Blog Archives

Cancellation of the Canadian Investment Visa Program

Arnstein & Lehr

Ronald R. Fieldstone

Arnstein & Lehr Miami Partner Ronald Fieldstone was quoted in the February 28 EB5News.com article, “Industry Reaction to the Cancellation of the Canadian Investment Visa Program.” EB5News.com asked the opinions of attorneys involved with the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Program about the effects this will have on the United States.

Mr. Fieldstone had this to say: “There is a pent-up demand for wealthy Chinese to emigrate to western countries. Therefore, these investors will now actively look to the well-established EB-5 program in the United States for relief.”

To read the article in full, please click here.

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Ronald R. Fieldstone publishes EB-5 article with Daily Business Review

Arnstein & Lehr

Ronald R. Fieldstone

Arnstein & Lehr Miami Partner Ronald R. Fieldstone published an article on February 25 with Daily Business Review titled, “Foreign investors should consider visa program.” The article discusses how the EB-5 program helps foreign investors achieve lawful permanent residence in the United States. The program has created an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 jobs and has invested billions of dollars in the U.S. economy through 2013.

To read the full article, please click here.

 

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Are Your Restrictive Covenants Enforceable? The Illinois Supreme Court Allows Fifield to Stand

The Illinois Supreme Court recently denied an employer’s leave to appeal the Illinois Appellate Court’s decision in Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc., No. 1-12-0327, 2013 IL App. (1st) 120327 (June 24, 2013). As a result, unless an employee is given additional consideration beyond employment, an employee must be employed for at least 2 years in order for a restrictive covenant to the enforceable in Cook County, Illinois.

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Mark Spognardi authors article for InsideCounsel

Arnstein & Lehr

Mark Spognardi

In his article published September 16 on InsideCounsel’s website, Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Mark A. Spognardi followed up on his predictions from a previous InsideCounsel article that the new member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members would be facing challenges immediately after their appointments. In the article titled, “Labor: NLRB Specialty Healthcare bargaining unit standard withstands employer challenge,” Mr. Spognardi discusses a recent case, Kindred Nursing Centers East, LP dba Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation – Mobile v NLRB, in which the NLRB is being challenged on the definitions of certain terms that are of importance in this case.

To read the article in full, please click here.

The post Mark Spognardi authors article for InsideCounsel appeared first on General Counselor.

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Labor law developments unfold before 2014 elections

Arnstein & Lehr

Mark Spognardi

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Mark A. Spognardi authored a column for Inside Counsel’s website that was published on September 2, 2013. In the article titled, “Labor: Labor law developments unfold before 2014 elections,” Mr. Spognardi discusses the challenges that face the newly confirmed members of the National Labor Relations Board. All five of President Obama’s nominees were confirmed by the Senate earlier this summer and now face challenges with GOP and legal resistance.

To read the article in full, please click here.

The post Labor law developments unfold before 2014 elections appeared first on General Counselor.

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Illinois Appellate Court rules on enforcement of restrictive covenants

In a somewhat surprising development, the Illinois Appellate Court recently ruled that restrictive covenants are not enforceable if an employee has worked less than two (2) years for the employer seeking enforcement, unless that employee has received special, additional consideration beyond being hired for agreeing to the restriction. Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services (Illinois Appellate Court, 1st District, June 24, 2013). In other words, agreeing to hire an employee in exchange for his or her agreement not to compete or solicit is insufficient consideration unless the employee works for two or more years.

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Eighth Circuit Again Deconstructs FMLA Constructive Notice

This year marks a decade for employers in the Seventh Circuit dealing with the difficult concept of “constructive notice” for an employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act leave. But the Eighth Circuit recently again questioned whether that rule is still legitimate.

First, a reminder. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows for an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work for certain circumstances. Those include the employee’s own or a close family member’s serious health condition. An employee bears the burden of notifying its employer of the need for leave. Where the need for leave is unforeseeable, the employee must do so “as soon as practicable.”

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Telecommuting again raised as a reasonable accommodation

Questions related to reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities are some of the most difficult situations for employers to resolve. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to grant an employee a reasonable accommodation in the workplace for his or her disability. Such an accommodation is not required if it would cause an employer an undue hardship. Determining an employer’s obligations can be tricky when there is not a black-and-white test that tells an employer whether an accommodation is reasonable or imposes an undue hardship.

Special note to Wisconsin employers – this analysis can be even more difficult in our great state where you may be required to change some of the employee’s job duties to meet the requirements of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. Ironically, this unique Wisconsin consideration is associated with a cheese factory. But I digress. . .

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Jack and the wage and hour beanstalk

I admit maybe the title of this post should be “Shawn and the wage and hour beanstalk.” A recent decision by a Wisconsin court appeals keeps a long-running wage and hour complaint going even further in the battle for a large amount of attorneys’ fees. What may be most troubling for employers reading about this case is the comparatively small amount the plaintiff sought in unpaid compensation when she brought her claims.

Back in 2006, Johnson filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development for $9,500 in unpaid wages by her restaurant-employer. She eventually brought a complaint in state court against her former employer based on the Fair Labor Standards Act and similar Wisconsin wage and hour laws. Two – count’em two – trials later, Johnson received a jury award of $3,648.

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Despite recent NLRB action, union membership continues decline

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Jesse Dill

Jesse R. Dill

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual figures on the state of union membership in the United States. Union membership continued its now-typical trend of declining rolls in 2012. The percent of workers who were union members in 2012 was 11.3%, compared to 11.8% in 2011. The overall number of those belonging to a number likewise decline, from 14.8 million in 2011 to 14.4 million in 2012.

Labor law observers might be surprised by this trend considering the NLRB’s recent efforts to increase awareness of Section 7 rights and overturn long-standing precedent in favor of more union-friendly positions. However, these efforts have been counterbalanced at the state level through such developments as Wisconsin’s Act 10 legislation. Many of the developments with the NLRB may also be considered long-term focused, such as the recent WKYC-TV, Inc. decision. In WKYC-TV, Inc., the NLRB held that an employer may no longer unilaterally terminate dues-checkoff following the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. In the short-term, this decision means employers lose a valuable economic weapon in bargaining; but there are also long-term consequences. In time, Union coffers will increase beyond what they otherwise would have grown, and unions will be able to focus more time and attention on organizational activities.

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