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Emerging Concerns Regarding Silica Exposure in the Engineered Stone Industry
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

The dangers of workers developing silicosis amid the fabrication of engineered stone has become a topic heavily discussed in the news and elsewhere recently. Silicosis is a lung disease that develops from the exposure and inhalation of silica particles. On Oct. 2, National Public Radio (“NPR”) aired a story entitled “Workers Are Falling Ill, Even Dying, After Making Kitchen Countertops...

New California Employment Laws for 2020
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

2019 was a banner year for Governor Gavin Newsom. The Governor signed numerous bills into law, most of which are not employer friendly. For an in-depth analysis of how each law might affect your organization, contact your Hanson Bridgett labor and employment lawyer and/or join us for our Annual Client Seminars on January 28, 2020 (Walnut Creek), January 29, 2020 (Sacramento), or January 30, 2020 (San Francisco). Unless otherwise indicated, each new law takes effect on January 1, 2020...

CalPERS Issues Guidance on Uniform Allowance Reporting
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

A few weeks ago, CalPERS issued a Circular Letter to provide guidance to contracting agencies about reporting the uniform allowance, a statutory form of special compensation that applies only to classic CalPERS members. The Circular Letter provides much needed guidance about the uniform allowance, specific examples of reportable and non-reportable items, and reporting standards...

IRS Issues 2020 Limits for Retirement Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

On November 6, 2019, the IRS announced in Notice 2019-59 cost of living adjustments to the qualified plan dollar limits for 2020. Below is a summary of the limits that are generally relevant for most retirement plans. Effective January 1, 2020: The elective deferral limit for 401(k), 403(b), and eligible 457(b) plans is increased from $19,000 to $19,500. The catch-up contribution limit for those age 50 or older is increased from $6,000 to $6,500...

Greater Reforms for Promoting Work-Life Balance
Lee & Ko, November 2019

 On 1 October 2019 significant changes to the Gender Equality Employment and Work-Life Balance Support Act came into force, including to employees' rights to paternity leave and reduced working hours for child and family care...

Illinois Secure Choice Registration Is Underway for Employers with at least 25 Employees
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Starting Nov. 1, 2019, employers in Illinois with at least 25 employees must comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice Program) or offer employees an employer-sponsored retirement plan...

Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash Attempt a U-Turn on AB 5 via New Ballot Initiative
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

The fate of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) may be headed to the voters. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have unveiled the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act, a $90 million ballot initiative targeting AB 5. AB 5, signed by Governor Newsom on September 18, 2019, is expansive legislation that has potentially significant impact on California employers. AB 5 broadly adopts a new test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, with far-reaching implications...

PTSD Compensation for First Responders without Associated Physical Injury Revisited by the Ohio Legislature in New House Bill
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

With the recent proliferation of mass shootings and other deadly incidents, several states have taken on the issue of allowing mental and/or emotional impairments caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to be a compensable workers’ compensation condition for first responders without the requirement of a physical injury. In June 2019, House Bill 80, the budget bill for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, included such a proposal...

2019 New California Laws Impacting Cannabis Businesses
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

Governor Newsom has signed several bills that impact the cannabis industry by providing relief from federal income tax deduction limitations, encouraging minority participation, encouraging union membership, and clarifying some other existing regulations. The bills include: Assembly Bill 37 repeals the limitation on deductions for business expenses for cannabis businesses, which had previously conformed to Internal Revenue Code section 280E for state tax purposes...

New Decision from the Court of Appeal Regarding the Possibility to Deprive Employees of their Duties within the Period of Notice
Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, October 2019

In LG-2018-161055 the Court of appeal, in a case regarding preliminary action, gave an elaborated assessment regarding under what conditions an employer can deprive an employee of his or her duties in the notice period.   Introduction An employer only exceptionally has the right to deprive a dismissed employee of his or her duties within the period of notice. For this to be possible, there must be "particularly compelling reasons"...

IRS Finalizes New Hardship Distribution Rules for 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

On September 23, 2019, the IRS published final regulations that amend the rules for hardship distributions from 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The regulations finalize the proposed regulations issued in November 2018 to implement statutory changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 intended to make it easier for plan participants to take hardship distributions...

Cincinnati Is Latest City to Outlaw Hair Discrimination
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

Cincinnati, Ohio has joined a small but growing list of states and municipalities that ban discrimination on the basis of natural hair styles. On Oct. 9, 2019, the Cincinnati City Council voted 7-1 to add a hair-bias ban to the city’s existing non-discrimination law...

