Monthly Archives: January 2014

Lessons from Outside the Industry: Grocery Store Brand Challenge

While traveling to Chicago today (an adventure in and of itself, due to delayed and cancelled flights and two trips through security – a story for another time), I had the opportunity to read a fascinating in-flight magazine article in American Airlines’ American Way magazine.

The article, titled “The Brand Challenge,” by Kristin Baird Rattini, discusses how private labels in grocery stores are gaining some real traction against national brands. Since I was already contemplating a post that focused on how brands outside of the legal industry can teach us lessons, I was particularly attuned to how the article is relevant to lawyers and legal marketers.

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New Minimum Wage for Government Contractors May Have Minimal Impact

by Michael D. Thompson

President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he will issue an executive order increasing the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 per hour. The executive order is undoubtedly a prelude to a push for Congressional support of an increase in the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.

“If you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you should not have to live in poverty,” President Obama said. 

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Immigration Alert: January 2014

  1. H-1B Nonimmigrant Season Opens on April 1, 2014, for Fiscal Year 2015
  2. H-1B Petition Amendments May Be Required Due to Changed Job Location
  3. DOL’s Administrative Review Board Applies “Bona Fide Termination” Rule to E-3 Worker
  4. Infosys Pays Record $34 Million in Settlement
  5. New York Federal District Court Awards Undocumented Immigrants FLSA Damages
  6. California Passes “Immigrant Friendly” Legislation
  7. OCAHO Provides a Roadmap for Reducing Fines for Form I-9 Violations
  8. OSC Settles Workplace Discrimination Complaint
  9. Supreme Court Amends Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 to Include New Immigration Consequences Warning
  10. New York Requires Trial Judges to Inform Defendants of Deportation Consequences from Guilty Pleas to Felonies
  11. BIA Finds That an E-2 Dependent Is Not Required to Apply for Employment Authorization
  12. Important Recent Changes to USCIS M-274 Handbook for Employers
  13. USCIS Announces Enhancement to E-Verify Program to Help Combat Fraud
  14. ICE Will Not Use Information Obtained Under Affordable Care Act in Civil Immigration Enforcement Actions
  15. DOS Issues February 2014 Visa Bulletin


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McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — January 31, 2014

President Obama delivers State of the Union address

This week, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address. In his address he called for a “year of action.” The President’s inability to work with Congress to pass key pieces of his agenda led Obama to give a speech that outlined a number of policy provisions where he would “go it alone” and use his executive authority.

Republicans and many red state Democrats were sharply critical of the President’s decision to by-pass the Congress and use executive orders to change and set policy in a number of key areas. 

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Ohio Statehouse Update: This Week in Ohio — January 31, 2014

Representatives Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) and Al Landis (R-Dover) this week asked members of the House Ways and Means Committee to favorably consider legislation that would require the state tax commissioner to notify Ohio businesses of tax or fee overpayments and provide automatic refunds by crediting future tax liability.

The sponsors said the legislation—House Bill 402—was introduced in response to a recent investigation by the Ohio Inspector General (OIG) of the theft of tax dollars by Kathleen Hyre, a former Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) employee. The investigation revealed that Hyre had concealed her thefts by moving overpayments from one taxpayer to another—tax agents were able to move funds within the tax system without supervisor approval or knowledge by the taxpayer. The ODT found instances where a refund had been requested but the payment was listed as “pending” in the system and therefore never paid.

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Idaho District Court First to Unwind a Physician Practice Deal

Court finds: “Integrated care—and risk-based contracting—do notrequire a large number of physicians”


On January 24, 2014, in Federal Trade Commission v. St. Luke’s Health System, Ltd. & Saltzer Medical Group, P.A.,[1] the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho found that the acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group (“Saltzer”) by St. Luke’s Health System (“St. Luke’s”) violated the Clayton Act and the Idaho Competition Act. The court permanently enjoined the consummated acquisition and ordered it to be unwound. This case represents the first time that a federal court has decided a case against a physician practice acquisition.

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Marketers Predict Trends to Watch in 2014: Insights from LPGA Chief Marketing Officer, Jon Podany

Continuing with predictions on what the rest of 2014 will hold, I turn to Jon Podany, Chief Marketing Officer for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), to get his thoughts.

The Way The Industry Sees It

2014 Predictions within the Sports Industry and How They Have the Potential to Affect Marketing and Advertising, with LPGA’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jon Podany.

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Surviving the Post-Holiday Blues: An Overview of Federal and State WARN Acts

By: Lisa M. Watanabe

The recent holiday shopping season was not so merry and bright for a number of U.S. retailers due to price discounts, stagnant wage growth and low consumer spending.  The disappointing results have prompted several retailers to close their stores and announce layoffs.  Employers considering such an action should familiarize themselves with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retaining Notification (WARN) Act and related state laws that require employers to provide notice in advance of any closings or layoffs.  The following is a brief overview of those requirements:

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ILN Today Post

Delusion, fraud, coercion, threat and unfavorable circumstances in the SCC practice

On 14 January 2014, the Presidium of the Russian Supreme Commercial Court (hereinafter – SCC) published the Informational letter dated 10 December 2013 No. 162 on Review of case law on implementation of articles 178 and 179 of the Civil Code by commercial courts.

The SCC clarifies provisions of Art. 178, 179 of the Civil Code and sets out case law on implementation of the articles both before and after adoption of the respective amendments to the Civil Code (effective as of 1 September 2013).

1.A technical mistake which has entailed conclusion of a contract at the value of 2 rubles, instead of 2 million rubles, constitutes essential delusion and constitutes a ground for recognition of the contract as null and void upon the claim of the victim. More…

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Free Webinar: Preparing for and Managing an OSHA Inspection at a Grain Handling Facility

On Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 3 PM (Eastern) / 2 PM (Central), Eric J. Conn, Head of the national OSHA Practice Group at Epstein Becker & Green will conduct a free webinar about preparing for and managing an OSHA inspection at a grain handling facility.  This is the third OSHA law briefing in a series of webinars for the grain industry in conjunction with the Grain Journal.

OSHA has increased enforcement to levels never seen before, from huge increases in the numbers of inspections, civil penalties, and citations characterized as “willful” or “repeat,” to more criminal referrals.  OSHA has also introduced more aggressive strategies during inspections, creating a minefield for employers across all industries.  The grain industry in particular, however, has been under a unique level of scrutiny.  The consequences of an employer in the grain industry being caught unprepared for an OSHA inspection, therefore, are more dire now than ever.

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