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- President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address on Tuesday, and labor and employment matters took center stage. While the president’s address does not have the force of law, it highlights for employers what issues the White House plans on pursuing in the coming year.
- Client Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Borrowers Need Only Give Notice of Intent to Rescind Under TILA within Three Years of ClosingOn January 13, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of homeowners seeking to rescind their loans and mortgages with written notice to lenders within three years of completion of a real estate transaction, where lenders allegedly failed to comply with the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Based on this decision in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., it is not necessary that a homeowner actually file a court action within those three years.
- Before there was Yelp, there was Citysearch. Founded in 1995 as an online guide for finding local businesses, Citysearch helped pave the way into an era of consumers posting online reviews. While Yelp has blown Citysearch and other competition out of the water in recent years, Citysearch is nevertheless still active and businesses are still very much vulnerable to false reviews on the website.
- Health Care Alert: Federal Court Strikes Down DOL’s New Companionship Services Exemption RegulationsNew U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations concerning the companionship services exemption to the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) were scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015.
- Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and House Minority Leader Rep. Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) announced House committee leadership positions this week for the new two-year session.
- Whistleblower Defense Alert: Fourth Circuit’s Opinion Shows Influence of Government’s Decision to Intervene on Court’s Determination of MaterialityOn January 8, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated the government’s False Claims Act (FCA) claims in United States v. Triple Canopy, Inc., No. 13-2190. In reversing the district court’s dismissal of the government’s case, the Fourth Circuit highlighted, both explicitly and implicitly, the importance of the government’s decision to intervene in the case.
- Earlier this week, President Obama gave a speech at the FTC laying out an agenda on privacy and data security issues, and indicating that the topic is important enough to the administration that it will be included in his upcoming State of the Union address. Generally, the initiative’s goals include tackling identity theft, protecting the privacy of student data and working toward a general privacy “bill of rights” to provide comprehensive data and privacy protections.
- It is once again time for public companies to march into proxy season. While the SEC has not adopted any significant new rules or amendments effective for the 2015 proxy season, you should keep the following items in mind as you prepare.
- The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision regarding whether interruptions of an employee’s meal period automatically render that time compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
- Whistleblower Defense Alert: District Court Imposes $1.6 Million Sanction Against Relators for Violating the FCA SealEarlier this week, Judge Amy Totenberg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia imposed significant monetary sanctions against a pair of relators who blatantly and repeatedly violated the seal order in a pending qui tam action, United States ex rel. Bibby v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Case No. 1:06-CV-0547-AT.
- On December 19, 2014 Governor Kasich signed Am. Sub. H.B. 5 (the Bill) into law thus concluding three years of contentious lobbying between selected trade associations on one side of the debate (primarily The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, The Ohio Society of CPAs and The National Federation of Independent Business) and Ohio’s roughly 600 municipalities on the other side of the debate.
- Oil and Gas Alert: Supreme Court Holds That Evidence of Amount in Controversy Not Required to Remove Class Action to Federal CourtOn December 15, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided that a party seeking to remove a class action to federal court need not include evidence of the amount in controversy as part of its petition for removal. Instead, the party seeking removal need only plausibly state that the amount at stake exceeds $5 million. The case is Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. LLC v. Owens, 574 U.S. ---, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 8435 (2014).
- Ohio Statehouse Update: Ohio General Assembly Concludes Work – Passes Flurry of Legislation in Lame DuckMembers of the 130th Ohio General Assembly officially finished their business and headed home after the conclusion of a lengthy Ohio House floor session December 17. The hectic final days were notable both for the legislation that passed as well as for some high profile bills that did not pass.
- Labor and Employment Alert: OSHA Updates Recordkeeping Rule for Reporting Fatalities and Severe InjuriesEffective January 1, 2015, employers with facilities located in states subject to federal OSHA jurisdiction will have new reporting requirements. Previously, employers were required to report all work related fatalities and work related hospitalizations of three or more employees within eight hours of the event.
- Both the West Coast (led by San Francisco) and the East Coast (led by Philadelphia) recently illustrated growing pro-employee trends in defining employee work schedules and in ensuring paid sick leave for employees.
- In several previous blog posts, we have mentioned obtaining court orders with the aim of getting links to harmful content, such as Ripoff Report posts, de-indexed from search engines. What we have not written about, to date, is how to use a court order to get links removed from Google.
- Last Friday, the NLRB issued its long-anticipated “ambush election” or “quickie election” rules. The rulemaking, which followed a long and tortured procedural path, is a major overhaul of the procedures used to conduct secret ballot, union elections. These elections are an important path to union representation, and they will now occur more quickly after the election petition is filed.
- Labor and Employment Alert: Employers Must Allow Employees to Use Employer Owned and Operated Email Systems for Union Organizing ActivitySince 2007, as a result of the NLRB’s Register Guard decision, an employer could lawfully limit the use of its email system by employees for certain non-business related activities, assuming that it applied the rule non-discriminatorily. On December 10, 2014, in a 3-2 decision, the NLRB reversed the old rule established in Register Guard and established a new rule. Now, employees must be permitted to use employer email for statutorily protected communications during nonworking time if they have access to employer computer systems for work.
- People today love sharing photographs of themselves and their whereabouts. And today’s technology makes it so easy. While there are numerous websites and apps that make this possible, among the most popular are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This trio ranks second, eighth, and twenty-fourth, respectively on Alexa.com’s rankings of top websites in the United States.
- Labor and Employment Alert: The Wait is Over: U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Holds That Waiting in Line for Security Checks is Not CompensableAs we reported in October, the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, U.S. No. 13-433, has been closely watched by companies that screen their workers to prevent employee theft. Integrity Staffing required its employees to pass through a security check at the end of each shift and did not compensate them for the 25 minutes the employees claimed the process took.
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