News

Maine Celebrates Equal Pay Day with New Equal Pay Act Amendments; Legislation Awaits Governor’s Signature

On April 2, 2019, the Maine Legislature celebrated Equal Pay Day by passing two significant amendments (“Amendments”) to the Maine Equal Pay Act. If, as expected, Governor Janet Mills signs the measure, certain salary history inquiries and employer policies prohibiting employee wage discussions will be deemed “evidence of discrimination.”  While the Amendments do not directly “prohibit” such inquiries and policies, in effect, they operate as a ban on such conduct.

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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Law Society of Ontario’s Bencher Election

I will not be voting for any bencher candidates that do not fully and openly support equity, inclusion and diversity initiatives.  Here’s why.

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Wage and Hour Administrator Issues Opinion Letters Addressing the 8-and-80 Overtime Method, as well as “Fair Reading” of the FLSA Exemptions for Teachers & Agricultural Employees

The Acting Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently issued opinion letters addressing (i) the 8-and-80 overtime pay system available to certain healthcare employers; (ii) the overtime exemption for teachers, and (iii) the exemption for employees in agriculture.  The analyses and conclusions in those opinion letters are instructive for employers not only in those industries, but in many other industries as well, because they confirm the Department’s commitment to construing FLSA exemptions fairly rather than narrowly.

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Howard & Howard Continues Expansion of Metro Detroit Office

Royal Oak-based law firm Howard & Howard is pleased to announce that Aaron J. Beresh and David J. Goswami have joined the firm. Both will practice out of the firm’s Royal Oak office.

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DOL Proposes New Rule to Determine Joint Employer Status under the FLSA

In the first meaningful revision of its joint employer regulations in over 60 years, on Monday, April 1, 2019 the Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed a new rule establishing a four-part test to determine whether a person or company will be deemed to be the joint employer of persons employed by another employer. Joint employer status confers joint and several liability with the primary employer and any other joint employers for all wages due to the employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and it’s often a point of dispute when an employee lodges claims for unpaid wages or overtime.

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Swings and Roundabouts – The Number of Taxes Decreases Further in Hungary

60, 59, 58, 55… this is how the number of taxes has changed in Hungary over the past 4 years. The trend is certainly encouraging, but behind the figures there are some more complex phenomena at play.

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The Legal 500 EMEA 2019: Lidings Recommended Top Legal Advisor in Russia

A new ranking for the world’s best law firms and individual lawyers annually provided by The Legal 500 EMEA once again confirms Lidings position as one of the strongest legal advisors in corporate and M&A and dispute resolution in Russia.

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SCC: Party Autonomy in Arbitration Trumps Access to Justice Concerns

In a 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada held the concept of “party autonomy” and holding parties to a valid arbitration agreement trumped access to justice and policy concerns.  The Court allowed an appeal from the Court of Appeal for Ontario in which the majority ruled that part of a class action should be stayed and should proceed by way of arbitration even where there was a possibility of duplicating proceedings and inconsistent results.

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Ohio Senate passes bill to create tax credit for Opportunity Zone investments

We have been following a new federal program that provides federal tax benefits for qualifying investments in geographically designated Opportunity Zones. As part of federal tax reform in 2017, Congress created the Opportunity Zone program to encourage investment in low-income areas. Last October the IRS and Treasury Department issued proposed regulations to provide investors with further guidance on the program. Now, the Ohio General Assembly is seriously considering a tax credit against the Ohio income tax with similar policy objectives in mind.

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FDA Announces New Proposed Rule to Enhance Mammography Services

On March 27, 2019, the FDA announced that it would be proposing new amendments to key regulations regarding mammography facilities that would require these entities “to tell women more about how dense breast tissue can affect their health and increase their cancer risk.”  The proposed changes to mammography facility regulations would be the first issued in more than 20 years.  The FDA believes the change will “expand the information mammography facilities must provide to patients and health care professionals, allowing for more informed medical decision-making.”  In addition, FDA is proposing to modernize quality standards by, for example, expressly authorizing FDA communications with patients and practitioners in the event of quality issues, requiring use of FDA-approved or -cleared digital accessories, and strengthening recordkeeping requirements.  These changes not only enhance regulatory requirements, but likely foreshadow increasing enforcement and communications from FDA with regard to mammography services.

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