Legal Updates

Employee Handbooks: Benefits, Pitfalls and Preserving At-Will Employment

Every cannabis employer should have in place an employee handbook tailored to meet the needs of its business goals and workplace culture, and to ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.

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Hall & Wilcox recognises International Day of People with Disability

Today, Hall & Wilcox recognises International Day of People with Disability. The theme for this year is empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.

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’tis the season… for a legal hangover

Employers beware, the Christmas party is nearing and we could all be in for a legal hangover in the morning!

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Talking Tax – Issue 144

Phoenixing labour hire operator sentenced to jail in WA
In brief

A labour hire business operator who fraudulently obtained more than $890,000 through illegal phoenix activity (involving business debts, GST and PAYG obligations) has been jailed for five years and four months and ordered to repay the money.

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Proposed Rules Loosen Restrictions on Hardship Withdrawals

Based on proposed regulations released by the U.S. Department of Treasury on November 14, 2018 (the “Proposed Regulations”), participants in 401(k) and 403(b) plans may find it easier to get hardship withdrawals as early as plan years beginning after December 31, 2018. Hardship withdrawals are permitted on account of financial hardships if the distribution is made in response to an “immediate and heavy financial need” and the distribution is necessary to satisfy that need. The Proposed Regulations incorporate various prior statutory changes, including changes imposed by the 2017 Tax Act, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, and the Pension Protection Act of 2006. These changes are summarized below:

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The Pursuit of “Truth” in Advertising: Data

As mentioned in my previous two posts (found here and here), I gave a presentation at the 40th Annual Association of National Advertisers/Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference titled “The Pursuit of ‘Truth’ in Advertising.” It explored how consumers view the truth in this era of fake news and alternative facts, and how this changing understanding of the truth has affected the advertising ecosystem and the practice of advertising law. Today, I will share the third installment in my series of highlights from my presentation.

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Cryptocurrency and tax – determining the ‘market value’ of cryptocurrency

For various reasons, those who regularly transact and trade in cryptocurrency will often use exchanges that are based offshore. Importantly, these exchanges will rarely quote the value of cryptocurrency in Australian dollars.

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Effective January 1, 2019 Delaware Imposes Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training and Creates New Spin on Existing Protections

The Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act has always provided a cause of action for sexual harassment under the umbrella of sex discrimination. However, new Delaware law, effective January 1, 2019, expressly addresses Delaware’s take on sexual harassment. In many ways, the new law is redundant with existing legal rights and responsibilities, thus simply creating a new section of the law to bring the same claim. In other ways, the new law at least arguably is different. In still other ways, the new law creates new obligations and new claims, which certainly require attention and action by employers.

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Tenth Circuit Holds That the False Claims Act Does Not Protect Post-Employment Retaliation

On November 6, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit handed down a decision that impacts employers across all industries, including the financial services industry. In a “win” for employers, the Tenth Circuit ruled that “…the False Claims Act’s anti-retaliation provision unambiguously excludes relief for retaliatory acts which occur after the employee has left employment.” Potts v. Center for Excellence in Higher Education, Inc., No. 17-1143 (10th Cir. Nov. 6, 2018).

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The Aged Care Royal Commission – first shots fired

The largest 100 aged care service providers in Australia will have very recently received initial correspondence from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (Commission) inviting early submissions.

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