MKB Blog

Drugs in the Workplace: A Recent Decision in Connecticut May Provide Some Guidance to Pennsylvania Employers

  • Dec 3, 2018
  • Patrice M. Turenne
  • By Patrice M. Turenne

Medical Marijuana became legal in Pennsylvania in 2016 through the Medical Marijuana Act. As a result, employers will be faced with situations where they will need to decide how to handle employees and prospective employees who are authorized by state law to utilize marijuana for medical purposes. While it will take time before Pennsylvania courts provide concrete guidance to employers on how to deal with specific situations, a recent decision from Connecticut provides some potential insight.

What Is Bitcoin and How Is It Regulated and Treated by the U.S. Government?

What Is Bitcoin and How Is It Regulated and Treated by the U.S. Government?

  • Nov 15, 2018
  • Donnell C. Much
  • By Donnell C. Much

Many consumers and investors have recently heard about, followed, or even traded in the crypto-currency called Bitcoin. Bitcoin can be exchanged for traditional currencies such as the U.S. dollar, or used to purchase goods or services, usually online. As an investor in Bitcoin, a user of the crypto-currency, or as a practitioner representing investors who have purchased, sold or invested in Bitcoin, it is critical to understand how certain U.S. agencies and bureaus of U.S. agencies treat and attempt to regulate crypto-currencies, including Bitcoin.

Non-Disclosure Agreements: When and How Should Companies Use Them?

Non-Disclosure Agreements: When and How Should Companies Use Them?

  • Nov 5, 2018
  • Dianne G. Moretzsohn
  • By Dianne G. Moretzsohn

You may have seen Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) in the news lately in connection with the #MeToo movement. NDAs that require victims of harassment to remain silent have triggered conversations among employers, lawyers, and even legislators regarding the appropriate use of NDAs. However, NDAs can still be useful for protecting your business and valuable proprietary information. When should companies use an NDA and what should be included?

The Family and Medical Leave Act: No Magic Words Required and Timing is Important

The Family and Medical Leave Act: No Magic Words Required and Timing is Important

  • Oct 29, 2018
  • Patrice M. Turenne
  • By Patrice M. Turenne

The Family and Medical Leave Act has many nuances and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania examined some of them in a recent opinion. The opinion highlights the fact that employees do not need to say any magic words to request leave under the FMLA.  Rather, when an employee provides sufficient information to suggest that the FMLA may apply, the onus is on the employer to request any additional information necessary to make a determination.

Does Your Website Comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act?  If Not, it Probably Should.

Does Your Website Comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act?  If Not, it Probably Should.

  • Sep 26, 2018
  • Benjamin R. Picker
  • By Benjamin R. Picker

Recently, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that a website that is inaccessible to the disabled can form the basis for a disability discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Given the recent prevalence of ADA “drive by” lawsuits, and since nearly every business in this day and age maintains a website, this is an issue that warrants immediate attention. Is your website compliant?

South Dakota v Wayfair, Where Are We Now?

South Dakota v Wayfair, Where Are We Now?

  • Sep 17, 2018
  • Marc S. Maser Christine A. Reuther
  • By Marc S. Maser  and Christine A. Reuther

On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that a state may require remote sellers to collect sales tax, overturning the bright line physical presence test. Any seller with a substantial virtual or economic presence can now be obligated to collect sales tax without violating the Constitution. This is a major win for states, as it will allow for an $8 to $33 billion increase in aggregate revenue for use for public duties. However, in the months since the South Dakota v Wayfair ruling, business owners have been left with considerable uncertainty about what the new economic presence test means for them.

Many are shocked that Aretha Franklin died without a will. I am not.

Many are shocked that Aretha Franklin died without a will. I am not.

  • Aug 30, 2018
  • Garth G. Hoyt
  • By Garth G. Hoyt

Ask any trust and estate lawyer, and they’ll tell you it’s tragically common. Many people die without a will in place. More than half of American adults don't have one, including Aretha Franklin. What happens when you die without a will? We discuss.

Creating An Effective Estate Plan

Creating An Effective Estate Plan

  • Aug 9, 2018
  • Joan Agran
  • By Joan Agran

Estate planning is an important component of long-term family stability. It can provide guidelines for the prudent management of financial matters and the care and education of children and is also an important component of overall wealth planning. What should be included in an effective estate plan? We share the details.

Qualified Opportunity Funds: A Tax Intelligent Investment Option

Qualified Opportunity Funds: A Tax Intelligent Investment Option

  • Jul 31, 2018
  • Andrew Maguire Christine A. Reuther
  • By Andrew Maguire  and Christine A. Reuther

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provides powerful tax incentives, which can defer, reduce, and potentially eliminate, capital gains tax for qualifying investments. The Act aims to stimulate development in economically-challenged areas designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones. Qualified Opportunity Funds (investing entities which meet certain criteria established by the IRS and the Department of the Treasury) can enjoy beneficial tax treatment if they invest in tangible property or equity interests in companies located in Qualified Opportunity Zones.

Pennsylvania 1099 Withholding Requirement for Businesses

Pennsylvania 1099 Withholding Requirement for Businesses

  • Jul 26, 2018
  • Christine A. Reuther
  • By Christine A. Reuther

Late last year, Pennsylvania enacted Act 43 of 2017, a grab bag of tax provisions that, among other things, requires Pennsylvania businesses to withhold personal income tax (PIT) at the rate of 3.07% from certain payments reported on the Federal Form 1099-MISC to non-resident payees. Absent a reprieve from the Commonwealth Court, which is considering a challenge to Act 43 in its entirety, the withholding requirements are now effective. Here’s what you should know. 

