Compliance

Monday, May 15, 2017

Compliance Audit Basics & Why Your Company Needs Them


The very words “compliance audit” are enough to send chills down the spines of many entrepreneurs and business executives in the state. Why do many people get anxious at the thought of having their businesses audited by compliance agents? It may be because they are aware of the tough penalties facing non-compliant companies or because they are not 100 percent certain their entire company operations are compliant with federal and state regulations.

If you are having doubts as to whether your company’s top-down operations comply with the law, reach out to an experienced South Carolina compliance lawyer to help you identify non-compliance hotspots.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Overtime Overhaul: Understanding the New DOL Rule


Will my business be affected by the new overtime rule?

On December 1, 2016, a new overtime rule will go into effect, impacting an anticipated four million employees and their employers.  The changes, enacted by the United States Department of Labor (DOL), will significantly increase the annual salary requirement needed for employees to be considered exempt from overtime pay.  With less than five months before all employers must comply with this new federal regulation, many are scrambling to understand what it may mean for their business.

The Final DOL Overtime Rule

The Final Rule, announced on May 18, 2016 by President Obama and Secretary Perez, can be summarized as follows:

  • The salary threshold for exempt white collar workers will increase from $23,660 a year (or $455 per week) to $47,476 a year (or $913 per week).
  • For highly compensated employees, the salary threshold will increase from $100,000 a year to $134,000 per year.

Read more . . .


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lawmakers Pass the Defend Trade Secrets Act


How can my business protect its trade secrets?

Certain forms of intellectual property such as patents, trademarks and copyrights have long enjoyed protection under Federal law. Until recently, this has not been the case for trade secrets. Now that Congressional lawmakers have passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), however, owners of trade secrets will have a Federal private cause of action for the misappropriation of this highly sensitive information.

What are Trade Secrets?

Information such as formulas, designs, practices, processes or patterns that are not widely known outside of a business are considered to be trade secrets. These can include things like the formula for Coca-Cola or any of Google's search algorithms.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Corporate Law Tax Updates


As a small business owner, compliance with business and tax laws are likely at the forefront of your to-do list each month. Most notably, compliance with state and federal tax laws is one of the simplest ways to avoid fines and penalties – as well as insulate the business from unnecessary auditing and records inspection.

As the current quarter nears a close, the following corporate law tax changes me be of assistance to your business as you prepare your filings.
Read more . . .


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Court Decision in Favor of Employer in Disability Accommodations Case

How accommodating does an employer have to be to an employee with disabilities?

A case was recently brought before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerning a disabled employee seeking accommodations beyond those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both ADA federal regulations for businesses with more than 15 employees and state laws for smaller businesses require that employers make "reasonable" accommodations to disabled employees unless doing so would create "undue hardship."

The case in question involves a man who worked as a human resources specialist for the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center in North Carolina from 2003 until his termination in 2011 for poor job performance. The employee suffers from dyslexia and attention deficit disorder (ADD). For most of his time working for the Veterans Administration, he did not request or receive special accommodation and his work was considered acceptable. His duties included customer service, recruitment, and providing technical advice and assistance.

About one year before his termination, however, he received a poor performance report. At that time, he was given a Performance Improvement Plan which he successfully completed. Nonetheless, in May, 2011, for the first time, he made a request for accommodation of his disabilities, including that his duties be limited and his performance standards lowered; he also requested an assistant. He stated that, due to organizational, leadership, and technological changes, his job had become untenable and that he had been “hospitalized twice due to the stress of the position."

In response, the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center offered him a possible transfer to a less stressful, albeit lower-salaried, position, but he refused. He said he was interested only in the chaplain or patient advocate position, but neither was available. At this point, the employee filed a formal Equal Employment Opportunity complaint and in August, 2011 was terminated for documented performance violations, including failure to perform necessary tasks in a timely manner.

The employee sued under the Rehabilitation Act and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina dismissed the lawsuit in favor of the employer. Although the employee appealed his case to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the appellate court upheld the lower court’s decision. Both stated that employer was not compelled to change either the employee's workload, its own performance standards, or to hire an extra employee to assist him.

