North America

NLRB Shifts Power Toward Unions During Strikes – Employment Law This Week

Featured on Employment Law This Week: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finds the hiring of permanent replacements for strikers to be an unfair labor practice.

In a 2-1 decision that could benefit unions during contract negotiations, the NLRB found that a continuing care facility in California violated federal labor law when it hired permanent replacements after a series of intermittent strikes. While the NLRB and courts have long held that an employer’s motivation for hiring permanent replacements is irrelevant, in this case, the board held that if the hiring is motivated by an intent to discourage future strikes, it interferes with employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The employer in this case will likely seek judicial review. However, in the meantime, the decision adds new risks for employers that may wish to hire permanent striker replacements.

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Launch of RSS au féminin

June 14, 2016 — A few days ago, RSS launched RSS au féminin, an initiative by Gabrielle Ferland and Isabelle Gauthier Brancoli, lawyers in our Insurance Practice Group.

RSS au féminin aims to provide support and foster the sharing of knowledge and experiences amongst the professional women of the firm. It also seeks to raise awareness and educate the members of our team of the realities and concerns which women face in our profession. 

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Retailers Navigate Conflicting Laws Regarding Transgender Protections

On March 23, 2016, the North Carolina Legislature passed House Bill 2, the “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act” (“HB2”), that overturned a Charlotte ordinance extending anti-discrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) individuals and allowing transgender persons to use the bathroom of their choice. Instead, HB2 requires individuals to use public bathrooms that match the gender listed on their birth certificates. A swift public outcry followed, with many celebrities denouncing the law and canceling appearances in North Carolina, companies threatening to boycott, and the American Civil Liberties Union filing a lawsuit challenging HB2 as unconstitutional and for violating federal law. North Carolina officials have refused to disavow HB2 and, on May 9, filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking a ruling that HB2 is not discriminatory. The Justice Department has countersued, alleging that HB2 violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Regardless of the ultimate outcome of these lawsuits, it is clear that discriminating against LGBT individuals has real consequences, from both a business and legal perspective. What should retailers know and, more importantly, do to survive in this current environment?

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OpEd from Raquel Rodriguez: Jeb Bush’s biotech foresight a catalyst to grow Florida’s economy

**This piece originally appears in the Orlando Sentinel

A catalyst is an agent that spurs a reaction. Much like air conditioning and the automobile were catalysts for Florida’s post-war growth, the state’s investment in life-science research institutes was and remains a catalyst for the growth of life sciences in Florida.

Florida was forever changed by Gov. Jeb Bush‘s visionary and bold decision in 2003 to invest one-time post-9-11 federal stimulus funds in recruiting the Scripps Research Institute to Palm Beach County and the subsequent establishment of the state’s Innovation Investment Fund in 2006 that attracted five additional research institutes. More…

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Jennifer Hansen becomes partner with the firm

June 13, 2016 — We are proud to announce that Jennifer Hansen, a litigator with our Insurance Law Group, has been admitted as a partner with the firm. Ms. Hansen has been with us for almost a decade now. She has a varied practice in which she deals with matters relating to civil, professional and product liability, construction and insurance law, as well as bodily injury claims.

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CBABC appoints Andrew Dixon to the board of the Employment Law section

Andrew Dixon has been appointed to the board of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, Employment Law section. Andrew looks forward to contributing to the educational, advocacy and professional needs of members of the employment law bar in BC. Congratulations Andrew!

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The new federal Trade Secrets Act: A limited invitation to ex-parte seizures

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”). This act, in effect, creates a federal trade secrets law with some interesting procedural aspects. For the first time in American jurisprudence, a federal trade secrets act permits litigants to prosecute and defend trade secrets or confidential information cases in a federal court, as opposed to a state court. The law finds its constitutional foundation under the commerce clause.

Why is this new law so important? Because it nullifies the many differences in the trade secrets laws of many states, and presents a uniform substantive and procedural vehicle that may be used in any federal court in any state in the Union.

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Washington, D.C. Prepares to Increase Minimum Wage to $15 — and Tipped Minimum Wage to $5.00 — by July 1, 2020

Washington, D.C. is poised to join California and New York by raising its minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.

On June 7, 2016, the D.C. Council, with support of Mayor Muriel Bowser, unanimously passed on first reading the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016 . The bill will continue to raise the District of Columbia minimum wage – currently $10.50, but previously set to increase to $11.50 on July 1, 2016 – in additional annual increments until it reaches $15.00 by July 1, 2020. Beginning on July 1, 2021, the minimum wage will increase further based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area.

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Coral Springs Vice Mayor Dan Daley Joins Shutts & Bowen’s Business Litigation and Land Use/Zoning Practice Groups

Shutts & Bowen is pleased to announce the addition of Coral Springs Vice MayorDan Daley to its Business Litigation and Land Use and Zoning practice groups in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office.

“We are extremely pleased Dan is joining the firm. His commitment to the community and his experience in Tallahassee is invaluable,” said Joseph M. Goldstein, Managing Partner of the Fort Lauderdale office of Shutts & Bowen and a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group.

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Amanda Simmons Luby comments on judge’s ruling on equine racing

Amanda Simmons Luby, a partner in the Orlando office of Shutts & Bowen, was recently quoted in an article in the Florida Record.

An administrative judge dismissed a state regulator’s complaint that alleged some of the races held at Hamilton Downs in Jasper, Fla., don’t count. He determined the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering didn’t sufficiently prove those races should be nullified, so he had to dismiss the suit.

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