Education Law Update | 2021 Back-to-School Edition

2021 COVID Education Law Update_8.18.21_feature

The 2021-22 academic year is upon us, and Wyche’s Education Law team is here to help school leaders in South Carolina make this year a great one, despite the many challenges and questions you may be facing. Here is a summary of some of the key changes in laws and regulations that may affect your…
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Book Review: Becoming Wise

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett Recommended By: Maurie Lawrence Courageous Questions/ Intellectual Scavenger Hunt A guarantee to shed light on something important to you.  A guarantee to synthesize in useful ways lots of complex ideas from many sources.  A guarantee to bring implications to how you…
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Book Review: Being Mortal

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande Recommended By: Wallace Lightsey One of the best, and most inspiring, books that I have read recently is “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” by Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer who practices medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in…
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Book Review: Everybody Matters

Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia Recommended By: Rita Bolt Barker I recently read “Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family,” by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia. The book rejects the traditional notion that employees are fungible, to be…
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Book Review: The Song Machine

The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook Recommended by Chris Schoen Some people love pop music, some people hate pop music, and a lot of us hate the fact that we love pop music. If you have ever asked the fundamental question, “why is this dumb song stuck in my head?” let…
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Book Review: Switch

Switch by Chip Heath & Dan Heath Recommended By: Jo Watson Hackl I first read Switch as part of a Liberty Fellowship Summit to address some of the challenges facing our state as it moves forward.  It has quickly become one of my favorites and I’ve used its principles to effect change in both business and non-profit…
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Book Review: This Republic of Suffering

This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust Recommended By: Marshall Winn Look, I’m an English major and I like to read really dense novels, and often experimental ones.  But this is my book to recommend. This is Civil War history, but that is an overly simplified description.  Drew Gilpin Faust, who is President of…
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Book Review: The Art of War

The Art of War by Sun Tzu Recommended By: Troy A. Tessier This is one of the classics.  A book on military strategy and tactics, but the wisdom in it is much more broadly applicable, and many business leaders find it to be a helpful resource in running a successful company and competing in the…
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Book Review: A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace Recommended By: Ted Gentry If it is possible to be at once deeply amused and deeply uneasy, then that’s how I felt upon reading David Foster Wallace’s acclaimed essay, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.  A Supposedly Fun Thing chronicles and dissects Wallace’s experience…
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Book Review: John Adams

John Adams by David McCullough Recommended By: Henry Parr David McCullough’s  John Adams is so good that I hated to come to the end.  After a slow start, the book gives a compelling account of the wisdom, strengths and weaknesses of the people who formed our nation. This is a must for anyone with any remote interest…
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Book Review: A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace Recommended By: Ted Gentry If it is possible to be at once deeply amused and deeply uneasy, then that’s how I felt upon reading David Foster Wallace’s acclaimed essay, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.  A Supposedly Fun Thing chronicles and dissects Wallace’s experience…
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Book Review: John Adams

John Adams by David McCullough Recommended By: Henry Parr David McCullough’s  John Adams is so good that I hated to come to the end.  After a slow start, the book gives a compelling account of the wisdom, strengths and weaknesses of the people who formed our nation. This is a must for anyone with any remote interest…
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DOL Rule Blocked

By Camden Navarro Massingill On November 22, 2016, a Texas federal judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the Department of Labor’s regulation extending mandatory overtime protections to white collar employees.  The revised white collar overtime regulations were set to go into effect on December 1, 2016. Under the new regulations, the standard salary…
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The DOL’s New Overtime Rule Is Upon Us

By Wyche Attorney Camden Navarro Massingill   After much anticipation – and some wishful thinking that the day might never come – the effective date of the Department of Labor’s Final Overtime Rule, December 1, 2016, is rapidly nearing. As a reminder, the new regulations increase the standard salary level for the exemption from overtime requirements…
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Let’s Do a Word Association: Copyright … Copycat … Catwoman … Batman … Batmobile!

George Barris, the creator of the 1966 Batmobile and many other classic custom cars, died at the age of 89 last fall.  Barris and his brother opened Barris Kustoms in Los Angeles after World War II, and their unique and creative customizing work on cars brought them attention in the Southern California auto scene.  Success…
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DTSA, UTSA, SCTSA … What’s the Big Deal?

