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Big Issues, Short Takes – June 2013

Author: A. Howard Metro Date: 07/01/2013

Categories: Corporate and Business Law, Employment Law & Litigation, Real Estate Law

“Rain Tax, Rain Tax, Go Away!”

You can chant “Rain Tax, Rain Tax, go away”, but it won’t stop Maryland’s new levy, implemented to offset the costs of runoff from impervious surfaces into the Chesapeake Bay. The Rain Tax affects you if your home, business or non-profit is located in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Frederick, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Charles, Howard, Harford, and Baltimore Counties and Baltimore City. How much you will pay depends on the rate set by your jurisdiction and whether or not your property is exempt. Now, when the meteorologist calls for rain, reach for your umbrella and your checkbook…

Pineapples intercept data you transmit on public networks

According to an ABA Journal article in June 2013. A $99.99 Pineapple is all a hacker needs to pose as a WiFi Network Source, record keystrokes for your passwords, and view the content of the information you send. These devices can be purchased without any limitation and be used anywhere by anybody. While an iPhone personal hotspot offers a high level of security in principle, users must change the passwords that the iOS system chooses because the algorithm is reported to be of limited value. The moral of this story: beware of the “free public network” and use devices that are more secure to connect.

She was fired for being too attractive! Did she win or lose?

Ms. Nelson, a single dental assistant, worked alongside her employer, Dr. Knight, for 10 years in a purely professional relationship. Then Dr. Knight’s wife became jealous of Ms. Nelson because she was beautiful and available, and insisted that she be fired. Dr. Knight complied to appease his wife, admitting that, although he did not have a personal relationship with his dental assistant, he was not sure he could avoid it in the future. Ms. Nelson sued claiming discrimination because of her sex, which is impermissible under Title VII of the United States Code, the Civil Rights Act and Iowa state law, where they live and work. The verdict? The Iowa court found no discrimination occurs if an employee is treated better than another because of that employee’s sex, or if the employee is terminated to avoid family conflict.