North America

PUNCH LIST: WHAT TO DO WHEN THREATENED OR SUED

Texas Lawyer

In this article, Beirne, Maynard & Parsons partners Scott Marrs and Andrew McGill discuss the initial steps energy companies should take when served with a lawsuit – a more likely occurrence given the current climate of falling oil prices and increasing energy regulation.

PDF FilePunch List: What to do when threatened or sued More…

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New York City Investigation of Hiring Practices

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights is now authorized to investigate employers in the Big Apple to search for discriminatory practices during the hiring process. This authority stems from a law signed into effect by Mayor de Blasio that established an employment discrimination testing and investigation program.  The program is designed to determine if employers are using illegal bias during the employment application process.

Under this program, which is to begin by October 1, 2015, the Commission is to use a technique known as “matched pair testing” to conduct at least five investigations into the employment practices of New York City employers.  The law requires the Commission to use two “testers” whose credentials are similar in all respects but one: their protected characteristics, i.e., actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage, citizenship status, or another characteristic protected under the New York City Human Rights Law.  The testers will apply for jobs with the same employer to evaluate whether that employer is using discriminatory practices during the hiring process.

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Networking Takes Center Stage at Gotham Comedy Club

Maxine NeuhauserSometimes, getting out there to connect with clients and contacts can seem like just one more chore on our already long list of “to do” items.  Building a network can be serious business, but recently EBG’s Women’s Initiative turned it into a laughing matter. On June 25 we gathered at New York’s Gotham Comedy Club for an evening of stand-up comedy presented by women (and a couple of male) comedians.  The networking was fun and the entertainment was a hit.

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“Ohio Supreme Court: Which Dormant Mineral Act applies?” Jeff Pollock quoted in Farm and Dairy

COLUMBUS—Many eyes are on the Ohio Supreme Court as it muddles through the question of which Ohio Dormant Mineral Act applies to surface rights and mineral rights owners. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on one case June 18 involving the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act and heard another case June 23.

Ohio Dormant Minerals Act

The Dormant Mineral Act governs the ownership rights of minerals that have been severed from the surface lands. It establishes conditions and procedures by which the ownership of mineral rights are preserved with the mineral holder or abandoned to the owner of the surface lands. The 1989 version of the Dormant Minerals Act has been described as a “use it or lose it” statute: If the mineral interest owners did not “use” their mineral interests during a 20-year time period, they automatically vested in the surface owner.

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Five EEOC Initiatives to Monitor on the Agency’s Golden Anniversary

My colleague Nathaniel M. Glasser recently authored Epstein Becker Green’s Take 5 newsletter.   In this edition of Take 5, Nathaniel highlights five areas of enforcement that U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) continues to tout publicly and aggressively pursue.

  1. Religious Discrimination and Accommodation—EEOC Is Victorious in New U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
  2. Transgender Protections Under Title VII—EEOC Relies on Expanded Sex Discrimination Theories
  3. Systemic Investigations and Litigation—EEOC Gives Priority to Enforcement Initiative
  4. Narrowing the “Gender Pay Gap”—EEOC Files Suits Under the Equal Pay Act
  5. Background Checks—EEOC Seeks to Eliminate Barriers to Recruitment and Hiring

Read the Full Take 5 here.

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Proposed DOL Rule To Make More White Collar Employees Eligible For Overtime Pay

More than a year after its efforts were first announced, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has finally announced its proposed new rule pertaining to overtime. And that rule, if implemented, will result in a great many “white collar” employees previously treated as exempt becoming eligible for overtime pay for work performed beyond 40 hours in a workweek – or receiving salary increases in order that their exempt status will continue.

In 2014, President Obama directed the DOL to enhance the “white collar” exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which currently exempt from overtime some employees who earn $455 per week, or $23,660 per year.  The DOL’s proposed rule would more than double the salary threshold for an executive, administrative or professional exemption to apply, increasing it to $970 per week, or $50,440 per year.  In addition, the highly compensated employee exemption would increase from $100,000 to $122,148.  Not unimportantly, pursuant to the proposed rule, These salary figures would automatically adjust for annual inflation.  

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LIVE VIDEO-STREAMING APPS POSE CHALLENGES FOR SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES

iStock_000015783236XSmallThe transmission of live events through video-streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat is raising concerns among rights holders. Advances in both legal and technological tools will be needed to effectively combat unauthorized transmissions.

Challenge

Although people have been using smartphones to shoot videos they share on social media platforms for some time, live video-streaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat are bringing live videos to mass audiences like never before.  Since Meerkat emerged on the scene as the darling of the 2015 South by Southwest Interactive conference, the media and marketing communities have been buzzing over the potential and pitfalls of live video-streaming apps.  That buzz reached a fever pitch in May when the highly anticipated boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao became the first high profile live sporting event to suffer a blow from rampant piracy on Meerkat and its competitor, Periscope.

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A must-have checklist for content creators

Most PR firms are expanding their content creation services at an unprecedented rate. They are increasingly focused on creative brand storytelling across numerous paid, earned, and owned media platforms. These transformations are occurring so quickly that many agencies have not fully trained their account teams about the legal issues that arise in providing creative services and, specifically, in content creation. With this in mind, allow me to present the following marketing law checklist. It has been crafted to serve as an ongoing training tool and resource for PR professionals. More…

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Shutts & Bowen Attorneys Recognized as Leading Lawyers for Business in 2015 Chambers USA Guide

Fourteen partners across five practice areas at Shutts & Bowen have been named as top lawyers in their fields in the 2015 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers.

Chambers & Partners, publisher of the annual guide, have a full-time staff of researchers who conduct in-depth, objective research when ranking the best law firms and lawyers. No lawyers are ranked unless they have strong recommendations from the market. Their research includes interviews with practicing attorneys and clients. The attorneys were recognized for excellence in the following practice areas: More…

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As Promised, OSHA Targets Health Care and Nursing Homes for Enforcement Actions

As previously discussed, OSHA has been carefully scrutinizing the health care industry lately.  And on June 25, 2015, OSHA officially introduced a new compliance nightmare for the inpatient health care and nursing home industries by announcing the details of the agency’s new health care enforcement initiative in a memorandum from Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, to OSHA Regional Administrators and State Plans. The memorandum is entitled “Inspection Guidance for Inpatient Healthcare Settings” (“guidance memo”).

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