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace K. Lightsey   On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the “Defend Trade Secrets Act,” or “DTSA,” creating for the first time a federal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation. In an era of increasingly contentious partisan politics, the DTSA received a level of bipartisan support in the…
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“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you …” And here’s your birthday present: A lawsuit!

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace Lightsey According to the Guinness Book of Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognizable song in the English language.  Certainly it has to be one of the most, if not the most, frequently performed songs in history.  But did you know that there is a company that claims…
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Stairway to a Heavenly Defense Verdict, for Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Sorry, Justin Bieber!

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace Lightsey In June, a Los Angeles jury decided that Led Zeppelin did not commit copyright infringement in its rock classic, Stairway to Heaven, considered by many to be the greatest rock song ever recorded.  The song was accused of infringing a 1967 song called Taurus by the band Spirit, which had…
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If you are thinking, “I should copyright that,” you probably already have.

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace K. Lightsey I often hear people –many of them lawyers – refer to “copyrighting” something they have written or created in some other form. The truth is, copyright protection arises automatically and immediately at the moment of creation, which means the time that an original work of authorship is first…
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Regulation “A+” and Venture Capital Financing

Prepared by Andrew B. Coburn As seen in Business Black Box Q4 2015 Edition In 2012, Congress passed the JOBS Act with the intent of making it easier for start-ups and smaller companies to raise capital. At the time, Regulation A was an existing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation that provided the rules for one type…
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A Tough Year for Justin Bieber

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace K. Lightsey Justin Bieber turned 21 this year.  He also lost a significant copyright case in the U.S. Court of Appeals. Bieber and another mega-recording artist, Usher, were sued for copyright infringement in connection with the song, “Somebody To Love,” which according to Billboard Magazine is Bieber’s 9th-biggest hit.  The…
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Update on Our March Madness Bracketology

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace K. Lightsey In the last Wyche Inside IP, in the spirit of the “March Madness” then happening in NCAA basketball, I hazarded predictions of the results of two patent cases that were to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 31. How did I do?  About the same…
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Who Owns Social Media Accounts

Wyche Inside IP By Terrell W. Mills There is no question about the growing importance of social media to businesses’ marketing strategies.  Communications about a business are generally more effective and, therefore, more valuable, when coming from an individual and not a corporate account.  As a result, promotion of businesses often comes from personal accounts. …
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In Other Jeff Dunham News . . . Cybersquatting

Wyche Inside IP By Troy A. Tessier The Lanham Act, which provides federal trademark protection, also includes certain cyberpiracy prevention provisions designed to protect people and companies from the wrongful registration and use of internet domain names that deserve trademark protection.  Congress passed the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. §1125(d), in 1999.  Under its…
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Don’t Mess With Walter the Dummy

Wyche Inside IP By Troy A. Tessier Jeff Dunham and Walter, a dummy character Jeff uses in his popular standup act, now have a new venue – federal court.  According to a complaint filed in federal court in California (Case No. 2:15-cv-05092), Anthony Horn is accused of knocking off the popular character of Walter and…
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What the Hack IP

Wyche Inside IP By Meliah Bowers Jefferson You’ve made sure that all of your key patents, copyrights, and trademarks are properly registered. You have iron-clad employment agreements protecting your company’s trade secrets and confidentiality agreements rivaling those signed by the staff of the British Royal Family. But now more than ever, it is not your…
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“March Madness” You Say? Be Careful How You Use That Term!

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace K. Lightsey It is March, and the minds of many turn to college basketball and to the NCAA tournament in particular. The intense focus of the American public and TV-viewing audience on the tournament is an irresistible motivation to advertisers to incorporate “March Madness” into the names of sales and…
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Transforming the Fair Use Analysis – Seventh Circuit Criticizes “Transformative Use”

Wyche Inside IP By Troy A. Tessier Under the Copyright Act, “fair use” is a defense to a copyright infringement claim. According to the statute, the determination of fair use depends on four main factors: The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit…
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Update on the Innovation Act

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace K. Lightsey Wyche Inside IP previously reported on the effort of Congress to combat abuses by “patent trolls” through passage of the Innovation Act (H.R. 9). This legislation was introduced in 2013 and passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 325-91, but became bogged down in…
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March Madness in the Supreme Court – and Our Bracketology

