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- Financial Services Alert: CFPB Invites Comment on Newly Proposed Regulations Banning Class Action WaiversThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) yesterday released a widely anticipated proposed rule that would: (1) prohibit class action waivers in pre-dispute arbitration agreements, and (2) require a provider to submit records from individual arbitrations to the CFPB.
- Client Alert: Proposed Regulations Would Treat Certain Related-Party Debt Instruments Issued on or After April 4, 2016 as Stock for Federal Tax PurposesThe IRS recently issued proposed regulations that, if finalized, would treat debt instruments between related persons as stock under certain circumstances.
- It’s been said that politics makes strange bedfellows as illustrated by the efforts at “legalizing” marijuana use in Ohio (marijuana use and possession remain illegal under federal law).
- Labor and Employment Alert: Department of Labor Issues New Employer Guide to the Family and Medical Leave ActThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has just issued “The Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act.” The DOL created this Guide because the DOL is “committed to strengthening compliance with the FMLA by providing assistance to employers and helping increase their knowledge of the law.”
- State and Local Tax Alert: New Economic Development Incentive Tools Created – Downtown Redevelopment Districts and Innovation DistrictsOn April 20, 2016, the Ohio House of Representatives approved Amended Substitute House Bill 233 (HB 233) as amended and passed by the Ohio Senate, which, among other things, establishes the procedure for designating so-called downtown redevelopment districts and innovation districts.
- The first new comprehensive Ohio banking legislation in 20 years, Senate Bill 317, sponsored by Sen. Jim Hughes (R-Columbus), was introduced in the Ohio Senate on April 20, 2016.
- Whistleblower Defense Alert: Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Implied Certification Theory of FCA LiabilityOn Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar.
- The Mississippi Supreme Court had recognized only two limited exceptions to the at-will doctrine: employees cannot be discharged for refusing to participate in illegal acts or for reporting an employer’s illegal acts. It recently recognized a third exception for employees storing firearms in their vehicles on an employer’s property.
- Labor and Employment Alert: California Supreme Court Holds That Sitting Down On the Job May Be RequiredAre you reading this sitting down? If so, you may have to give that seat to one of your employees.
- Labor and Employment Alert: Even When Parties Agree, North Carolina Courts Cannot Rewrite Overbroad Noncompete AgreementsThe North Carolina Supreme Court recently confirmed that courts in that state are prohibited from rewriting an overbroad noncompete agreement to make is reasonable and enforceable – even when the parties’ agreement specifically allows the court to do so.
- On April 4, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will gradually increase New York’s minimum wage to $15 per hour and will implement the nation’s most extensive paid family leave program.
- Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will increase California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. For the next six years, the state-wide minimum wage will gradually increase.
- Labor and Employment Alert: No Joke: California Continues to Micromanage Required Sexual Harassment TrainingSince 2005, California employers with 50 or more employees have been required to provide at least two hours of interactive sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees once every two years. In 2015, California added “abusive conduct” (or bullying) to that mandatory harassment training. And now, beginning April 1, 2016, California employers will need to update their anti-discrimination and harassment training and policies to meet extensive new requirements imposed by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC).
- 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.
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