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Beckman Lawson, LLP Labor & Employment Alert   Employers Must Begin Using Revised Form I-9 by January 22, 2017   The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service ("USCIS") has issued a revised Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification for employers to utilize when hiring a new employee.  Employers can voluntarily begin using the revised form immediately, but must start using the form no later than January 22nd.   As a reminder, employers must have new employees complete Part 1 of the Form I-9 on or before an employee's first day of employment.  Employers must complete...
  Beckman Lawson, LLP Labor & Employment Alert   FLSA's Salary Increase on Hold   Put the brakes on salary increases mandated by the Department of Labor! Employers will not be required to pay salaried employees a minimum salary of $47,476 beginning December 1st.  A Federal District Court has granted a preliminary injunction against the Department of Labor's implementation of FLSA regulations that would have mandated increases in salaries or a change to hourly status for millions of Americans.        Twenty one states and a business coalition filed a motion with the Federal...
The DTSA was enacted on May 11, 2016 and provides a new tool in the fight to protect trade secret information. Under the DTSA, a “trade secret” is defined as Information that is not generally known to the public;       2. Information that is subject to efforts to maintain its secrecy; and       3. Information that has independent economic value. Trade secrets can be valued and used as collateral for financial transactions. An owner of a trade secret that is misappropriated may bring a civil action in federal court so long as the trade secret is related to a product or service used in, or...
Depending on the types of benefits and the age of the child receiving the benefits, a modification of child support could adversely affect these benefits.    In Indiana, benefits paid to a child over age 18 are not used in calculating child support.  However, Social Security benefits can be reduced because the child is receiving child support and could potentially lose their Medicaid benefits.  Before child support is modified, an attorney must consider what benefits the child is receiving, including derivative benefits received because the parent is on disability,  and be aware of how that...
In a September 21, 2016 Opinion of the Indiana Court of Appeals, the Court held “no.” In the case of Heavrin v Tearman, a Father appealed an order requiring him to contribute one-third the costs of his daughter’s college education.   Father argued that it was against his due process rights to force him to pay for college as a divorced parent, when there is no law obligating married parents to contribute any money toward college.  He argued that he could not afford to pay the cost of his daughter’s tuition at Ball State University, that he had step-children who were paying their own way in...
As we enter into another election season, a frequently asked question is whether a homeowners association can prohibit the posting of political signs?  The short answer is “no”.  Indiana has joined a handful of States that place limitations on a homeowners association’s ability to prohibit political signs.  Under Indiana Code Sec. 32-21-13-4, a homeowners association may not adopt or enforce a rule that prohibits a homeowner from displaying a political sign on his or her property during the timeframe beginning 30 days before and ending 5 days after the date of the election.  However, a...
Divorcing couples always want to know who should pay for their child’s medical expenses. Generally, the issue of insurance coverage and payment of insurance premiums is included in child support calculations because the party who provides insurance coverage is entitled to credit for the weekly amount paid. Therefore, the biggest remaining issue between parents is how to divide uninsured medical expenses for the children. When parties can agree, they have the ability to be flexible about how they want to divide these expenses, and there are many good reasons why parties would want to tailor...
HIPAA Phase II Audits Now In Full Swing July/August 2016   The Department of Health and Human Services first unveiled HIPAA's Privacy Rule on December 28, 2000, during the waning days of the Clinton administration. Since then, additional legislation and regulations have covered HIPAA's Security and Breach Notification rules, culminating in an Omnibus Final Rule issued on January 25, 2013. HHS, through the Office of Civil Rights, has spent the last several years developing a comprehensive audit process designed to monitor HIPAA compliance. It began with a Phase I pilot program during 2011-12...
Most kids participate in some kind of organized activity outside the school day and there are a wide range of costs and commitment levels required of parents whose children want to be involved. Pursuant to the Indiana Child Support Guidelines, extracurricular expenses are not part of the regular weekly child support payment. They are expenses which are optional in nature since these activities are not part of life’s required costs such as food and clothing. That means that in addition to meeting the basic financial needs of a child, parents are faced with the expenses of things like sports,...
In Indiana, the Indiana Supreme Court recently ruled “No.”   The issue as to whether or not divorced parents may be obligated to pay the graduate or professional school expenses of their adult children pursuant to the Indiana child support statutes was recently presented to the Indiana Supreme Court.  In the Court’s June 1, 2016 Opinion, it was determined that the term “postsecondary,” as used in the provision permitting an award for postsecondary educational expenses, does not include graduate or professional school expenses. Indiana courts have always permitted a claim for parents to share...
