Articles

Business Update: Supreme Court Decision Expands Applicability of State Sales Tax
By Martin L. Kerr, published July 2018
The United States Supreme Court recently issued a decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. which will drastically change the applicability and imposition of sales taxes throughout the United States. (read more)

Federal Court Casts Doubt on the Use of Salary History in Pay Decisions
By Jessica L. MacKeigan, published July 2018
It has been over fifty-five years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act. However, numerous sources report that the gender pay gap still persists and employers continue to grapple with this issue when making compensation decisions in light of the ever-changing legal landscape. (read more)

New Data Protection Law Going Into Effect On May 25, 2018 – Is Your Organization Ready?
by Lesley A. Weigand, published April 2018
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) take effect on May 25, 2018. GDPR applies to all organizations that collect and process data belonging to EU citizens. This also applies to the United Kingdom post Brexit. It does not matter where in the world the EU citizen may be, if your organization collets the data of an EU citizen, it must be protected. (read more)

Start The New Year Right: Review Your Workplace Policies and Procedures
by Sarah Nemastil, published February 2018
It’s been over 30 years since the United States Supreme Court determined in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986) that sexual harassment constitutes unlawful discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Yet, a significant lesson that we learned in 2017 is that sexual harassment is a pervasive issue, including in the workplace.  In fact, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts recently announced that “[t]he judiciary will begin 2018 by undertaking a careful evaluation of whether its standards of conduct and its procedures for investigating and correcting inappropriate behavior are adequate to ensure an exemplary workplace for every judge and every court employee;” this, after a prominent federal judge was accused of sexual misconduct in early December. (read more)

Bird Technologies, the RF Experts, Celebrates its 75th Anniversary
Bird Technologies Group, Inc. (“Bird”), the company that helped jumpstart the radio frequency communications industry, is celebrating its 75th anniversary with another year of growth in markets and leadership among RF experts.

Founded in April 1942 by J. Raymond Bird to develop and provide military products, the company today delivers RF expertise to global applications ranging from coverage solutions, off-air testing, radio infrastructure, and sensor solutions to test and measurement. Bird’s reputation of leadership and excellence was earned through decades of innovation leadership, including the development of more than 50 patents and installations in more than 130 countries. (read more)

Wegman Law Client Spotlight – Bettcher Industries, Inc.
Bettcher Industries, Inc. (“Bettcher”), headquartered in Birmingham, Ohio, and founded in 1944, a leading worldwide manufacturer of food processing, foodservice equipment, and medical devices, recently received a significant equity investment from Morgenthaler Private Equity (“MPE Partners”) as part of an October 2017 recapitalization transaction. This transaction involved multiple parties, with various financial interests, and Wegman Law was instrumental in coordinating the Bettcher transaction through closing. (read more)

Medicaid: Worried About Long-Term Care?
by Allan P. Sweet, published August 2017
Test your knowledge about the valuable but complicated benefits of Medicaid for nursing home care.  Medicaid can cover the cost if you or a loved one face the need for long-term nursing home care. You might be surprised to discover that you have certain misconceptions about Medicaid benefits. (read more)

Using Social Media In Employment Screening: Striking it Rich or Striking a Landmine?
by Aaron A. Hessler, published April 2017
In 2009, a would-be employee at Cisco shared the following on his Twitter account: “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” In response to his tweet, a “channel partner advocate” for Cisco Alert, tweeted “Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.” As the foregoing example illustrates, social media profiles can be great sources of information for employers. (read more)

When A Data Breach Becomes Your Burden
by Aaron A. Hessler, published February 2017
While the media often focus coverage on cyber-attacks upon large companies, cyber-criminals do not solely target big businesses. In 2015, almost 50% of the reported or discovered cyber-attacks were targeted at businesses with less than 250 employees. Cyber-criminals view small business as relatively easy targets compared to large companies who have begun to significantly improve their cybersecurity defenses and response procedures. (read more)

Penny Wise or Pound Foolish?
by Lesley A. Weigand, published November 2016
When it comes to estate planning for your business, many owners think “Oh, my family knows what to do when I die” or “I just want something simple.” When questioned further, it almost always turns out that the initial response is a result of the fear of a large legal bill or fear of the unknown. However, as certain as death and taxes is the certainty that if left unaddressed, the transfer of business ownership will always cost more both monetarily and in terms of stress for those you love.  (read more)

