Client Alert – California to Guarantee Paid Sick Leave

On August 30, 2014, the California Legislature approved AB 1522, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, which guarantees the vast majority of employees in California at least three days of paid sick leave per year. On the same day, Governor Jerry Brown issued astatement signaling his intent to sign the bill into law. Below are just some of the new law’s features which will take effect on July 1, 2015: More…

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Dr. Andrzej Malec, Partner at Kochański Zięba Rapala & Partners, has been appointed to be the new Rector at WSAP in Białystok

On September 5, 2014, Dr. Andrzej Malec assumed the post of Rector at the Stanislaw Staszic College of Public Administration in Bialystok. The task of the new Rector will encompass restructuring the college: adjusting to new market challenges and the strengthening of its business profile. The College will renew relationships with business associations, including law firms, so as to ensure that the education of students is best tailored to market requirements. This will be of huge benefit to students who shall be better prepared in their efforts of seeking employment or with a view to commencing their own business, as well as for business associations that will receive a labor force which is qualified in accordance with their needs. More…

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Special Report: Is a "legal marijuana business" really legal?

As more states legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use, budding entrepreneurs believe they will get rich from marijuana businesses that comply with the laws of a particular state (so-called “legal marijuana businesses”). They see opportunities to grow marijuana, to own marijuana dispensaries, and to manufacture and sell marijuana-related products. Investors and financiers envision huge returns on capital. Vendors and professionals, including lawyers and bankers, see new markets for their products and services. It is a modern day (Acapulco) gold rush. It is also a smoke screen.

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How The Apple Class Certification Ruling Affects All Tech Companies

By Ian Carleton Schaefer, Meg Thering and Gregg Settembrino[1]

The unrelenting wave of wage and hour suits continues to roll through the high-tech industry.

On July 21, 2014, in Felczer v. Apple Inc., Judge Ronald S. Prager of the Superior Court of California granted class certification as to a class of  approximately 21,000 current and former Apple retail and corporate employees on claims alleging Apple failed to provide timely meal and rest breaks as required under California Law. The California Labor Code, with a few exceptions, requires employers to provide non-exempt employees with 30-minute unpaid and duty-free meal breaks for every five hours worked. Additionally, employers must authorize and permit all non-exempt employees to take paid rest periods for a duration of 10 minutes for every four hours worked. The penalty for failing to provide statutory meal and rest periods is a one-hour meal period premium for each employee for each missed meal or rest period, at his or her regular hourly rate of pay.

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BAAs and Beyond: Meeting the 9-22 HIPAA Deadline

Reprinted blog post from DocuSign. Interview between Jennifer Royer of DocuSign and Dave Schoolcraft. In under two weeks, Covered Entities and Business Associates are required to complete renewed Business Associate Agreements (BAA) to comply with more stringent HIPAA regulations for BAAs that were in place prior to January 2013. We sat down with Dave Schoolcraft, who leads […]

The post BAAs and Beyond: Meeting the 9-22 HIPAA Deadline appeared first on OMW Health Law.

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Canadian Securities Administrators Propose New Take-Over Bid Rules

By Bernard Pinsky

On September 11, 2014, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced that they intend to publish for comment a new harmonized regulatory proposal to Multilateral Instrument 62-104 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids and Ontario Securities Commission Rule 62-504 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids (for Ontario) (collectively, the Proposed Bid Amendments).

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What does it mean to be a fiduciary?

A family member or friend has died and you are named as the executor and trustee under their will. You are flattered and honored, but you’ve never acted in this capacity before and you’re unsure of what exactly it means. One key thing you should be aware of is that, if you take the role, the law considers you to be a fiduciary –meaning your conduct will be held to high standards developed by the courts over many centuries.

The hallmarks of a fiduciary relationship, as summarized by the Supreme Court of Canada, are as follows:

  1. The fiduciary has scope for the exercise of some discretion or power.
  2. The fiduciary can unilaterally exercise that power or discretion so as to affect the beneficiary’s legal or practical interests.
  3. The beneficiary is peculiarly vulnerable to or at the mercy of the fiduciary holding the discretion or power.
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Paper contracts bite the dust

Efficiency, customer preference, speed to contract finalisation, and significant cost savings are all benefits of paperless contracts.  Are there restrictions?

The legal authority that paper is no longer required derives from Commonwealth legislation called the Electronic Transactions Act 1999.  Each state and territory has passed similar legislation. More…

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WHS obligations give employers additional rights beyond contract or agreement

A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has found that, in an effort to comply with work health and safety obligations, an employer is entitled to direct an employee, returning to work after an injury, to undergo additional medical assessment beyond what is contemplated in the employment contract or enterprise agreement.

What happened?

A boilermaker at a mine suffered an initial workplace injury to his shoulder.  He subsequently reinjured his shoulder outside of work, underwent surgery and was off work for eight months.  The employee provided his employer with medical certificates which did not specify his medical condition and stated that he was fit to return to his pre-injury duties.  Concerned with satisfying its obligation under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 (Qld) (Coal Act) to ensure workplace health and safety, the employer directed the employee to attend its nominated medical specialist for a functional assessment and put the employee on paid leave for the duration of this process. More…

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Will the largest agreement in the World be achieved?

Swedish lawyer Jan E. Frydman analyzes the background for the on-going negotiations between the EU and the United States to create a transatlantic partnership on trade and investment (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or “T-TIP”), focusing on the challenge of regulatory convergence.

The purpose of the T-TIP is to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade and investment between the two economies. The idea is by no means new. Already back in 1995, both sides started an effort towards a kind of free trade agreement between the EU and the United States (the New Transatlantic Marketplace, or “NTM”). The reason was as obvious then as it is now: more trade leads to more growth and more jobs, which of course both politicians and the business community on both sides of the Atlantic wished for. A dialogue between political leaders and the business community – the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (”TABD”) – also started to identify the most important barriers to trade and investment and present annual recommendations to the European Commission and the United States Government. Removing unnecessary barriers sounded obvious, but unfortunately it was – and is – not so simple. More…
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