Privacy & Data Security

Being served with a summons, subpoena, citation, claim, notice, lien or lawsuit is never good, but they cannot be ignored. As quick action is usually required, you should be prepared. Some initial steps in response to receiving one of these documents include:

  • Stay calm. Most situations are amicably resolved.
  • Docket it. Determine and calendar when a response is required.
  • Report it. Your employer, partner, attorney, accountant or insurance carrier may be better equipped to handle it and respond.
  • Get help. Hire an attorney or consult with other experienced relevant professionals.
  • Gather up. Secure all documents, and information and identify all

Continue Reading What to do if Sued

The Corporate Transparency Act requires all existing “business entities” and “beneficial owners” to file a Beneficial Ownership Information Report with the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) Beneficial Ownership Secure System (“BOSS”) on or before January 1, 2025, and entities established thereafter with 90 days of establishment. The stated purpose is to identify money laundering, tax evasion and other financial crimes, and the BOSS database will be accessible only to crime enforcement and tax collection entities.
By January 1, 2025, Beneficial Ownership Information Reports will be required from:

  • All non-exempt business entities, including trusts, authorized to or conducting business,

Continue Reading New Corporate Transparency Law

With over 300 new laws taking effect January 1, 2024, some that could have a substantial impact on your business include:

  • The Federal Corporate Transparency Act requires a business to file with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
  • New criminal penalties for doxing, deep faking and cyberbullying.
  • New residential construction requires EV compatible parking.
  • Multi-occupancy business bathrooms may be used by any gender.
  • Minimum wage increased to $14.00 per hour.
  • Paid leave for all workers at 1 hour for every 40 worked.
  • Extended bereavement time off.
  • Picketing protections and limitations.

If you have any questions or if problems arise, please contact
Continue Reading New Illinois Business Laws

In conducting workplace investigations of personnel situations or other events, employers or those hired to conduct the investigation walk a tightrope to avoid causing more problems and creating potential liability. With “at will” employees, those without a contract and not unionized, unless you have policies or procedures requiring an investigation, it may be better to act without an investigation and proceed to termination or other action as appropriate. But, when employment laws, rules, regulations, policies, or agreements require an investigation or you believe one may be advisable in the situation, in order to limit or avoid future liability you should
Continue Reading Workplace Investigations

The Illinois Genetic Information Privacy Act of 1998 410 ILCS 513/25(c)(1) (GIPA) prohibits inquiries into a person’s family medical history and obtaining genetic information. Like the federal Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) that regulates the collection of genetic information, both allow private lawsuits, including class actions, to prevent and punish violations. The predicted wave of class actions against employers, potential employers and insurance carriers that request or obtain such information appears to be growing.
Before you ask, be sure you can and if you do, be sure you comply.
Please call us with any questions or concerns.
Continue Reading Requesting Genetic/Medical History Information

In today’s digital age, small businesses are increasingly becoming targets for cybercriminals. Ransomware is one of the most prevalent and damaging forms of cyberattacks. Ransomware attacks can have severe legal consequences for small businesses, including financial losses, reputational damage, and potential legal liabilities. When disputes arise regarding cybersecurity issues and the parties who have been affected by these attacks, an attorney who has experience addressing data privacy concerns can provide mediation services.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware may include different types of programs that lock a person out of their computer systems or prevent them from accessing their files until
Continue Reading The Legal Ramifications of Ransomware Attacks on Small Businesses

A fiduciary is a legal term identifying a person or entity with a special legal relationship with another, imposing an obligation that the fiduciary act in the best interests of the other, its client. Parents, trustees, guardians, advisors, counselors, caretakers, attorneys and persons using a Power of Attorney are often held to be fiduciaries. Not only can improper conduct (defalcation, self-dealing) land a fiduciary in trouble, but even someone doing their best can be held responsible if they fail to fulfill their duties or are unable to adequately demonstrate they did.
Some actions to avoid liability as a fiduciary include:
Continue Reading Fiduciary Duties

Data privacy has become a growing concern in recent years due to the increasing amount of personal information being collected and stored by companies. In response to this concern, many states have started implementing their own data privacy laws to protect consumers. Several of these laws will go into effect in 2024, and they may impact companies that are located in these states, as well as others that may serve customers who are covered by the laws. An attorney who has experience in matters related to data privacy and technology can provide guidance on the effects that changes to the
Continue Reading New State Data Privacy Laws That Will Take Effect in 2024

