Featured Post ILN Today Post

International Lawyers Network Elects New Chairman

Business colleagues raising flags of different of countriesNew York (June 20, 2017) – The International Lawyers Network, a global network of more than 5,000 lawyers, announced today that Simon Ekins of Fladgate LLP in London, England, has been elected Chairman.

Ekins assumes the chairmanship from Peter Altieri, shareholder with Epstein Becker & Green, following an election by the Board of Directors during the Network’s Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden early this month. Altieri has served as ILN Chairman since June 2009, stepping down after eight years of service.

“We are so appreciative of Peter’s efforts and all the work and time he has devoted to the Network as Chairman over these last eight years,” said Alan Griffiths, Executive Director of the International Lawyers Network. “His heart-felt speech at our Annual Conference’s gala dinner was met with a long-standing ovation from all in attendance, which was a true testament to the respect he has garnered during his time in the position.”

Read full article
Featured Post ILN Today Post

International Lawyers Network Shortlisted as Global Network of the Year by “The Lawyer” for Second Year

ILN_640The International Lawyers Network has been shortlisted as Global Network of the Year by “The Lawyer” for a second year in a row.

The winners of this category will be announced at The Lawyer European Awards 2017 at a ceremony at Grange St. Paul in London, England on Thursday, March 16, 2017. This is only the second year the category for Global Network of the Year has been included for consideration in the awards.

Judges in this category examine evidence of strategic vision, with particular focus on cross-border initiatives, consistent excellence in the delivery of legal services and outstanding talent management, in evaluating the submissions.

Read full article

California Governor Splits the Difference on Equal Pay Follow-On Laws

For the second time in as many years, California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed “wage shaming” legislation that would have required employers with 500 or more employees to report gender-related pay gap statistics to the California Secretary of State on an annual basis beginning in 2019 for publication on a public website. Assembly Bill 1209 (“AB 1209”), which we discussed at length in last month’s Act Now advisory, passed the Legislature despite widespread criticism from employers and commerce groups.  This criticism included concerns that publication of statistical differences in the mean and median salaries of male and female employees without accounting for legitimate factors such as seniority, education, experience, and productivity could give a misleading impression that an employer had violated the law.  Opponents also decried the burden the bill would place on employers to do data collection and warned that it would lead to additional litigation.  In vetoing the measure, Governor Brown noted the “ambiguous wording” of the bill and stated he was “worried that this ambiguity could be exploited to encourage more litigation than pay equity.”

Read full article

Can an employer compel religious observance?

October 23, 2017 — We have seen cases where employees asked their employer for time off to abide by certain religious obligations.

Jacques Bélanger reports on a decision arising from quite a different situation, where an employer sought to compel an employee to abide by the latter’s religion.

Read full article
ILN Today Post

FTC Settles with Mobile App Developer Over Unauthorized Charges

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled with Pact, Inc. (Pact) over allegations that Pact’s mobile app, which allows users to set fitness goals and creates financial penalties for not meeting them, failed to adequately disclose its cancellation policy and continued to charge users even after they met their goals or cancelled the service. Pact agreed to a $1.5 million monetary settlement, including over $900,000 that will be returned to injured consumers.

Read More

Read full article
ILN Today Post

FTC Charges Online Negative Option Marketing Scheme with Deceiving Shoppers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged an online marketing operation involving about 80 companies with deceptively luring consumers into expensive negative option plans by using an initial low-cost “trial” offer. A federal district court in Nevada has preliminarily enjoined the operation at the request of the FTC.

The FTC’s Complaint
The FTC’s complaint alleges that, since the mid-2000s, the defendants have sold personal care products, including tooth-whitening products, online and subsequently obtained consumers’ credit card information by “enticing” them to sign up for a low-cost “trial product.” The defendants then used such billing information to charge consumers for unauthorized subscriptions with recurring charges.

Read More

Read full article
ILN Today Post

Oregon: Newest frontier for soda tax

In early April, organizers in Multnomah County, Oregon, where the city of Portland is located, began the process for enacting an ordinance that would impose a .015 cent per fluid ounce excise tax on “the privilege of distributing sugar-sweetened beverage products.” The proceeds from the tax would be put toward the Children’s Health and Education Fund, and dedicated to funding projects that serve children in low-income families and communities of color in the county that:

  • Expand access to early childhood education and early literacy initiatives
  • Increase physical activity and physical fitness of children
  • Improve the nutrition of children
  • Improve the dental health of children
  • Reduce health disparities of children

Read More

Read full article
ILN Today Post

Ohio: Cuyahoga County considers a plastic bag tax

According to Pew Charitable Trusts, Hawaii was the first jurisdiction to address the threat that litter poses to the environment, by way of a ban on the use of plastic bags at retail checkouts. Hawaii’s ban occurred county by county, with Honolulu County being the last of the four to do so, in the spring of 2012, which took effect on July 1, 2015. In 2012, there had not yet been any state-wide measures, but cities and counties were taking action. For instance, in 2007, San Francisco became the first city to regulate the use of bags at checkout when it imposed a $.10 tax on paper bags. And in 2009, Washington DC passed a $.05 cent tax on disposable paper and plastic carryout bags.

Read More

Read full article
ILN Today Post

Report: Caution warranted despite robust income tax growth in the first quarter of 2017

Last week, we published an article that addressed South Dakota’s lawsuit over the state’s ability to tax internet sales made by vendors that lack a physical presence in the state. Whether states will finally be able to capture those otherwise lost tax revenues is now in the United States Supreme Court’s hands.

In addition to the dearth of sales tax revenues with which states are contending, our article also discussed the volatility of revenue streams that compounds already precarious fiscal situations. We pointed to an October 2014 Pew Charitable Trusts article, “Volatile Income Tax Revenue Stumps States,” which asserted that even though some states’ tax collections have recovered somewhat since the recession, and in fact are expected to rise, this growth “is anemic compared to years preceding the recession.”

Read More

Read full article
ILN Today Post

IRS announces new retirement plan limitations for 2018

On Oct. 19, 2017, the IRS announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for the 2018 tax year. The limits are based upon the Social Security cost-of-living increases. Some of the limits remain the same, however many of them have changed.

Read More

Read full article

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Concludes That Employees Must Be Paid For All Rest Breaks of 20 Minutes Or Less Continue Reading…

Tips Do Not Count Towards the Minimum Wage Unless a Worker Qualified as a “Tipped Employe"It is a common practice for employers to provide their employees with rest breaks during the work day.  (And in some states, like California, it is required by state law.) But under what circumstances is an employer required to pay its employees for break time?

In U.S. Department of Labor v. American Future Systems Inc. et al., the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate employees for breaks of 20 minutes or less during which they are free from performing any work.

Read full article

Hall & Wilcox advises social housing provider on major state housing tender

Leading national business law firm Hall & Wilcox has advised one of Australia’s largest non-government social housing providers on its successful tender for a substantial New South Wales social housing management transfer program.

The Hall & Wilcox team was led by partner Katrina Reye, who advised Compass Housing Services (Compass) in its bid to manage more properties in the Hunter Valley region as part of the NSW Government’s Social Housing Management Transfer program.

Read full article