Monthly Archives: January 2014

D.C. Area Minimum Wage Increases

by Brian Steinbach

However, each jurisdiction phases in the increase in different amounts and at different times, starting July 1, 2014.  Employers in the D.C. area will now face several different local minimum wage requirements in addition to those imposed by federal law. They will have to be careful to ensure that each of their employees is paid the proper wage for the area in which they work.

Under the D.C. law, the general minimum wage for employees working in D.C., currently $8.25, will increase to $9.50 on July 1, 2014; to $10.50 on July 1, 2015; and to $11.50 on July 1, 2016. Thereafter, it will be adjusted on each July 1 in proportion to any increase in the CPI-U for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area published by the BLS, rounded to the nearest nickel. The D.C. law also added new quarterly reporting requirements for employers who take the tipped credit and provides for random reporting audits, but makes no change in the current $2.77 minimum wage for tipped employees.

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D.C.Area Minimum Wage Increases

by Brian Steinbach

However, each jurisdiction phases in the increase in different amounts and at different times, starting July 1, 2014.  Employers in the D.C. area will now face several different local minimum wage requirements in addition to those imposed by federal law. They will have to be careful to ensure that each of their employees is paid the proper wage for the area in which they work.

Under the D.C. law, the general minimum wage for employees working in D.C., currently $8.25, will increase to $9.50 on July 1, 2014; to $10.50 on July 1, 2015; and to $11.50 on July 1, 2016. Thereafter, it will be adjusted on each July 1 in proportion to any increase in the CPI-U for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area published by the BLS, rounded to the nearest nickel. The D.C. law also added new quarterly reporting requirements for employers who take the tipped credit and provides for random reporting audits, but makes no change in the current $2.77 minimum wage for tipped employees.

The Prince George’s County law increases the minimum wage for employees working for any employer in the county, currently under federal and state law set at $7.25, to $8.40 on July 1, 2014; to $9.55 on July 1, 2015; to $10.25 on July 1, 2016; and to $11.50 on July 1, 2017. However, the law exempts individuals under the age of 19 who are employed not more than twenty hours in a week. It also provides for tipped employees to receive a minimum wage of at least half the applicable county  minimum wage.

The Montgomery County law increases the minimum wage for employees working in the county for the county or for non-governmental employers with two or more employees in the County, also currently under federal and state law set at $7.25, to $8.40 on October 1, 2014; to $9.55 on October 1, 2015; to $10.75 on October 1, 2016; and to $11.50 on October 1, 2017. As in Prince George’s County, the law exempts individuals under the age of 19 who are employed not more than twenty hours in a week. However, it allows tipped employees to be paid the same minimum as under state law, currently $3.63 (half the state/federal minimum wage).

In addition, there are bills currently pending in the Maryland legislature that would increase the state-wide minimum wage, and efforts are underway or have already passed to increase the minimum in other states.

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Police Involved in Fatal Shootings Not Entitled to Consult Counsel Before Making Notes

This case concerns whether police officers, who are involved in fatal shootings of civilians, are permitted by the Police Services Act (the “Act“) and the Special Investigations Unit regulations (the “Regulation“) to seek the assistance of legal counsel before completing their notes on the shootings. 
In two independent fatal incidents, Douglas Minty and Levi Schaeffer were shot by the police.  Minty was shot dead by a Constable of the Ontario Provincial Police (“OPP“) after he ignored the officer’s command to drop a knife he was carrying.  Schaeffer was shot and killed by an Constable of the OPP when he also did not comply with a command to drop a knife.  In both cases, the officers were instructed by superiors to refrain from making their police notes until they had spoken with legal counsel.  The families of the two deceased brought an application before the Superior Court of Ontario seeking an interpretation of various provisions of the Act and “conduct and duties of police officers” respecting investigations in the Regulation.  The relevant issue raised by the families for the purposes of the appeal was whether the legislative scheme of the Act and the Regulation permitted the officers to consult with counsel before completing their notes.
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If You Build It, Will They Come?

Towards the end of December, we hosted a webinar with Adrian Lurssen, one which I’d sat in on previously. But this time, Adrian said something that really stuck with me – he said that you can’t just build a blog. You also need to build an audience.

That got me thinking about how many people start a blog, start writing content (even great content), and then sit back and wait for the magic to happen – a la Field of Dreams, if you build it, will they come? 

