Legal Updates

Getting Paid for Getting Dressed

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a new interpretation of donning and doffing requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act, bringing the Department’s interpretation in line with recent court decisions. The issue is whether employees should be paid for putting on and taking off clothing before and after work.

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New Business Law in the Dominican Republic

The new Commercial Societies and Individual Enterprises of Limited Responsibilities General Law (Law No. 479-08), substitutes and derogates the Third Title in the Commercial Code that is in effect, that includes the articles 18 to the 64 regarding the Commercial Societies.

This new Law recognizes and maintains in effect the different types of societies known from the Commercial Code. Nevertheless, institutes two new classes of societies: the Societies of Limited Responsibilities (SRL by the initials in Spanish) and the Individual Enterprises of Limited Responsibilities (EIRL by the initials in Spanish).
This way the law recognizes and regulates the following types of societies:
Joint-Stock Societies of Public and Private Subscription
Collective Name Societies
Simple Silent Partnership Societies
Stocks Partnership Societies
Societies of Limited Responsibilities
Individual Enterprises of Limited Responsibilities
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PPACA Amends Rehabilitation Act to Mandate Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment to Accommodate Individuals with Disabilities

by Shawn Gilman and Frank C. Morris, Jr.

A little-noticed provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will significantly impact both health care manufacturers and providers.  The provision amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require regulations by March 23, 2012, mandating that all medical diagnostic equipment and health care provider locations be able to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities.  This requirement would mean a redesign of both diagnostic equipment and locations for patient interactions to assure that individuals with disabilities who could not utilize currently available diagnostic equipment or provider locations will, in the future, have access to the care and services available to individuals without disabilities.  They must be able to have access to—and independently be able to enter, use, and exit—the equipment to the maximum extent possible.  This is significant because of the often high cost of diagnostic equipment and space requirements at provider locations.

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Immigration Alert: June 2010

USCIS Redesigns Green Card and Issues Revised EAD

DOS Increases Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fees

DHS Eliminates Paper I-94W Arrival/Departure Record for Visa Waiver

May 21, 2010, H-1B Cap Count

DOL Unveils Online ‘Advisor’ Tool to Help Employers Comply with H-1B Visa Program Requirements

Class Action Lawsuit Challenges New Arizona Immigration Law

Poll Finds that Voters Want Congress to Move Forward with Immigration Overhaul

DOS Issues June 2010 Visa Bulletin

I. USCIS Redesigns Green Card and Issues Revised EAD

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HEALTH REFORM: PPACA Amends Rehabilitation Act to Mandate Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment to Accommodate Individuals with Disabilities

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) contains a provision that will significantly affect all types of health care manufacturers and providers.[1] Section 4203 of PPACA amends Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Rehab Act”) by adding a new section that requires the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (“ATBCB”), in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) Commissioner, to promulgate regulatory standards for medical diagnostic equipment used in physician offices, clinics, emergency rooms, hospitals, and other medical settings to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. Particularly, the standards are intended to ensure that individuals with disabilities (a) have access to and use of the equipment, and (b) will independently be able to enter, use, and exit the equipment to the maximum extent possible. The medical diagnostic equipment explicitly mentioned in this provision includes examination tables and chairs, weight scales, and radiological equipment.

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What It Takes to Be a Winner

Please CLICK HERE to read about PowerPlay NYC’s exciting, upcoming event–“What It Takes to Be a Winner”–which will be held on July 6, 2010, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at The Yale Club (50 Vanderbilt Avenue in Manhattan).  The event will feature a conversation with Venus Williams, who is celebrating the publication of her new book entitled Come to Win: How Sports Can Help You Ace Your Goals and Top Your Profession, and lunch and leadership conversations with PowerPlay’s Summer Leadership Academy participants.

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Corporations Cannot Appear in Court Without an Attorney

The current economy may cause corporations to try to cut costs by having a non-attorney such as a corporate officer appear in court on their behalf.  After all, individuals can appear in court pro se (representing themselves without an attorney).  Foregoing legal representation is not a good strategy in Washington State, however, because the state’s […]

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ARB Clarifies Burden Whistleblowers Bear for Equitable Extension of SOX Statute of Limitations

On the heels of its 2-1 decision in Hyman v. KD Resources, allowing equitable estoppel to extend the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) statute of limitations (noted in our blog posting of April 20, 2010), the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB) has issued a unanimous decision clarifying the burden for whistleblowers to survive dismissal of complaints that are not filed within the explicit 90-day statute of limitations. Daryanani v. Royal & Sun Alliance, ARB No. 08-106, ALJ No. 2007-SOX-79 (ARB May 27, 2010).

Adhering to the principle that equitable estoppel may apply when certain employer conduct interferes with a whistleblower-employee’s exercise of rights, the ARB nevertheless refused to extend the SOX statute of limitations on the basis of alleged inaction by an employer. Holding equitable estoppel would not be available in the circumstances, the ARB observed that the employer had no affirmative obligation to:

  • inform the employee of potential causes of action,
  • inform the employee of time limitations applicable under statutes creating a cause of action, or
  • counter-sign a severance release agreement within the statute of limitations deadline.
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Executive Order 13496 Requires Federal Contractors and Subcontractors to Notify Employees of Their Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act

On May 20, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards published its final rules implementing Executive Order 13496. See 29 CFR Part 471 (Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws) As a result, beginning on June 19, 2010, federal contractors and subcontractors that enter into new federal contracts, subcontracts, or modifications to existing contracts on or after that date will be required to post a detailed government notice (“Notice”) informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or “the Act”). These rights include not only the right to obtain union representation and to engage in collective bargaining but also, for example, the right to share wage and benefit information with co-workers and others. As the regulations make clear, Executive Order 13496 and the Notice are intended to promote collective bargaining, and along with it, union organizing activity. The regulations also provide direction on how and where the Notice is to be posted and communicated to employees, and explain how the Department of Labor (“DOL”) will enforce the posting requirements.

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Vermont Gift Ban and Disclosure Laws Amended to Require Drug and Device Manufacturers to Report Product Samples

Recently enacted Vermont Senate Bill 88 (“S.B. 88“)[1] amends Vermont’s existing gift ban law, Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, § 4631a (“§ 4631a“), and disclosure law, Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, § 4632 (“§ 4632“).[2] Significantly, S.B. 88 requires manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biological products[3] to report annually to the Vermont Office of the Attorney General certain information related to “free samples of prescribed products provided to health care providers during the preceding calendar year.”[4] “Sample” is defined as “a unit of a prescription drug, biological product, or medical device that is not intended to be sold and is intended to promote the sale of the drug, product, or device,” including starter packs and coupons or vouchers that allow an individual to receive a prescribed product for free or at a discounted price. The first report is due by April 1, 2012, for the reporting period of January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011.

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