 2018, the Georgia General Assembly adopted HB 918 which will significantly reduce income taxes payable by both individuals and corporations subject to taxation in Georgia. The major features of the bill are as follows:

  • Feb 26 2018

    After two years of dormancy, the IRS and State Department announced that they will begin denying and revoking passports for individuals with federal tax liabilities exceeding $51,000 authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”), P.L. 114-94, legislation enacted in December of 2015. On January 22, 2018, the IRS began certifying taxpayers’ seriously delinquent tax debts and submitting those certifications to the State ...

  • Feb 15 2018

    Conservation easements, done properly, are wonderful and legal. They protect land, water, air, and nature. Many scientists even believe that golf courses in urban areas serve an important conservation purpose. However, sometimes the courts may not be apprised of relevant studies related to the conservation benefits of golf courses. This can result in a ruling that does more harm than good.

  • Feb 06 2018

    For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, the Georgia legislature has expanded the film credit to cover “qualified post-production expenditures.” What is unique about this new law is that qualified post-production expenditures incurred in Georgia may relate to footage shot outside of Georgia.

  • Jan 24 2018

    Individuals who owe taxes to the federal government would do well to enter into some form of installment agreement to pay those taxes.

  • Jan 23 2018

    Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), and it was signed into law in December 2017. Payroll department impacts from the new law are summarized. 

  • Nov 27 2017

    The current media attention being directed towards recent allegations (and in some cases admissions) of sexual discrimination, harassment, and/or assault by members of Congress, faculty or staff at educational institutions, and high-profile individuals in the media, sports and entertainment industries, as well as the resulting “#metoo” social media movement, are understandably increasing the incidence of claims against employers. The financial cost ...

  • Oct 26 2017

    The City of Atlanta’s Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee held a public hearing October 24, regarding a proposed amendment to the City of Atlanta’s Alcohol Code to increase alcohol license fees.

  • Oct 06 2017

    On October 5, 2017, the Georgia Department of Revenue proposed rules for implementing O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.33, entitled the Georgia Musical Investment Act (“the Act”).

  • Sep 01 2017

    On Thursday, August 31, 2017, a Texas federal court invalidated the Obama Administration’s overtime rule increasing the minimum threshold salary required to qualify for the white collar exemption.

  • Aug 22 2017

    On August 21, 2017, the Georgia Department of Revenue released Policy Bulletin SUT-2017-07 providing a sales tax exemption for sales of tickets, fees, or charges for admission to certain fine arts performances or exhibitions at a facility owned by a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

  • May 05 2017

    Individuals investing in Conservation Easement Transactions have many questions. Why is the IRS attacking Conservation Easements?  Why do I have to file these extra forms?  When do I file the forms and what are the risks if I don’t file the forms?  Should I take the charitable contribution deduction and risk penalties if the IRS challenges the Conservation Easement?

  • Mar 07 2017

    On March 1, 2017, the Georgia House of Representatives voted 126-40 to adopt HB 329 which would convert the current graduated-rate individual income tax into a single, 5.4 percent flat-rate tax.

  • Jan 27 2017

    This client alert follows up on our prior alerts entitled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines (and/or "Heads Up" for coming deadlines) or other important dates for January and February 2017 for calendar year plans:

    January 16 – Deadline for the plan administrator of self-insured health plans to pay all or at least the first installment of the transitional reinsurance fee for 2016. To the extent ...

  • Dec 22 2016

    On December 15, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA). Effective immediately, the law prevents companies from contractually prohibiting their consumers from “disparaging” them in any manner, effectively preventing those consumers from publishing anything negative about those companies online.

    The CRFA will make it illegal for companies to prohibit their consumers from leaving genuine negative reviews and/or ...

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