In its judgement passed a few weeks ago, the treatment of European Court of Justice (ECJ) was flexible in the interpretation of the VAT “triangular transactions”. While this decision in favour of the taxpayer creates a tax planning opportunity for businesses involved in international trade of goods, it pays off to be cautions on the other side.
Monthly Archives: August 2018
NLRB Implements Changes to Case Processing – Announces Early Retirement and Voluntary Separation Programs for Professional Staff
Since earlier this year, reports have circulated that National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) General Counsel Peter Robb planned to introduce changes in its case handling processes and organizational structure that would move certain authority away from the Regional Directors and transfer substantive decision making authority to Washington. While the General Counsel denied the specifics, he acknowledged that as the Board was faced with a reduced case load and budgetary pressures, some changes would be necessary and appropriate. It now appears safe to say that change is indeed coming to the NLRB and that more is likely.
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.
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.
A Labour Court decision has highlighted the obligation on employers to ensure that employees do not work more than their statutory maximum working hours. Paul Gough takes a look at the case.