Legal Updates

New Indian Wind Resource Atlas Announced

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (“MNRE”), Government of India, through the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), an autonomous institute of MNRE, has announced the “Indian Wind Resource Atlas : Online GIS”, with a tracking level of 100 metres, using scientific combination of satellite and one of the world’s largest number of measured (1,300 locations ) ground data. The NIWE (formerly C-WET) had released the Indian Wind Atlas at 50m and indicative values at 80m hub heights in April 2010 in collaboration with RISO-DTU, Denmark. 

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New Campaign Launched to Protect Drivers in Glasgow

A new Task Force has been set up in Glasgow to raise awareness about potential blind spots and accident prone areas following a rise in the number road traffic accidents in the city.

The major operation will look to reduce the accident and death toll on Glasgow’s roads and will target elderly pedestrians and reckless drivers at major junctions across the city. The dedicated Unit will also see a number of other Officers monitoring other junctions and drivers across the city in the hope to reduce the casualties seen in the last year. 

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Part 3: FTC Updates Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Endorsement Guides

As you know, over the past few weeks, Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Partner Allison Fitzpatrick and I have been discussing the FTC’s updated answers to its FAQs. The following topics will conclude this series: online reviews, employee endorsements, and monitoring. 

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Unions Can Now Use Electronic Signatures for Showing of Interest for NLRB Elections

Unions no longer will need to gather employees’ signatures on authorization cards before they can file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) for a representation election.  General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr. has issued Memorandum 15-08 (pdf) announcing that effective immediately unions filing petitions will be allowed to submit and the Board will “accept electronic signatures in support of a showing of interest if the Board’s traditional evidentiary standards are satisfied.” 

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New NLRB Joint Employers Test – Why It Matters For OSHA

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last week issued its decision in Browning Ferris Industries (pdf) adopting new standards for determining when a company will be held to be the joint employer of another company’s employees, whether they are leased, temporaries or providing services under their primary employer’s contracts with customers.  My colleagues Allen B. Roberts, Steven M. Swirsky and D. Martin Stanberry explore the new standards and what they mean for employers  in an article published on Epstein Becker Green’s Management Memo

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New York City Human Rights Law Restricts Credit Checks of Job Applicants and Employees

On September 3, 2015, New York City will join several states and localities throughout the country that have implemented laws limiting the use of credit checks in hiring and other employment decisions.

The “Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act,” which was passed by the New York City Council in April 2015 and becomes effective this week, prohibits private employers from requesting or using the consumer credit history of job applicants and employees. The New York City Council Member who introduced the legislation noted that it was intended to be “the strongest bill of its type in the country.”

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Calling all EU asset owners: you’ve got mail (from Brussels)

Finally, the EU Succession Regulation (Brussels IV) is fully in force.  It’s been a long time coming.  Part of it came into effect as long ago as 2012 but in recent months, as 17 August 2015 (‘coming into force’ day) approached, there has been much more discussion about what Brussels IV is going to mean in practice.  Essentially, if you or your clients hold assets in virtually any EU state, or have a residency or nationality connection with an EU state, Brussels IV affects you.  This blog does not attempt to explain what Brussels IV is (see my September 2013 blog for the basics).  Instead, it gives the latest thinking on how Brussels IV might apply in practice and what to do now.
The laudable aim of Brussels IV is to enable EU citizens with assets and connections in EU states to be able to estate-plan with greater confidence.  Each EU state has its own set of rules to determine how assets devolve on death (succession); often they conflict with each other.  Brussels IV lays down a set of rules for determining which jurisdiction’s rules prevail in situations where a number of different jurisdictions could have a say in the matter, perhaps due to whatever happens to be the person’s nationality, residency, habitual residency or domicile at the date of death.
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Labor Law Developments That Will Shake Technology, Media and Telecommunications Employers

Several recent National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) decisions are likely to give further momentum to ongoing union organizing efforts targeting employers in the technology, media and telecommunications  industry.  Organized labor has already demonstrated that it is interested in actively expanding in this area, both among white collar employees and ancillary workers

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Back to school – Keyword advertising 101

In the 21st century, when advertising is frequently conducted via the Internet, the use of keyword advertising has become an increasingly contentious point of trade-mark law.

In short, keyword advertising is a form of online advertising in which a business selects words or phrases (the “keywords”) that trigger its advertisements to appear when the user of a search engine performs a search using those keywords.  The advertisements typically appear alongside the organic search results produced by the search engine. 

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Ohio Supreme Court eradicates no-injury class actions

On Aug. 27, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court established in Felix v. Ganley Chevrolet, Inc., Slip Opinion No. 2015-Ohio-3430 that all members of a plaintiff class alleging violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (OCSPA) must have suffered injury as a result of the conduct challenged in a suit under the act. In so ruling, the court made clear that:

  1. Ohio’s class action rules and consumer protection statutes do not permit “windfall awards” to parties who were not actually injured by a business’s allegedly improper commercial practices.
  2. “No-injury” consumer class actions will not be allowed in Ohio.

This decision is particularly important to companies (and their management and boards) that provide consumer services and hold consumer information – including manufacturers, distributors, and/or retailers of consumer goods and/or providers of consumer services (banking, insurance, credit, utilities, etc.). At least in Ohio, class actions now cannot be based on allegations akin to “We bought a product, other people had a problem with it, and we want our money back, even though it worked fine for us.”

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