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      COVID-19 and Employer Health Plans:  How to Handle COBRA       As we continue to deal with our new COVID-19 reality, employers need to consider how employee lay-offs and terminations affect health plan eligibility.   PART II       We previously addressed what employers needed to do immediately. This article addresses the other important question for employers: How do COVID-19-related lay-offs or terminations implicate COBRA continuation coverage?       The first consideration is when coverage ends under your health plan. For most plans, the plan provides eligibility to participate...
                                        Beckman Lawson, LLP            DOL ISSUES HELPFUL Q&A ON FFCRA; CLARIFIES SMALL BUSINESS EXEMPTION   Although we're still awaiting the final regulations, the DOL issued has issued some preliminary guidance on several of the unanswered questions in the FFCRA.  You'll find the complete Q&A here.    In particular, the DOL has defined the criteria for exempting employers with fewer than 50 employees.  The following is from the DOL website:   When does the small business exemption apply to exclude a small business from the provisions of...
Parenting Time in a National Emergency? In the midst of the current COVID-19 national emergency and global pandemic, parents everywhere are heeding the call to stay inside. And for parents with shared custodial arrangements, the inclination of some parents is to remain “hunkered down” in their home, fearing that leaving their home or allowing their kids to drive off with the other parent would be violating the law, or CDC mandates. Are they right? The Indiana Governor’s Executive Order  compelling all Hoosiers to “hunker down” expressly provides an exception to the stay at home order when it...
Beckman Lawson, LLP          Families First Coronavirus Response Act      The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was enacted on March 18, 2020. The new law takes effect on April 2, 2020 and will remain in effect until the end of the calendar year. The law contains broad provisions responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article addresses only those provisions related specifically to employment.   Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act   The new law contains the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, which provides that employers with fewer than 500...
Indiana Relocation Statute  Effective July 1, 2019, Indiana’s relocation statute changed.  A relocating individual must provide notice of their intent to relocate 30 days before the intended move or within 14 days of learning of their relocation.  The other parent has 20 days to file a response – even if they are not objecting to the relocation.   These are important changes to the statute.  Under the old law, a parent was required to give notice to the Court of any relocation 90 days before the relocation and the other parent had 60 days to file an objection to the relocation.  This is a...
Tag(s): Family law
Summer Vacation and Summer Parenting Time - What A Non-Custodial Parent Needs to Do Now   by Heidi Koeneman The time to start planning for parenting time and summer vacations is now! Not just because an airline ticket might be cheaper, or because your employer needs you to reserve your vacation days several months in advance, but also because it’s the only way the non-custodial parent can ensure his or her desired parenting time is reserved. If you were granted parenting time as the “non-custodial parent” pursuant to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) then it is time to...
Effective July 1,  Indiana residents will be able to e-sign wills, trusts and powers of attorney.  While electronic signatures for estate planning are a push for attorneys to use technology for clients who desire or need it,  most attorneys will likely continue to use in-person signing with paper and ink as questions about electronic witnesses and remote notarization continue to be addressed in the next year.   
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...
Tag(s): Family law
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...
Tag(s): Family law
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...

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