International Women’s Day: The Quebec Bar highlights Sharon Druker’s involvement

March 8, 2017 — As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Sharon G. Druker is taking part today in Les avocates à la conquête des domaines plus masculins: défis et solutions, an activity hosted by the Bar of Quebec for International Women’s Day. The Bar highlights this involvement with a special insert in the March edition of its Journal.

Our firm is proud of its involvement in women’s issues, with initiatives such as RSS au féminin or the recent presence of some of our lawyers at Soupe pour Elles.

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A lesson on employees and criminal records

In a report late last year the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) concluded that an IT company, Data#3, discriminated against an employee when it dismissed him on the basis of his criminal record (which related to dealing drugs).1

While the AHRC can only make non-binding recommendations, its report may be relied upon by employees in future unfair dismissal or equal opportunity claims to demonstrate that a dismissal was unfair or that discrimination occurred.

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Build Your Dream Network: A Book Review

FullSizeRenderAvid readers of Zen will know that one of my favorite topics is networking. So I was immediately drawn to read J. Kelly Hoey‘s new book, Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World, when Mark Beese recommended it in his latest newsletter. I’ve been following Kelly since the early days of Twitter, so her name was also familiar to me, though not her story. She started her career as a lawyer in Toronto, and has wandered a fascinating path since then. Her book jacket tells us that:

J. Kelly Hoey is a writer, investor, connector, and networking expert, lauded everywhere from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“25 Smartest Women on Twitter”). A columnist for Inc.com, she’s appeared on CNBC’s Power Pitch, and her clients include The New Yorker, Coca-Cola, PBS, L’Oréal, Capital One, and Dove.”

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Miscimarra Indicates the Future Trump NLRB – Employment Law This Week

Featured on Employment Law This Week – Philip Miscimarra, Acting Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), has given a strong indication of the changes likely to come once President Trump fills vacant seats on the NLRB.

In a sharply worded dissent, Miscimarra doubled down on his disagreement with the NLRB’s controversial 2014 rule on union representation elections. Miscimarra argues that the rule’s heavy emphasis on election speed interferes with an employee’s right to make informed decisions on union representation and is inconsistent with the requirements of the statute. In another dissent, he argues that the NLRB’s current standard for reviewing employee handbook provisions “defies common sense” and should be replaced with a test balancing competing interests.

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Immigration Update: Travel Ban and Other News for Employers

The Immigration Law Group at Epstein Becker Green released a Special Immigration Alert that will be of interest to our readers.

Topics include:

  1. President Trump Issues Revised Executive Order on Travel
  2. USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Starting April 3, 2017: All H-1B Petitions, Including H-1B Cap Petitions, Are Affected!
  3. Use of New Form I-9 Is Now Mandatory
  4. IRS Announces That Delinquent Taxpayers Face Revocation/Denial of U.S. Passports
  5. DHS Issues Two New Memos on Enforcement/Border Security
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ILN Today Post

Oregon: Ideas for two new taxes on the table to close $1.8 billion deficit

The state of Oregon is one that has been taking unique steps as it grapples with deficits and increasing economic inequality. For instance, we recently described the first-in-the-nation surtax on CEO compensation that Portland’s City Council passed on December 7, 2016. Before that, we explained Measure 97 on the November 2017 ballot that would have removed the cap on corporate gross sales tax and imposed an additional 2.5 percent tax on corporate gross sales that exceed $25 million. Had it passed, Oregon would have had the highest top rate in the nation. And earlier last fall, we addressed an initiative that gave eight states, including Oregon, federal grants to test new ways to fund transportation infrastructure. Under the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives, Oregon was to receive $3.6 million.

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ILN Today Post

New York: Controversies over the governor’s tax plans take shape

In Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 Executive Budget, the Budget Director touted the state’s “prudent fiscal management,” the features of which are constrained expenditures, lower taxes, economic stability, governmental innovation, and monetary discipline. This has generated a turnaround in New York’s circumstances such that it now enjoys the second-highest or highest investment-grade credit ratings on various bonds, record level support for schools, cost-effective health care, and expanded opportunities for the middle class.

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ILN Today Post

Pennsylvania: Department of Revenue addresses sales and use tax issues

In a February 9, 2017, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (Department) Sales and Use Tax Letter Ruling (Ruling), the Department clarified its position on the extent to which the state’s sales and use tax applies to support services for canned computer software. The Department ultimately concluded that all support services are subject to the tax when they are “transferred in a sale at retail or made use of after being obtained in a purchase at retail.”
In its discussion, the Department first noted that Pennsylvania’s 6 percent tax applies to the retail sale, or use of, tangible personal property, and some services. Included in the definition of “sale” is the granting of a license to use or consume the property, regardless of the means of the transfer, and regardless of whether the granting of the license is absolute or conditional.
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ILN Today Post

Colorado: Lawsuit over sales tax notification and reporting requirements settles

In the closely watched case Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl, the Direct Marketing Association, now known as the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), sued Colorado for its allegedly unconstitutional 2010 law subjecting internet retailers to notification and reporting requirements when the retailers cannot be required to actually collect the taxes. The law was the state’s attempt to capture some of the tax revenue lost to purchases over the internet when the seller has insufficient nexus with Colorado to be subject to tax collection laws.

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ILN Today Post

End to an unjust fine?

Under current practice the Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) fines taxpayers that are caught with a VAT shortfall even if the budget has sustained no losses. An opinion recently published by the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice could spell the end for this extremely unfair and much criticised procedure.

The VAT treatment of certain transactions can often be problematic, and it is by no means uncommon for the parties in the transaction to end up misinterpreting – together and in good faith – the relevant provisions of the VAT Act. The parties may, by mistake, treat a transaction that is subject to a reverse charge as a regular transaction, or vice versa.

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