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- Labor and Employment Alert: Second Circuit Says HR Manager May Be Individually Liable For FMLA ViolationsThe Second Circuit Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over New York, Connecticut, and Vermont) recently held that a director of Human Resources may be an “employer” and thus can be held individually liable for violating the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under the FMLA, an individual may be held liable only if he or she is deemed to be an “employer,” meaning “any person who acts, directly or indirectly, in the interest of an employer to any of the employees of such employer.”
- Labor and Employment Alert: Connecticut Supreme Court Teaches the “ABCs” of Independent Contractor StatusConnecticut has long used the “ABC Test” for determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor for purposes of the state’s unemployment compensation law. Recently, in Standard Oil v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation, the Connecticut Supreme Court expanded the test for determining who qualifies as an independent contractor.
- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its new persuader rule yesterday. The final rule is largely unchanged from the proposed rule that was originally published in 2011. As expected, the DOL’s new interpretation departs from decades of precedent to expand the definition of “persuader” activities while limiting the definition of “advice” activities.
- Oil and Gas Alert: Bankruptcy Court Issues Opinion Allowing the Rejection of Certain Midstream AgreementsOn March 8, 2016, a New York Bankruptcy Court issued a bench decision in the Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation Chapter 11 case. The Court’s decision concerning a producer’s request to reject certain portions of its midstream agreements has sent shockwaves through the oil and gas industry.
- Oil and Gas Alert: Ohio Court Of Appeals Issues Decision on Effect of Pugh Clause, Expansion of Drilling Units, Equitable TollingOn March 4, 2016, the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals in Summitcrest, Inc. v. Eric Petroleum Corp., et al., addressed several issues concerning oil and gas leases in Ohio.
- Employers in Ohio dodged a bullet last week. In a 5-2 ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that a 2006 constitutional amendment increasing the minimum wage did not eliminate previously applicable exclusions and exemptions to the minimum wage requirement.
- In March 2016, Utah enacted the “Post-Employment Restrictions Act” (House Bill 251) to regulate non-compete agreements. Beginning May 10, 2016, an employer and an employee may not agree to a post-employment restrictive covenant for more than one year from the day on which the employee is no longer employed by the employer. A restriction longer than one year is void.
- Labor and Employment Alert: Court Finds That a Company’s Clear Wage-Hour Policy Defeats a Claim For Unpaid OvertimeA recent case from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the importance of well-drafted and strictly enforced wage-hour policies. In Ambrea Fairchild v. All American Check Cashing, Inc., 811 F.3d 776 (5th Cir. 2016), All American’s overtime policy prohibited hourly employees from working overtime without prior approval and required employees to accurately report all of their hours worked in its timekeeping system.
- Labor and Employment Alert: For Want Of A Nail: Without a Disclaimer, Employee Handbook May Create a ContractA recently decided case from an Ohio Court of Appeals breathes life into that proverb, teaching companies the importance of having a properly drafted employee handbook.
- Labor and Employment Alert: Philadelphia Makes it Even Harder for Employers to Conduct Criminal Background ChecksAs originally enacted in 2012, Philadelphia’s ban-the-box law applied to employers with at least 10 employees within the city. The law allowed employers to conduct criminal background checks on applicants after the first interview and employers could review an applicant’s entire criminal history.
- Client Alert: Another Federal Regulator Steps Up Data Security Enforcement: CFPB Fines Online Payment Processor Dwolla for Lax Data SecurityOn March 2nd, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a $100,000 penalty and settlement with online payment processor Dwolla, Inc. (Dwolla) for weak data security practices.
- Oil and Gas Alert: Local Initiative Power is Limited by the Home Rule Amendment: City of Broadview Heights Community Bill of Rights is InvalidThe Eighth District Court of Appeals recently struck down the Broadview Heights Community Bill of Rights as an invalid exercise of the home rule authority. The Community Bill of Rights, also known as Article XV of the City Charter, banned new oil and gas drilling and limited operation of current wells in the city. It also made it illegal to challenge Article XV as preempted by state law.
- Labor and Employment: EEOC Announces it will Release Employers’ Position Statements to Charging PartiesThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it will now release employers’ position statements and non-confidential exhibits to charging parties as a matter of course during its investigations.
- On February 18, 2016, the Oregon legislature amended its minimum wage law with a unique, tiered approach. The intent is to balance the needs of the rural, farming communities with that of the growing Portland area. No other state has taken this approach to increasing its minimum wage.
- We understand that incoming calls from reporters and media outlets can be scary. It’s natural to not want to comment and, instead, ignore the reporter’s call.
- On February 12, 2016, West Virginia enacted the Workplace Freedom Act, becoming the 26th state to enact right-to-work legislation (after Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming).
- Energy and production companies seeking to develop an unconventional natural gas well site in Western Pennsylvania undoubtedly are familiar with the local zoning ordinance and well permit challenges being brought by those opposed to hydraulic fracturing.
- At the beginning of each government fiscal year, which starts October 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes available an allocation of new H-1B visas. In general, the H-1B visa classification permits a foreign national to work in the United States for a temporary period in a “specialty occupation.”
- In January 2016, Cincinnati became the first city in Ohio to enact a law prohibiting “wage theft” and “payroll fraud” in city contracts. The ordinance applies to city contracts in excess of $25,000, including those involving community reinvestment area tax abatements, job creation tax credits, commercial loans, and conveyances of land for less than fair market value.
- Client Alert: CMS Final Rule Clarifies and Eases Obligation to Report and Return Medicare OverpaymentsOn February 11, 2016, Medicare regulators issued a final rule that relaxes the obligations for doctors and hospitals to report and return Medicare overpayments (RIN 0938-AQ58, CMS-6037-F).
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