Archive for August, 2011
The Internal Revenue Service continues to offer an Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (“OVDI”) for United States citizens and residents who are required to report their interests in foreign financial accounts. On Friday, August 26, due to concerns regarding the potential impact of Hurricane Irene, the IRS announced that it will extend the due date for OVDI requests until September 9, 2011. The original deadline was August 31, 2011. If a taxpayer is unable to complete an OVDI request by September 9, the taxpayer may request a 90-day extension.
Harry, the office jokester, decides that it’s a good idea to send what he deems a “Funny Friday” email to one of his female co-workers, Betty. The problem is, however, that female co-worker did not find Harry’s email, which was derogatory towards females, very amusing. Think Brett Favre or Isaiah Tomas not funny. Betty complains to her supervisor, who responds by telling Betty, “That’s just Harry being Harry. You wouldn’t tell Howard Stern to stop being funny. Now go back to work.” Harry then continues to send Betty his “Funny Friday” emails, until Betty files a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. What happens now? Harry’s employer is up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
While I was mindlessly flipping the channels the other night, I stumbled upon one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes. George, as always, Costanza’ed another job, this time by having an “encounter” with a cleaning lady at the office. When confronted with his tryst, Costanza asked:
Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I’ve worked in a lot of offices and I tell you people do that all the time.
The days of non-union employers never mentioning the word “union” are coming to an end.
The NLRB announced today that effective November 14, 2011, all private-sector employers will be required to post an “employee rights notice” where other workplace notices are typically posted. This notice, similar to one that federal contractors are currently required to post, informs employees of their rights to organize in a union and to bargain collectively. Employers who customarily put personnel policy notices on an intranet will be required to put this information on the intranet as well.
Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law
Passed two years ago, this open records law shifts the burden onto government officials to show why a record shouldn’t be released, rather than force citizens to prove why it should. A state Office of Open Records was established to interpret the law and settle disputes. This law is meant to promote transparency in government. This month there have been two setbacks to this transparency effort.
The city of Easton is privileged to have an award-winning Main Street program led by Kim Kmetz, manager. The Greater Easton Development Partnership, a 501(c)(3) organization, is charged with catalyzing economic development throughout the greater Easton area. It administers the Easton Main Street program as well as other economic development initiatives including the Easton Ambassadors program.
With all of the recent discussion around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), and recognizing that on March 31, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published over 400 pages of proposed regulations for Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”) – which have been met with a lukewarm reception from the provider industry – it may be useful to ask a very basic question: When it comes to physicians, can accountability be measured, and if so, how will it be measured? Please click here to read an article I authored for MD News where I discuss where accountability lies and what this new act means to physicians’ practices whether large or small.
On May 28, 2011, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (“PHFA”) provided notice that it will have insufficient money available in the Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program to accept new applications for emergency mortgage assistance on or after July 1, 2011. On July 16, 2011, PHFA established that on and after August 27, 2011, mortgagees may take legal action to enforce a mortgage, without any further restriction or requirement of the Housing Finance Agency Law, 35 P.S. § 1680.101 et seq., without respect to the date upon which a mortgage obligation becomes delinquent.