Proposed Privacy Shield Framework Releases
by Charles A. Hayes, published August 2016
As was discussed in a previous article, the European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD) is one of the most stringent data protection laws in the world. It generally prohibits EU residents’ personal data from being transferred to a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).  For the past 15 years, US companies with EEA operations were permitted to transfer personal data from the EEA to the US by self-certifying under the EU-US Safe Harbor Framework.  (read more)

U.S. Department of Labor Changes The Overtime Pay Regulations
by David R. Knowles, published August 2016
On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final rules changing the current overtime pay regulations.  Effective December 1, 2016, the new DOL rule updates the minimum salary level that Executive, Administrative and Professional employees must be paid to be exempt from the time and one-half overtime pay requirement. (read more)

Collaboration is a Key Component To Addressing Cybersecurity Concerns
by Angela M. Lavin, published March 2016
There is no dispute that more and more large and small organizations are experiencing data breaches. According to a report issued by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in June 2015, 74% of small businesses reported that they had suffered security breaches. 90% of large businesses responding to the same survey reported suffering a breach. (read more)

Business Identity Theft and the IRS
by Lesley A. Weigand, published March 2016
The incidents of tax related identity theft are rising exponentially. In 2013, 2.9 million incidents of tax related identity theft occurred, compared to 1.8 million in 2012. From 2011-October 2014, the IRS stopped 19 million suspicious returns and protected over $63 billion in fraudulent refunds. In 2015, the IRS called together major players in the tax industry—tax return preparers, software providers, state tax agencies, payroll providers and financial institutions—for a Security Summit to increase the cooperation in place to fight a common enemy—the identity thieves. Tax preparers are critical players in this partnership, and, because of the taxpayer information they store, increasingly a target for data theft. (read more)

Uncertainty Surrounds EUPDPD Compliance Following Safe Harbor Invalidation
by Charles A. Hayes, published March 2016
The European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD) is one of the most stringent data protection laws in the world. The EUDPD prohibits EU residents’ personal data from being transferred to a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), unless the country has put adequate data protection measures in place. Personal Data under the EUDPD is defined very broadly to include, “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person”. Failure to comply with the EUDPD can expose organizations to fines or orders to suspend data flows. (read more)

Anti-Trust Compliance: The Developing Landscape of Vertical Pricing Agreements
by Jack P. Mills, published December 2015
Vertical resale price maintenance is the practice in which the supplier of a product and its downstream dealer or distributor agree on the price at which the dealer or distributor may resell the products to its customers. Minimum RPM agreements prohibit a reseller from pricing a product below a certain price. Conversely, maximum RPM agreements ensure that resale prices remain at or below a certain level. (read more)

Protecting Against Fraud in Your Business
by Robert W. McIntyre, published September 2015
When business professionals think about how to protect their companies from fraud, they may focus on the dangers of cyber-breaches, shady suppliers, or similar threats from outside actors. Yet, a common and often overlooked source of fraud comes from within (not outside) the company, and NO business is immune to it. (read more)

Collaborative Divorce
by Tanja M. Holecek, published September 2015
When parties come to the unfortunate decision that their marriage is ending, the common assumption is that the only way to terminate the marriage is through litigation. However, there is a relatively new process available to bring a marriage to conclusion in a non-adversarial manner, known as a Collaborative Divorce.  (read more)

WHV’s Top Consumer Recall Questions and Answers
By Richard T. Coyne and Sarah A. Jun, published November 2014

WHV has significant experience advising and directing clients through safety-related issues, including product recalls in conjunction with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). In the course of handling recalls with the CPSC, we have researched and answered many commonly asked consumer questions regarding product recalls.  (read more)

Employment Agreements and Restricted Covenants
by Patrick J. Quallich, published November 2014

Employees are an employer’s most valuable asset. Good employees are difficult to find and can be difficult to retain. It often takes considerable time, effort, resources and cost for an employer to locate, train, and firmly establish an employee as the contact for those within and outside the company. (read more)

Domestic Asset Protection Trusts: Ohio Enters The Arena
by Amanda M. Buzo, published July 2013
Ohio recently joined 14 other states by enacting legislation permitting the establishment of Domestic Asset Protection Trusts, also known as legacy or dynasty trusts, beginning March 27, 2013.  This is positive news for Ohio residents and business owners, as well as out-of-state individuals and entities, as many can benefit from this update in Ohio law. (read more)

