MRR Ohio Legislation Updates: November 4 – November 17, 2016

Notes from the House of Representatives

  • HB No. 612 was introduced to exempt out-of-state disaster businesses and qualifying out-of-state employees from certain taxes and laws with respect to disaster work on critical infrastructure performed in this state during a declared disaster.

Notes from the Senate

  • HB No. 362 was introduced to exempt certain personal information of former and retired peace officers from public records requests and to allow such officers to use a former business address on their driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registrations.
  • HB No. 365 was introduced to allow disclosure of information from the law enforcement automated data system (LEADS) to a defendant in a traffic or criminal case.

For questions or more information on MRR’s Ohio Legislation Updates, contact:

Stacy V. Pollock  – MRR Columbus
Phone: 614.324.0163
Email: spollock@mrrlaw.com

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Alert: Federal Court Issues Stay On Overtime Changes

After months of planning and preparing, you were prepared to adjust the wages and put into place new systems in response to the new overtime laws.  Perhaps you have already implemented those changes in advance of the December 1 effective date.  And then along came Texas…

On November 22, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide stay on the new overtime laws.  A “stay” is a court order blocking parties from taking certain actions.  In this case, the court is preventing the Department of Labor from both implementing and enforcing its new overtime regulations.  What this means is that employers may continue to operate under the old rules while the court determines whether the Department of Labor has the authority to adopt the new rules.

What does this mean for you?  It leaves you with a few options:

  1. If you have not yet implemented or announced a new plan, or if you were not making any changes, you can continue to operate under your current pay structure and all exemptions will be the same as they have been.
  2. If you have announced (but not yet implemented) a new plan, you can choose to either implement the plan even though the regulations are on hold or you can choose to delay the plan given this hold.
  3. If you have already implemented a new plan, you can continue with the plan or it may be possible to revert to your old pay structure. Employees would have to be paid the higher salary for any work already performed under a new structure.  You would also need to review the policies or any agreements put into place to make sure you do not have any contractual obligations that would prevent you from changing the wages back to their earlier levels.

A downward adjustment can be difficult for employees to accept, particularly as they may have already planned on a new or higher salary.  If you are lowering wages or delaying a promised increase, then it is important to discuss with the employee why you are taking the action and assure the employee that it is not a reflection on their worth to the company. Employees may not understand how you were able to pay the increase yesterday, but cannot (or, potentially in their eyes, are not willing to) pay that increase today. You may need to explain to them that the adjustments were being made to comply with the legal requirements, not due to the reality of or a sudden increase in business or profits. Given the new change in the laws, the increase is being delayed and a pay rate being put into place that is more sustainable for the company and reflective of your business.

It is important to note that this stay is temporary.  The court has not yet issued its final ruling on whether the regulations are enforceable, it is just holding the status quo while it figures that issue out.  It is possible that the regulations may never go into effect or they could go into effect sometime next year.  If you decide to delay implementing new pay structures, make certain to follow the law and be prepared to implement those structures if needed when a final ruling is issued.


 

Tami Z. Hannon
440.424.0009
thannon@mrrlaw.com

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Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder’s Lexington Office Announces 2017 Super Lawyers

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A. (MRR) today announced that five attorneys from the firm’s Lexington, Kentucky, office have been selected to the 2017 Kentucky Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Barry M. Miller and Casey C. Stansbury are selected to the Super Lawyers list. Christina L. Vessels, Tia J. Combs, and Curtis M. Graham are all selected to the Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than five percent of lawyers in the state are named to the Super Lawyers list, and no more 2.5 percent are selected to the Rising Stars list.

Barry MillerBarry M. Miller is the administrative partner of the firm’s Lexington office. He has been selected to the Super Lawyers list every year since 2013. Mr. Miller focuses his practice on insurance coverage opinions and litigation, including coverage issues related to municipal liability, bad faith and extra-contractual damages, and data management and cyber security law. He has considerable experience handling technology issues involving data breach defense and electronic discovery as well. Barry regularly provides instruction and counsel to a variety of groups, including attorneys and business owners, regarding preservation of digital evidence and insurance aspects of cyber liability.

 

Casey StansburyCasey C. Stansbury is a firm partner, and has been named a Kentucky Super Lawyer since 2015, prior to which he had been a Rising Star (2013 and 2014). Mr. Stansbury focuses his practice on civil rights and governmental liability issues.  He regularly counsels and represents police officers, correctional officials, municipalities, and public officials in a variety of matters including employment concerns, contract disputes, and civil rights actions.  In addition to his representation of public entities and officials, Casey has experience in handling various other types of litigation matters including cases concerning construction disputes, commercial law, and motor vehicle accidents. Casey is a frequent presenter and has received numerous awards, including the Defense Research Institute’s 2014 Albert H. Parnell Outstanding Program Chair Award.  He also serves as the DRI Government Liability Committee Chair.

 

Christina VesselsPartner Christina L. Vessels has been named a Kentucky Rising Star for the fifth consecutive year. Ms. Vessels primarily focuses her civil litigation practice on insurance coverage, bad faith and extra contractual litigation, professional liability defense, and school law.  Chrissy has represented insurance companies and their insureds in complex litigation before both state and federal courts throughout Kentucky at both the trial and appellate levels, and she has successfully defended school boards, school administrators, teachers, and classified personnel against claims brought by parents and students.  She is also well versed in the interpretation of insurance contracts and has assisted insurance companies in drafting and revising policies to better meet the needs and expectations of their insureds.