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace K. Lightsey On March 31, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two important patent cases. How will it decide? Here are our predictions. In Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., the Court will consider whether a defendant’s good-faith belief that a patent is invalid is a…
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Wyche Corporate Connection: February 2015

A stockholder in a merger cannot be required to sign a release post-merger in order to receive the merger consideration. The Delaware Chancery Court recently examined a corporate merger that conditioned receipt of the merger consideration on the target stockholders signing a letter of transmittal releasing all claims against the acquirer.  The merger agreement itself…
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Wyche at Work: January 2015 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry January 2015 North Carolina Companies Entangled in Religious Accommodation Claims with the EEOC Claims of religious discrimination with the EEOC seem to be on the rise. Two recent announcements by the EEOC caught the eye of Wyche at Work. Both involved North Carolina companies and their refusal to hire Rastafarians and/or…
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Wyche at Work: December 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Mark Bakker December 2014 Local EEOC Lawsuit Activity EEOC Settles with Hospital in North Carolina The EEOC announced in late November that it had extracted an $85,000 settlement from Angel Medical Center, Inc. in Franklin, NC following a charge of disability discrimination. The EEOC brought a lawsuit against the hospital following a charge…
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Reforming Patent Reform

Wyche Inside IP By Meliah Bowers Jefferson Speculation, and some anticipation, is running high that Congress will take action to implement concrete patent law reform in the coming year.  Spawned by what some have argued to be a problem caused by litigation initiated by non-practicing entities, otherwise known as “patent trolls,” the United States House…
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Protect your company’s valuable trade secrets!

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace K. Lightsey Economists estimate that intellectual property in the U.S. is worth about $5 trillion, which is equivalent to almost half of the U.S. economy. There is little data on the exact value of trade secrets because trade secrets are, by definition, secret. Nevertheless, it is known that the theft…
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Wyche at Work: October 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry October 2014 EEOC Update:  More Tricks, Fewer Treats for Employers this Halloween The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is the federal agency tasked with investigating violations of and enforcing federal discrimination laws. Recent EEOC activity has been particularly “spooky” for employers. The EEOC’s “Scary” Investigation Tactics Wyche at Work has highlighted the benefits…
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Wyche Corporate Connection: October 2014

Compiled by Eric B. Amstutz Delaware corporate bylaws may require that plaintiffs bring intra-corporate litigation in the state of the corporation’s headquarters. In September 2014, the Delaware Chancery Court upheld the validity of a bylaw adopted by a Delaware corporation that required intra-corporate litigation be brought in the state of the corporation’s headquarters (in that…
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Venture Capital Seed Financing – Convertible Debt

Prepared by Andrew B. Coburn As seen in Business Black Box Q4 2014 Edition A startup company can use a variety of forms of debt or equity to raise its initial funding. Sorting out the options is complicated by the numerous model documents now available for venture capital financing, from the National Venture Capital Association’s…
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Wyche at Work: September 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry September 2014 Kickball Injury Leads to Workers’ Compensation Award.  Wait, What? Because Wyche at Work enjoys competitive recreational activities and company team-building exercises, including the occasional foray on the co-recreational law league softball fields, a recent decision awarding benefits for an injury incurred a kickball event piqued our attention. In Whigham v.…
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Wyche at Work: August 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Wyche attorney Ted Gentry August 2014 Handbook Series: Communication System Policies and the Blurred Line between Personal Space and the Workplace In a previous edition of Wyche at Work’s handbook series, we highlighted a difficult question facing many employers today: where does the workplace end and an employee’s personal life begin? This boundary…
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Wyche Corporate Connection: July 2014

Prepared by Eric B. Amstutz A corporate by-law requiring reimbursement of attorneys’ fees may be enforceable.  The Delaware Supreme Court recently ruled that a non-stock corporation’s bylaw provision requiring the plaintiff in intra-corporate litigation to pay the successful defendant’s attorneys’ fees was not invalid on its face. The fee-shifting provision was written to apply to…
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Wyche at Work: July 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry July 2014 Fourth Circuit Rules in Favor of Employer in Whistleblower Case Whistleblower claims, which protect employees who report potentially illegal conduct by prohibiting retaliatory personnel actions by employers, are generally on the rise. The Fourth Circuit, which covers South Carolina, recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer…
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“Trip Trap Trip Trap!” Has Big Billy Goat Gruff Come to Kill the Patent Troll?

