North America

Adam Bregman appointed to Board and as Legal Counsel For United Way of Palm Beach County

West Palm Beach real estate attorney Adam Bregman was recently appointed to serve on the Board of Directors and as General Counsel to United Way of Palm Beach County, a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families in Palm Beach County.

Shutts & Bowen has a long standing history with the organization, with attorneys providing pro bono legal services and serving in the leadership of the organization.

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Province announces 15% property transfer tax for foreign entities

Yesterday, BC announced that the property transfer tax for foreign buyers of residential property in the greater Vancouver region will increase to 15%. Sarah Jones explains that she cannot foresee foreign buyers challenging the tax because the “contract they signed into is not with the government.” To learn more, read the full Vancouver Sun article.

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FCA Penalty Spike Confirmed by DOJ

Entities that provide goods and services to the federal government, including health care providers and life sciences companies, should take note of the new civil monetary penalty amounts applicable to False Claims Act (“FCA”) violations. After much anticipation, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued an interim final rule on June 30, 2016 confirming speculation that the penalty amounts will increase twofold.

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New York law lets PR firms do their jobs

On June 17, the New York Legislature passed into law Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed ethics package. The bill, which is primarily meant to curb ethics abuses by state officials, explicitly excludes communications between public relations firms and the press from the definition of lobbying.

In so doing, it reversed a much-publicized, and much-maligned, advisory opinion from the New York Joint Committee on Public Ethics. Many had believed, and justifiably feared, that the previous wording expanded the definition of lobbying in the advisory opinion to encompass many routine public relations activities and exposed PR consultants to significant regulatory and enforcement action.

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OSHA’s New Electronic Recordkeeping Rule: New Burdens for the Hospitality Industry

On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) published its long-awaited electronic recordkeeping rule (“final rule”). The final rule creates numerous new recordkeeping obligations and additional administrative burdens for hospitality and other employers. Many employers will now be required to submit injury and illness information to OSHA electronically. OSHA will then attempt to remove identifying information from the records and publish them on a searchable database on its website. The final rule also includes several new anti-retaliation provisions that provide new protections for employees reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.

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Amy Mortimore appointed to the CLEBC Board of Directors

The Law Society of BC and the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch have jointly appointed Amy Mortimore to the Board of Directors of the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia. By leading industry courses, programs and publications, the CLEBC mandate is to meet the educational needs of the legal profession in BC. Congratulations to Amy on her well-earned position.

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Breaking News: Province Announces Increase in Property Transfer Tax Payable by Foreign Entities

Earlier today, the British Columbia government announced that the property transfer tax rate payable by foreign entities on purchases of residential property in the Greater Vancouver Regional District will increase to 15%. This increase in PTT payable will come into effect on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, and will be payable regardless of when the purchase agreement for the property was entered into. The additional tax applies on a foreign entity’s proportionate share of any applicable residential property transfer, even in certain circumstances when the transaction may normally be exempt from property transfer tax. 

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NLRB Requires Specific Waivers During Bargaining – Employment Law This Week

Featured on the new episode of Employment Law This Week: Employers must have specific waivers to make unilateral policy changes when bargaining with a union.

That’s according to the NLRB, which once again clarified its “clear and unmistakable” waiver standard to restrict employers’ midterm changes. In this case, an employer relied on a broad management rights clause in its contract with the union to make unilateral changes to specific policies. The NLRB found that the union had not waived its right to bargain over those changes because the contract did not refer to the policies with sufficient clarity.

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Supreme Court Unwilling to Reject Canada Labour Code’s Unjust Dismissal Scheme

The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its decision Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. 2016 SCC29.  This case involved the question of whether an  federally regulated employer could terminate the employment of a non-unionized employee without just cause.

In this case, the appellant Joseph Wilson worked for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (“AECL”) for 4½ years until he was dismissed in November of 2009.  He had a clean disciplinary record.  Wilson filed an unjust dismissal complaint under the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) claiming that his dismissal was in reprisal for having filed a complaint of improper procurement practices on the part of AECL.  AECL said Wilson was terminated on a non-cause basis and was provided with a generous dismissal package. 

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Chambers Global 2016 ranks Fladgate partners

Fladgate congratulates the following partners on their inclusion as “Leaders in their Field” in the 2016 edition of Chambers Global, the guide to the world’s best lawyers. Individuals are ranked after extensive research by the Chambers team with opinions sought from clients, peers, referees and competitors.

Germany
Corporate/M&A (Experts Based Abroad)
Alex Kaufmann

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