If you are having legal difficulties with employment or labor law issues, or would like to discuss other business-related matters of law, please contact one of our highly qualified attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams. Serving clients throughout South Carolina, we can be reached at: 843.536.8050 or 843.461.3020.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Congress Considering Bill to Simplify Mergers & Acquisitions Process

What are the latest advancements on federal corporate laws as relating to mergers and acquisitions? 

For many small businesses, the option of merging with another business – or acquiring it altogether – can be an attractive and lucrative way to increase productivity, grow jobs, and ultimately increase profits. Oftentimes, businesses considering this maneuver will enlist the services of a professional advisor or business broker to help set up the deal and seamlessly transition the companies involved. 

Unbeknownst to many, these consultants are heavily regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which oversees any merger or acquisition involving the “purchase/sale, exchange, or issuance or stock or debt, or a merger or business combination transaction.”  The compliance costs for these brokers are substantial, reaching almost $150,000 annually – which is, of necessity, passed on as part of the final cost of the merger or acquisition. For many small and micro businesses, these compliance costs preclude the involvement of a broker or consultant, resulting in potential pitfalls as they attempt to expand.

Fortunately, Congress has introduced a new piece of legislation known as the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales and Brokerage Simplification Act. Under this Act, brokers and consultants would be exempt from the regulatory oversight requirements if the proposed merger/acquisition involves businesses with annual earnings of less than $25 million and/or gross revenues of less than $250 million. In addition, the exemption would only be available in situations in which the buyer intends to maintain control and ownership of the business after purchase. 

The sponsors of the bill hope that these changes will allow smaller businesses the opportunity to work with experienced professionals during the merger and acquisition process, thereby allowing businesses the opportunity to avoid any mistakes along the way. Moreover, the change would help effectuate the estimated $10 trillion worth of private companies that will be sold or transferred as the Baby Boomer generation retires. 

If you are considering a merger or acquisition and would like to discuss the best ways to accomplish your business goals, contact the South Carolina attorneys at Willcox, Byuck & Williams, P.A. today! Please call: (843) 461-3020 in Myrtle Beach or (843) 536-8050 in Florence. 


Friday, July 10, 2015

South Carolina to Enact Laws Regulating ‘Transportation Network’ Companies

Are taxi companies like Uber regulated by the same rules as traditional taxicab operators? 

Following a crushing blow to its business model in California, transportation network company Uber is facing yet another legislative response to the way it handles its company and employees under South Carolina law. As the 21st state to take notice of Uber’s less-than-compliant business tactics, Governor Nikki Haley recently signed into law a bill designed to ensure that issues connected to the company in other states do not occur in the Palmetto State. More specifically, the law regulates ‘transportation network companies’ in terms of licensing, driver background checks, and vehicle safety inspections. 

Nonetheless, Governor Haley is reportedly pleased to have the company in the state of South Carolina, and urged the General Assembly to compile the bill as quickly as possible, stating that “Uber’s expansion into our state is a win for innovation, the competitive business environment we have fought so hard to create, and it means our citizens will continue to have safe reliable transportation options….”

Basics of South Carolina’s transportation network bill

Conducting its business largely unchecked, Uber – and companies like it – will now be required to obtain permits from the state’s Office of Regulatory Staff – which is responsible for enforcing specific corporate regulations required across several industries. 

In addition, the bill requires drivers to undergo criminal background checks before accepting fares within the state – a move prompted by several nationwide reports of sexual assaults and unsavory conduct by drivers against their passengers. Moreover, a transportation network driver in South Carolina cannot have any record of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs – and must inform his or her vehicle lienholder if the vehicle will be used to transport fares. 

Lastly, the bill ensures that all vehicles are safe and properly inspected under South Carolina standards. Once approved, the vehicle must prominently display its licensure and driver identification information. 

If you are considering starting a business in South Carolina, or would like to speak to a knowledgeable business law attorney in the Florence or Myrtle Beach areas, please contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams by calling (843)536-8050. 

Archived Posts

2017
2016
2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
January
2014


Business and Corporate Law News



© 2017 Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA | Disclaimer
248 West Evans Street, Florence, SC 29501
| Phone: 843.536.8050
2050 Corporate Centre' Drive, Suite 230, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
| Phone: 843.461.3020

Business & Corporate Law | Litigation & Disputes | Family & Individual Services | Real Estate | | About Us

FacebookGoogle+TwitterYouTube

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative