Teleworking or telecommuting, allows employees to perform their work remotely, either from home or other locations outside of the traditional office.  While telecommuting has become a popular option for employers and employees alike, there are many issues to be aware of regarding work-related injuries involving employees working from home. Workers’ compensation laws typically do not differentiate between a worker who is injured on-site at the employer’s facility or office, and those who are injured while working elsewhere.  Consequently, it is important for employers to recognize that an injury could arise out of employment for a telecommuter when the risk results from the nature of the telecommuter’s work or when it originates from some risk to which the environment exposes the worker.  Even though the employer may have no control over this environment, if a telecommuter suffers an injury while carrying out a task that is related to her employment, her…       Read More

Google hit with privacy complaints in 14 EU countries PC World Those changes to Google’s terms of service violate European data protection law, according to privacy advocate Simon Davies, who lodged the complaints. Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday Approach: Watch Your Employees Infosecurity Magazine  Nonetheless, 37% of Americans said they will shop on Black Friday, while 34% plan to shop on Cyber Monday. And that means security risk for companies, … HHS raises the stakes for patient data breaches  Healthcare IT News (blog)  The good news for patients is that their personal health information (PHI) is becoming more secure all the time. But it takes unfortunate breaches, such as an … Kansas bank warns of scheme to hold computer data hostage  Wichita Business Journal  Citizens Bank of Kansas and other banks are warning customers to be aware of a computer-hacking scam causing trouble in Europe. Police in the United … Four in Five…       Read More

In order to facilitate tourism and short term business visits to the United States, Congress passed legislation in 1986 to create the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of up to 90 days. To be eligible for the VWP, the traveler must: 1. Be a citizen or national of a VWP-participant country. Currently, the following 37 countries participate in the VWP: Andorra, Hungary, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Norway, Austria, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, San Marino, Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, South Korea, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Malta, Sweden, Germany, Monaco, Switzerland, Greece, the Netherlands, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Eligibility for the visa waiver can be withdrawn at any time due to occurrences which may lead to an increased likeliness of citizens violating the VWP restrictions. 2….       Read More

Chicago hacker sentenced to 10 years   Chicago TribuneA Chicago computer hacker tied to the group known as Anonymous was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for cyber attacks on various government agencies … Bill would limit online tracking, give teens ‘eraser button’   CNBC.com Two members of Congress who are passionate about privacy, are the driving force behind this effort. “We must not allow the era of Big Data to become Big …. Homeland Security has tip for healthcare   Healthcare IT News  The first step of CARMA is discovering the scope of your planned cyber risk management activity. In other words, asking the right questions. Who and what will … Hackers Can Now Target Pacemakers And Other Smart Products  Forbes While there have been no reports of hacking attempts on medical implants in the … and intellectual assets from cyber disruption is now essential to operational ……       Read More

Gainesville agreement on Glades won’t raise water fees Gainesville Times  Gainesville residents may not pay water rate increases to help fund the planned Glades Reservoir in Hall County, but they could still wind up on the hook down … No funds for reservoir  Dawson Community News  6 by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, the lead agency for state energy … Calhoun Creek would straddle the Dawson-Lumpkin County line and fall … State may pay for part of planned Paulding reservoir  NeighborNewspapers.com The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority announced last week that the … Program plans to invest up to $44.9 million in four reservoir and water supply … Georgia’s group “Dirty Dozen” water list includes three issues The Florida Current  Peanuts are harvested in Baconton, Ga. near the Flint River. The Georgia Water Coalition issued a report raising concerns about agricultural water pumping …

We all know that good record keeping can be essential to the overall quality of a patient’s dental care. However, a lot of dentists don’t realize that proper record maintenance and retention  is a requirement of their dental license, not to mention highly advisable from a legal/risk management perspective. This blog entry focuses on how long a dentist should keep patient records. We’ll discuss the required content of patient records in future posts.              Let’s start with the basic rule: Georgia dental regulations require a dentist to keep patient records for 10 years from the date of the patient’s last office visit. Regulation 150-8-.01(h)(4). This rule applies regardless of whether or not the patient is an adult or a minor. We’ll talk more about minors in a minute. But for now, let’s focus on the potential consequences of discarding patient records too quickly. As suggested…       Read More

No employer relishes the idea of having to terminate an employee. However, the ramifications of severing an employment relationship can be magnified for a small dental practice in a tight-knit community. Not only does the dental practice have to be weary of an Americans With Disabilities violation, wrongful termination, unemployment, and workers’ compensation, but the practice must keep a watchful eye on slander, libel and tortious interference with business. In the not-so-distant past, the reach of a disgruntled employee’s disparagement of their former employer was primarily limited to word of mouth; unless the employee had access to the media or went to the extraordinary effort of taking out an ad in the local newspaper to exact revenge.  With the advent and pervasiveness of social media, harmful defamation can spread like wildfire and wreak havoc on the reputation of the small-town dentist. Today’s dentist must be keenly aware not only of…       Read More

As businesses accumulate more and more data, the chances are that a lot of this data becomes old, inaccurate, inactive, stale, or just plain not needed.  The recent data breach at Adobe™ is a good lesson in why we should have specific procedures in place to delete data we no longer need.  Adobe has offered free credit monitoring for hacked active accounts, and reset the passwords of inactive accounts.  If you are the owner of an inactive account, wouldn’t you have preferred that your information be deleted?  Wouldn’t it have been even better if your data was not subject to being hacked in the first place because your long inactive account had been deleted? As a business, you can minimize risk by deleting data.  If you are hacked, or even if a data breach is caused by a negligent employee, the less data available, the smaller your potential exposure.  In…       Read More

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”, S. 815), originally introduced in Congress in 1994, passed the Senate yesterday by a 64-32 vote.  ENDA would ban discrimination in the workplace on the basis of an individual’s perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Similar to the Title VII, the Act would apply to employers with 15 or more employees.  It also contains a prohibition on retaliating against an employee who opposes or complains about sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination. An employee alleging discrimination under ENDA would only have to show that the discrimination was a motivating factor for any employment practice, even if other factors also motivated the practice.  This is lower than the “but for” standard required by certain other discrimination laws. ENDA does not prohibit employers from requiring an employee to adhere to reasonable dress or grooming standards.  It also does not require an employer to construct new or additional…       Read More

I had a grandmother that loved the Carol Burnett Show, and we logged many a Saturday night together watching the same. One of our favorite skits was Tim Conway as the dentist – www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfTyEtVIe84 . Even fellow actor Harvey Korman as the patient could not keep from laughing at the antics of the bumbling dentist. It sometimes seems as if every area of the legal and medical profession has been portrayed in some form or fashion on television or the big screen. We see doctors and health care providers depicted in soap operas, dramas about the emergency department, shows in which physicians consult about complex cases, and even reality series about plastic surgeons. The legal profession has literally been explored in every facet- from public defender shows to private practice dramas to courtroom comedies (think Allie McBeal) to  programs about judges and their lives. How do you avoid being the star of your own…       Read More