ULC

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Uniform Law Commission to Meet in Vermont

(July 5, 2016) -

Uniform Law Commission
111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago IL 60602
312/450-6600, www.uniformlaws.org

Contact:  Katie Robinson, ULC Communications Officer, krobinson@uniformlaws.org

For Immediate Release:

NATIONAL LAW GROUP TO MEET IN VERMONT
New Employee and Student Online Privacy Protection Act Scheduled for Completion

July 5, 2016 — A busy agenda of legislative drafts – including a new Employee and Student Online Privacy Protection Act and a new Revision to the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act – awaits the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) at its 2015 Annual Meeting, scheduled for Stowe, Vermont, July 8-14, 2016.

The ULC, now in its 125th year, comprises more than 350 practicing lawyers, governmental lawyers, judges, law professors, and lawyer-legislators from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Commissioners are appointed by their states to draft and promote enactment of uniform laws that are designed to solve problems common to all the states.

After receiving the ULC’s seal of approval, a uniform act is officially promulgated for consideration by the states, and legislatures are urged to adopt it.  Since its inception in 1892, the ULC has been responsible for more than 200 acts, among them such bulwarks of state statutory law as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, the Uniform Partnership Act, and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.

Six new uniform acts or amendments to acts are scheduled for completion at this summer’s annual meeting.

The growing use of social media has implications in both the employment and educational institution contexts.  Indeed, employers and educational institutions now sometimes ask current and/or prospective employees and students to grant the employer or school access to social media or other name and password protected accounts.  The Uniform Employee and Student Online Privacy Protection Act addresses both employers’ access to employees or prospective employees’ social media and other online accounts accessed via username and password or other credentials of authentication as well as educational institutions’ access to students’ or prospective students’ similar online accounts.  The Act prevents employers and educational institutions from demanding that employees or students provide access to personal online accounts, enabling students and employees to maintain privacy.

States’ laws vary when it comes to arbitrating family law matters such as spousal support, division of property, child custody, and child support.  The Uniform Family Law Arbitration Act standardizes the arbitration of family law.  It is based in part on the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act, though it departs from the RUAA in areas in which family law arbitration differs from commercial arbitration, such as: standards for arbitration of child custody and child support; arbitrator qualifications and powers; protections for victims of domestic violence.  This Act is intended to create a comprehensive family law arbitration system for the states.

The ULC first drafted uniform state legislation on unclaimed property in 1954.  Since then, revisions have been promulgated in 1981 and again in 1995.  Many technological developments in recent years as well as new types of potential unclaimed property, such as gift cards, are not addressed in the most current uniform act.  The Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act will update provisions on numerous issues, including escheat of gift cards and other stored-value cards, life insurance benefits, securities, dormancy periods, and use of contract auditors.

The Uniform Unsworn Domestic Declarations Act builds upon the Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act, which covers unsworn declarations made outside the United States.  This new Uniform Act permits the use of unsworn declarations made under penalty of perjury in state courts when the declaration was made inside the U.S.  States that have already enacted the Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act (UUFDA) should enact this act.  For those states that have not yet enacted the UUFDA, a new act – the Uniform Unsworn Declarations Act – will be available that will essentially combine both the UUFDA and the Uniform Unsworn Domestic Declarations Act into one comprehensive act.

Currently, every state has a different wage garnishment law and process.  This means that employers who do business across multiple states must know and abide by a different, and often complex, law for each jurisdiction.  If employers make processing errors calculating garnishments, they may face civil penalties.  The Uniform Wage Garnishment Act seeks to simplify and clarify wage garnishments for employers, creditors, and consumers by standardizing how the wage garnishment process works and offering plain-language notice and garnishment calculation forms.

The Amendment to the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts authorizes notaries public to perform notarial acts in the state in which they are commissioned for individuals who are located outside the United States.  The amendment is optional for the states.  The amendment requires the use of audio- and video-technologies for real-time communication, and requires the notary to record the interaction.  It authorizes the commissioning agency to regulate the technologies used.  The act of the individual in making the statement or signing the record must not be prohibited in the foreign state in which the individual is physically located.  The certificate affixed by the notary to the record must indicate that the notarial act took place while the individual was located in a foreign state.

Other drafts which will be debated at the ULC annual meeting, but which are not scheduled for final approval, include the Limited Liability Company Protected Series Act, the Non-Parental Rights to Child Custody and Visitation Act, the Divided Trusteeship Act, the Amendments to the Uniform Parentage Act, the Revised Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, the Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act, and the Criminal Records Accuracy Act.

The current drafts of all of these acts can be found at the ULC’s website at www.uniformlaws.org.

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