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COMPLIANCE AND REPUTATION: THE CHALLENGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Each month, 1.15 billion subscribers interact on Facebook. There are more than 200 million on LinkedIn2 and Twitter3, excluding the increasingly numerous users of Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ and other online networking platforms. Social networks now make up part of the daily life of a large number of people. …….(translated)

< < The courts tend to consider that the profile is public, despite the presence of “private” profile setting, especially if the user has hundreds of “friends.” >> (translated) Me Benoît Chartier

This article is only available in French
Click here to download the publication: MEDIAS SOCIAUX-CHADPRESS-2013

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CHAD Presse magazine article

Compliance and reputation: The Challenge of Social Media by Me Benoit Chartier.

Each month, 1.15 billion subscribers interact on Facebook. There are more than 200 million on LinkedIn2 and Twitter3, excluding the increasingly numerous users of Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ and other online networking platforms. Social networks now make up part of the daily life of a large number of people. …….(translated)

< < The courts tend to consider that the profile is public, despite the presence of “private” profile setting, especially if the user has hundreds of “friends.” >> (translated) Me Benoît Chartier

This article is only available in French.
Click here to download the publication : MEDIAS SOCIAUX-CHADPRESS-2013

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OSHA Extends Comment Period for Controversial Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Rule

ByEric J. Conn and Lindsay A. Smith

Last month, we published an article about OSHA’s proposed new Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting rule that would create a minefield for hundreds of thousands of employers nationwide.  In a January 6, 2014 press release, OSHA announced that it would extend the comment period for this proposed rule by 30 days in response to a request from the National Association of Home Builders (“NAHB”).  NAHB made the request because the rulemaking overlaps with the proposed crystalline silica rulemaking and it needed more time to disseminate the relevant information to its members and coordinate responses.  March 8, 2014 is now the deadline by which all interested parties must submit comments on the injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting rule, replacing the original deadline of February 8, 2014.

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Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Alert: Data Breach? The FTC May Be Calling

When companies experience a data breach involving Protected Health Information (PHI) and/or Personally Identifiable Information (PII), they can typically expect a call from the Office of Civil Rights and possibly an Attorney General or two. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to join the fray, taking a more active role in data breach investigations. The FTC angle: the company’s failure to employ reasonable and appropriate measures to protect PHI and PII against unauthorized access is an unfair or deceptive act or practice.

On Dec. 31, 2013, Accretive Health, Inc. (Accretive), which provides medical billing and revenue management services to hospitals around the country, agreed to settle FTC charges that its inadequate data security measures exposed PHI and PII to a risk of theft or misuse.

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Report on WISTA conference held in Montreal

Canadian Sailings, November 18, 2013 : Report on WISTA conference held in Montreal by Brian Dunn

“As Canada’s first female Minister of Transport, Lisa Ratt would like to see more women in the transportation industry and she plans to help that happen.  “I have 438 appointments to make in the country and one third to two thirds will be women,”  she told a networking luncheon during the Oct. 2-4 conference in Montreal of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Assocation (WISTA)……

(Me Andrea Sterling, President of WISTA Canada and Mariine Lawyer at RSS)

Click here to download article: Report on WISTA

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Kara M. Maciel speaking at the 2014 Hospitality Law Conference in Houston, Texas

Kara M. Maciel, Member of the Firm and co-editor of the Hospitality Labor and Employment Law blog will participate in a panel discussion at the Hospitality Law Conference on February 10, 2014 in Houston, Texas.   In this featured panel  –  “Deciphering Government Regulations (ACA, ADA, WARN Act, Sanctioned Person/Entity Challenges) and Their Impact on Management Agreements“, Kara will speak on the following areas affecting hospitality employers:

  • Provide an overview of the federal WARN Act, such as the threshold requirements for coverage under WARN; when and to whom hotels must provide WARN notice; termination events that trigger hotels’ WARN notice requirements; and the statutory penalties for non-compliance.
  • Discuss hotel owners’ and managers’ WARN responsibilities during a sale of a hotel.
  • Offer guidance on how hotel managers can build protection against WARN liabilities in their management agreements.
  • Address hotel owners’ and managers’ joint obligations under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act and its corresponding federal regulations.
  • Discuss key revisions to hotels’ policies and procedures regarding service animals, power driven mobility devices, reserving handicap accessible rooms, and communicating with vision, hearing, and speech impaired guests.
  • Discuss key architectural revisions for entrances, swimming pools, spas, parking lots, and ATM’s.
  • Recommend best practices to hotel owners and managers on ensuring ADA-compliant hotels and minimizing vulnerability to “drive by” lawsuits and DOJ investigations.

For more information on the conference, visit hospitalitylawconference.com.

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