ILN Today Post

New York State Initiates Efforts to Regulate Executive Compensation by Not-for-Profits

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has formed the Task Force on Not-for-Profit Entities (the “Task Force”) to investigate executive compensation by not-for-profit organizations that receive state funding.[1] Governor Cuomo announced the Task Force on August 3, 2011, and it quickly took its first action on August 25, 2011, by sending a letter requesting extensive compensation information from many organizations that receive state funds.

This Client Alert describes (i) the Task Force’s mandate, (ii) the compensation information requested in the Task Force’s letter, (iii) several key points to note about the information requested in the letter, and (iv) certain additional insights.

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ILN Today Post

Special Immigration Alert: 2013 Diversity Visa Lottery Begins on October 4, 2011, and Ends on November 5, 2011!

The Department of State (“DOS”) announced on September 13, 2011, the opening of the registration period for the DV-2013 Diversity Visa (“DV-2013”) lottery. The online registration period for the DV-2013 lottery will begin on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. EDT (GMT-4), and conclude on Saturday, November 5, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. EDT (GMT-4).

It is strongly recommended that applicants not wait until the last week of this registration period to enter because heavy demands could result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after 12:00 p.m. EDT on November 5, 2011. During the registration period, information, instructions, and the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form for the DV-2013 lottery will appear at www.dvlottery.state.gov.

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New York City Raises the Bar for Employers to Show ‘Undue Hardship’ in Addressing Employees’ Religious Accommodation

by Susan Gross Sholinsky, Dean L. Silverberg, Steven M. Swirsky, and Jennifer A. Goldman

New York City employers take note: under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), it is now considerably more difficult for employers to establish “undue hardship” in the context of denying an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation due to his or her religious observance or practice. While previously silent on the issue, the NYCHRL now includes a definition of the term “undue hardship,” as follows: “an accommodation requiring significant expense or difficulty (including a significant interference with the safe or efficient operation of the workplace or a violation of a bona fide seniority system).” This language mirrors the definition currently included in the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), and along with other changes described below, was included in Local Law 54, 2011 (entitled the Workplace Religious Freedom Act) (the “Act”). The Act was unanimously passed by the New York City Council and became effective when signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on August 30, 2011.

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ILN Today Post

Building Relationships and Trust in a Network of Lawyers, Part I – Guest Post from Barry Camson

Barry Camson is an organization development consultant and trainer who works with organizations to help them be more collaborative and effective. He is a former practicing attorney in Boston. He can be reached at bcamson@aol.com.

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What can the International Lawyers Network (ILN) of law firms contribute to our knowledge of what it takes for law firms to succeed in the 21st century?

David Maister in an article in the April 2006 issue of The American Lawyer raises the issue of: “Are Law Firms Manageable.” In that article he delves into the reasons why law firms may not be and why in meeting their contemporary business needs they should be. Maister wonders whether law firms will be able to respond to the need for effective cross-office and cross-disciplinary action in order to meet the needs of clients.

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CMS Innovation Center Announces Four Models in Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative

by Lesley R. Yeung, Shawn M. Gilman, and Serra J. Schlanger

On August 23, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Innovation Center announced a new initiative to encourage health care providers to better coordinate patient care. The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative (“Bundled Payments Initiative”) seeks to align the financial incentives among hospitals, physicians, and non-physician practitioners through the use of a single negotiated payment for all services provided during an episode of care. The use of a bundled payment is expected to encourage hospitals, doctors, and other specialists to coordinate in treating a patient’s specific condition during a single hospital stay and recovery.

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ILN Today Post

NLRB Required Notice On Employee Rights Is Now Available

Arnstein & Lehr attorney E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

As previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) requires virtually all employers, union and non-union, to post a new employee rights notice as of November 14, 2011. The new NLRB poster is now available for free download at www.nlrb.gov/poster. The 11”X17” notice should be posted in a conspicuous location, where all other labor law notifications are posted.

For further information regarding this new posting requirement, including a detailed discussion of which employers are covered by the National Labor Relations Act, you can contact us or visit the NLRB website at www.nlrb.gov.

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ILN Today Post

Barry Chatz, George Apostolides provide content for Financier Worldwide’s Global Reference Guide: Americas Restructuring 2011

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Barry A. Chatz

Barry A. Chatz

Arnstein & Lehr attorney George P. Apostolides

George P. Apostolides

An article entitled, “Midwest word from the street: times still are disconcerting” written by Chicago Partners Barry Chatz and George Apostolides was featured in Financier Worldwide’s Global Reference Guide: Americas Restructuring 2011. Financier Worldwide’s Global Reference Guides deliver valuable insight and extensive professional coverage of issues and development driving the international business community. Barry and George’s article addresses the continued concerns facing Midwestern businesses and corporations.

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Recognition of 18 lawyers from RSS by The Best Lawyers in Canada 2012

RSS is pleased to announce that 18 lawyers from the firm were recognized for their expertise in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2012. Best Lawyers ® has come to be regarded, both by members of the profession and the public, as the definitive guide to legal excellence since its inception in Canada six years ago. This new edition is based on a rigorous national survey involving more than 373,000 detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.

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ILN Today Post

Facebook Tutorials – Creating a Profile Part II

So now we’ve created a very basic Facebook profile, and just as we did with LinkedIn, it’s time to expand on that.

When Facebook welcomes you, they want you to fill in your profile information, activate your mobile phone, find people you know and control what information you share.  We’ll go through each of these steps, as well as the “why” behind them, in the coming days.  Today, we’re going to focus on step one – filling out your profile information.

You may remember that we finished up at this screen the other day: 

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ILN Today Post

Energy Alert: Attention Ohio business owners: Are you making the best electricity choice?

A smart electricity choice for your business can save your company a considerable amount of money. Because Ohio now has a deregulated electricity environment, almost invariably you can get a much cheaper price by shopping your electricity load rather than accepting the electricity pricing provided by your current utility. Even the smallest company can benefit from shopping.

Ohio provides additional opportunities for the sophisticated buyer. A company can reduce its electricity costs by taking its load to auction and/or by negotiating directly with electricity providers in order to secure a better rate. AEP recently filed a settlement with interested parties for its new Electric Security Plan beginning January 2012. While the plan is now pending Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) approval, a key item in this plan is a cap on the percentage of customers switching from AEP to a retail supplier. McDonald Hopkins can help you navigate energy choices during this transition period. Additional options for energy savings are available for mercantile customers, defined as commercial or industrial customers that use at least 700,000 kilowatt hours per year. Among these options are:

  • Obtaining a waiver for the costly efficiency rider
  • Exploring alternative tariff rate options
  • Pursuing a unique arrangement
  • Taking advantage of the proposed economic development incentive
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