Wyche Inside IP By Wallace K. Lightsey What to do about “patent trolls” – entities that own patents and threaten infringement lawsuits to obtain license fees, but which do not actually make products using the patents they own – has been the subject of a lot of talk and has prompted a flurry of federal…
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You Should Get A License For That

Wyche Inside IP By Meliah Bowers Jefferson CEO Elon Musk, recently created a lot of media attention for his company Tesla Motors, when he announced that the company was giving away free access to the company’s patented technology.  In a blog post on Tesla’s website, Musk proclaimed: “in the spirit of the open source movement,…
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Elementary, My Dear Watson?

Wyche Inside IP By Troy A. Tessier There are a total of 60 Sherlock Holmes stories or novels published by Arthur Conan Doyle between 1887 and 1927.  Of those, only ten stories remain protected by copyright – the copyrights in all the others have expired. Leslie Klinger wanted to create an anthology of stories inspired…
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The Laches Defense in Copyright Cases – A Puncher’s Chance?

Wyche Inside IP By Troy A. Tessier Jake LaMotta was a world middleweight boxing champion who fought several epic battles with Sugar Ray Robinson in the 1940s and 1950s, and the subject of a popular movie, Raging Bull, in which LaMotta was portrayed by Robert DeNiro.  In 1950, LaMotta was involved in Ring Magazine’s Fight…
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Washington Redskins Trademark Decision

Wyche Inside IP By Terrell W. Mills The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) cancelled six Washington Redskin football team trademark registrations that included the word REDSKIN on June 18, 2014.  The TTAB concluded that the word REDSKIN was derogatory to Native Americans at the time…
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New Technology, Same Old Infringement

Wyche Inside IP By Troy A. Tessier Aereo, Inc. (“Aereo”) provided a monthly service allowing subscribers to select broadcast television programming available over the airwaves to be captured by an individual, subscriber-specific antenna, copied to an individual, subscriber-specific hard drive folder, and then streamed to that subscriber for viewing on a slight delay.  This new…
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Wyche at Work: June 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry June 2014 Employee Handbooks and Manuals Part VI: Exploring the Blurry Line between Business and Personal through the Lens of Social Media Policies Previous entries for Wyche at Work’s ongoing series on employee handbooks have focused on the workplace. We began the handbook series by explaining the benefits a handbook could bring to the workplace.…
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Wyche at Work: May 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry May 2014 Construction Company Hit With Massive I-9 Penalty Wyche at Work has previously outlined the dangers of hiring undocumented workers and the importance of maintaining proper I-9 files for your company’s employees.  This point was driven home when ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Office recently upheld a six-figure fine levied on M&D Masonry,…
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The NLRA’s Increased Role in the Non-Unionized Workplace

As seen in the South Carolina Bar’s Employment & Labor Law Newsletter, May 2014 Introduction to the National Labor Relations Act The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), among other things, grants employees the right to unionize, collectively bargain and engage in concerted activity for their mutual aid and protection.  See 29 U.S.C. 157. These rights…
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Wyche at Work: April 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry April 2014 Fourth Circuit Reins in the EEOC with Attorneys Fee Award There have been a number of recent decisions penalizing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for failures or deficiencies in its investigation or pursuit of litigation. Last month, in EEOC v. Propak Logistics, Inc. the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a…
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Wyche Corporate Connection: April 2014

Prepared by Eric B. Amstutz Mergers and Acquisitions Ways to Craft Purchase Price Adjustments Most M&A agreements for private company acquisitions include purchase price adjustment mechanisms. An article describing these provisions, written by Melinda Davis Lux and published in the February 2014 issue of The Practical Lawyer, can be found here. Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege Passes…
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Wyche at Work: March 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry March 2014 Employee Handbooks and Manuals Part III: Essential Provisions In Part II of our series on employee handbooks, Wyche at Work discussed a critical aspect of the first page of any handbook: a conspicuous and correctly formatted disclaimer stating that the handbook does not create a contract for employment. This…
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Wyche at Work: February 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry February 2014 Employee Handbooks and Manuals Part II:  Highlighting the “No-Contract” Disclaimer Wyche at Work continues its 2014 series on employee handbooks by emphasizing what should literally be on the first page:  a conspicuous disclaimer that demonstrably expresses that the handbook is not a “contract of employment”.  While such a requirement…
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Wyche at Work: January 2014 Employment Update

