Legal Updates

Ohio Statehouse Update: Week in review: September 16, 2011 — Our top "4" subjects you should know

Week in review

September 16, 2011 — Our top “4” subjects you should know

1. Ohio House approves new Congressional district map

The Ohio House held session this week to vote on two pieces of legislation, House Bills 318 and 319. House Bill 318, which moves next year’s primary election from March to May, was approved by a 63-29 vote. An attempt to add an emergency clause in the bill did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority for inclusion. Therefore, the bill will not be in effect for the December 7 filing deadline for the March primary. 

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Ohio Court of Appeals Upholds Usage of Undefined, Industry "Term-of-Art" in No-Compete

When drafting no-competes, questions about the required level of detail always arise; more detail is generally better than less, but not always. The required level of detail in a no-compete was among the questions addressed by the Ohio Court of Appeals last week in Osei-Tutu Owusu, M.D. v. Hope Cancer Of Northwest Ohio, Inc., a no-compete case involving a physician, Dr. Owusu.

During negotiations over the terms of his no-compete, Dr. Owusu rejected a proposal that he be restricted from practicing within a specific 35-mile radius. Nevertheless, he ultimately signed a no-compete which defined his post-employment restricted area as “the primary service area of Lima, Ohio and the primary service area of Van Wert, Ohio.”

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Employers’ summer of discontent: Obama labor board pushes anti-employer agenda

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Mark A. Spognardi

Mark A. Spognardi

While employers have been increasingly worried about a double dip recession, the National Labor Relations Board has had a busy summer proposing and implementing rules and issuing decisions designed to promote the unionization of America’s workforce. The Obama Labor Board has taken over where the President has failed, delivering victories to organized labor at a time when the public sentiment towards unions has become, at best, distrustful, and at the worst, disdainful.

Applicable to all employers falling under the Board’s jurisdiction, the Board has issued a final regulatory rule requiring employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The Notice informs employees that they have a 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 these activities. Employers will be required to post the notice where other workplace notices are typically posted, by November 11, 2011. The rule also specifies when the notice must be posted in a foreign language. The notice, on an 11 by 17 inch poster, is now available from the Board’s website at www.nlrb.gov, and in the future from the Board’s regional offices. A failure to post the notice is an unfair labor practice.

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Aftershocks from D.C.’s "Labor Law Earthquake" Likely to be Felt Throughout the U.S. Hospitality Industry

By:  Kara M. Maciel and Mark M. Trapp

On August 23, 2011 the Washington D.C. area experienced a 5.9 magnitude earthquake. A week later, a “labor law earthquake” of far greater magnitude had its epicenter in a federal agency in D.C. In the coming weeks and months, its aftershocks will be felt by unprepared employers, particularly those operating hotels, restaurants, spas and clubs in the hospitality industry.

In an opinion that America’s largest private sector labor union called a“monumental victor[y] … for unions,” the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) upended decades of precedent and placed virtually all employers at risk of organizing by so-called “micro unions.” The decision, Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, 357 NLRB No. 83 (Aug. 26, 2011), was made public on August 30, 2011.

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Doing Business in Portugal

With 10 centuries of history, our country is located in the intersection of Europe, America and Africa.

As the legacy of the former Empire, Portuguese language is the 5th most spoken in the world, being spread over the 5 continents, notably in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé e Princípe, Guiné Bissau, Macau and East Timor.

Lisbon is the capital of a territory that comprises the mainland and the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, surrounded by one of the largest maritimal areas of the world.

For the full guide to doing business in Portugal, please click here.

 

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Updated – HHS Publishes Health Insurance Premium Rate Review Final Rule, Amends Rule to Include Policies Sold Through Associations, and Lists States with Effective Rate Review Programs

EBG Introduces Interactive National Rate Review Scorecard

by Jesse M. Caplan and Lynn Shapiro Snyder

Shortly after the September 1st effective date for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Rate Review Regulations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published an Amendment to the Final Rule that revises the definitions of “Individual Market” and “Small Group Market” to include insurance policies sold to individuals and small groups through associations, whether or not the applicable state includes association coverage in its own definitions of the individual and small group markets. CMS also recently added two more states to the list of states with “effective rate review programs” covering both the individual and small group insurance markets.

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NLRB Continues its Mission to Revamp Labor Law: Modifies standard for determining appropriate bargaining units in non-acute health care facilities

In our January 10, 2011 Alert, Inch by Inch, Row by Row–NLRB Looks to Facilitate Organizing in Non-Acute Health Care Facilities, we advised you that the National Labor Relations Board was re-evaluating how it determines an appropriate bargaining unit in non-acute health care facilities.   In Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB No. 83 (Member Hayes dissenting…again), the Board found that Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) may comprise an appropriate bargaining unit without including other nonprofessional employees.  In doing so, the Board overruled Park Manor Care Center, Inc., 305 NLRB 872, 875 (1991) as “obsolete.”

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Update on the Confusion in Illinois Non-Compete Law

Illinois’ appellate courts are divided into five districts. Illinois’ lower (or trial) courts typically follow the decisions of the appellate district in which they are located. Unfortunately for employees and employers alike, those districts currently disagree about the appropriate standard for enforcing non-compete agreements. As a result, the enforceability of non-compete agreements in Illinois currently depends in part on where a lawsuit is filed.

The most recent appellate case that added to this confusion was the Illinois Court of Appeals for the Second District’s December 2010 opinion in Reliable Fire Equipment Company v. Arredondo, which we blogged about here. However, earlier this year, the Illinois Supreme Court granted leave to appeal in that case so that it could resolve the disagreement in the various appellate districts. Oral argument in that case has now been set for September 22, 2011. As a result, we may be one step closer to resolving the current confusion in Illinois non-compete law. Stay tuned.

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Divide by three – APRA turns twelve prudential standards into four

Divide by three – APRA turns twelve prudential standards into four

By Greg Moss, Gadens Lawyers, Sydney

Following its December 2010 consultation package, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released four prudential standards, intended to consolidate 12 existing standards across the authorised deposit-taking, general insurance and life insurance industries. read more

 

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Advertising Alert: IS THIS THE END OF PREMIUM TEXT MESSAGING GAMES?

More than four years after lawsuits were filed against Fox Broadcasting, NBC, and other parties claiming that sweepstakes promoted on the TV shows “Deal Or No Deal” and “American Idol” were illegal under California and Massachusetts law, the parties have reached a tentative settlement.

The settlement, scheduled for a preliminary hearing in federal district court in California on September 19, provides that the defendants will:

1)  refund all premium text message charges paid by class members – potentially millions of people – who submit valid claims,

For the full alert, please click here.

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