D+AS MAGAZINE

LEGAL — Taxpayers: Beware of Rebate Scammers

© 2008 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Spring 2008
Author: Naomi Angel
Page 72


LEGAL TIPS
Hot Legal News for Dealers and Manufacturers
By Naomi Angel, DASMA Legal Counsel


Taxpayers: Beware of Rebate Scammers

Even before the proposed economic stimulus endorsed by President Bush and Congress became law, scammers were already busy trying to exploit the legislation.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says scammers are sending e-mails and making telephone calls pretending to be from the IRS. The scammers ask for Social Security numbers and bank account information, saying the information is needed to process your rebate.

And here’s a new twist. The scammers send you fake IRS forms by e-mail, saying that you are being audited and must supply your financial information.

TIP: The IRS warns it does not ask for such information by phone or e-mail. If you receive such a request, you should absolutely refuse to provide information. Report any such attempts to the IRS by sending an e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.


Employers: Beware of Rising Workplace Litigation

Is your legal budget large enough for 2008?

Workplace class action litigation is on the rise, according to a report published by Chicago law firm Seyfarth, Shaw. More employers find themselves defending class action suits filed by employees under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and various state laws applicable to the workplace environment.

In addition, federal and state government organizations such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Human Rights Department are joining the fray and filing lawsuits on behalf of private plaintiffs. The report cites workplace litigation as “the chief exposure driving corporate legal budget expenditures.”

TIP: Don’t become a statistic in next year’s report. Conduct a regular review of your company’s knowledge of and compliance with all applicable employment laws.


Employers: You Must Use Updated I-9 Forms

Are you completing the new I-9 form for all new employees?

After Dec. 27, 2007, all employers are required to complete and retain a revised Employment Verification Form (I-9) for each new employee, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The revised I-9 form includes a revision date in its lower right-hand corner (Rev. 06/05/07) for ready identification.

TIP: Employers must use the new form or face penalties. You do not need to obtain the revised forms from commercial vendors that sell them. The revised form and accompanying “Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9” are available online for free at www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.


Smokers: Beware of Bounty Hunters

Here’s a novel approach to deter smoking in a nonsmoking hotel catering to the business traveler. The Swissôtel in Chicago has established a $10 bounty for hotel staffers who finger a guest smoking in the hotel against the hotel’s nonsmoking policy, effective Jan. 1, 2008.

Hotel guests are warned that $250 may be added to their room bills if they are caught violating the no-smoking policy in their rooms. More than two dozen violators have already been tagged, mostly by housekeeping staff.

TIP: As more states and municipalities adopt no-smoking policies for facilities including restaurants, bars, and other venues open to the public, it becomes ever more difficult for smokers to find a legal place to smoke. You can anticipate more restrictions on smoking.


These articles are provided solely for informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. If you have specific questions or concerns about a legal issue, consult your company’s legal counsel for guidance.