Legal Updates

Talking Tax – Issue 159

Forgiveness of a loan – deemed dividend under Division 7A
In VCJN and Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2019] AATA 968 (23 May 2019), the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) agreed with the Commissioner of Taxation (Commissioner) that the taxpayer’s forgiveness of a loan should be treated as a deemed dividend per s 109E(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) (ITAA36).

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Companies Using Video Interviewing Beware: New Obligations for Positions Based in Illinois

Increasingly companies are using third-party digital hiring platforms to recruit and select job applicants.  These products, explicitly or implicitly, promise to reduce or eliminate the bias of hiring managers in making selection decisions.  Instead, the platforms grade applicants based on a variety of purportedly objective factors.  For example, a platform may scan thousands of resumes and select applicants based on education level, work experience, or interests, or rank applicants based on their performance on an aptitude test – whatever data point(s) the platform has been trained to evaluate based on the job opening.

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Important Deadlines Fast Approaching For Employers to Comply With the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act

In June 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML). As previously reported, PFML creates a paid leave system which is funded by payroll contributions from employers and covered individuals and administered by the newly created Department of Family and Medical Leave (Department). Beginning in January 2021, all Massachusetts employees and some independent contractors will be eligible to take up to 26 weeks per year of partially paid leave for qualifying medical or family events. The Department has issued draft regulations for implementing PFML, and final regulations are expected by July 1, 2019.

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Start ups – Understanding Tax and R&D concessions

Dr. Rita Choueiri Director at William Buck and Lawyer Raoul D’Cruz discuss tax and R&D concessions for startups after a recent talk with Stone & Chalk Melbourne.

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Sexual harassment at work: what your company needs to know. ILN lawyers from around the world weigh in.

The International Lawyers Network’s Labor & Employment Group announces the second release of its publication, “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know.” This collaborative electronic guide offers a summary of key labor law principles in 21 jurisdictions across the globe, serving as a quick, practical reference for those reviewing their sexual harassment policies and training in these jurisdictions.

Director of Global Relationship Management, and the guide’s facilitator, Lindsay Griffiths, says “We’re pleased to offer the second edition of our paper, which builds on our previous efforts. We have a number of new jurisdictions, and the group continues to work collaboratively to update the paper to be a practical and valuable resource for employers examining their sexual harassment policies and training, to ensure they can avoid or promptly handle any #metoo incidents.”

To view the paper, please click here: http://bit.ly/ILNMeToo

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As Summer Approaches, the SDNY Once Again Provides Hope for Businesses Exhausted by Repeated Website Accessibility Lawsuits

While businesses have long grown weary of the plaintiff bar’s seemingly endless stream of website accessibility lawsuits, it appears that judges in the SDNY may be increasingly feeling the same way. For the second time this spring, following on the back of the decision in Mendez v. Apple, a judge in the SDNY, in the case of Diaz v. The Kroger Co., 18-cv-7953 (KPF),has granted a business’ motion to dismiss a website accessibility lawsuit. While decided on multiple grounds, the Court’s decision is primarily based on mootness, providing businesses who have already taken the necessary steps to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at Levels A and AA, and to also maintain compliance going forward, with a potential blueprint to defeat “secondary strike” lawsuits brought in the SDNY.

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Tamsin R. Kaplan Contributes Section to ILN Paper on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The chapter, “What US: Massachusetts Companies Need to Know,” provides an overview of current workplace sexual harassment law, legislative response to the recent increase in sexual harassment complaints, and guidance for employers to enforce compliance in the workplace.

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New Victorian transfer duty legislation to sting property professionals and fund managers

New legislation that is expected to take effect on 12 June could impose transfer duty on ‘economic entitlements’, such as income derived from property transactions. For instance, if a property fund buys a property after 12 June, the trustee/manager may have to pay additional duty on their acquisition fee. Most standard development agreements entered into from this date will also likely trigger a duty liability. Duty will often be charged on the entire value of the property and payable within 30 days of making the arrangement.

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Up in smoke – Relief for first-party property insurers

Mitchell Ogilvie Menswear Pty Ltd v Rapid Edge Pty Ltd [2019] QSC 136

Should a property insurer faced with a catastrophic loss, quickly quantify as best it can and pay the claim, and then look with confidence to recover this amount from the negligent party? Or can the negligent party challenge the reasonableness of that payout for lack of certainty, months or even years down the track?

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Private Equity Firm Uses AI Instead of Employees to Source Deals

A recent WSJ article about a private equity firm using AI to source investment opportunities by Laura Cooper presages a larger challenge facing employees and employers: AI tools do “the work of ‘several dozen humans’” “with greater accuracy and at lower cost.”  In the competitive and employee-dense financial services sector, AI tools can provide a competitive advantage.

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