Legal Updates

The Limits of Latif: Enforcing Mandatory Arbitration Clauses as to Harassment and Discrimination Claims Litigated in New York State Court

On June 19, 2019, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed legislation that would, if signed into law, broaden the scope of last year’s ban on clauses requiring employees to arbitrate sexual harassment claims so as to prohibit such clauses with respect to all types of discrimination claims. As reported on this blog, this ban on mandatory arbitration clauses was deemed invalid, as contrary to federal law, by the June 26, 2019 decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Latif v. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, et al. (S.D.N.Y. No. 18-11528). It is too early, however, to declare the death of New York’s ban on mandatory arbitration clauses in harassment and discrimination claims. Absent diversity of citizenship, plaintiffs’ counsel may choose to assert only state-law claims in an effort to eliminate federal court jurisdiction over an employer’s petition to compel arbitration. As motions to compel arbitration will continue to be decided by New York state courts, employers should be mindful of the relevant New York decisions when drafting arbitration agreements and dispute resolution programs.

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5 Ways to Bolster Cyber Safety and Minimize Risk

Cyber threats are simply a business reality in the modern age, but with the right knowledge and tools, we can protect our businesses, employees and customers. Davis Malm’s Robert Munnelly outlines five actions companies can take to maximize long-term cyber safety.

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High Court provides certainty for corporate trustees: Amerind

On 19 June 2019, the High Court delivered its judgment in one of the most hotly anticipated insolvency judgments this year, the Amerind appeal: Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Australia Pty Ltd v The Commonwealth.1

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Arbitration Here We Come – New York State Statute Believed to Prohibit Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims Is Found by the Federal Court to Be Inconsistent with Federal Law

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Income tax cuts receive tick of approval

After a backflip from Labor, the Government has found the numbers in the Senate to push through all three stages of its personal income tax cuts.

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Workplace biometric scanning: Emerging issues in employment law

Due to increasing technological developments and the focus on efficiencies in the workplace, we are seeing an evolution in the different ways employers are looking to collect and use employee information.

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Talking Tax – Issue 161

The Taxpayer by a nose: the extended definition of ‘employer’ under the SGGA

In Scone Race Club Limited v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 967, Justice Logan of the Federal Court of Australia, allowing the appeal, concluded that Scone Race Club Limited (Taxpayer) was not deemed to be an employer under section 12(8)(a) and (b) of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (Cth) (Act). Consequently, the Taxpayer was not liable to make superannuation contributions to jockeys in respect of fees for riding in horse races and barrier trials.

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ASIC’s consults on its administration of its new product intervention powers

In this article we consider ASIC’s consultation package in relation to the exercise of its new product intervention powers, including some observations about ASIC’s understanding of and proposed implementation of the new regime.

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Privacy Concerns Loom as Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Industry Grows

The market for direct-to-consumer (“DTC”) genetic testing has increased dramatically over recent years as more people are using at-home DNA tests.  The global market for this industry is projected to hit $2.5 billion by 2024.  Many consumers subscribe to DTC genetic testing because they can provide insights into genetic backgrounds and ancestry.  However, as more consumers’ genetic data becomes available and is shared, legal experts are growing concerned that safeguards implemented by U.S. companies are not enough to protect consumers from privacy risks.

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Safeguarding access to the retail electric marketplace requires vigilance

Just over 20 years have passed since all New England states, except Vermont, restructured electric service to enable competitive retail supply and implemented basic protections focused on licensing, enrollment standards, customer notices and contractual protections.  In recent years, additional rules have been implemented, such as credit card-style “Schumer Box” contract summaries, standard renewal notices 30-60 days prior to contract end, disclosures specific to variable price products, and minimum conduct standards for door-to-door sales.  As New England heads towards its third decade of retail electric competition, the next evolution of rules and enforcement priorities is underway.  The following new front-line issues, which hold the promise of both hindering and fostering competition, should be watched by all stakeholders.

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