North America

LinkedIn, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Real-World Implications of Online Activity

With the ever-increasing amount of information available on social media, employers should remember to exercise caution when utilizing social media as a part of their Human Resources/ Recruitment related activities.  As we have discussed in a prior blog post, “Should Employers and Facebook Be Friends?” we live in a digital-age, and how people choose to define themselves is often readily showcased on social networking sites.  Whether – and how – employers choose to interact with the online presence of their workforce will continue to develop as the relevant legal standards try to catch up.

Read full article

California Supreme Court Takes Up Decision from Court of Appeal Holding That On-Call Rest Periods Are Permissible

On April 29, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted the employee’s petition for review of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., which reversed a near-$90 million judgment awarded in the favor of a certified class of current and former security guards on rest period claims, and also held that while “an on-call guard must return to duty if called to do so, [] remaining available to work is not the same as actually working.” We previously wrote about the Augustus decision here. Importantly, because the California Supreme Court has decided to review the Augustus case, it may no longer be relied upon as precedent. We will keep you advised of any updates, although we should not expect a decision from the California Supreme Court until at least next year.

Read full article

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds That Continued Employment Is Sufficient Consideration For A Non-Compete Signed By A Current At-Will Employee, Provided That The Employee Is Not Fired Shortly After Signing

Over the past 24 months, one of the hottest issues in non-compete law has been whether continued at-will employment, by itself, is sufficient consideration for a non-compete.

Last week, in Runzheimer International v. Friedlen and Corporate Reimbursement Services, Inc., the Wisconsin Supreme weighed in on this issue, holding that continued employment is sufficient consideration for a non-compete signed by a current at-will employee.  However, the Court expressly qualified this holding by explaining that if an at-will employee is fired “shortly after signing” a non-compete, the non-compete would “likely” be voidable and subject to rescission. The Court further qualified its holding by stating that “an employer acting in such a deceitful manner may be breaching the doctrine of good faith and fair dealing.”

Read full article

The Importance of Keeping Your Will Current

In a recent decision of the BC Supreme Court, Heathfield v. St. Jacques, 2015 BCSC 505, Madam Justice Ballance considered a claim to vary a will that was made when the personal circumstances of the will-maker were vastly different than those in existence at the time of his death.  Although the Court may vary a will, this case serves as an important reminder to update your will regularly.

On November 13, 2011, Michael Heathfield died suddenly at the age of 53, leaving an estate worth approximately 1.2 million dollars.  Approximately 7 years before his death, Mr. Heathfield executed a will (the “Will”) naming the defendant, Ms. St. Jacques, as the sole beneficiary. At the time, Mr. Heathfield and Ms. St. Jacques were in a common-law relationship. Under the Will, their two children were beneficiaries only in the event that Ms. St. Jacques did not survive Mr. Heathfield.

Read full article

Massachusetts Issues Proposed Sick Leave Regulations

As we reported, last November, voters in Massachusetts approved a law granting Massachusetts employees the right to sick leave, starting on July 1, 2015.  The law provides paid sick leave for employers with 11 or more employees and unpaid sick leave for employees with 10 or fewer employees. While the law set forth the basics, many of the details, which have differentiated the various sick leave laws across the country, were not previously specified (e.g., minimum increments of use, frontloading, documentation).  The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”) has set forth proposed regulations to guide employers in implementing the upcoming sick leave law.

Read full article

State of Missouri Incentivizes Data Center Construction and Expansion

On April 14, 2015, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed SB 149 into law, providing incentives for those constructing or expanding certain data centers within the State of Missouri. The law provides exemptions from certain sales and use taxes for each of the following used in a data center:

  1. Electricity, gas, water, and other utilities
  2. Telecommunication services and Internet services
  3. Machinery, equipment, and computers
  4. Certain materials and other personal property used to construct or expand (as the case might be) that data center  More…
Read full article

Amendments to Disclosure Rules for Venture Issuers

by Nafeesa Valli-Hasham

On June 30, 2015, amendments to various disclosure requirements for venture issuers will come into force. The amendments are intended to make the disclosure requirements for venture issuers more suitable and manageable at their stage of development. The amendments relate to continuous disclosure and governance obligations, and to disclosure for prospectus offerings.

Read full article

CSA Publishes Proposed Amendments to Take-Over Bid Requirements

by Andrew Charters

On March 31, 2015, the Canadian Securities Administrators (the “CSA”) published proposed amendments to Multilateral Instrument 62-104 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids and National Policy 62 203 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids (the “Proposed Amendments”). If adopted, the Proposed Amendments will significantly change Canada’s take-over bid rules.

Read full article

Regulation A+ A Limited Tool for Fundraising

by Bernard Pinsky

With much fanfare, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in the U.S. announced on March 25, 2015 that it has adopted rules to facilitate smaller companies’ access to capital, as mandated by the JOBS Act. Sums of up to $20 million can be raised in a Tier 1 offering, while up to $50 million can be raised in a Tier 2 offering under the new, updated and expanded Regulation A (“Reg A”), known as Reg A+. As adopted, Reg A+ can be used only by qualified companies that are organized in, and that have their principal place of business in, the United States or Canada.

Read full article

McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — May 1, 2015

By a vote of 226 to 197, the House approved the budget that it negotiated with the Senate. The budget calls for dramatic spending cuts, balances the budget in 10 years, and includes so-called reconciliation language that would gut the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate is expected to follow suit next week and pass the budget deal. It’s the first time in years that both chambers will have produced and passed a budget.

After the passage of the budget, the House took up the first of the appropriations bills – the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill.

Read full article