 

Tia J. CombsTia J. Combs is an associate in the Lexington office and this is the third consecutive year she has been selected to the Rising Stars list. Ms. Combs’ primary areas of practice are school law and insurance litigation, including insurance defense, coverage disputes, fraud investigation, and bad faith litigation. She has considerable experience representing school boards throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky in matters ranging from employment and personnel conflicts to student disciplinary matters and civil rights to contract negotiation and drafting.

 

Curtis M. GrahamCurtis M. Graham is also an associate in the firm’s Lexington office and this is his first appearance on the Rising Stars list. Mr. Graham focuses his practice on civil rights and governmental liability issues, including the representation of police officers, municipalities, correctional institutions, and city officials. In addition to his representation of government officials, Curt is experienced in all aspects of insurance litigation, ranging from coverage and bad faith disputes to insurance defense litigation. In addition, he has handled matters for both large and small business owners in the areas of commercial law, subrogation, and collections.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

 

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Come Fly With Me: An Overhead View of Drone Requirements and Rules

By: Christina M. Nicholas, Esq.

“Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away . . .”

Unfortunately, I am not offering you a first-class ticket to some exotic locale where you can pass the days away languishing in the sun as the sweet melodies of Ole’ Blue Eyes drift overhead.  I am, however, offering you something even better—an overhead view of the new regulations affecting drones.  So, please, pull up a chair and prepare to be serenaded.

The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) has different requirements and/or rules for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”), i.e., drones.  The requirements and rules depend on the reason the UAS is being flown.  The FAA separates UAS flights into two categories, “Fly for Work, Business or Non-Recreation” and “Fly for Fun or Recreation.”

Fly for Work, Business or Non-Recreation

 The FAA has provided three (3) ways by which to fly a UAS for work, business or non-recreation:

  • The Small Unmanned Aircraft System (“sUAS”) Rule, also known as Part 107 (applicable to UAS that weigh less than 55 pounds at takeoff, and discussed in detail below);
  • A Section 333 Grant of Exemption (applicable to UAS that weigh 55 pounds or more); and
  • An Airworthiness Certificate.

On August 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) comprehensive regulations for sUAS went into effect.  These regulations are for the non-recreational use of sUAS.  Part 107 applies only to UAS that weigh less than 55 pounds at takeoff.  If the UAS weighs 55 pounds or more, a Section 333 Grant of Exemption will need to be obtained.  To fly under Part 107, a pilot must:  (1) be at least 16 years of age; (2) pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center; and (3) be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration (“TSA”).  The aircraft is required to be:  (1) less than 55 pounds; and (2) registered.  A sUAS needs to be registered if it is between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds.  If the sUAS is within these weight limitations, registration can be done online.  If the UAS is 55 pounds or more, paper registration is required.  Additionally, paper registration is required to qualify sUAS for flight outside the United States, if the title to the aircraft is held in trust, or if the owner of the sUAS utilizes a voting trust to meet U.S. Citizenship requirements.

To fly under Part 107, a pilot must adhere to a set of operating rules; however, these rules may be waived by applying for a certificate of waiver.  The general operating rules are as follows:

  • Fly the sUAS in Class G, or uncontrolled, airspace;
  • Keep the sUAS in sight (also called, “visual line-of sight”);
  • Fly the sUAS under 400 feet;
  • Fly the sUAS during the day;
  • Fly the sUAS at or below 100 mph;
  • Yield right of way to manned aircraft; and
  • Do not fly over people or from a moving vehicle.

Fly for Fun or Recreation

If an operator wants to fly a UAS for fun or recreation, they do not need to seek permission from the FAA to do so; however, they must fly the UAS in a safe manner.  Additionally, there are certain requirements to fly for fun or recreation.  To fly for fun or recreation, the operator of the UAS must be:  (1) at least 13 years of age; and (2) a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.  The UAS must also be registered.  If the UAS is less than 55 pounds and more than 0.55 pounds, registration can be done online.  If the UAS is more than 55 pounds, registration must be done by paper.  In order to register, an e-mail address, credit or debit card, and physical address and mailing address are required.  The cost of registration is $5.00, and it is valid for 3 years.

To fly a UAS for fun or recreation, certain safety guidelines must be followed.  The safety guidelines are as follows:

  • Fly the UAS at or below 400 feet;
  • Make sure to keep the UAS within sight;
  • Do not fly near other aircraft;
  • Do not fly over groups of people, over stadiums or sporting events, near emergency response efforts, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and
  • Make sure to be aware of airspace requirements.

Government Entities

It should be noted that a government entity, such as a law enforcement agency, public university, state government, or local municipality, may fly a UAS.  To operate a UAS, a government entity must either follow Part 107 (discussed above) or get a blanket public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (“COA”).

With the above in mind, prepare to take flight!


For questions or more information on the topic of this blog post, please contact:

Christina M. Nicholas – MRR Cleveland
Phone: 440.287.8296
Fax: 440.248.8861
Email: cnicholas@mrrlaw.com

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MRR Makes List of 2017 “Best Law Firms”

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co. L.P.A. has been ranked in the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally in 2 practice areas.

Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.

Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co. L.P.A. received the following rankings in the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”:

  • Metropolitan Tier 1
    • Cleveland
      • Civil Rights Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 3
    • Columbus-OH
      • Education Law

Firms included in the 2017 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.