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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...

The Insolvency Law in Panama
Morgan & Morgan, October 2019

On May 19, 2016, the concept of a “Bankruptcy,” as the legal term was defined, ceased to exist under Panamanian law. Law 12 of 2016 (the “Insolvency Law”) entered into force on that date and introduced new proceedings into our legal system. These proceedings are referred to as Reorganization and Liquidation...

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...

Feinwachs Holds FCA Relator’s Emails to Counsel, Even Though on Employer’s Server, Protected as Work Product
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

In the False Claims Act (FCA) case of Feinwachs v. Minnesota Hospital Association, the district court recently upheld relator David Feinwachs’ claim of work-product privilege over emails sent to his work email account. No. 11-cv-0008, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155027 (D. Minn. Sept. 11, 2019).  Feinwachs was formerly general counsel of the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), a trade association of Minnesota hospitals and health care systems...

IBM Wins Dismissal of FCA Qui Tam Suit Alleging It Used Faked Audit to Pressure IRS to Renew Software License
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

On Sept. 30, IBM won dismissal of a federal False Claims Act (FCA) qui tam suit, Cimino v. IBM, No. 13-cv-00907 (APM), 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168059 (D.D.C. Sept. 30, 2019). In the suit, Relator Paul A. Cimino alleged IBM, assisted by Deloitte LLP, fabricated audit findings regarding Internal Revenue Service (IRS) usage of IBM-licensed software to coerce IRS into renewing its software enterprise license...

FMSHRC Withdraws Simplified Proceedings Program
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

On October 10, 2019, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (“Commission”) published a notice it would withdraw its simplified proceedings program. The withdrawal of the program becomes effective 45 days after publication in the Federal Register unless adverse comment is received...

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...

Dubai: Changes to the Fines that can be Applied by the Public Prosecutors’ Department
Afridi & Angell, October 2019

The Public Prosecutors’ Department in Dubai has the power to impose fines with respect to certain criminal misdemeanors and offences[i] without being required to refer the matter to a Court of Law. Such fines are issued under a Penal Order. This power stems from Dubai Law No. 1 of 2017, which authorises the Attorney General of Dubai to prescribe the offences and the corresponding fines which may be the subject of a Penal Order...

Competition Law Implications of Search Engine Advertising and Agreed Negative Listing Between Competitors
Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, October 2019

There is an ongoing controversy relating to search engine advertising. In particular regarding the legality of purchasing search terms incorporating third-party trademarks. In seeking a reasonable legal standard, this article discusses the latest legal development in trademark, unfair trading practices, marketing, and competition Law...

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...

The Concept of Anchoring in Negotiation
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

Having a strategy when negotiating or participating in mediation is essential to a successful outcome that results in an agreement between the parties. Mediators see various levels of preparation and strategy by the parties participating in the process, and the party who approaches the mediation with a plan often achieves a more successful outcome. One effective strategy is anchoring: an effort to establish a reference point from which a party will make adjustments in negotiating...

D.C. Circuit Revives Veterinarian’s FCA Retaliation Suit Over Laboratory Animal Conditions
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

In a split decision on September 20 in Singletary v. Howard University, the D.C. Circuit reversed the dismissal of an FCA retaliation suit brought by a former Howard University veterinarian whose contract was cut short after she warned of unsafe conditions for animals in the medical school’s federally funded laboratories. No. 18-7158, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 28468 (Sept. 20, 2019)...

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...

 

 

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