Legal Updates

Video: Preparing for Biden’s Vaccine Mandate, Mandate Pushback Begins, NLRA’s Reach Expected to Expand – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federal contractors and how the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is creating a more expansive view of the employment relationship.

Employers Prepare for Biden’s Expansive Vaccine Mandate

The full impact of President Biden’s COVID-19 action plan is sinking in for employers. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force released guidance for federal contractors and subcontractors requiring vaccinations for most employees of federal contractors by December 8.

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For the first time ever, DOJ criminally indicts business for agreeing not to solicit another’s employees

In 2016, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission announced in its Antitrust Guidance for Human Resources Professionals that it intended to proceed criminally to enforce non-solicitation agreements between business competitors. In U.S. v. Surgical Care Affiliates and Scai Holdings, LLC (N.D. Tex. 2021), the DOJ finally carried through on that threat this year. Specifically, the DOJ filed its first-ever criminal indictment in federal district court, alleging that Surgical Care Affiliates, LLC (“SCA”) entered into an agreement with a competitor (“Company 1”) not to solicit each other’s senior-level employees, and that this agreement constituted an unlawful conspiracy in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Read more…

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New California CBD Law Highlights the Federal / State Regulatory Divide

California’s newly passed Assembly Bill 45 now explicitly permits cannabidiol (CBD) to be included in food and dietary supplement products and creates advertising and labeling restrictions. This is a stark departure from the California Department of Public Health’s prior decision to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on ingestible CBD products, especially as the FDA has only become stricter in recent months by going after more innocuous activities involving CBD. Read more…

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Ohio’s Minimum Wage Set to Increase in 2022

Ohio’s minimum wage will increase to $9.30 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.65 per hour for tipped employees, effective January 1, 2022.  This new minimum wage will apply to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $342,000 per year.

For employees at smaller companies with annual gross receipts of $342,000 or less per year, and for 14- and 15-year-olds, the minimum wage continues to be the federal rate of $7.25 per hour.

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California Becomes First State to Ban Piece Rate Pay for Garment Workers

On September 27, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the Garment Worker Protection Act, which makes California the first state to ban piece rate pay for garment workers, requiring instead that they be paid the minimum hourly wage.

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement Manual defines piece rate as, “[w]ork paid for according to the number of units turned out … [that] must be based upon an ascertainable figure paid for completing a particular task or making a particular piece of goods.”

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What Is an Interruption of Prescription?

By Hélène Maurice, from our Insurance Law Practice Group

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October 4, 2021 — Ballard c. Ville de Gatineau, 2021 QCCS 3695, recently rendered by the Superior Court, deals with the effect of the recognition of a right by a defending party on extinctive prescription.

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SAG-AFTRA and JPC Allow for Mandatory Vaccine Policies on Production Sets

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Joint Policy Committee (JPC) announced an addendum to their COVID-19 Commercial Production Safety and Testing Protocol Agreement of April 16, 2021 (COVID-19 Safety Protocol Agreement).

The addendum details new protocols that must be implemented in order for a signatory advertiser or agency to impose a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for their commercial productions. Read more…

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Connecticut Requires Certain Hotels, Lodging Houses, Food Service Contractors and Building Service Enterprises to Recall Certain Laid-Off Workers

On July 13, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 21-189, An Act Requiring Employers to Recall Certain Laid-Off Workers in Order of Seniority (the “Act”), which requires hotels, lodging houses, food service contractors, and building service enterprises with at least 15 employees to notify qualified laid off employees, whose lay-offs were due to lack of business, or a reduction or furlough of the employer’s workforce, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, about available positions. This obligation applies to those laid off employees (i) who were employed for six months or more in the twelve months preceding March 10, 2020, and (ii) whose most recent separation from active service, or whose failure to be scheduled for customary seasonal work by that employer, occurred after March 10, 2020, and before May 1, 2022.  The new notification requirements took effect on July 13, 2021.

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Podcast: No Surprises Act: Considerations for Plans and Providers – Diagnosing Health Care

In this episode of the Diagnosing Health Care Podcast:  On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the No Surprises Act as part of the $2.3 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act. Recently, the Biden administration issued its first interim final rule in order to implement this act, which will go into effect on January 1, 2022. While the goal is to protect patients from surprise billing, the law will also impose significant compliance burdens on plans, providers, and facilities.

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Charitable Health Systems and Other Owners of Tax-Exempt Property with Operations in Ohio Should Prepare for Upcoming Changes to Real Property Tax Exemption Laws

Starting in 2022, Ohio will require owners of tax-exempt real property to notify the county auditor if the exempt property ceases to qualify for exemption.

This is a substantial departure from current law, which had left the role of monitoring changes in exempt properties’ uses to the county auditors or Ohio’s tax commissioner; under the new law, health care entities that own property in the state must determine whether or not their property continues to qualify for exemption.

Ohio’s recent Budget Bill – House Bill 110 – created the new reporting requirement, which will be codified at section 5713.083 of the Ohio Revised Code.  The change will require those who own real estate that is exempt from property tax to notify the county auditor by December 31 of the year in which the property ceases to qualify for exemption.

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