Legal Updates

Mixed Results for Employers on Marijuana – Two Federal Courts Refuse to Find State Marijuana Laws Preempted by Federal Law

Two recent federal cases illustrate why employers – even federal contractors – must be cognizant of relevant state-law pronouncements regarding the use of marijuana (i.e., cannabis) by employees. While one case found in favor of the employer, and the other in favor of the employee, these decisions have emphasized that state law protections for users of medical marijuana are not preempted by federal laws such as the Drug-Free Workplace Act (DFWA). Employers must craft a thoughtful and considered approach to marijuana in the workplace, and in most cases should not take a zero-tolerance approach to marijuana.

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OCR Requests Comments on Ways to Modify HIPAA

On December 14, 2018 the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) formally issued a Request For Information (“RFI”) seeking public input on “ways to modify the HIPAA Rules to remove regulatory obstacles and decrease regulatory burdens in order to facilitate efficient care coordination and/or case management and to promote the transformation to value-based healthcare, while preserving the privacy and security of PHI.”  OCR is seeking comments for a series of 54 different specific questions (many with additional subparts) corresponding to the following five major topic areas:  (1) the promotion of information sharing for treatment and care coordination; (2) the promotion of parental and caregiver involvement in addressing the opioid crisis and serious mental illness; (3) additional ways to remove regulatory obstacles and burdens to facilitate care coordination and promote value-based health care; (4) an effective means to implement the accounting of disclosures requirement of the HITECH Act; and (5) Notice of Privacy Practices operational practices.

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Financial Services in Focus – Issue 17

Funds and financial products
ASIC to consult on measures to restrict offers to retail investors of stub-equity in proprietary companies

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APRA issues information security standard

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) issued Prudential Standard CPS 234 Information Security (CPS 234) on 7 November 2018. CPS 234 imposes information security requirements on all APRA-regulated entities and will commence on 1 July 2019, providing transition arrangements where information assets are managed by third parties. It is crucial for all APRA-regulated entities to understand the requirements in place for the management of information security.

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Russia creates own offshore zones?

The Federal law No. 290 “On international companies” (hereinafter — the Law on international companies) and the Federal law No. “On special administrative districts” have come into effect on 3 August 2018. These laws adjusted procedure of redomiciliation and created special administrative districts on the islands Oktyabrskiy and Russkiy.

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Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave Issues First Round of Guidance, Launches Website

Our colleagues  at Epstein Becker Green have a post on the Hospitality Employment and Labor blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the retail industry: “New Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave Launches Website, Issues First Round of Guidance.”

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Do Makers of Children’s Connected Toys Need a Time-Out to Comply with COPPA?

Ask a parent about their biggest concern when it comes to having their young children log too much screen time on tablets or smart phones, and you’re likely to hear answers ranging from poor academic performance to simply not getting outside more to blow off steam.

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Davis Malm Adds Kevin J. Milton to its Business Law and Banking and Credit Practices

The Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C. announces that Kevin J. Milton has joined the firm as an associate in the Business Law and Banking and Credit areas. Mr. Milton assists with general corporate law and finance matters, including corporate formation, commercial transactions, private equity, and corporate governance. Prior to joining Davis Malm, Mr. Milton held internship positions at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of the General Counsel; United States Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division; Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office; and several private practice firms in Boston.

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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: What Austrian Companies Need to Know

What constitutes sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a behavior towards another human being where the abuser harms the dignity of the victim and creates an intimidating, hostile or humiliating working environment. The victim feels shock, horror, fear, revulsion, indignation, anger or shame. Sexual harassment can appear in all forms of verbal abuse, as well as physical actions. Whereas physical actions are always forbidden, verbal or also nonverbal abuses are not punished if they don’t happen at the workplace. Ordering someone to harass someone is a form of sexual harassment as well as discriminating someone because of their sexual orientation or sex in general.

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Corporate trustees and ipso facto reforms

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No. 2) Act 2017 (Cth) (Act) introduced new laws which operate to stay the enforcement of ipso facto clauses that are triggered upon a company suffering an insolvency event. These new laws come to effect for contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2018.

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