Regions

Hall & Wilcox finalists in four categories at Australian Law Awards

Hall & Wilcox is delighted to be named finalists in four categories at the 2017 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards.

Now in its 17th consecutive year, the Australian Law Awards recognises excellence in law, legal professionals and law firms.

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Second Circuit Adopts “Motivating Factor” Causation Standard for FMLA Retaliation Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently clarified that the “motivating factor” standard of causation applies to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliation claims, instead of the “but for” causation standard applied in Title VII and ADEA retaliation cases. The “but for” standard is more onerous for the plaintiff, who must demonstrate that discrimination or retaliation was the determining factor for the adverse employment action, not just one reason among others. The less burdensome “motivating factor” causation standard requires the plaintiff to show only that the action was motivated at least in part by discriminatory or retaliatory animus.  In Woods v. START Treatment & Recovery Ctrs., Inc., the Second Circuit vacated and remanded the jury verdict where the district court incorrectly instructed the jury to apply the “but for” causation standard to Plaintiff’s FMLA retaliation claims.  Specifically, the court held that the “motivating factor” standard applies to FMLA retaliation claims actionable under 29 U.S.C. § 2615(a)(1), which prohibits “any employer to interfere with, retrain, or deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise” rights under the FMLA.

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Do you know who owns your business? And how do new regulations make it matter?

 

With a view to preventing money-laundering, tax evasion and other criminal activities, new regulations aim to ensure that the individuals who ultimately own or control Irish companies (“Beneficial Owners”) are identified and monitored.

The details of these individuals need to be kept on an internal register by each company and filed on a central register maintained by the Companies Registration Office.

Failure to comply with the regulations is a criminal offence.

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George A. Hewett to Speak at America East Conference

On August 3, Davis Malm shareholder George A. (Tony) Hewett, will participate in a panel at America East 2017, an annual conference for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders. Mr. Hewett’s panel, “SBA 504: What Happens After Closing,” is designed to help the lead bank and SBA licensed certified development companies (CDCs) understand the SBA closing issues that could impact, or even delay, funding of an SBA loan. The panel will discuss the SBA District Office approval process. Attendees will also hear best practices from the panelists to help ensure a pleasant borrower experience during and after the settlement process.

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Covert workplace surveillance: are there grounds for it?

A recent unfair dismissal case, Ms Shahin Tavassoli v Bupa Aged Care Mosman, in which an employee was dismissed based on footage obtained covertly by another employee, has raised some issues regarding covert workplace surveillance.

In considering the case, employers are reminded to:

  • exercise caution when considering undertaking covert surveillance or otherwise using covert surveillance footage, including where an employee produces video footage secretly taken of another employee and
  • ensure compliance with applicable surveillance laws if surveillance is considered necessary in the workplace.
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What you need to know about changes to the Retail Leases Act now in effect

Changes to the Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW) (RLA NSW) have come into force from 1 July 2017, following a quiet 13-year period without any amendments to the act. Both landlords and tenants of retail premises in New South Wales will be impacted – here are some key changes they must know:

Lessor’s Disclosure Statements

We see the introduction of section 12A, which provides:

  • That a lessee is not liable to pay any amount to the lessor regarding any outgoings unless the liability to pay the amount was disclosed in the lessor’s disclosure statement for the lease.That where a cost estimate has been provided, and the estimated amount is less than the actual amount – if there was no reasonable basis for the estimate when the lessor’s disclosure statement was given, then the lessee’s liability for any payment will be determined on the estimate and not the actual amount.
  • That where a cost estimate has been provided, and the estimated amount is less than the actual amount – if there was no reasonable basis for the estimate when the lessor’s disclosure statement was given, then the lessee’s liability for any payment will be determined on the estimate and not the actual amount.
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ANCINE POSTPONES REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT FOR ONLINE ADVERTISING FILMS

The National Cinema Agency (ANCINE) published on July 17, 2017 a new Normative Instruction (nº 135/2017), to postpone until October 18, 2017 the entry into force of the provisions of the recent Normative Instruction 134/2017 that Required the registration and consequent collection of CONDECINE for the broadcasting of audiovisual advertising on the Internet.
With this postponement, ANCINE expressed its interest in preparing a Regulatory Impact Analysis focusing on the points of uncertainty raised by the representative entities of the segment, especially related to the exploitation of “live” videos, as well as the production of videos by individuals ( Such as bloggers, youtubers, etc.) without the involvement of producers registered as such in ANCINE. It is expected that these entities will be convened by ANCINE to contribute to the debate on the new rules and so that all points of uncertainty will be duly adjusted until the definitive entry into force of the registration and payment obligations of CONDECINE for audiovisual publicity works in the Internet.
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The seven deadly sins: common mistakes made when constructing and operating fairground and amusement rides

Following a number of recent high profile accidents, the issue of health and safety in the themed entertainment industry continues to be under close scrutiny. Indeed, there is recognition that work remains to be done to satisfy the high health and safety standards that the public clearly expects.  Unfortunately, there are some common, but avoidable, mistakes that are often made when constructing and operating rides:

  1. Not appointing a qualified ride inspector: As complex engineering structures, rides are subject to rigorous inspection and testing. Registered inspectors certify whether a ride is safe to use by members of the public. Any inspections are to be carried out according to local requirements. In the UK, this essentially means by those registered under the Amusement Devices Inspection Procedure Scheme (ADIPS) or under the PIPA scheme for inflatables.

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Former DaVita VP and Associate General Counsel Joins Stradling in Denver

Denver, CO (July 10, 2017) – Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth LLP announced today the addition of Marcie Damisch as a shareholder in its Denver office to spearhead that firm’s healthcare practice. Damisch, a former Vice President and Associate General Counsel at DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a Fortune 500 health services company, was most recently a partner with Sherman & Howard, LLC.

“Marcie brings a wealth of corporate and regulatory knowledge and experience to the firm’s healthcare practice,” said Larry Cohn, Chair of Stradling’s Life Science practice Group. “Her significant in-house experience in the healthcare industry will be a substantial resource for our healthcare practice, and will also augment the services we currently provide to our life science clients.”

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Are Zero Tolerance Drug Testing Policies About to Go Up in Smoke?

In an important new decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently held that a qualifying patient who has been terminated from employment for testing positive for marijuana as a result of her lawful medical marijuana use may state a claim of disability discrimination under that state’s anti-discrimination statute. As we blogged with respect to a after a similar decision in Rhode Island, this holding has significant implications for employers that drug test for marijuana use because 29 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted legislation legalizing medical and/or recreational marijuana use.

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