Trusts + Estates Planning in 2018: Time to Review

Trusts + Estates Planning in 2018: Time to Review

  • Jun 26, 2018
  • Joan Agran
  • By Joan Agran

It is always a good idea to review plans periodically to account for life changes (birth, marriage, death, financial, etc.). This year, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act dramatically changed the federal gift, estate, and generation skipping transfer taxes. In light of these significant changes, it is even more important to revisit your estate plan, particularly if not reviewed in recent years.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Resource Center

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Resource Center

  • Industry Brief
  • Mar 14, 2018
  • Marc S. Maser Christine A. Reuther
  • By Marc S. Maser  and Christine A. Reuther

The Tax Cuts and Jobs of 2017 included a number of promised provisions to cut the corporate tax rate on a permanent basis, provide time limited tax cuts for individuals and incorporate a number of provisions that may change taxpayer behavior on everything from housing choices to charitable giving to education.

Private Energy Supply Transactions: The Smart Thing You’re Not Doing

Private Energy Supply Transactions: The Smart Thing You’re Not Doing

  • Jan 16, 2018
  • Andrew Maguire
  • By Andrew Maguire

Today, electricity and natural gas are de-regulated throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, giving property owners in these regions the opportunity to reduce energy costs by buying energy directly from private suppliers.

Early-Stage Companies: Better Off SAFE?

Early-Stage Companies: Better Off SAFE?

  • Jan 9, 2018
  • Christopher F. Wright Michael B. Lutz
  • By Christopher F. Wright  and Michael B. Lutz

In exchange for accepting seed capital, early-stage companies may want to consider offering initial investors a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE), which is a straightforward and easily-negotiated convertible instrument that will provide the investor a right to future equity in the company.

Year-End Tax Strategies Considering the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Year-End Tax Strategies Considering the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

  • Dec 21, 2017
  • Marc S. Maser Christine A. Reuther
  • By Marc S. Maser  and Christine A. Reuther

The recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the changes it makes to rate structures and other tax provisions create an opportunity in the final days of 2017 to permanently save tax dollars.

Workplace Sexual Harassment: Is Your Company Next?

Workplace Sexual Harassment: Is Your Company Next?

  • Dec 1, 2017
  • Dianne G. Moretzsohn
  • By Dianne G. Moretzsohn

Each week seems to bring new revelations of sexual misconduct by another high-ranking politician, journalist, actor, movie producer, etc. and the inevitable fall from grace, ruined reputation and shattered career. What impact is this media focus on sexual assault and harassment likely to have on your workplace?

Be Careful What You Record – It Could Be a Felony!

Be Careful What You Record – It Could Be a Felony!

  • Jul 19, 2017
  • Benjamin R. Picker
  • By Benjamin R. Picker

Pennsylvania is one of only a handful of states to require the consent of all participants in order to make an audio recording of a conversation. However, that does not mean that all conversations are protected. There are of course exceptions.

3rd Circuit Holds 1st Amendment Right to Record Police

  • Jul 10, 2017
  • Benjamin R. Picker
  • By Benjamin R. Picker

On July 7, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that there is a First Amendment right to record police officers in public while they are performing their official duties.

Selection of Only Commercial Properties for Tax Assessment Appeals Ruled Unconstitutional

Selection of Only Commercial Properties for Tax Assessment Appeals Ruled Unconstitutional

  • Jul 6, 2017
  • Benjamin R. Picker
  • By Benjamin R. Picker

On July 5, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that school districts and other taxing authorities in Pennsylvania may not selectively appeal the real estate tax assessments of only a particular class of properties, such as commercial properties, because doing so violates the Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

U.S. Supreme Court Guts Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

U.S. Supreme Court Guts Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

  • Jun 12, 2017
  • Benjamin R. Picker
  • By Benjamin R. Picker

The Supreme Court has undermined what many believe is the intent of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Confession of Judgment – Be Careful When Giving Up Your Right to Due Process

  • Industry Brief
  • May 26, 2017
  • Benjamin R. Picker
  • By Benjamin R. Picker

Does your proposed or existing commercial lease or other commercial contract contain a confession of judgment clause? If so, you should read this so that you understand your rights and the applicable law.

Has time run out? The law of the “Statute of Limitations” in Pennsylvania

Has time run out? The law of the “Statute of Limitations” in Pennsylvania

  • Feb 6, 2017
  • Benjamin R. Picker
  • By Benjamin R. Picker

If you are wronged, how long do you have before you must sue or forever lose your right to do so? This is a very important question that non-lawyers don’t often think about.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Resource Center

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Resource Center

  • Industry Brief
  • Mar 14, 2018
  • Marc S. Maser Christine A. Reuther
  • By Marc S. Maser  and Christine A. Reuther

The Tax Cuts and Jobs of 2017 included a number of promised provisions to cut the corporate tax rate on a permanent basis, provide time limited tax cuts for individuals and incorporate a number of provisions that may change taxpayer behavior on everything from housing choices to charitable giving to education.

Confession of Judgment – Be Careful When Giving Up Your Right to Due Process

  • Industry Brief
  • May 26, 2017
  • Benjamin R. Picker
  • By Benjamin R. Picker

Does your proposed or existing commercial lease or other commercial contract contain a confession of judgment clause? If so, you should read this so that you understand your rights and the applicable law.