On 25 December 2020, the Wuhan Intermediate Court of Hubei Province (the “Wuhan Court”) issued an Interim Injunction (the “Injunction”) in a case (the “Case”) where the applicants Samsung Electronic Co. Ltd. and Samsung (China) Investment Co. Ltd. (collectively, “Samsung”) sued Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (“Ericsson”) for determination of royalty rates for using Ericsson’s standard and essential patents (the “SEPs”). The Injunction prohibits Ericsson from seeking injunction or awards from courts in or outside of China to prohibit Samsung from using the SEPs or on matters otherwise relating to the license of the SEPs. Read more…
Monthly Archives: January 2021
January 18, 2021 — RSS is pleased to welcome Jean-François Germain into our Insurance Law Practice Group. Jean-François has 25 years of experience with litigation matters, particularly insurance cases. He has significant experience with construction law, product liability, professional liability, and general insurance law cases.
Jean-François is also accredited by the Quebec Bar as a mediator in civil matters.
January 18, 2021 — First and foremost, we would like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2021 in both your personal and professional lives. We look forward to sharing with you a snapshot of our activities over the course of the year.
Since our previous six-month review, the firm has been very busy. In fact RSS has been quite active for a century, tracing its origins to 1921. It is thanks to the trust and loyalty of our clients that we are proudly celebrating an important milestone: our 100th!! Past achievements are the steppingstones to consistently providing continued reliable advice to businesses and individuals.
The District of Columbia is bracing for a transition. But while employers across the country wait to see what changes the Biden Administration may bring, Washington, D.C. employers should prepare for a drastic and imminent change in their own backyard.
As we previously reported, last month the District of Columbia Council passed the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-563) (the “Act”). On January 11, 2021, Mayor Bowser signed the legislation. It will now be sent to Congress for the congressional review period set forth by the Home Rule Act. Absent Congress passing and the President signing a joint resolution of disapproval, which is unlikely to happen, the law will take effect after 30 legislative session days and publication in the D.C. Register, and apply upon inclusion of its fiscal affect in an approved budget and financial plan.
Less Than a Month After DOJ Brings Its First Wage-Fixing Indictment, DOJ Brings Its First “No-Poach” Indictment
In the past month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has made good on its 2016 threat, contained in its Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals (“Antitrust Guidance”) to bring criminal charges against people or corporations who enter into naked wage-fixing agreements or naked no-poach agreements. First, as reported here, on December 9, 2020, DOJ obtained an indictment against the president of a staffing company who allegedly violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by conspiring with competitors to “fix wages” paid to physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA). Although not mentioned in the indictment, a related Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint alleged that the defendant agreed with competing staffing companies to lower wages after a client unilaterally lowered the rates paid to the defendant for PT and PTA services. On January 7, 2021, DOJ announced a second indictment, which alleged that two corporations operating outpatient medical care facilities violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by reaching “naked no poach agreements” with two competitors, pursuant to which they agreed not to solicit each other’s “senior-level employees.”
This Diagnosing Health Care episode examines the fraud and abuse enforcement landscape in the telehealth space and considers ways telehealth providers can mitigate their enforcement risks as they move into the new year. Hear how the uptick in enforcement warrants close consideration by telehealth providers, especially those that are new to the space and have not yet built their compliance infrastructures.
On December 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law a $900 billion pandemic relief bill that provides extended relief for qualified student loan borrowers. Known as the “Heroes Act,” the stimulus package is a win for borrowers seeking student loan repayment from their employers.
The initial $2.2 trillion stimulus package that Congress passed in March 2020 – the “Cares Act” –temporarily expanded Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “IRC”) to permit employers to make tax-free payments of up to $5,250 during calendar year 2020 towards employees’ qualified federal and private student loans. Prior to the Cares Act, employers were permitted under IRC Section 127 to make tax-free payments of up to $5,250 per year under an education assistance program towards an employee’s qualified educational expenses, which included, for example, tuition and books, but not student loan repayments.
Biometric data is seen as a preferred means of identification by many businesses. Unlocking a smartphone using facial recognition and other biometric identifiers, for example, gives users the feeling as if they are more protected (e.g., less risk of identity theft). However, similar to the boom in privacy developments and legislation related to the collection and use of more traditional personal information, the growth of biometric data use by businesses, law enforcement, employers and other organizations has given rise to renewed privacy concerns and legal developments.
While there is no uniform federal biometric data privacy law, several states either have existing laws or are in the process of drafting or ratifying new laws. Although it remains to be seen how such legislation will change the industry’s use of and reliance upon biometric data, that it is increasingly the subject of analysis and discussion indicates a demand and a need for reasonable security and privacy practices around the collection and processing of biometric data, whether required by law or not. Read more…
On October 1, 2020, numerous laws in Maryland providing expanded protections for both existing employees and job applicants addressing race and sex discrimination, pay equity, and wage transparency went into effect. As we begin a new year, employers should review these new laws to ensure compliance.
Expansion of Employers’ Notification and Reporting Obligations for Workforce Layoffs
Maryland has instituted its own version of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act with the passage of H.B. 1018/S.B. 780. This “mini” WARN Act revises the Economic Stabilization Act (Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. §§ 11-301, 11-302) (“Act”) to require private employers with 50 or more employees to provide advance written notice of a “reduction in operations” to all impacted employees, any union representatives, the Maryland Department of Labor’s Dislocated Worker Unit, and all elected officials representing impacted jurisdictions. Covered employers must provide such notice at least 60 days before the start of any “reduction in operations,” which includes a decrease in the workforce by “at least 25% or 15 employees, whichever is greater,” over any 3-month period, as well as relocation of part of an employer’s operations to another site.