Legal Updates

Video: “Quiet Quitting” Legal Pitfalls, NYC Automated Decision Tools Law, Twitter Cybersecurity Whistleblower Claims – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at the trend of “quiet quitting” and the legal and technology considerations employers should weigh when navigating the issue.

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DOJ Further Revises Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policies: Focusing on Individual Accountability, Corporate Responsibility, and Additional Demands on Chief Compliance Officers

Building on attempts in recent years to strengthen the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) white collar criminal enforcement, on September 15, 2022, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced revisions to DOJ’s corporate criminal enforcement policies. The new policies, and those that are in development, further attempt to put pressure on companies to implement effective compliance policies and to self-report if there are problems. Notably, the new DOJ policies set forth changes to existing DOJ policies through a “combination of carrots and sticks – with a mix of incentives and deterrence,” with the goal of “giving general counsels and chief compliance officers the tools they need to make a business case for responsible corporate behavior” through seven key areas:

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NLRB Offers New Guidance on When It Will Hold an In-Person Election – Replaces Positivity Metric with CDC Tracker

The National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) isn’t giving up on pandemic-related mail ballots in representation elections any time soon. On September 29, 2022, in a decision concerning an election at a Seattle area Starbucks, the Board passed on an opportunity to cast aside its COVID-Era six-factor test articulated in Aspirus Keweenaw, 370 NLRB No. 45 (2020), which has been used for the past two years to determine if a Board-conducted representation election should be conducted by mail or in person (called a “manual” election in Board parlance). Instead of jettisoning the Aspirus test entirely, the Board replaced just one of the tests factors, now relying on the CDC Community Level Tracker rather than test positivity trends or rates in this analysis.

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Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night . . . Will Stop the U.S. Postal Service from Stealing Its Contractor’s Trade Secrets?

It’s no secret that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been struggling financially for well over a decade. One means of combatting its struggles has been to contract with third-party resellers to market USPS services and drive customers to it. Indeed, just one of those resellers, Express One, delivered over $3 billion in revenue to the USPS in the past 12 months alone. Although the annual operating budget of the USPS is $77 billion, $3 billion is still real money—especially since the USPS suffered losses of $6.9 billion last year.

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Unpacking Averages: Using Natural Language Processing to Extract Quality Information from MDRs

Over the spring and summer, I did a series of posts on extracting quality information from FDA enforcement initiatives like warning letters, recalls, and inspections.  But obviously FDA enforcement actions are not the only potential sources of quality data that FDA maintains.  FDA has what is now a massive data set on Medical Device Reports (or “MDRs”) that can be mined for quality data.  Medical device companies can, in effect, learn from the experiences of their competitors about what types of things can go wrong with medical devices.

The problem, of course, is that the interesting data in MDRs is in what a data scientist would call unstructured data, in this case English language text describing a product problem, where the information or insights cannot be easily extracted given the sheer volume of the reports.  In calendar year 2021, for example, FDA received almost 2 million MDRs.  It just isn’t feasible for a human to read all of them.

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Use of the e-address is mandatory from 1 January 2023

Latvia: Latvian companies, branches, associations, foundations registered in the Republic of Latvia, and other entities registered in the registers of the Enterprise Register need to immediately activate the official electronic address (e-address).

What is an e-address? 

The official electronic address is a digital mailbox for communication between public administration institutions and individuals. One can receive and send letters, applications, documents, and request (often also receive) services there.

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Llinks Legal Alert – Labor & Employment Law (September 2022)

Llinks Legal Alerts focus on cutting-edge labor law topics and brings you most updated legislation trend. Please stay tuned with us.

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Video: Pay Range Disclosure Laws Spread Across New York and New Jersey – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesdayThis week, we look at a range of pay disclosure requirements that have come into effect in New York and New Jersey in the second half of 2022.

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Pennywise and Pound Foolish: Default Judgment Entered Against Trade Secret Defendants as a Sanction for Inadequate E-Discovery

“The law is not a game, and . . . civil discovery is not a game of hide and seek. The decision in this case should encourage litigants to understand that it is risky business to recklessly or deliberately fail to produce documents, and perilous to disobey court orders to review and, if necessary, supplement prior productions. It is in the interests of the administration of justice to default [defendants] to send those messages.”

So said United States District Judge Mark L. Wolf in a 72-page decision in which he entered a default judgment as a sanction in a trade secret case against the defendants for what he referred to as “extreme misconduct.” Memorandum and Order on Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions, Red Wolf Energy Trading, LLC v. BIA Capital Mgmt., LLC, et al., C.A. No. 19-10119-MLW (D. Mass. Sept. 8, 2022).

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Massachusetts Appeals Court Clarifies the A’s and C’s of Independent Contractor Status

On July 13, 2022, the Massachusetts Appeals Court signaled a victory for Massachusetts employers who rely upon independent contractors.  In Tiger Home Inspection, Inc. v. Dir. of the Dep’t of Unemployment, the Appeals Court reversed decisions from the Department of Unemployment (“DUA”) and trial court, concluding that the inspectors were independent contractors under Massachusetts’s Unemployment Insurance statute (“Unemployment Law”) and, thus, ineligible for unemployment benefits.  Focusing on Prongs A and C of the Unemployment Law’s “ABC” test for classifying independent contractors, the Appeals Court provided employers with excellent precedent and concrete guidance for navigating those elements of the test.  Notably, the Unemployment Law’s ABC language largely tracks the Massachusetts Wage Act’s “ABC” test, with Prongs A and C using identical language.  As a result, Tiger Home Inspection arguably provides employers with much-needed clarity for navigating both statutes.

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