Legal Updates

"How to protect your business from workplace retaliation claims," Nicole Gray Interviewed by Smart Business Magazine

How to protect your business from workplace retaliation claims

Nicole Gray Interviewed by Smart Business Magazine

Workplace retaliation claims are an ever-increasing litigation concern for employers. In 2010 there were more charges of retaliation filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) than any other type of charge.

“We are certainly seeing an uptick in retaliation claims filed by current and former employees,” says Nicole Gray, an attorney in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at McDonald Hopkins. “Recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court that have expanded the rights of employees who complain about retaliation, energetic enforcement by federal agencies, and increased public awareness are all factors that could explain why retaliation claims are becoming more frequent.” 

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Droit de suite

The reports last week of the decision of the Paris High Court regarding the droit de suite (aka artist’s resale right) on the sale of certain paintings by Salvador Dali are a reminder of what is coming our way.  In less than five months the scheme will be extended to the UK, for deceased artists, under EU Directive 2001/84/EC and the Artist’s Resale Right (Amendment) Regulations.

The scheme provides for part of the sale price of works of art, sold on the art market, to be paid to the artist or his or her heirs for 70 years from the artist’s death.  The maximum amount to be paid is €12,500 per item, based on a sliding scale from 4% down to 0.25% of the price.  The UK has dragged its feet for as long as possible, with the right being introduced for living artists in 2006 and it is now to be extended for deceased artists from 1 January 2012, which will quadruple its scope.
There is a fear that the London art market will be damaged as vendors will choose to sell in countries without such a scheme, especially the US, Switzerland and Hong Kong.  That may particularly be the case where there is a collection of items to be sold.  On the other hand, selling art is expensive and the amount paid under the right may make little difference in most cases. 
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Getting the Deal Through – Mining in 35 Jurisdictions Worldwide (Australia)

For the full article, please see the attached PDF.

“Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through – Mining 2011 (published in July 2011; contributing editors Michael Bourassa and John Turner, Fasken Martineau). For further information please visit www.GettingTheDealThrough.com.”

 

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Getting the Deal Through – Mining in 35 Jurisdictions Worldwide (Papua New Guinea)

For the full article, please see the attached PDF.

“Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through – Mining 2011 (published in July 2011; contributing editors Michael Bourassa and John Turner, Fasken Martineau). For further information please visit www.GettingTheDealThrough.com.”

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Corporate Breakout Session – Anti-Corruption Laws – Around the World Part I

Following introductory comments from Alishan Naqvee, comments on the FCPA from Stuart Gerson and the UK Bribery Act from Charles Wander, the group discussed their thoughts on anti-corruption legislation in their own countries. The discussion was quite lengthy, so I’ve broken it up into multiple posts.

Sueli Avellar Fonseca began with comments about Brazil, which she noted is rated highly on the corruption scale. She said that all the public departments and politicians engage in corruption. The government had created a commission to investigate the existence of corruption and their conclusion was that there is no evidence. Despite this, over the last eight years of the current government, they have made approximately 20 commissions and these commissions are all paid duties to vote in favor of the government. 

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EpsteinBeckerGreen’s Labor and Employment Practice Chair, Jay P. Krupin, Testifies on Union Election Rules in First NLRB Hearing

As you may know, the authors of this blog are attorneys at Epstein Becker Green, a national law firm with approximately 300 lawyers practicing in ten offices throughout the U.S.

On July 19, 2011, Epstein Becker Green’s Jay P. Krupin testified before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concerning the Board’s dramatic rulemaking proposals to modify the representation election process. The firm was one of only a handful of management-side firms invited to provide testimony on behalf of clients at this first-ever NLRB hearing.

Vigorously arguing against the proposed changes, Jay asserted, among other things, that the “blatantly pro-labor” proposals to shorten the pre-election period would significantly hinder employees’ ability to make informed decisions. Jay further admonished the Board for improperly usurping Congress’s power to change federal labor law, and reminded the Board that the legislature has specifically refused to act on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have called for the changes that the Board now seeks to implement by fiat.

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Download Guide To Connecticut Trade Secrets Laws, Published By EpsteinBeckerGreen And The Practical Law Company

The national law firm of EpsteinBeckerGreen, in conjunction with the Practical Law Company, recently wrote and published a statewide guide on the trade secrets laws of Connecticut.

Trade Secret Laws: Connecticut” is written by David S. Poppick of EpsteinBeckerGreen in a “question and answer” format, addressing trade secret and confidentiality laws affecting employers and employees. The focus is on the legal requirements related to protecting trade secrets and confidential information.

“Trade Secret Laws: Connecticut” is the latest in a line of similar guides which EpsteinBeckerGreen and the Practical Law Company have published, regarding non-compete laws of Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut, and trade secrets laws of the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. See our prior posts here and here regarding those guides.

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A "Night Of Giving" to Benefit the Young Women’s Leadership Network

Wanted to give a “shout out” to the wonderful work of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL). On July 20, 2011, the EpsteinBeckerGreen Women’s Initiative was privileged to sponsor a “Night of Giving” in conjunction with NAWL’s Annual Meeting. For those professional women who read this blog and who are lawyers, NAWL is an organization that is about us and for us and – another good and professional way to network with successful women! The “Night of Giving” is a way that women attorneys, all of whom are members of NAWL, assist women and girls in various projects and organizations around the country that espouse the cause and champion the efforts of women in various academic and professional disciplines.

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EpsteinBeckerGreen’s Labor and Employment Practice Chair, Jay P. Krupin, Testifies on Union Election Rules in First NLRB Hearing

As you may know, the authors of this blog are attorneys at Epstein Becker Green, a national law firm with approximately 300 lawyers practicing in ten offices throughout the U.S.

On July 19, 2011, Epstein Becker Green’s Jay P. Krupin testified before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concerning the Board’s dramatic rulemaking proposals to modify the representation election process. The firm was one of only a handful of management-side firms invited to provide testimony on behalf of clients at this first-ever NLRB hearing.

Vigorously arguing against the proposed changes, Jay asserted, among other things, that the “blatantly pro-labor” proposals to shorten the pre-election period would significantly hinder employees’ ability to make informed decisions. Jay further admonished the Board for improperly usurping Congress’s power to change federal labor law, and reminded the Board that the legislature has specifically refused to act on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have called for the changes that the Board now seeks to implement by fiat.

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You May Think That All Non-Compete Agreements Are Unenforceable Under California Law, But You Would Be Wrong

Co-authored by Betsy Johnson* and Viktoria Lovei.

Contrary to popular perception, California law does not bar all restrictive covenants in the employment context. Rather, in certain very narrow circumstances (i.e., non-competes arising in connection with the sale or dissolution of certain businesses), non-competes are permissible under California law.

The General Prohibition of Non-Competes Under California Law

Under California Business and Professions Code § 16600, “every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.” Cal. Bus. & Profs. Code § 16600 (2008). In Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP, 44 Cal.4th 937 (2008), the California Supreme Court confirmed the viability and breadth of section 16600 and expressly rejected a line of Ninth Circuit cases which had upheld sufficiently narrow restrictive covenants that only barred a party from pursuing a small or limited part of its business. Id. at 948-49. The California Supreme Court in Edwards held that “noncompetition agreements are invalid, even if narrowly drawn, unless they fall within the applicable statutory exceptions of section 16601, 16602, or 16602.5.” Id. at 955. These three exceptions are discussed below.

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