Employment: Trends & Developments
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2019

The labour and employment sector has once again seen many changes – both in terms of the initiatives of the legislator as well as changes in the way the sector works. One important change has been the implementation of the Law on Protection of Business Secrets (Gesetz zum Schutz von Geschäftsgeheimnissen – GeschGehG). The economic relevance of business secrets is very high...

Employment: Law & Practice
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2019

1. TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT 1.1 STATUS OF EMPLOYEE In Germany, an employee (Arbeitnehmer) enjoys a special status that is described as the personal obligation to perform work upon the employer’s instructions, without entrepreneurial risks and in a situation of economic dependence (to a certain degree) on the employer...

IRS Form 1099-K Payment Reporting Under California AB 5
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) to limit the classification of workers as independent contractors in the state. The new law, effective January 1, 2020, will increase payroll tax responsibilities for California companies that must reclassify workers as employees...

Employers are Not Obligated to Notify Employees of Expiring Vacation Entitlements during Long-Term Illnesses
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

In its July 24, 2019 judgment (Case: 5 Sa 676/19), Hamm State Labor Court issued a ruling as to whether employers are obligated to also notify employees who are out of work due to long-term illnesses that their vacation entitlement will expire by December 31 of the calendar year or by March 31 of the subsequent year if those employees fail to take their vacation days. The court denied this on convincing grounds. The final verdict, however, will come from the Federal Labor Court...

The Works Council’s Right to Inspect Payroll with Gross Salaries Broken Down by Employee Names
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

The works council may demand access to the employees’ payroll. Considerations under data protection law do not require anonymization or pseudonymization. Federal Labor Court, May 7, 2019 – 1 ABR 53/17   FACTS OF THE CASE A company granted the works council access to its electronic employee salary file – the payroll showing gross salaries, while stripping employees’ names from the list, thus in anonymized (more correctly: pseudonymized) form...

No General Prohibition of Deterioration for Retirement Benefits in Cases of Transfer of Businesses
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

Federal Labor Court, June 12, 2019 - 1 AZR 154/17.  There is no general prohibition of deterioration that applies to retirement benefits in the case of one or several transfers of businesses pursuant to Section 613a German Civil Code. This has now been confirmed by the Federal Labor Court in a recent decision...

No Granting of Half Days of Leave
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

Half days of leave granted by the employer may be claimed again by the employee due to inadmissible fulfillment of the vacation entitlement. Baden-Württemberg State Labor Court, March 6, 2019, 4 Sa 73/18 Employees may not demand half days of leave from employers as part of their statutory minimum leave. If employers nevertheless grant half days of leave, this does not comply with their obligation to grant proper leave, at least as far as the minimum leave is concerned...

Warning Under Industrial Constitution Law – No Entry in the Personnel File
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

Stuttgart Labor Court, April 30, 2019 – 4 BV 251/18 Warnings by which employers are reprimanding the exercise of office by works council members and threatening sanctions in accordance with Section 23 Works Constitution Act (warnings under works constitution law) may not be entered in the personnel files of works council members irrespective of their lawfulness...

Effects of a No-Deal Brexit for UK Employees in Germany
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

After Brexit has already been postponed several times, the next deadline will now expire on October 31, 2019. With the new Prime Minister at the helm, it is becoming more likely every day that the UK will leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement entering into force. Obviously, UK citizens who live and work in Germany are particularly affected. The same also applies to employers in Germany employing UK citizens...

The Ministry of Manpower Issues a Codified List of Businesses in which Foreign Employees May be Employed
Makarim & Taira S., September 2019

The Ministry of Manpower recently issued Decree of the Minister of Manpower No...

Do Temporary Agency Workers have the Same Right to Bonus Payments as Permanent Employees?
Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, September 2019

A recent court ruling from Gulating lagmannsrett (Court of Appeal) states that bonus payments are not covered by the principle of equal treatment for temporary agency workers, cf. LG-2018-162656. The ruling has been appealed, and the result of the appeal to the Supreme Court will be of great importance to many companies and employees of temporary work agencies...

Breaking: US DOL Final OT Rule Raises the FLSA Exemption Thresholds, Effective Jan. 1, 2020
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the long-anticipated final rule for overtime exemptions, which alters the salary thresholds for several of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemptions. Under the final rule, the salary threshold levels for the white-collar exemptions and the highly compensated employee exemption were increased, making it more difficult for an employee to be classified as exempt under the FLSA. As a result, an estimated additional 1...

MSHA Civil Penalties, Respirable Silica Quartz, and OSHA Drone Use
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

An Update in the World of Workplace Safety MSHA Civil Penalties On August 16, 2019, the United States Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a report on MSHA’s civil monetary penalties (“CMP”) program...

 

 

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