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- Following a growing trend among cities nationwide, Minneapolis is weighing a plan to require employers operating within the city to provide employees with extensive paid sick leave. In April 2015, the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution creating a workgroup, known as the Working Families Agenda, to develop policy proposals on issues affecting low-income workers.
- Your company spends vast resources developing and protecting its brand. A brand or trademark is shorthand communication for your company’s values and the quality of your products or services. Obtaining a trademark registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides the fullest protection under the law.
- On October 6, 2015, the District of Columbia Council introduced the “Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015,” which would require up to 16 weeks of paid family leave and 16 weeks of paid medical leave per year. Although just introduced, the legislation currently has the support of a majority of the D.C. Council. If enacted, it will affect the budget and operations of D.C. employers.
- Beginning January 1, 2016, California may have the most stringent equal pay law in the country. California’s new Fair Pay Act makes it easier for plaintiffs to assert gender-based wage claims and more difficult for employers to defend against them.
- Labor and Employment Alert: A Small But Meaningful Change to California’s Private Attorneys General Act for EmployersOn October 2, 2015, California enacted AB 1506 to amend its Private Attorneys General Act (commonly referred to as PAGA) to address the increase in class action litigation over minor, technical violations of itemized wage statements.
- In September 2015, U.S. EPA published a Compliance Alert addressing compliance concerns regarding emissions from controlled storage vessels at oil and natural gas production facilities.
- Labor and Employment Alert: The OFCCP Launches ‘Class Member Locator’ Website to Troll for PlaintiffsThis week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) commenced its “Class Member Locator” website in support of the president’s Transparency and Open Government Initiative. The website’s purpose is to identify and “locate as many class members as possible” who may have been victims of discrimination with a federal contractor.
- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released its most recent in a string of pro-union decisions in the form of a new guidance memorandum from its General Counsel (GC). In the “quickie” or “ambush” election rulemaking, the NLRB had directed the GC to issue guidance on whether electronic signatures should be accepted for the showing of interest required of a union.
- State and Local Tax Alert: Board of Tax Appeals Decides First Case Concerning Allocation of Property Taxes from Horizontal DrillingThe Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) recently decided what we believe is its first case concerning the allocation of property taxes from horizontal drilling. In the case, the BTA affirmed the Harrison County Board of Revision’s decision dismissing a complaint filed by a local taxing authority challenging the allocation of the tax revenue.
- On September 11, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published its Final Rule on pay transparency in federal contracts. According to the Department of Labor (DOL), this rule “provides a critical tool to encourage pay transparency, so workers have a potential way of discovering violations of equal pay laws and can seek appropriate remedies.”
- In August, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the federal appellate court with national jurisdiction over patent lawsuits, issued its decision in Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc.
- On Labor Day, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing paid sick leave for employees of federal contractors and subcontractors. This is similar to what several states and cities have mandated for private employers (including Oregon; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). The Executive Order’s requirements apply to all covered federal contracts that are solicited or awarded on and after January 1, 2017.
- Outside of handling internet defamation matters and protecting businesses from product diversion/unauthorized online sales, we are often asked about a number of other internet-related issues, including removing intellectual property (IP) infringement from social media websites.
- The NLRB dealt a blow to employers yesterday, releasing its long-awaited decision in Browning-Ferris Industries. In a 3-2 decision, the NLRB rolled back nearly 30 years of case law to “restate” its joint employer standard. The result: a far more expansive test that is centered firmly on the question of control -- even indirect or potential control -- over a work force.
- In November 2015, Ohio voters will determine whether to ensconce the use of recreational and medical marijuana in the Ohio Constitution.
- Oil and Gas Alert: Service Company Learns Some Expensive Lessons About Wage-Hour Law in $6 Million SettlementRecently, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted preliminary approval to a $6 million class and collective action settlement between Calfrac Well Services Corp. and a class of about 1,300 fracturing, cement, and coil operators. The plaintiffs worked as field operators in Pennsylvania, Colorado, North Dakota, and Arkansas and were paid according to a complicated formula that included a salary, bonuses, and overtime. The case centered on how the operators’ regular rate of pay (the rate which provides the basis for the time-and-a-half overtime premium) should be calculated.
- According to a recent survey, more consumers are reading online reviews, they are forming opinions based on those reviews quicker, they are paying close attention to star ratings, and – in general – they are highly trusting of online reviews.
- Oil and Gas Alert: Supreme Court of Kentucky Adopts 'At The Well' Rule For Post-Production Costs; Producers Solely Responsible for Severance Tax PaymentsIn companion decisions released on August 20, 2015, the Supreme Court of Kentucky confirmed that Kentucky follows the “at the well” rule with respect to post-production costs, but held that the payment of severance taxes must be borne solely by the producer.
- Oil and Gas Alert: Ohio Secretary of State Refuses to Place Proposed County Charter Petitions Banning Oil and Gas Activities on the November BallotOn Thursday, August 13, Secretary of State John Husted issued a decision finding that the proposed charter petitions for Athens, Fulton and Medina counties are invalid. The secretary’s decision tracked analysis provided by Vorys’ attorneys Jonathan Airey, Gregory Russell, Lisa Babish Forbes and Aaron Williams in an amicus brief submitted on behalf of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and the Ohio Gas Association.
- Whistleblower Defense Alert: D.C. Circuit Upholds Assertion of Privilege as to Internal Investigation Documents in FCA SuitOn Tuesday, August 11, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit released a decision upholding an assertion of privilege by Kellogg Brown and Root, Inc. (KBR) over internal investigation documents in a FCA suit alleging kickbacks and overbilling on Iraq war subcontracts.
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