Monthly Archives: February 2011

H-2B Reimbursements

 

By Robert S. Groban Jr

On February 15, 2011, the United States District Court for the Western District of New York denied a motion to dismiss a complaint by foreign H-2B workers that alleged that their employer violated the minimum wage provisiosn of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by refusing to reimburse the workers’ transportation, visa and recruitment expenses. See Teoba v. Turgreen Landcare LLC, No. 10-6132 (W.D.N.Y. Feb. 15, 2011).  In Teoba, the plaintiffs seek to represent a class of H-2B workers who were recruited over a three-year period by Trugreen, a landscape services company, but not reimbursed for the recruitment, visa and transportation costs they incurred to accept employment. The district court recognized that there was a split of authority on this issue in the circuits but sided with the courts that found FLSA violations for the failure to reimburse these challenged expenses. 

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Compulsory Registration of Title (24.2.2011)

By Audrey Healy, Partner, Property Department

Compulsory registration of Title in the Land Registry will be extended to the Counties and Cities of Cork and Dublin from the 1st of June 2011.

This extension means that compulsory first registration will apply to the entire Country from June 2011. Therefore when anybody buys unregistered property in any County in Ireland post 1st of June 2011, it will be compulsory for that property to be registered in the Land Registry. This has cost implications for Vendors in that maps have to be prepared on ordnance survey sheets in relation to all property being sold and it has implications in regard to costs for a purchaser in that there will be a separate application fee to the Land Registry in respect of the application for registration.

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ILN Today Post

Mark Spognardi discusses the firing of a Wal-Mart employee for medical marijuana use with Corporate Counsel magazine

Mark A. Spognardi

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Mark Spognardi was quoted in the February 18 Corporate Counsel magazine article, “Judge OKs Wal-Mart’s firing of Medical Marijuana User.”  Mr. Spognardi discussed a Michigan federal judge’s decision to dismiss Joseph Casias’ wrongful termination claim against Wal-Mart.

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Stamp Duty Changes (21.2.2011)

By Audrey Healy, Partner, Property Department

Two rates of Stamp Duty now apply to Instruments/Deeds of Transfer/Conveyances/Assignments of Residential Property executed on or after the 8th of December 2010. The previous exempt threshold of €127,000 has been abolished. A new lower rate of 1% now applies where the purchase price does not exceed €1 million. A higher rate of 2% will apply to the excess of the price over €1 million.
In the case of a mixed property (residential and commercial) the consideration must be apportioned on a just and reasonable basis between the residential and the non residential elements of the property. Significant penalties/surcharges can apply if the apportionment is not just and reasonable.
Various reliefs and exemptions have been abolished with effect from the 8th of December 2010. They comprise the following:
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ILN Today Post

Keyword Advertising Appeal Discounts Trademark Analogies

Canada continues to await its first Court decision on the use of trademarks in keyword advertising.  The British Columbia Court of Appeal issued its decision this week in the case of Private Career Training Institutions Agency (the Agency)  v. Vancouver Career College (Burnaby) Inc. (VCC).  While the Trial Judge’s decision, that the use of keyword advertising in this case was not misleading in the context of the applicable Bylaw, was upheld, the reasoning of the Trial Judge, to the extent it relied on an analysis of confusion under trademark law, was overruled.

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Awaiting the Medicare Shared Savings Program Regulations: Progress on the Road to Accountable Care?

by Douglas A. Hastings

According to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), Dr. Donald M. Berwick, the long-awaited proposed regulations implementing the Medicare Shared Savings Program should be out soon. Given the incredible proliferation of policy, business, and legal thinking about accountable care organizations (“ACOs”) that has taken place since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) less than a year ago, CMS’s initial effort to describe a program of payment and delivery reform built around the ACO “model” will contribute importantly to the national dialogue on accountable care and will give providers a first look at CMS’s detailed requirements for the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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ILN Today Post

HEALTH REFORM: Awaiting the Medicare Shared Savings Program Regulations: Progress on the Road to Accountable Care?

According to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), Dr. Donald M. Berwick, the long-awaited proposed regulations implementing the Medicare Shared Savings Program[1] should be out soon. Given the incredible proliferation of policy, business, and legal thinking about accountable care organizations (“ACOs”) that has taken place since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) less than a year ago, CMS’s initial effort to describe a program of payment and delivery reform built around the ACO “model” will contribute importantly to the national dialogue on accountable care and will give providers a first look at CMS’s detailed requirements for the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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Just the Stats Please (Round II)! New Study Provides Statistical Snapshot of State Court Trade Secret Litigation

Last year, the Gonzaga Law Review published an exhaustive study of federal court trade secret litigation. This week, it published a companion study of state appellate court decisions involving trade secrets during the period between 1995 and 2009.

Among the state study’s more interesting findings are these:

  • “In the vast majority of trade secret cases, the alleged misappropriator was someone the trade secret owner knew. Specifically, the alleged misappropriator was an employee or a business partner 93% of the time in this state study.”
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Ninth Circuit Holds That Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Are Covered

by Michael S. Kun, David W. Garland, Douglas Weiner

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has become the latest Circuit Court to weigh in on the subject of whether pharmaceutical sales representatives are covered by the FLSA outside sales exemption. The result, in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham, No. 10-15257 (9th Cir. Feb. 14, 2011), is a resounding victory for employers in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Five Wishes for the Medicare Shared Savings Program Regulations

As the health care world awaits the Medicare Shared Savings Program regulations expected to be issued soon by CMS, below is a wish list for key attributes that I hope the regulations evidence:

1. Flexibility.

 

“Transforming health care everywhere starts with transforming it somewhere.” I hope that CMS takes Atul Gawande’s advice and avoids being too proscriptive in launching the Share Savings Program. To me, the biggest risk to the program is being deemed a failure for having gone down too narrow a path that turns out to be unsuccessful.

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