Legal Updates

Davis & Gilbert Advertising Law Alert >> Proposed Guidelines on Food Marketing to Children

PROPOSED VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES ON FOOD MARKETING TO CHILDREN

In an effort to combat childhood obesity, former Senator Sam Brownback and Senator Tom Harkin directed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), to establish an Interagency Working Group (IWG) consisting of nutrition, health and marketing experts to develop recommendations for the nutritional quality of foods marketed to children, ages 2-17.

In response to that directive, the IWG developed the following nutrition principles and marketing criteria for implementation by the year 2016.

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Supreme Court’s Game Changer: No class certification in Wal-Mart sex discrimination case

In an eagerly anticipated opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes today. The Court held that insufficient proof existed to allow certification of a class of more than one million women in a sex discrimination suit against Wal-Mart. The Court ruled only on the procedural issue of whether a class should be certified and not on the merits of the plaintiffs’ discrimination claims.

In Wal-Mart, the plaintiffs sought certification of a class of over one million women claiming that Wal-Mart had a companywide policy of discriminating against women in pay and promotion. The plaintiffs initially sought to include women who were not even employed by Wal-Mart when the lawsuit was filed in 2001. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit allowed certification of a narrowed class of women who worked at the company at the time of the 2001 suit. Wal-Mart appealed that decision arguing that the plaintiffs could not show that the claims of the over one million women were sufficiently similar to support certification as a class.

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Enforcement against state-owned art abroad

The Czech government is urgently trying to repatriate its art lent to overseas institutions, to avoid it being seized to enforce a $500m Czech judgment, obtained against the Czech state by a commercial organisation. See Artinfo: http://bit.ly/jQskNk
Art has already been seized from a gallery in Vienna, and Paris seems likely to follow.  Could it happen in London?

Within the EU, it is relatively easy to get a court of one member state to recognise and enforce a judgment of another member state.  As the Czech Republic is in the EU, it is not surprising that the defendant is concentrating on Czech assets in other EU states.  The Czech government is arguing that the judgment is not yet “final” and, if that is right, it should not be enforceable at all, but some member states are more willing than others to allow “protective measures”, that is the freezing or restraining of assets pending the outcome of proceedings.  That is what has happened in Austria, but the English court would be far less willing to do that.

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Employers Beware: With new round of audits, ICE seeks to chill illegal hiring

On Wednesday, June 15, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security launched a wide-scale audit of employers’ hiring records to assess compliance with employment eligibility verification laws. For the second time this year, Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Office delivered Notices of Inspection to 1,000 employers advising that ICE will audit those employers’ I-9 Forms. In addition, as part of the audits, ICE will also review employers’ payroll records, lists of employees and former employees, articles of incorporation, and other employment-related documents.

In announcing this latest round of audits, ICE indicated that it is “targeting” certain industries that have a role in the nation’s “critical infrastructure and key resources.” These industries include food production, information technology, health care, transportation, financial services and construction. The inspections are not limited to large employer, but according to ICE will target “employers of all sizes and in every state in the nation.”

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SEC Final Rule on Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Bounty Awards and Protections Discussed in Bloomberg Article

In previous articles and postings, we have cautioned that legislative policy of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act threatens to circumvent corporate compliance programs and drive whistleblowers having vital information outside the organization in the hope of receiving rich bounty awards. In a recent article published by Bloomberg Law Reports®, Allen Roberts discusses some of the challenges businesses subject to SEC jurisdiction need to address in the face of the SEC’s Final Rule – mindful that the plaintiffs’ bar has geared up to capitalize on new opportunities.

For more information, see Allen B. Roberts, Dodd-Frank Bounty Awards and Protections Change Whistleblower Stakes — Will Opporunity for Personal Gain Frustrate Corporate Compliance?, Bloomberg Law Reports – Securities Law (2011) (pdf)

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Fight for your right: Employer successfully challenges EEOC administrative subpoena

Administrative agencies, the EEOC and NLRB included, often view their subpoena powers broadly – sometimes in the estimation of employers and their counsel, too broadly. A recent Pennsylvania federal court case took a narrower view.

In EEOC v University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).pdf, the district court for the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled that an administrative subpoena the EEOC issued the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was a “fishing expedition” and denied the application for enforcement of the subpoena.

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Download Our Guides on Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Laws, Published by Epstein Becker & Green and the Practical Law Company

Peter Steinmeyer and I are pleased to announce that our guide, “Non-Compete Laws: Illinois,” written with Christie Tate, is now available in PDF format. See below for more information about this series of guides written and published by our firm, EpsteinBeckerGreen, and the Practical Law Company:

EpsteinBeckerGreen, in Conjunction with Practical Law Company, Wrote and Published Statewide Guides on Non-Compete and Trade Secret Laws

The national law firm of EpsteinBeckerGreen, in conjunction with the Practical Law Company, recently wrote and published statewide guides on the non-compete laws of Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey and on the trade secret laws of the District of Columbia.

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Tax Alert: FBAR filing deadline June 30, 2011; Minor extension for certain financial professionals

You are required to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) if you have a financial interest in, or signature authority over, one or more financial accounts, including bank, securities and other types of financial accounts in a foreign country, and the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. The FBAR must be filed by June 30 of each year and must be filed separately from your tax return.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network recently announced that a small subset of individuals with only signature authority required to file the FBARs will receive a one-year extension beyond the upcoming filing date of June 30, 2011. Notice 2011-1 extends the deadline until June 30, 2012, for the following individuals:

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Crain’s Ideas at Dawn podcast: How to prevent fraud at your company – Ned Searby

Ned Searby was a panelist for the Crain’s Ideas at Dawn podcast: How to prevent fraud at your company.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

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Portion of Schedule H of Form 990 Optional For Hospitals

On June 9th, 2011 the IRS announced that it was making Part V.B. of Schedule H of Form 990 optional for the 2010 tax year.

For more information please visit www.omwhealthlaw.com or click on the headline above.

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