Legal Updates

Labor and Employment Alert: NLRB Issues Final Rule Requiring Employers To Post Notice of Employees’ Rights

NLRB issues final rule requiring employers to post notice of employees’ rights

On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”), which requires employers to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”). This Final Rule was designed to close a so-called “knowledge gap” in the workforce. The Final Rule contains minor changes from the Board’s Proposed Rule on this topic.

Click here to view our previous Alert regarding the Proposed Rule, “Ready or not, here they come – NLRB issues new Proposed Rule to revamp the union election process.” The Final Rule is expected to take effect on November 14, 2011.

Who must post?

Read full article

New NLRB Poster Requirement

Arnstein & Lehr attorney E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

On August 27, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) adopted a rule, which becomes effective as of November 14, 2011, that requires employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NRLA”). This Notice requirement applies to millions of private-sector employers that fall under the jurisdiction of the NLRA. The Notice is to inform both unionized and non-unionized employees of their rights under the NLRA and, specifically, provides that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities. The Notice also provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct and instructs employees on how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints.

Read full article

Federal Law Now Recognizes the Employee-Union Representative Privilege

Arnstein & Lehr attorney E. Jason Tremblay 

E. Jason Tremblay

In a case of first impression, the Northern District of Illinois recently held in Bell v. Village of Streamwood (Case No. 10 C 3263) that an employee-union representative privilege exists as a matter of federal common law. In so holding, the Court reasoned that a union representative’s role is not unlike that of an attorney, and that there is a strong interest in encouraging an employee accused of wrongdoing to communicate fully and frankly with his or her union representative. Therefore, the Court held that the employee-union representative privilege would extend to communications made: (1) in confidence; (2) in connection with “representative” services relating to anticipated or ongoing disciplinary proceedings; (3) between an employee and his or her union representative; (4) where the union representative is acting in his or her official representative capacity. Moreover, similar to the attorney-client privilege, the employee-union representative privilege is somewhat limited in that it only extends to the communications, not to the underlying facts and issues.

Read full article

Limited Liability Individual Company

On July 11th, 2011, Law # 12.441 changed the Brazilian Civil Code currently in force, creating the figure of the limited liability individual company. In Portuguese, this type of company is called “empresa individual de responsabilidade limitada,” which is being referred to by the initials “EIRELI.”

Individuals have been always able to constitute companies with only one partner, which were called, before the changes introduced in the Brazilian Civil Code in 2002, “firma individual.” After such changes, the designation for such type of company changed to “empresário individual.” Either way, the liability of the individual was unlimited, that is, the patrimony of the individual could be seized for the payment of debts made in name of the company.

Read full article

Russian Law Review

Russian Law Review

* March 2011 – June 2011

For the full review, please click here.

Read full article

Data Privacy and Network Security Alert: A flurry of federal data security and data breach notification bills introduced into Congress

Recent high profile data breaches and increased attention to the protection of consumers’ personal information has intensified the momentum towards enactment of a federal data security and data breach notification law. Currently 46 states and the District of Columbia have enacted data breach notifications with drastically different requirements and policies. Within the last few months, Congress has been inundated with national data security bills outlining an organization’s obligations when it suffers a data breach. Unfortunately, the proposed federal bills would, in many instances, further complicate an entity’s obligations upon a breach.

Among the numerous federal data security bills introduced, the following four are most recent and significant:

Read full article

Data Privacy and Network Security Alert: Attorneys General continue to increase legal standards for data privacy compliance

Many have written about it and several have contemplated it — whether states will adopt private data security standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), and use them as legal standards that owners and holders of personal information (PI) must comply with. That’s exactly what the Massachusetts Attorney General did when it recently filed suit against Briar Group, LLC and alleged, among several other things, that Briar was not PCI compliant at the time of its data breach in November 2009, affecting 53,000 MasterCard and 72,000 Visa accounts.

PCI DSS are private data security standards created by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council that apply to all organizations collecting credit cards. The Complaint alleged that Briar’s failure to implement basic data security measures on its computer system allowed hackers to gain access to Briar’s customers’ credit and debit card information. 

Read full article

Data Privacy and Network Security Alert: Massachusetts Attorney General says you must practice what you preach

In the first public settlement of its kind related to violations of the new Massachusetts Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth, 201 C.M.R. 17.00, Belmont Savings Bank has entered into a settlement with the Massachusetts Attorney General following a data breach in which an unencrypted backup tape containing the names, Social Security numbers, and account numbers of more than 13,000 Massachusetts residents was lost after a Belmont employee failed to follow the bank’s own Written Information Security Program (“WISP”).

In May 2011, a Belmont employee left an unencrypted backup tape on a desk rather than storing it in a vault for the night, which was then inadvertently thrown away by the evening cleaning crew. Although Belmont had a WISP, which met the new Massachusetts data security standards, Belmont failed to comply with the WISP in practice. Specifically, Belmont failed to encrypt portable devices, such as the backup tape, which contained personal information.

Read full article

Data Privacy and Network Security Alert: And then there were four

Mississippi has joined the majority of other states and now has a law that governs an organization’s obligations should it suffer a data breach relative to Personal Information (PI) of a Mississippi resident. Only four states in the United States have not passed similar legislation – Alabama, Kentucky, New Mexico and South Dakota.

Similar to many other state data breach notification laws, the obligation falls on any organization which owns, licenses or maintains PI of any resident of Mississippi.  Like others, Mississippi defines PI as an individual’s first name or first initial and last name along with Social Security number, driver’s license number or financial account number or credit card number (along with the required security or access code).

Read full article

Eyewitness Evidence Critique May Help In Harassment Defense

By: James P. Flynn

The New Jersey Supreme Court issued a lengthy, sweeping decision on August 24th on the standards for evaluating eyewitness testimony in criminal cases that is garnering national, and even international, attention.  See NY Times report at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/nyregion/in-new-jersey-rules-changed-on-witness-ids.html ; Wall Street Journal report at  http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/08/24/new-jersey-high-court-alters-witness-identification-standards/ ; Reuters report at  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/25/us-crime-witness-id-idUSTRE77O8DA20110825 . Though the case entitled State v. Larry Henderson and its companion case entitled State v. Cecilia, both available at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/index.htm,  involved eyewitness identification testimony, the Supreme Court dealt at great length with more general issues eyewitness testimony and “how memory works.”  Those parts of the opinion may be especially helpful in challenging the memory of plaintiffs and witnesses in employment cases generally, and in hostile environment claims in particular.

Read full article