Prepared by Wyche attorneys, Andy Coburn and Ted Gentry January 2014 Employee Handbooks and Manuals:  A New Series by Wyche At Work Due mostly to the intrusive efforts of the National Labor Relations Board, legal issues surrounding employee handbooks, manuals, and policies have received significant attention in the last 12 months. Wyche at Work has noted troublesome…
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Wyche at Work: December 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry December 2013 Social Media and the Workplace Part III In this month’s edition of Wyche at Work we will end our three-part series on social media in the workplace. In previous editions we have outlined the dangers of accessing employee/applicant-owned media social accounts and delved into the ways the National Labor Relations…
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Wyche at Work: May 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Wyche attorneys, Ted Gentry and Andy Coburn May 2013 The Emergence of Genetic Discrimination Claims Earlier this year, Wyche at Work focused on the importance of screening job applicants in a way that does not reveal information about a protected characteristic – such as age, nationality, or disability — either directly through interview questions or…
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Wyche at Work: November 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry November 2013 I Can Be Sued Personally For Wage and Employment Tax Claims? Clients tend to think that the corporate shield automatically insulates officers, managers, and owners from personal liability for corporate debts. It is intuitive that individuals might be responsible for tort claims and/or discrimination claims for which they were “bad…
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Wyche at Work: October 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry October 2013 National Disability Employment Awareness Month October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month (“NDEAM”), a national campaign to raise awareness of disability employment issues. In his Presidential Proclamation, President Obama paid tribute to disabled employees as “leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators, each with unique talents to contribute and points of view to…
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Wyche at Work: Special Bulletin

Prepared by Ted Gentry October 2013 The Shutdown: How Does It Affect Private Employers? Wyche at Work is actively working (always!), but the news of the moment involves those who are not working – the federal government shutdown. While there are signs of a potential deal in Washington D.C. that might end the shutdown, there…
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Wyche at Work: September 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry September 2013 IRS and DOL Issue Guidance Regarding Same-Sex Marriage The IRS and the Department of Labor (DOL) have both issued initial regulatory guidance (Revenue Ruling, 2013-17 and Technical Release 2013-04, respectively) regarding interpretation of the terms “marriage” and “spouse” under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. This guidance states that for…
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M&A Buyer Protection Beyond Indemnification and Escrows

Strafford Webinar held September 19, 2013 by Rita Bolt Barker Structuring Deal-Specific and Often Overlooked Acquisition Provisions to Minimize Buyer’s Risk Click here to download and view the webinar.

Wyche at Work: August 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Wyche attorneys, Andy Coburn and Ted Gentry August 2013 EEO-1 Reports Due for Some Employers Employers that are required to file Form 100, the Employer Information Report EEO-1, have until September 30 to file their annual report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The report is a compliance survey that requires company employment…
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Wyche at Work: July 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry July 2013 Administration Postpones Deadline for Employer Mandate The health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, includes the so-called “employer mandate,” which requires employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees to provide a certain level of health insurance coverage or pay a financial penalty. As Wyche at Work…
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Wyche at Work: June 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry  June 2013 The EEOC Sues BMW for Improper Use of Background Checks in Employment Decisions The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is testing the applicability and legality of its new guidelines on how employers should best and legally use background checks in making employment decisions here in South Carolina. The EEOC filed a…
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Wyche at Work: April 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry April 2013 E-Verify and SC Immigration Update The federal E-Verify program to confirm workers’ authorization to legally work in the United States continues to gain attention from employers and lawmakers alike. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reports that E-Verify enrollment increased by 35% in 2012 and grows by about 1,500 employers each…
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Wyche at Work: March 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry March 2013 Hiring Highlights We believe it’s a good sign that South Carolina businesses are concerned about hiring issues. Nationally, the average number of claims for new unemployment benefits this month was the lowest level since February 2008. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce reported that nearly 27,000 more South Carolinians…
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Wyche at Work: February 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry February 2013 Hiring Highlights As experts cautiously track the economy and job growth trends, your company may find itself in the position of recruiting and interviewing more applicants for job openings.  Interviewing applicants – already a challenging task – takes on even more weight in light of the Equal Employment Opportunity…
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Wyche at Work: January 2013 Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry January 2013 Hiring Highlights In response to the job growth trend in South Carolina at the end of 2012, Wyche at Work launched a series of articles on hiring issues. We have previously discussed E-Verify requirements and the need to question applicants about any existing contractual obligations that might interfere with their…
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Recoveries and Protections for Whistleblowers Under the False Claims Act