We Always Wondered. Now We Know - Sort of. A major feature of the Affordable Care Act is the employer mandate. The ACA requires large employers to offer health care coverage as an employee benefit to "full-time employees" who average at least 30 hours per week. Almost immediately, employers thought a way around the employer mandate was simply to juggle hours below 30 hours per week to limit the number of full-time employees subject to coverage. But benefits attorneys recognized a potential danger with this approach in the form of remedies available under the Employee Retirement Income...
Many times clients will ask if the other party will have to pay their attorney fees. The answer depends on the specific case. Some parties will place a fee-shifting provision in their settlement agreements that requires the moving party to pay the other party's attorney fees if they lose the case. This is done in part to eliminate some of the discretion the judge has in awarding attorney fees. In a recent decision, the Court of Appeals held that these provisions are not binding on the Court. So what does this actually mean for your case? Even if the parties agree that the losing party will...
On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA). This statute enacts a new federal private right of action to protect trade secrets.  It does this by adding a civil component to the federal law making it a crime to steal intellectual property. Before the DTSA, civil remedies for trade secret disputes were handled exclusively under state law.  While most states have adopted a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, there are differences state to state.  The DTSA does not replace or preempt state law.  Instead, it is expected to create a new body...
Crowdfunding sites and resources are everywhere with the various sites and various requests for funding multiplying at an electrifying rate. Families can take a financial hit during a divorce. Not only are a husband and wife dividing up their respective assets, debts, and retirement accounts, but there will now be two households to purchase and manage. The same amount of resources may now be going to support two separate homes, two separate bedrooms for children, groceries, clothing, and maybe even child support or temporary spousal support. And there will be at least one and in a lot of...
Effective June 1, 2016, Indiana will implement the Indiana Commercial Court Pilot Project for a period up to three years. This change will create commercial courts in the following venues: Allen Superior Court – Civil Division, Judge Bobay Elkhart Superior Court 2, Judge Bowers Vanderburgh Superior Court, Judge D’Amour Floyd Superior Court 3, Judge Granger Lake Superior Court, Judge Sedia Marion Superior Court – Civil Division 1, Judge Welch Commercial courts in the United States began in 1993 and exist in 22 other states, including Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, and Delaware. Indiana established the...
Today, the Department of Labor issued the much anticipated final rule regarding changes to the overtime provisions of the FLSA. The purpose of the rule change is to narrow the category of employees who can be considered salaried-exempt. The current law requires that in order for an employee to be considered salaried-exempt, he/she must be paid a salary, satisfy a duties test, and be paid at least $455.00 per week ($23,660.00 per year). The new rule will not change the duties test, but raises the pay threshold to $913.00 per week ($47,476.00 per year). The new rule also raises the threshold...
A recent report published by the National Marriage Project finds that children are now more likely to have unmarried cohabitating parents than divorced parents. This finding is consistent with growing findings that more and more couples in the U.S. are cohabitating rather than marrying. This presents an interesting challenge when a couple ends their relationship.  When a relationship ends in divorce, there are numerous state laws that guide a couple and the court on what a fair and equitable division of property should look like.  With a cohabitating couple, there is no similar guidebook and...
Stepparent adoptions can be a relatively easy and straightforward way to make your new family complete. Here's a guide of what to expect in Indiana.  1. Talk with a Family Lawyer Don't forget to consult with a lawyer before you being the process for guidance on what to expect.  In Indiana, stepparents must submit to a criminal background check or undergo a home study by a court-approved agency. Parents are also required to disclose certain medical history information.   2. Obtain Consent from the Other Biological Parent When the other parent consents, a step parent adoption is a much smoother...
Grandparents have rights to spend time with their grandchildren.  In fact, Indiana has enacted a Grandparent Visitation Act allowing grandparents to seek assistance from a court if they are being denied the opportunity to spend time with their grandkids. In a recent decision from the Indiana Supreme Court, the rights of grandparents and parents to parenting time was addressed. Specifically, the Court noted: A child’s relationship with his grandparents is important, and can deserve protection under the Grandparent Visitation Act. But grandparent-visitation orders necessarily impinge, to some...
I am often asked about what happens when a child turns 14, with the general consensus being that a child magically now gets to decide their fate. It seems that most people have the misconception that 14 is some sort of magical age when a child can choose for himself or herself where to live and a court and his parents will simply defer to their wishes. This is simply not the case. Indiana law never places this right or responsibility only on the child’s wishes. Instead, a child's preference is one of a list of numerous factors that a court will consider when deciding custody and parenting...

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