Legal Updates

Multistate Tax Update — January 9, 2014

McDonald Hopkins hopes the readers of the Multistate Tax Update enjoyed a joyous holiday season and look forward to a prosperous 2014. In 2013, McDonald Hopkins launched the Multistate Tax Update to keep you informed regarding recent developments in the state and local tax area. We have been overwhelmed with the response to our Multistate Tax Update in 2013 and look forward to bringing you new developments in 2014. We appreciate your readership and encourage your feedback as we continue to cover the ever-evolving area of multistate taxation.

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Clarification of California’s "Suitable Seating" Requirements May – Or May Not — Be Forthcoming

by Michael Kun

We have previously written in this blog about California’s unique “suitable seating” law, which requires some employers to “provide” “suitable seating” to some employees where “the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.” 

The use of multiple sets of quotation marks in the previous sentence should give readers a good idea about just how little guidance employers have about the obscure law.

The law was originally intended to provide some comfort to individuals working on production lines and performing similar tasks.  Few lawsuits were ever filed alleging violations of the law until a published California Court of Appeal decision about “suitable seating” awakened the plaintiffs’ bar to yet another ground for them to file class action lawsuits against California employers. 

Not unexpectedly, that has led to the filing of a great many class actions in recent years alleging that employers in a wide variety of businesses had failed to provide suitable seating. 

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Employee Training: Paid or Unpaid?

by Jordan B. Schwartz

Virtually all employers are aware that, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), they are required to compensate employees for all hours worked. 

What is not as clear, however, is whether the time an employee spends at training programs, lectures, meetings, and other similar activities should be considered hours worked. As a result, clients often ask whether they are required to compensate employees for time spent in such training activities. 

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A Deal Is A Deal: Ecogen Wind Prevails In Windfarming Dispute

The New York Law Journal reported on January 2, 2014 that the Town of Prattsburgh, which, during the relevant time, had virtually no laws, codes or requirements on the books governing the installation of wind turbine facilities, was not permitted by the court to retroactively preclude Ecogen Wind from building a wind farm in Steuben County, New York.

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Jain body sets up arbitration forum

Way back in 1979, the notoriously high rate of pendency in India’s courts had prompted the Barjatyas to produce ‘Saanch Ko Aanch Nahin’. The film dealt with the option of arbitration, which offers swift justice to two parties involved in a civil dispute.

Decades on, the problem has only exacerbated, prompting an NGO to offer an institutionalized arbitration service at its Churchgate office. TheJain International Organisation that was inaugurated last week has started theInternational Settlement Forum (ISF). ISF will deliver quick decisions within a few weeks to people of all communities, the only condition is that the parties must agree to abide by the verdict.

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SFKS Xi’an Electronic Newspaper Issue One Hundred and Twenty-Nine December 2013

Laws and Regulations Updates
I. Guidelines on the Disclosure of Major Financial Information and Operation Information after the Audit Cut-off Date for Financial Report contained in the Prospectus of Company Listed by Way of Initial Public Offering (the “Guidelines”) More…

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Ontario Court of Appeal Allows Enforcement Action Against Chevron To Proceed

Last September, I blogged about a decision of Justice David Brown of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in which the judge concluded that the courts of Ontario had jurisdiction to hear an action commenced by Ecuadorean plaintiffs to enforce a US $18 billion judgment that they had obtained in Ecuador against Chevron Corporation (“Chevron“).   However, this finding was not necessarily good news for the plaintiffs.  On his own motion, Justice Brown stayed the action on the basis that, “Chevron does not possess any assets in this jurisdiction at this time” and “the plaintiffs have no hope of success in their assertion that the corporate veil of Chevron Canada should be pierced and ignored so that its assets become exigible to satisfy the judgment against its ultimate parent“. 
The Ecuadorian plaintiffs appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal from Justice Brown’s order imposing a stay of the action.  Chevron and its co-defendant in Ontario, Chevron Canada,  cross-appealed from the judge’s finding that Ontario had jurisdiction to hear the case. 
The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed the plaintiffs’ appeal and dismissed Chevron’s cross-appeal.  Justice MacPherson wrote the judgment of the court. 
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DOH Issues New Hospital CN Rule & Transparency Requirements

Prior to the end of the year, and in compliance with Governor Inslee’s directive, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) issued new hospital Certificate of Need (CN) rules and transparency requirements for existing hospitals. Effective January 23rd, hospitals wishing to affiliate with one another (or other types of corporate restructuring) will now have to undergo full CN review.  The […]
The post DOH Issues New Hospital CN Rule & Transparency Requirements appeared first on OMW Health Law.

For more information please visit or click on the headline above.

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OCR Lacks Insight into HIPAA Security Rule Compliance

Why is data breach such a rampant problem within the health care industry?

As health care rapidly digitizes through adoption of electronic health records, mobile applications and the like, the risk of data breach is rising exponentially.  To effectively manage this risk, health care companies and their business associates must be vigilant by implementing and evaluating security controls in the form of administrative, physical and technical safeguards.  Health care companies also have resources to assist them with managing this risk.  Specifically, the Federal agency for oversight of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) is tasked with providing technical assistance to guide companies to achieve compliance with the HIPAA security rules.  Further, when companies fail to comply, OCR has enforcement authority to “obtain” compliance.

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GST going concern exemption to be abolished

The Abbott Government has announced it will adopt a controversial measure proposed (but not implemented) by the former Rudd Government to replace the GST-free going concern and farm land exemptions with a new ‘reverse charge’ mechanism.

The adverse consequences may be twofold.  First, the proposal may increase stamp duty for purchasers of going concerns.  Secondly, purchasers wishing to on-sell under the margin scheme may face greater complexity and increased GST ‘costs’ up-front.  More…

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