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How small businesses can prepare for a DOL audit

Receiving a notice of an inspection from the Department of Labor (DOL) can be intimidating for a small business. These audits typically arise after a complaint is made by an employee, often due to a wage dispute.

These audits will usually come with little advanced notice, meaning your business may have to quickly scramble to compile proper documentation needed to defend yourself. This makes it critical that you act quickly. Prompt action on your part will better ensure you are able to achieve a more favorable outcome once the audit has been concluded.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH CARE COMPLIANCE: INTRODUCTION

A well-developed compliance plan or program can not only demonstrate any entity's commitment to employing thoroughly qualified staff and executives, but also foster early detection and reporting of problems such as fraud, abuse, or medical error, as well as promote effective communication through all administration and staff.

With the already narrow margins many businesses face, and the fact that civil and criminal liability is a constant threat, entities need to maximize any receivables and work to ensure safe harbor from, penalties, lawsuits or any other threats that could jeopardize their business or personnel. Along those lines, creating and maintain required documentation is vital to the compliance obligations (and financial well-being) of a health care company.

TWO PEAS IN A POD: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & BUSINESS STRATEGY

Are you trying to grow your business? Do you have a strategy in place to protect the ideas that make your business unique?

You and your business are successful for so many reasons. You provide an unique or superior product, or efficient service to your customers, and for that reason, clients consistently come back to you. Your business premise may be simple, and you may assume that developing and protecting Intellectual Property (IP) is of no use or does not provide any additional value to the company.

Contrary to popular belief, IP is a necessity for any thriving business these days. IP encompasses a variety of business and individual protections including Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, and Trade Secrets. Regardless of the type of business, proper branding and protection of valuable ideas and proprietary information is imperative to survival and long term growth. All businesses possess some form of IP, and business owners need to be equipped with the requisite tools for protection.

WELCOMES BOLD IP, PLLC LAW FIRM AS PATENT AND TRADEMARK LAW OF-COUNSEL

DALLAS, tx. August, 2017: CLARK FIRM PLLC announced today that it has entered into an of-counsel agreement with intellectual property law firm, Bold IP, PLLC (www.boldip.com), to provide a complete range of intellectual property legal services to its clients. As of-counsel, Bold IP, PLLC law firm, through its skilled patent attorneys and agents, will provide legal representation before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including the preparation, procurement, and maintenance of patents and trademarks for the clients of CLARK FIRM PLLC, which will continue to provide to its clients all other legal services, including business, commercial, corporate transactions and documentation, health care, labor and employment and civil litigation services. Through this alliance, CLARK FIRM PLLC is adding to its existing practice intellectual property legal services, and specifically, patent law and trademark law related legal services, which will be provided by the accomplished attorneys of BOLD IP, PLLC

What is the Stark Law?

What is the Stark Law?

The Stark Law, named after U.S. Congressman Pete Stark, is an amendment to the Social Security Act, which governs referrals of Medicare patients to facilities where the physician has a direct or indirect financial interest. These are known as self-referrals.

Violations of Physician Self-Referral (Stark) and Anti-Kickback laws may be difficult to detect, but can result in major penalties, and lead to both civil and criminal investigations and litigation. It is imperative to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Although there are some exceptions, under Stark laws, a physician, or other health care provider such as a dentist, optometrist, or even a chiropractor may not refer patients to receive designated health care services that the provider or the immediate family member of the physician has a financial interest . A designated service may include clinical lab services, physical therapy, and home health services, but physician service is not included under this definition . Financial relationships include any ownership interest, compensation agreements, or even investment interests. Violations are evaluated under a strict liability standard, therefore lack of intent will not shelter a physician or entity from Stark liability.


Practice Questions & Answers Learned From Franchise Trial: Pizza Inn v. Adeniregun

  1. What is the danger of email or text communications?

Answer: Many people approach email and texting informally, and do not review their content critically, or run it by counsel, before hitting the send button. This can lead to statements that can be viewed as damaging if a dispute arises between the parties.

What You Need to Know About the FLSA

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted in 1938 to provide for the establishment of fair labor standards in employment in and affecting interstate commerce. Important things to know about the FLSA is that it generally requires employees be paid a minimum wage of $7.25/hour, and overtime at the rate of 1 1/2 times the hourly pay rate for all hours exceeding 40 hours a week.

Cybercrime Under The CFAA: It Depends on the Jurisdiction

In a decision filed on April 10, 2012, the Ninth Circuit in United States of America v. Nosal, No. 10-10038 (9th Cir. 2012), put itself squarely in conflict with the Fifth, Eleventh and Seventh Circuits by holding that the district court properly dismissed a portion of the government's indictment against David Nosal charging him with a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA"), 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(4) by knowingly and with intent to defraud accessing or exceeding access of a computer in contravention of a written company policy in order to obtain confidential company information to start a competing business.

Just When You Thought Covenants Were Enforceable

The decision in Drennen v. Exxon Mobil Corp., No. 14-10-01099-CV (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 14, 2012) serves as a reminder that forfeiture agreements, treated as a covenant not to compete, must meet reasonable standards to be enforceable under Texas law.

Case Dismissed!

Our client recently hired a sales manager who used to work for a competitor. The competitor immediately sued, claiming that our client had misappropriated a number of trade secrets when it hired the new employee. Here's how we got the case dismissed.

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Dallas, TX 75231

Phone: 469-513-1711
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