Monthly Archives: September 2011

Unemployed – A New Protected Characteristic?

By: Michael A. Kalish

The following does not depict an actual interview.  Rather, it is a fictitious illustration (at least for now).

Interviewer:    So tell me why you’re interviewing for the position we’ve advertised.

Interviewee: That’s an easy one.  Because I’m unemployed and I need a job.

Interviewer: What happened with your last job?

Interviewee: I wasn’t very good, and they needed to reduce headcount, and I was an easy place to start.

Interviewer: There appears to be gaps on your resume between all six of the jobs you’ve had.  Six months here, two years there.  What happened with your leaving those jobs?

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Gifts of art to the nation

Tomorrow is the last day for responding to the Government’s consultation paper on the new scheme for tax incentives for giving art to the nation.  http://tinyurl.com/6b56c63
The idea was first raised in the March 2011 budget.  The rationale, according to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, is that (and I paraphrase the Treasury press release) “With art being so expensive to buy for the nation, we would rather encourage philanthropists to give us art, in return for some tax incentive”.
Fair enough, but it can’t be any old item of art.  It must be a “pre-eminent object or work of art”.  That is likely to include items with an especially close association to our history or national life, that are of artistic or art historical interest and perhaps have an especially close association with a particular historical setting.
It is not yet known what the tax reliefs will be, but they will be capped at only £20m per year, which is for the whole scheme.  That cap is to be shared with the existing “acceptance in lieu” (AIL) scheme, which allows assets to be transferred to the Government in place of tax. AIL already accounts for about £12m per year, which does not leave much for the new scheme.  It seems that the relief will have to be rather mean or the works not particularly pre-eminent, or there can’t be many of them, which makes one wonder if the scheme is going to be worth the effort.
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New York City Raises the Bar for Employers to Show ‘Undue Hardship’ in Addressing Employees’ Religious Accommodation Requests

by Susan Gross Sholinsky , Dean L. Silverberg, Steven M. Swirsky, and Jennifer A. Goldman

New York City employers take note: under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), it is now considerably more difficult for employers to establish “undue hardship” in the context of denying an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation due to his or her religious observance or practice. While previously silent on the issue, the NYCHRL now includes a definition of the term “undue hardship,” as follows: “an accommodation requiring significant expense or difficulty (including a significant interference with the safe or efficient operation of the workplace or a violation of a bona fide seniority system).” This language mirrors the definition currently included in the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), and along with other changes described below, was included in Local Law 54, 2011 (entitled the Workplace Religious Freedom Act) (the “Act”). The Act was unanimously passed by the New York City Council and became effective when signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on August 30, 2011.

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ILN Today Post

Steve Gross was quoted in "Could A Big KFC Franchisee Hit The Market?," Restaurant Finance Monitor

McDonald Hopkins’ Detroit Managing Member, Steve Gross, was quoted in the September 20, 2011 article, “Could A Big KFC Franchisee Hit The Market?,” published by Restaurant Finance Monitor

http://www.restfinance.com/content/story.php?article=00645


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ILN Today Post

New York State Initiates Efforts to Regulate Executive Compensation by Not-for-Profits

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has formed the Task Force on Not-for-Profit Entities (the “Task Force”) to investigate executive compensation by not-for-profit organizations that receive state funding.[1] Governor Cuomo announced the Task Force on August 3, 2011, and it quickly took its first action on August 25, 2011, by sending a letter requesting extensive compensation information from many organizations that receive state funds.

This Client Alert describes (i) the Task Force’s mandate, (ii) the compensation information requested in the Task Force’s letter, (iii) several key points to note about the information requested in the letter, and (iv) certain additional insights.

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ILN Today Post

Special Immigration Alert: 2013 Diversity Visa Lottery Begins on October 4, 2011, and Ends on November 5, 2011!

The Department of State (“DOS”) announced on September 13, 2011, the opening of the registration period for the DV-2013 Diversity Visa (“DV-2013”) lottery. The online registration period for the DV-2013 lottery will begin on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. EDT (GMT-4), and conclude on Saturday, November 5, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. EDT (GMT-4).

It is strongly recommended that applicants not wait until the last week of this registration period to enter because heavy demands could result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after 12:00 p.m. EDT on November 5, 2011. During the registration period, information, instructions, and the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form for the DV-2013 lottery will appear at www.dvlottery.state.gov.

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New York City Raises the Bar for Employers to Show ‘Undue Hardship’ in Addressing Employees’ Religious Accommodation

by Susan Gross Sholinsky, Dean L. Silverberg, Steven M. Swirsky, and Jennifer A. Goldman

New York City employers take note: under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), it is now considerably more difficult for employers to establish “undue hardship” in the context of denying an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation due to his or her religious observance or practice. While previously silent on the issue, the NYCHRL now includes a definition of the term “undue hardship,” as follows: “an accommodation requiring significant expense or difficulty (including a significant interference with the safe or efficient operation of the workplace or a violation of a bona fide seniority system).” This language mirrors the definition currently included in the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), and along with other changes described below, was included in Local Law 54, 2011 (entitled the Workplace Religious Freedom Act) (the “Act”). The Act was unanimously passed by the New York City Council and became effective when signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on August 30, 2011.

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ILN Today Post

Building Relationships and Trust in a Network of Lawyers, Part I – Guest Post from Barry Camson

Barry Camson is an organization development consultant and trainer who works with organizations to help them be more collaborative and effective. He is a former practicing attorney in Boston. He can be reached at bcamson@aol.com.

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What can the International Lawyers Network (ILN) of law firms contribute to our knowledge of what it takes for law firms to succeed in the 21st century?

David Maister in an article in the April 2006 issue of The American Lawyer raises the issue of: “Are Law Firms Manageable.” In that article he delves into the reasons why law firms may not be and why in meeting their contemporary business needs they should be. Maister wonders whether law firms will be able to respond to the need for effective cross-office and cross-disciplinary action in order to meet the needs of clients.

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CMS Innovation Center Announces Four Models in Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative

by Lesley R. Yeung, Shawn M. Gilman, and Serra J. Schlanger

On August 23, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Innovation Center announced a new initiative to encourage health care providers to better coordinate patient care. The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative (“Bundled Payments Initiative”) seeks to align the financial incentives among hospitals, physicians, and non-physician practitioners through the use of a single negotiated payment for all services provided during an episode of care. The use of a bundled payment is expected to encourage hospitals, doctors, and other specialists to coordinate in treating a patient’s specific condition during a single hospital stay and recovery.

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ILN Today Post

NLRB Required Notice On Employee Rights Is Now Available

Arnstein & Lehr attorney E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

As previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) requires virtually all employers, union and non-union, to post a new employee rights notice as of November 14, 2011. The new NLRB poster is now available for free download at www.nlrb.gov/poster. The 11”X17” notice should be posted in a conspicuous location, where all other labor law notifications are posted.

For further information regarding this new posting requirement, including a detailed discussion of which employers are covered by the National Labor Relations Act, you can contact us or visit the NLRB website at www.nlrb.gov.

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