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News from the Vermont Statehouse An - Analysis from DRM’s Government & Public Affairs Team - March 2017 #2

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering a proposal from the Vermont Department of Taxes to reduce the amount of use tax a person can pay without providing records to prove his or her tax liability. The rate would...more

California Supreme Court: Government Communications on Private Accounts Are Public

Recent decision points to the original intent of the California Public Records Act in the evolving debate over government transparency. Key Points: ..California Supreme Court rules that emails and text messages sent...more

Where Are Your Employees? (Hint: It May Not Be Facebook Anymore)

I recently gave a presentation on social media to a local non-profit and had the opportunity to review some of the latest statistics when it comes to the use of social media. Frankly, I knew that there has been a shift...more

California Public Employees' Personal Accounts May Be Subject to Public Records Act Requests

In City of San Jose v. Superior Court, No. S218066 (Cal. Mar. 2, 2017), the Supreme Court of California decided unanimously that communications made or stored on a public employee's personal account, including emails sent...more

Federal Computer Hacking Laws Apply to Executive's Unauthorized Access to Coworkers' Emails

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the Stored Communications Act (SCA) were enacted to protect U.S. businesses and individuals from computer hacking and industrial espionage. In recent years, employers and...more

What’s in a Name?: Bias in the Workplace

As Shakespeare wrote, “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But there is in fact much to a name – a name can convey a sense of identity, culture, and family history. But a series of viral tweets...more

California Supreme Court Rules that Texts and Emails on Personal Devices May Be Considered Public Records

The California Supreme Court recently held in City of San Jose v. Superior Court, California Supreme Court Case No. S218066, that public employees' digital messages existing in private electronic devices (e.g., smartphones...more

It's W-2 Phishing Season: How to Stop, and Respond to, Tax-Related Identity Fraud Aimed at Your Organization's Employees

HR and payroll professionals nationwide have been, and will continue to be, targeted with e-mails apparently sent by a senior executive but actually sent by scammers who ask for a prompt reply with the 2016 W-2s for all of...more

Is a Private Email a Public Record? Context Matters!

In deciding last week that communications on public agency employees’ private devices may be subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, the California Supreme Court included some direction to help make the...more

Phishing Scams Targeting HR and Payroll Are on the Rise this Tax Season

It starts with an e-mail from upper management asking for employee data or payroll records. Wanting to demonstrate that he’s diligent and responsive, a well-meaning HR or payroll person promptly sends off the requested...more

Monitoring Employees’ Email and Internet Use Raises Legal Considerations

Retailers should be aware that federal laws prohibit the interception of another’s electronic communications, but these same laws have multiple exceptions that generally allow employers to monitor employees’ email and...more

Looking Forward: Canadian Class Actions in 2017

As we start 2017, uncertainty abounds. Donald J. Trump’s ascension to the Presidency and populist movements in Europe and Britain are set to upend global norms and challenge the status quo. Serious questions are being raised...more

Texas Supreme Court Tosses Former Employee’s Defamation Suit Based on Matters of Public Concern Under the TCPA

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Texas Supreme Court throws out a former employee’s defamation suit under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, finding that communications about his alleged failure to measure a petroleum storage tank...more

Compliance News Flash

This week’s news flash – a quick overview of timely background screening and immigration-related news that is important to your organization. 1. On February 28 at 3 pm EST Montserrat Miller, a Partner with Arnall Golden...more

Bare Statutory Violation of FCRA Fails to Satisfy Standing Requirements Post-Spokeo, Says District of New Jersey in Suit Over...

Michaels escaped a potential class action alleging Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) violations late last month when a federal judge found the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robbins, 136 S....more

W2 Phishing Scam Hits Citizens Memorial Hospital

We continue to see all industries hit with W2 phishing scams, including the health care industry. Citizens Memorial Hospital, located in Bolivar, Missouri, was hit with the scam when one of its employees believed that an...more

Don’t Get Hooked! W-2 Phishing Scams on the Rise During Tax Season

Tax season can be a trying time of the year for any employer, but even more so now. As HR Departments across the country are working hard to distribute W-2 forms to employees, cybercriminals are using increasingly...more

Retail and Consumer Products Law Roundup - February 2017

Ninth Circuit Tackles Several TCPA Issues in Gym Texting Case - Why it matters: Retailers communicate with their customers frequently as an essential part of their business. While these communications are typically...more

Hong Kong Email Wire Fraud Epidemic - How to retrieve funds and prevent wire fraud

Over the Lunar New Year period, we observed a spate of email wire frauds (or ‘business email scams’) which involve funds being wired internationally to bank accounts in Hong Kong. The amounts transferred vary from a few...more

Employment Law - January 2017 #3

President Taps New Heads for Federal Employment Agencies - Why it matters - President Donald J. Trump appointed new leaders for the federal employment agencies during his busy first few days in office, tapping...more

Twins for Clooneys! How to manage pregnant employees who aren’t gazillionaire celebs

A-list celebrity George Clooney, long considered Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, surprised the world when he married international human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin back in 2014 after decades of assuring journalists,...more

IRS Issues Warning of “Dangerous W2 Phishing Scam”

We always see a surge in W2 email phishing schemes this time of year, as it is tax time, and many individuals are filing their tax returns in order to get a quick refund. So are criminals and cyber-hackers. ...more

Arbitrator’s Decision On Availability Of Collective And Class Arbitration Withstands Procedural And Substantive Challenges

A Colorado federal court recently denied DISH Network (“DISH”)’s petition to vacate an arbitration award that decided an arbitration agreement with former employee Ray permitted collective or class certification. The...more

Super Bowl Commercial Highlights Pay Equity

Many people watch the Super Bowl for the game. Others watch for the commercials. And perhaps even more watch for both. In years past, it would not have been uncommon for people to spend the Monday after the Super Bowl at the...more

Facebook Unfriends Policy Allowing for Exclusion of Certain Racial and Ethnic Groups in Housing, Credit, and Employment...

The social network giant, Facebook—amid criticism and a push from public figures and congressional leaders—announced that the site would no longer allow advertisers to exclude specific racial and ethnic groups in the areas of...more

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