North America

NLRB Finds “Discharge” is an “Actual Discharge” and Violates the National Labor Relations Act Even if it is Immediately Reversed and Employee Suffers No Harm

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) has reversed the findings of an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) who found that an employee who was told he was fired and then almost instantly told by the owner of the company he worked for that he was not fired and continued to work without any loss of compensation or working time had in fact been unlawfully discharged in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or the “Act”). It would seem that if “discharge is the ‘capital punishment’ of employment,” this case presents a rare example, in the Board’s eyes of an out of body after death experience, in which the executioner is held liable for killing someone who is unquestionably still alive.

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You want to dismiss an employee? Can’t do it with just a severance pay!

A commentary by Julie Forest, from our Labour and Employment Law Group.

July 21, 2016 — Prior to July 14, 2016, employers under federal jurisdiction — in the transportation, banks and telecommunications fields, as well as certain Crown corporations — could legally dismiss a non-unionized employee without cause, merely by giving notice, just as they can under common law. Such a dismissal was thereby considered “just”. From now on, this practice is no longer allowed.

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Consideration in Restrictive Covenants: Courts Take a Closer Look

Our colleagues Peter Steinmeyer and Scarlett Freeman of Epstein Becker Green authored an article in Workforce Magazine titled “Courts Take Closer Look at Noncompete Clauses.”

Following is an excerpt:

In the past few years, courts have been re-examining what constitutes adequate consideration for a restrictive covenant. In 2013, the Illinois Court of Appeals held, contrary to longstanding precedent, that in the absence of other considerations, mere employment constitutes adequate consideration for a restrictive covenant only if the employee remains employed for at least two years after signing the restrictive covenant.

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What are the tax benefits of giving to charities?

Geoff White and Areet Kaila appeared on Roundhouse Radio discussing the tax benefits and breaks of giving to charities. Listen to the full segment to learn more.

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Shutts & Bowen makes Top Ten in the 100 Largest Law Firms in Florida Report

According to a recent Daily Business Review Special Report, Shutts & Bowen ranked seventh among the 100 largest law firms in Florida. The results show a firm growing in both the number of lawyers and in revenue.

Shutts added the full-time equivalent of 14 attorneys in 2015, a 6% increase from the previous year. The firm’s total partners count also increased by 6%, adding 10 more partners from last year. Gross revenue increased 7.7% to $147 million in 2015 from 2014, making the top ten list of Florida’s highest-grossing firms of the year, and its profit per partner grew 5.7% to $740,000 in the same period.

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Workforce Management Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions

With the financial crisis and recession behind us, mergers and acquisitions have picked up dramatically over the past several years. In 2015, more than 25,000 M&A deals were announced in the United States, valued at trillions of dollars, primarily involving companies in the hospitality, health care, pharmaceuticals, energy, and technology industries. This year and next, most financial experts foresee an increasing number of these transactions taking place.

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SEC Fines Fund Adviser $39 Million for Failing to Adequately Disclose Monitoring Fees

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been focusing on the lack of disclosure by fund managers to investors regarding the receipt of monitoring fees. Recently, the SEC fined The Blackstone Group $39 million for failing to adequately disclose the acceleration of monitoring fees paid by the fund’s portfolio companies.

The monitoring fees were charged by Blackstone to the portfolio companies for its consulting and advisory services provided to the portfolio company.

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Ronald Snyder comments on SCC decision in Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

Fogler Rubinoff Partner Ronald Snyder shares his perspective with Canadian Lawyer on the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

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Thirteen Shartsis Friese Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2016

San Francisco, July 8, 2016 – Shartsis Friese LLP announced today thirteen attorneys have been named “Super Lawyers” for Northern California in 2016.  The attorneys chosen are:

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Trust is the New Advertising Disruptor

Developing — and keeping — trust has never been more important for advertisers. With consumers being bombarded by a dizzying variety of messages and choices, trustworthiness has emerged as an important differentiator between brands.

In other words, as Richard Eyre, CBE, chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) would put it, trust is now a key disruptor for advertising. At the 2014 IAB Engage conference, Eyre told advertisers that trust is their most important tool for relating to customers. The main job for today’s brands and agencies, he said, is to secure trust — and hold onto it.

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