Planning Tools For Young Adults
by Amanda M. Buzo, published July 2013
A parent is the natural guardian of his or her child while the child is under 18, meaning that the parent is responsible for making financial and medical decisions for that child.  But the parent’s authority to act as the legal decision maker terminates once their child turns 18, even if the parent continues to provide free room and board, finances the child’s college education, or includes the adult child on the family health insurance policy.  This termination of parental authority also means that if an adult child is injured, a parent no longer has the natural authority to make medical decisions or access medical records. (read more)

Updates to Corporate Law Dissolution and Creditors’ Rights
by Christopher A. Corpus, published November 2012
The Ohio legislature recently updated the law of corporations.  One of the updates pertains to the dissolution of a corporation.  This change impacts both the shareholders and the creditors of a corporation.  The updated law provides that upon the dissolution of a corporation the corporation may provide creditors a notice of the  dissolution. (read more)

Energy Efficiency — Good for the Environment and the Bottom Line
by Kevin P. Shannon, published November 2012
In today’s economic environment,  management must be vigilant in keeping a company’s fixed costs to a minimum.  Suppose I told you that there is a way for your company to realize dramatic cost savings in the future and receive immediate assistance to help achieve those savings.  Sounds too good to be true?  It’s not, and the way to achieve the    savings could be as simple as turning off a light switch. (read more)

CAN-SPAM — Watch When Sending That Email
by Christopher A. Corpus, published August 2012
In 2003 the federal government passed a law known as the CAN-SPAM Act.  The reason why this law was necessary was due to the fact that unsolicited commercial electronic mail comprised half of all electronic mail traffic.  The intent was to reduce the amount of the unsolicited commercial electronic mail traffic to ensure the convenience and efficiency of electronic mail. (read more)

Doing Business With A Partner
by Christopher A. Corpus, published May 2012
Most businesses employ a key employee and it is typical for the sole owner of a company to want to reward this employee for his/her loyalty and/or hard work.  This owner may consider offering this key employee a minority ownership interest in the business.  However, it must be remembered that with ever decision there may be unintended consequences. (read more)

Ohio’s General Tax Amnesty Program
by Christopher A. Corpus, published May 2012
The Ohio Department of Taxation is offering a general tax amnesty program which runs from May 1, 2012 through June 15, 2012.  This is a limited time opportunity for taxpayers (either businesses or individuals) to pay certain   delinquent tax obligations. (read more)

Funding A Start-Up Business With Retirement Assets
by Christopher A. Corpus, published January 2012
Most entrepreneurs have one problem in common – financing.  For example, a bank has agreed to lend the entrepreneur start-up funds but the bank is requiring the entrepreneur to also make a twenty percent investment in the business.  The only problem is that the entrepreneur does not have enough liquid assets in his/her bank accounts or investment accounts to satisfy this requirement and the entrepreneur does not have access to friends or family to lend assistance… (read more)

Patent System Receives Long Overdue Reforms
by Iken S. Sans, published October 2011
On September 16, President Obama signed the America Invents Act (AIA), enacting the first patent reform legislation in over 60 years. Primary goals of the act include: bringing the U.S. patent system in line with most of the other patent systems in the world; improving patent quality; and most importantly, adequately funding the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). This article discusses some provisions of the America Invents Act and how they could impact patenting and portfolio strategies of inventors and businesses. (read more)

Guardianship of Adults
by Monica M. Newell, published October 2011
Over the past several months, Uncle Ray has been found sleeping on his neighbor’s driveway, writing checks to charities for excessive amounts, and has been rushed to the hospital because he failed to take his blood pressure  medicine.  While we all may be familiar with someone who fails to make good decisions, it may be time to consider whether a guardianship is in the best  interest of Uncle Ray for his own safety and well-being. (read more)

What is Medicaid Planning?
by Monica M. Newell, published July 2011
The long held misconception that Medicare covers the costs of long term nursing home care has been eroded in recent years due to the federal and state government budgetary concerns over the costs of health care. Medicare is healthcare coverage to which persons over age 65, and certain disabled persons, are entitled.  Medicaid differs from Medicare… (read more)

