Articles

11.03.2008
Article

Clean Indoor Air Act Affects Municipalities

On September 11, 2008, the Clean Indoor Air Act took effect. Under the Act, smoking or permitting others to smoke in a public place that is subject to the ban as well as failing to post a required sign indicating whether smoking is allowed in the facility is punishable by civil and criminal penalties ranging from $250 to $1,000.

11.03.2008
Article

Clean Indoor Air Act Affects Municipalities

On September 11, 2008, the Clean Indoor Air Act took effect. Under the Act, smoking or permitting others to smoke in a public place that is subject to the ban as well as failing to post a required sign indicating whether smoking is allowed in the facility is punishable by civil and criminal penalties ranging from $250 to $1,000.

11.03.2008
Article

Security for Public Improvements

Failure of a developer or contractor to complete work on public improvements in a subdivision or land development may leave a municipality at risk for the funding and completion of the improvements.  When a developer provides security for public improvements, it guarantees that the municipality will have the money available to complete the improvements at no cost to itself and its taxpayers.  Financial security protects a municipality by ensuring funds are available, and the security acts as a guarantee that the work will be completed prior to final approval by the municipality.   

10.25.2008
Article

Legislative Update on ADA

The ADA Restoration Act created a concern among employers this year, as it proposed significant amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act that would have defined a disability as any impairment, that prevented employers from considering any mitigating measures in determining if an individual was disabled and would have shifted the burden of proving that an individual was able to perform the essential functions of the job to the employer.

08.11.2008
Article

Court Says Farmers Have a Right to ASA

In a recent Lancaster County Decision, the common pleas court held that farmers requesting an Agricultural Security Area (ASA) had a right to have an ASA established in their township, even if the township supervisors refused their request.

07.21.2008
Article

Whatever Happened to Maintenance Work:

For those municipalities concerned with the rising cost of road repairs, those costs are going to increase even more.  In a recent decision handed down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, milling a road to remove asphalt before repaving constitutes construction, not routine maintenance, subjecting the work to Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Act.  

07.18.2008
Article

Lack of Oaths of Office Does Not Invalidate Decision

In a case that provides good news to municipalities, a Berks County Court of Common Pleas Judge has handed down a decision holding a zoning hearing board’s decision valid, even though the Board Members had not filed a signed oaths of office prior to making their decision.

07.18.2008
Article

Buy-sell Agreements For Small Businesses

The transfer of ownership interests in a small business should take into account all of the considerations that make each business, and especially a family-owned business, unique. The vehicle for accomplishing the transfer is usually called a buy-sell agreement. Its name barely begins to describe the buy-sell agreement's various purposes. With professional advice, the agreement can be tailored to meet the objectives of each small business, whether the business is in the form of a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or some other structure.

07.18.2008
Article

Pending Legislation Would Open the ADA Flood Gates

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering pending legislation called the "ADA Restoration Act". This bill, H.R. 3195, would expand the definition of "disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to dramatically overhaul how employers interpret and enforce management decisions under the ADA. If the ADA Restoration Act is passed, three major changes would occur:

07.18.2008
Article

Gifting As An Estate Planning Tool

It is well recognized that there is no substitute for good estate planning. Preparing a will, a durable power of attorney, and a living will are among the most important things that a person can do to protect their families and safeguard the value of their estates.

07.18.2008
Article

Do You Have Residences In More Than One State?

If you spend time in any given year in residences in different states, somewhere in your travels you also may want to schedule an appointment with your professional tax advisor. One topic for discussion would be the legal concept of domicile.

07.18.2008
Article

The Dangers of Employee Internet Use

By some accounts, a large majority of employees access the Internet on company computers for personal reasons while at work. The obvious adverse effects of this on productivity are only the tip of the iceberg with regard to the potential headaches that such activities can cause for employers. Personal Internet activity by employees can pose security risks to the company's computer network itself, such as by exposing a network to a computer virus. Less immediate but just as serious is the threat of legal liability of the employer to injured third parties.

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