Written by Wyche attorney, John C. Moylan January 2012 From 1988 through 2010, the United States has recovered more than 27 billion dollars through the False Claims Act and whistleblowers have received nearly 3 billion dollars in relator share awards. See the Department of Justice Fraud Statistics Overview for more information. That 3 billion dollars…
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Wyche at Work: December Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry December 2012 2012 in Review:  South Carolina Legislative Changes On the employment front, 2012 will most likely be noted in South Carolina for the National Labor Relations Board’s bold initiatives to protect employees’ rights to unionize and record unemployment rates. Against that backdrop, the South Carolina Legislature passed two employment-related laws that…
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A New Generation in Legal Literacy: Review of Jo S. Kittinger’s “Breath of Hope”

As published in Clearinghouse Review – read the full article here. November-December 2012 By Jo Watson Hackl This article was first published in 46 Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy 367 (November-December 2012) copyright sign 2012 Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law As any lawyer who works with low-income people knows, increasing…
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Wyche at Work: November Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry November 2012 Holiday Parties We don’t want to dampen your holiday cheer, but there are a few ways employers can reduce the risk of legal problems that can arise during employer-sponsored holiday parties: Avoid customs that are not workplace appropriate (i.e., exchanging risqué gifts). Inappropriate conduct at a holiday party can later…
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Wyche at Work: October Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry October 2012 Voting Leave Laws With Election Day drawing near, you may get some questions from employees about taking off time from work to vote. South Carolina does not mandate “voting leave” for employees, though companies are free to establish policies that permit voting during the workday. Other states (Georgia and Alabama,…
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Summary of Considerations for Allocating Environmental Liabilities in Transactions

Prepared by Wyche attorneys: Rita Bolt Barker & Maurie Lawrence Below is a summary of considerations that parties may want to consider in allocating environmental liabilities.  This summary is not exhaustive, as considerations vary for each transaction.  For example, this summary does not address the various types of deal structures. Download a PDF version of…
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Sample Buyer’s Environmental Due Diligence Checklist

Prepared by Wyche attorney: Rita Bolt Barker & Maurie Lawrence This checklist is intended to be used only as a suggested template for conducting environmental due diligence. The scope of environmental due diligence is deal-specific and will be dependent upon a variety of factors, including the buyer’s knowledge of the site and operations, level of…
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Wyche at Work: September Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry September 2012 Avoiding Pitfalls in Overtime Calculations An employer’s failure to follow the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) can be costly and result in lawsuits, fines and possibly criminal prosecution. The FLSA requires that a non-exempt employee receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40…
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Wyche at Work: August Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry August 2012 Wyche Achieves Major Victory for Employers Before South Carolina Supreme Court In an appeal handled by Wyche litigator Henry Parr, the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a significant decision favoring employers seeking to enforce confidentiality agreements. For example, the Court noted that a lack of time limit in a confidentiality…
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Wyche at Work: July Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry July 2012 There They Go Again:  NLRB Imperialism The National Labor Relations Board has published a new webpage for employees which, according to the accompanying NLRB press release, “describes the rights of employees to act together for their mutual aid and protection, even if they are not in a union.” The NLRB’s…
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Can Your Facebook Account Cost You Your Job?

Interview with Ted Gentry As heard on “The South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast Friday, July 13, 2012 Read the transcript below: Those of us with social media accounts are constantly warned not to post embarrassing items. It’s now part of conventional wisdom that indiscreet posts could keep you from getting – or…
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Are Unpaid Interns Legal?

Interview with Ted Gentry As heard on “The South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast Thursday, June 28, 2012 Read the transcript below: As summer approaches, industrious students are eager to gain workplace experience and make connections with potential employers, and businesses will always welcome some low-cost help. As a result of these pressures,…
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Wyche at Work: June Employment Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry June 2012 Statistics for Discrimination Charges Now Available Online The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just posted statistics for private sector workplace discrimination charges. With 1,370 total charges in Fiscal Year 2011, South Carolina accounted for 1.4% of the total workplace discrimination charges nation-wide. Here is a breakdown, by frequency of type…
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Wyche at Work: May Employment Law Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry May 2012 EEOC Issues Enforcement Guidance on Employer Use of Arrest and Conviction Records Following several public meetings, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued an Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII. In light of the EEOC’s recent $3.13 million…
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Wyche at Work: April Employment Law Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry April 2012 NLRB Posting Not Required in SC … For Now We have previously discussed the recent National Labor Relations Board regulation requiring employers to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. With an effective date of April 30, 2012, South Carolina employers had been…
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Wyche at Work: March Employment Law Update

Prepared by Ted Gentry March 2012 NLRB Issues Second Report Challenging Social Media Policies The Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board recently issued Memorandum OM 12-31 summarizing the Board’s findings on 14 social media cases. This is the second such report – the first, OM 11-74, was issued August 18,…
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How Much is Your Nonprofit’s Brand Worth? The Path to Trademark Protection

Written by Wallace K. Lightsey and Josh Weiss As seen in South Carolina Lawyers Weekly March 11, 2011 “It”s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A . . . ” As the theme of the song goes, the YMCA has been recognized and has become a leader in youth and adult recreation. The YMCA, a globally…
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Nonprofit Tax Exempt Organizations

Interview with Cary Hall As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast October 16, 2009 Most of us have “causes” we would like to pursue and support for the good of our community, to help others or just to be good citizens. There are important advantages to be secured by establishing a…
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Illegal Music Downloads: When It’s Not Nice to Share

Interview with Ted Gentry As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast February 19, 2009 As parents, we spend a lot of time teaching our children to share. But if their generosity extends to copyrighted music and other works, sharing can turn out to be a bad – and costly – habit.…
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From the Client Meeting to the Boardroom: Presenting Your Case When the Stakes are High

Interview with Wallace K. Lightsey As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast October 30, 2008 Introduction: Studies continue to reveal that one of the greatest fears for many people is public speaking. Here are some tips from the courtroom that will help seasoned and neophyte presenters effectively present their case in…
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Redeveloping Contaminated Sites: Turning Brownfields into Green

nterview with Rita Bolt Barker As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast July 18, 2008 What is a brownfield? Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The EPA estimates that there…
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Raising Capital 101: Legal Considerations for Entrepreneurs, Start-ups and Small Businesses

Interview with Eric Graben As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast June 26, 2008 If you are raising capital, you are probably selling securities. Many businesses at some point need to raise capital from outside sources. Generally if you raise money from one or more outside investors (other than bank loans),…
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Conservation Easements: Protecting Special Places

Interview with Cary Hall As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast May 2, 2008 The forests and open spaces of South Carolina are rapidly disappearing. A recent study by the Strom Thurmond Institute at Clemson estimates the Upstate of South Carolina will see 86 acres of open space developed per day…
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Retaliation: Don’t Get Mad, Don’t Get Even

Interview with Ted Gentry As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast April 24, 2008 Many employers are familiar with the traditional disputes that can arise with their employees — in areas like worker’s compensation and anti-discrimination law.  But many don’t know about one of the fastest-growing groups of claims — suites…
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You’ve Been Sued: Now What?

Interview with Ted Gentry As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast April 11 and 12, 2007 If you run a business, large or small, there’s a good chance that at some point your company will be sued.  And while you may have to live with that lawsuit for months or years…
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The Medimmune Decision: A Major Legal Development for Patent Licenses

Interview with Wallace K. Lightsey As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast March 29, 2007 In January, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that could have profound implications for patent holders and patent licensees. The Change in the Law Previously, one who entered into a license agreement with a patent…
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