Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. Yahoo facing lawsuits in the wake of massive data breach CNN Money Yahoo is facing lawsuits from people who fear their accounts have been hacked and claim the company was “grossly negligent,” putting their financial … Chicago man pleads guilty to role in celebrity hacking scandal Chicago Sun-Times A Chicago man on Tuesday pleaded guilty to his role in a celebrity hacking … Majerczyk pleaded guilty to accessing a protected computer without … 16 latest healthcare data breaches, security incidents Becker’s Hospital Review Here are the 16 latest healthcare data breaches or security incidents that occurred or were reported within the past four weeks, beginning with the … Trump hotel chain fined over data breaches Computerworld … agreed to pay $50,000 in penalties and promised to take measures to beef up its data security practices, according to the attorney general’s office. Is someone watching you…       Read More

Written by: Don Benson, Esq. Despite the threat of a presidential veto and numerous Democratic objections, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 246-to-177 on September 28, 2016 to delay by an additional six months the U.S. Department of Labor’s Rule raising the threshold for exemption to overtime pay. DOL’s new Rule is set to take effect Dec. 1, 2016. The new DOL Rule would raise the minimum salary threshold required to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s executive, administrative and professional “white collar” exemptions to $47,476 per year, from the current threshold of $23,660. A similar bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. The Hill reports that “Legal challenges against the rule are piling up. On Tuesday of last week, 21 states filed a lawsuit against the Labor Department and more than 55 Texas and national business groups filed a suit of their own on the same day….       Read More

Dominating a fair segment of the legal world at the moment, transgender issues extend deeply into the worlds of both the public and private sectors.  Employment discrimination, accommodations, equal treatment in business dealings – the list goes on. Probably no one sector is more affected by the emergence of these modern issues than the world of education.  Here, we see all the issues being addressed by everyone else plus those issues unique to our setting.  The world continues to change. This note briefly advises on recent developments from the Feds and courts in transgender issues in the schools. FROM THE DEPARTMENTS OF EDUCATION AND JUSTICE On May 13, 2016, the United States Departments of Justice and Education issued their joint “Dear Colleague letter” (“DCL”) directed at all educational institutions receiving federal funding.  The agencies’ letter provides that the Title IX prohibitions against sex discrimination in educational programs specifically extends to…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq.  Russian Hackers Leak US Star Athletes’ Medical Information New York Times Russian hackers – possibly the same group that compromised the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers two months ago – have made … Payment Gateway Data Breach Exposes Financial Details of 324000 users Hack Read In the latest breach, nearly 324,000 users have been affected as a payment gateway BlueSnap or its affiliate RegPack became a victim of data breach. Mobile review website MoDaCo coughs to data breach The Register Smartphone news and reviews site MoDaCo has admitted to a data breach. … Early suggestions are that the breach happened in January 2016. Tesla Fixes Software Bug That Exposed Hacking Vulnerabilities Bloomberg Unlike most automakers, Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, can push out security fixes “over the air” and directly into its cars’ computer systems, … Saint Francis Health System confirms data breach Tulsa…       Read More

Written by: Brian Mallow, Esq. Last week, in a 7-2 decision, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down the Oklahoma Employee Injury Benefit Act, otherwise known as the “Opt-Out Act,” holding that the Act is unconstitutional under the state’s constitution. The case, Vasquez v. Dillard’s, Inc., has been closely watched since the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission first declared the statute unconstitutional last fall. Oklahoma is one of two states with legislation that allows employers to “opt out” of the traditional workers’ compensation system and instead create their own plan. Texas has allowed employers (and employees) to opt out since its inception over a century ago. Oklahoma’s legislation was passed in 2013, and over the past few years, similar opt-out legislation has been considered in several other states, primarily in the southeast. Proponents of opt-out legislation cite lower costs, more control, and better outcomes for employees. Opponents question the effectiveness of medical…       Read More

HBS “Intersection of Law and Business” Newsletter — September 15, 2016

Welcome to the first edition of our HBS newsletter designed specifically to update clients and friends of the firm about changes and trends in law and government that directly impact the worlds of business, finance, healthcare, insurance, technology and all aspects of both private and public entities. Our goal is to provide you with practical and timely updates to keep you abreast of an array of issues. So here goes with our quick look at “the Intersection” as of September 15, 2016:

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With just a few months remaining in the current administration, the IRS is moving quickly to change the manner in which individuals who are gifted or inherit minority ownerships with limited rights within family-owned business and other entities are valued. In recent years such minority ownerships were allowed significant discounted values for gift and estate tax purposes. That was significant in that such transfers ate up less of the $5.45 million currently excluded from these taxes. If you own or assist a closely held company or plan to create a family-owned LLC or LLP (known in Georgia as an LLLP) you might want to consider making moves to understand the implications of this potential new regulation which could have a wide-ranging impact for future estate plans. Brad Coppedge of our Columbus office heads up our Tax Practice group and deals with every aspect of estate planning, including complicated matters utilizing…       Read More

Hospitals may have additional time before they must meet federal requirements to provide          written notice to Medicare patients who are receiving observation services. Congress passed the    Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act (NOTICE Act) in 2015, effective October 1, 2016. The actual enforcement date may be later in the year or even early next year, depending on the length of the process for final approval of the form. The new law requires specific notice to Medicare patients who may have been in a hospital for several days under observation but not officially admitted. The issue at hand is the fact that patients under observation but not admitted may not qualify for Medicare coverage for their visit. Hospitals are now busily creating protocol to meet the new notification requirements. This is a fluid situation as to the actual effective date. Anyone interested in learning more about…       Read More

Amendments to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which were announced earlier          this year, will significantly expand the pool of workers eligible for overtime pay—and the new               rules which include government workers will extend overtime pay to over 4 million workers in    its first year of implementation alone. The rule more than doubles the salary threshold that determines coverage for overtime. Under the new rules, any salaried employee earning less than $47,476 annually would be entitled to time-and-a-half for work that exceeds 40 hours per week. The current cutoff for overtime pay is $23,660. The final rule applies to workers in local and state governments as well as employees in the private sector. The Department of Labor offers guidance to state and local governments in “Overtime Final Rule and State and Local Governments,” For more information about compliance, including technologies that can assist in meeting the…       Read More

Bloomberg Technology reports, “The first major regulations governing civilian drone operations in the U.S. are now in place and permit anyone 16 or older to fly for hire if they pass a written knowledge test and background check. They can only fly drones during daylight, within sight, and no higher than 400 feet (122 meters) from the ground.” That comes as no surprise to HBS attorney Elizabeth Wharton who was an early leader in advising clients and members of Georgia’s General Assembly on the regulation of what is likely to become one of the most important emerging technologies for government, higher education, media, agribusiness and a plethora of business interests in the coming years. Bloomberg adds, “Industry officials at a Congressional briefing on Aug. 24 predicted insurance, construction, agriculture and electrical power companies, which have been cautiously exploring applications for unmanned aircraft, would now leap into such operations. The regulations also open…       Read More