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- As more employers consider paying their employees with payroll debit cards, they need to be aware of lawsuits challenging the practice and what sparked those suits. In several cases, employees argued that the payroll cards imposed fees for withdrawals, transfers, balance inquiries, and/or inactivity, which allegedly made it impossible for employees to obtain their full, earned wages.
- Recently five federal agencies, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Farm Credit Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, issued much-anticipated joint final rules that establish minimum margin and capital requirements for registered swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants for which one of the Agencies is the prudential regulator.
- The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (11/2/2015) includes a rare bipartisan amendment to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA would have required that employers with 200 or more full-time employees auto-enroll their full-time employees in health coverage.
- The federal bipartisan budget contained a little-noticed provision entitled the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act. This Act requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to increase its monetary penalties for the first time since 1990.
- Health Care Alert: Budget Act to Significantly Reduce Hospital Provider-Based Reimbursement For New, Off Campus SitesThe Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the Act) was enacted just days ago. When the Act takes effect, it will materially reduce reimbursement for new, off campus hospital outpatient departments (OPD), such as hospital-based clinics.
- Oil and Gas Alert: Supreme Court of Ohio Decides That Oil and Gas Leases Are Title Transactions Under the Ohio Dormant Mineral ActOn November 5, 2015, the Supreme Court of Ohio answered two questions concerning the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA). In Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Buell, the Court held that under the DMA: (1) a recorded oil and gas lease is a title transaction that serves as a savings event that prevents minerals from being abandoned to a surface owner; but (2) that the unrecorded expiration of an oil and gas lease is not a savings event.
- During Monday’s oral argument in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13-1339, the Supreme Court appeared sharply divided on the issue of whether a plaintiff has standing to sue for a technical violation of a federal consumer law even when there is no indication that the plaintiff has actually been harmed by the violation.
- In October 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it will soon issue a final rule concerning safety incentive programs that reward employees for low accident levels.
- Oil and Gas Alert: Ohio Court of Appeals Issues Decision on Scope of Granting Clause, Effect of Well Permit Application on Lease Terms and Lessee’s Fiduciary DutiesOn October 26, 2015, the Ohio Fifth District Court of Appeals in K and D Farms, Ltd, et al. v. EnerVest Operating, L.L.C., et al. addressed several issues concerning oil and gas leases in Ohio.
- With cybersecurity as THE hot button issue in bank and thrift risk management right now, and of course to help the industry celebrate “National Cybersecurity Awareness Month” (who knew?), bankers and their boards should take advantage of the FDIC informational teleconference on cybersecurity issues being held on October 28, 2015.
- 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.”
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