On August 10, 2018, the Governor of Massachusetts signed “An Act relative to the judicial enforcement of noncompetition agreements,” otherwise known as The Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act, §24L of Chapter 149 of the Massachusetts General Laws. (That bill was part of a large budget bill, H. 4868, available here; the text of the provisions relevant here at pages 56-62 of the bill as linked). The Act limited non-competition provisions in most employment contexts to one-year and required employers wishing to enforce such a one-year period to pay their ex-employees for the time that such employees are sidelined. The Act also precluded enforcing such provisions against employees laid-off or terminated without cause or against employees classified as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. These and the other requirements noted below become effective and apply to employee noncompetition agreements entered into on or after October 1, 2018, and the Act curiously contains some significant exceptions as well. Below we will highlight material aspects of the new law, which was recently featured on Employment Law This Week.
Monthly Archives: August 2018
On 3 August 2018, Inghams Enterprise Pty Ltd (Inghams) successfully appealed a decision by the District Court of Queensland which found the company negligent for failing to protect a female employee from being attacked by an ex-employee whilst returning to her car after her shift. The Queensland Court of Appeal allowed the appeal on the basis the trial judge erred in finding that Inghams’ breach of duty caused the employee’s injury.
Investigating misconduct complaints in the workplace is never easy for any employer, but the recent decision of the Fair Work Commission in Natoli v Envision Employment Services  FWC 4034 should provide some comfort: an investigation need not be perfect for an employer to be able to rely upon it in dismissing an errant employee.
No poach agreements between employers play a starring role in recent federal multi-district litigation class action lawsuits
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation recently consolidated three class action cases by employees of two of the world’s largest rail equipment suppliers in federal court in Pennsylvania. All three lawsuits accuse the competitor companies of agreeing not to solicit, recruit, or hire each other’s workers without permission from the hiring company. The agreement allegedly started in 2009, ran through 2016, and impacted various skilled employees, including project managers, engineers, executives, business unit heads, and corporate officers. The class action complaints allege that the agreement suppressed employee salaries and benefits and, as a result, violated Sections One and Three of the federal antitrust Sherman Act.
Taxation is one of the most fundamental aspect of cross border transactions and generally attracts a lot of attention while negotiating and closing international deals. Varied opinions, narrow interpretations by tax assessing officers (often favouring treasury) and conflicting judicial precedents on the same issues sometimes shake investor confidence.
Davis Malm is pleased to announce that firm president, Amy L. Fracassini, has been selected to the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly 2018 “Top Women of Law” list. This highly coveted honor is presented to exceptional women lawyers who are recognizable pioneers, educators, trailblazers, and role models, and who have made tremendous professional strides and demonstrated great accomplishments in their respective legal fields. Ms. Fracassini and the other award recipients will be honored at a reception on October 18, 2018 in Boston.
On June 28, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law “An Act Relative to Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave And The State Tax Holiday.” Dubbed a “grand bargain” due to its successful passage through the compromise of legislators, the business community, and workers’ rights advocates, this new law has significant implications for Massachusetts employers. Specifically, Massachusetts adopted a broad and far-reaching paid family and medical leave for qualifying employees, and it will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by the start of 2023. Massachusetts will separately phase out time-and-a-half premium pay for certain employees on Sundays and some holidays. Below is a summary of the key provisions of this new law.
Draft Guidelines for Enterprise Tax Plan
The ATO has issued draft Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2018/D5(Draft Guideline) to provide clarity for corporate tax entities regarding the compliance and administrative approaches to determining the appropriate corporate tax rate or rate for dividend imputation purposes, applying to the last three financial years.
Congratulations to attorney Michelle Wezner on her selection to Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Women in the Law” Class of 2018!
Royal Oak, Michigan, August 9, 2018: Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Michelle Wezner was selected to Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Women in the Law” Class of 2018. Now in its eighth year, the “Women in the Law” awards program honors 30 high-achieving, women lawyers in Michigan and their accomplishments. These women have a commitment to excellence in the practice of law, are inspiring and accomplished leaders in the profession, serve as mentors to other women, and contribute significant time and effort to volunteerism and/or pro bono. The Class of 2018 will be honored at a special luncheon on September 20 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.
The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued Advisory Opinion No. 18-03 in support of an arrangement where a federally qualified health center look-alike (the “Provider”) would donate free information technology-related equipment and services to a county health clinic (the “County Clinic”) to facilitate telemedicine encounters with the County Clinic’s patients (the “Proposed Arrangement”). The OIG concluded that although the Proposed Arrangement could potentially generate prohibited remuneration under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) and Civil Monetary Penalties Law (“CMPL”) with the requisite intent to induce or reward referrals of federal health care programs, the OIG would exercise its discretion and not sanction the Provider or the County Clinic (collectively the “Requestors”).