Rewarding An Employee With Corporate Stock Can Be Trick
by Christopher A. Holecek, published May 2011
Banker and philanthropist Andrew Mellon once remarked “No good deed goes unpunished.”  Consider a business owner who wants to compensate a hard working and loyal employee by awarding the employee stock in the company.  While such a nice gesture may not seem risky, several problems can potentially arise if the company is not careful… (read more)

Ohio’s Intentional Tort Pendulum Continues To Swing
by Scott J. Robinson, published May 2011
Workplace injuries have always been a minefield for employers, employees and the attorneys who handle them. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses among private industry employers have been occurring at a rate of between 3½ and 6 percent since 2001… (read more)

What Is www.SaferProducts.gov?
by Christopher A. Corpus, published May 2011
The United States Congress recently enacted legislation requiring the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to “establish and maintain a database on the safety of consumer products” that is publicly available, searchable and accessible through the Internet… (read more)

Medicare Coverage For Skilled Nursing Facility Care
by Christopher A. Holecek, published January 2010
Whether Medicare Parts A or B cover skilled nursing facility care can be tricky. It is important that you know your rights, including the right to have a decision denying coverage impartially… (read more).

Ensure That Your Employee Policies And Practices Are Ready For Changes Taking Effect This Year
by David R. Knowles, published January 2011
There have been substantial developments affecting employer-employee relations that make this an appropriate time to ensure that your employee policies and practices are in compliance as you proceed into…(read more).

Landlords May Still Be Liable To Tenants Even After Transferring the Rental Property
by Angela M. Lavin, published January 2011
In a recent Ohio appellate court decision, the Second District Court of Appeals held that the sale of rental property did not prevent a tenant from holding the former owner and landlord liable for personal injuries she sustained even after ownership of the property…(read more).

Sign On The Dotted Line
by Christopher A. Corpus, published October 2010
Does the way you sign your name on a contract or agreement matter? Yes. If you are not careful, the way you sign your name could result in you being personally liable for the obligations set forth in the contract… (read more).

Protecting Your Business From The Hazards Of Social Networking
by Angela M. Lavin, published October 2010
According to Trend Micro’s 2010 Corporate End User Survey, nearly one-fourth of employees visit social networking sites while on their company’s computer network. While social networking sites can be useful for both business and personal relationship building, these sites provide endless opportunities for… (read more).

My Child Wants To Play, But Should I Sign That Release?
by Christopher A. Corpus, published October 2010
You and your minor child are invited to a birthday party at the local party center. The main attractions at the party center are enormous bounce or jump houses. We have all seen these  kids take off their shoes and climb and bounce through obstacles and mazes. You enter the party center and your child is ecstatic…(read more).

Be Careful In Drafting Non-Compete Agreements
by George L. White, published July 2010
A carefully prepared and drafted non-compete agreement is an important protection for an employer against the potentially significant effects upon a business when an employee terminates employment and begins working for a competitor. Recent Ohio appellate court decisions underscore the importance…(read more).

Durable General Power Of Attorney – Naming An Agent
by Stephanie E. Lankhorst, published July 2010
As you age, or as a result of an unfortunate accident, there may come a time when you are mentally incapable of making sound financial decisions on your own behalf. Perhaps you are of sound mind but travelling abroad for a work study program and will be away from home for an extended period…(read more).

Are You Ready For The New Year?
by Keith A. Vanderburg, published January 2010
If you operate a business or organization that is incorporated or organized under applicable state laws, it is important that the organization maintain sufficient business records and observe certain formalities to qualify for the protections from personal liability… (read more).

New Life In The Design Patent World
by Bruce E. Peacock, published October 2009
A recent decision issued by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has breathed new life into the law of design patents, an often overlooked form of patent protection that, in many instances, may actually be more applicable to manufacturers. In Egyptian Goddess, Inc. v. Swisa, Inc., the Court… (read more).

New Stimulus Package Broadens HIPAA’s Privacy And Security Rules
by Angela M. Lavin, published July 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“the Stimulus Act”) signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009, contains several amendments to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules….(read more).

Coming Soon–Accountant-Client Privilege?
by Christopher A. Corpus, published July 2009
The Ohio Senate, as part of the 2009-2010 Regular Session, has introduced Senate Bill 80 wwhich would, in part, create an accountant-client privilege. It is the intent that this privilege …. (read more).