Insurance trade groups report an increasing number of loss claims arising from inventory and product loss – often employee theft. As these losses increase premiums increases will follow. Be sure that any steps taken to prevent such losses are legal, defensible, effective and consistent with employment policies and union contracts. Don’t let your efforts to control or eliminate one problem cause others. Retain proper professionals and obtain competent advice.
If you have any questions or problems in this regard, please contact us.
This Bulletin is designed to provide our friends and clients with information regarding the various subject matters covered,
Continue Reading Inventory/Product Loss

Almost every parent’s dream is to create a family business that will be a legacy to and source of wealth for his or her heirs. However, almost every successful entrepreneur spends more time growing the business than considering how the growing family will successfully operate and profit from the business after the founder is gone or retired.
Some traps to prevent your children, grandchildren and other heirs from killing your “golden goose” include:

  • Not everyone can or should be employed in the family business.
  • Each family employee must be properly trained, screened, and possess the necessary talent for their assigned

Continue Reading Avoiding the Traps of a Family Business

Data privacy laws have become increasingly important in today’s digital age. With the rise of global business transactions and the transfer of personal data across borders, it is crucial for companies to understand when disputes may arise and how data privacy laws in different countries can impact these disputes. By understanding the implications of data privacy laws and the ways mediation can be used to address these concerns, the parties involved in international business disputes can take steps to resolve these issues successfully. They can do so with the help of an attorney who can provide mediation services while addressing
Continue Reading How Can Data Privacy Laws Affect International Business Disputes?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that sets standards for the protection of certain health information. It applies to healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses, as well as their business associates who handle protected health information (PHI). Understanding what types of PHI are covered by HIPAA is crucial for businesses in the healthcare industry to ensure compliance with privacy regulations. An attorney who has experience addressing matters related to data privacy and HIPAA compliance can provide invaluable guidance for healthcare providers, including in cases where data breaches have resulted in the unauthorized
Continue Reading What Types of Protected Health Information Are Covered by HIPAA?

As of November 1, 2023, Illinois employers with five or more employees are required to participate in the Illinois Secure Choice Program. The Program, launched in 2018, is designed to address the retirement security crisis, offering an Illinois sponsored retirement savings account managed by the Treasurer. 

  • As of November 1, 2023, unless exempt, employers with five or more employees are required to facilitate the Program and employers that fail to comply face penalties of $250 per employee for the first year and $500 per employee for each subsequent year.
  • Employers who have fewer than 5 employees, have been in business

Continue Reading Mandatory Compliance: Illinois Secure Choice Program

This month’s Business Bytes highlights right of publicity, defamed corporations and key person insurance. 
Right of Publicity. Like the law of many other states, Illinois’ Right to Publicity Act, 765 ILCS 1075, prevents the commercial use of a person’s information or likeness without that person’s consent. While your identity can be part of a product that is sold  (i.e.: mailing or subscription list) it cannot be used without your consent. READ MORE.
Corporation Can be Defamed. Recently a court ruled that a corporation can be defamed and sue for damages where the defendant sent defamatory emails to the corporation’s
Continue Reading Monthly Business Bytes

Suffering a data breach could be fatal to your business, but if it isn’t, don’t let your handling the breach make it so.  Federal and state laws and trade association standards provide some guidance on when, what type and to whom notices of a data breach must be given, and your applicable insurance carrier should be able to provide guidance so your notice does not void any potential insurance coverage. While being apologetic and sympathetic, do not cross the line of admitting your responsibility or acknowledging damages suffered by those whose data was lost.
If you have any questions or
Continue Reading Disclosing a Data Breach

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity has become a critical concern for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber threats due to limited resources that may affect their ability to implement robust security measures. In addition to the direct risks associated with data breaches, cybersecurity issues can also play a significant role in business disputes. For businesses that are involved in these types of disputes, an attorney with an understanding of the legal issues surrounding privacy and security can provide mediation services and help resolve these concerns.
The Importance of Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
Small businesses often
Continue Reading Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small Businesses