ILN Today Post

2020 Year End Review: CFIUS Regulations & Export Controls Impacting CFIUS Scrutiny

In 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) issued several final regulations to implement the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (“FIRRMA”), which as readers will recall expanded the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) to review and take action to address national security concerns arising from certain investments and real estate transactions involving foreign persons. Read more…

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ILN Today Post

U.S. Government Imposes Additional Export Controls on China Trade

Towards the end of its term, the Trump Administration continues to strengthen regulation of trade with China, even when it means leaving implementation of the new controls to the Biden Administration.

For companies doing business in and with China, the increased export controls and economic sanctions – a recent executive order prohibiting transactions with popular Chinese mobile payment apps, a new ‘Military End Use’ list that tightens export licensing for designated items, and a ban on securities investments in Chinese military entities – call for enhanced due diligence to ensure compliance. Read more…

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California Supreme Court Concludes That Dynamex Applies Retroactively

As we have previously written here, the California Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court dramatically changed the standard for determining whether workers in California were properly classified as independent contractors, creating a new “ABC” test that has subsequently been codified as AB 5. A significant question left open was whether Dynamex would apply retroactively.

In Vasquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., the California Supreme Court has concluded that Dynamex indeed applies retroactively.  Rejecting an argument that the “ABC” test created new law and therefore should not be applied retroactively, the California Supreme Court determined that the decision did nothing more than provide an authoritative definition of what it means to “suffer or permit to work.”

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ILN Today Post

PRC Court Issued Interim Injunction in a Case Involving Determination of Royalty Rates Globally

On 25 December 2020, the Wuhan Intermediate Court of Hubei Province (the Wuhan Court) issued an Interim Injunction (the Injunction”) in a case (the Case) where the applicants Samsung Electronic Co. Ltd. and Samsung (China) Investment Co. Ltd. (collectively, Samsung) sued Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Ericsson) for determination of royalty rates for using Ericssons standard and essential patents (the SEPs).  The Injunction prohibits Ericsson from seeking injunction or awards from courts in or outside of China to prohibit Samsung from using the SEPs or on matters otherwise relating to the license of the SEPs. Read more…

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Our Insurance Law Practice Group Welcomes Jean-François Germain

January 18, 2021 — RSS is pleased to welcome Jean-François Germain into our Insurance Law Practice Group. Jean-François has 25 years of experience with litigation matters, particularly insurance cases. He has significant experience with construction law, product liability, professional liability, and general insurance law cases.

Jean-François is also accredited by the Quebec Bar as a mediator in civil matters.

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A Snapshot of our Recent Activity — Insurance Law

January 18, 2021 — First and foremost, we would like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2021 in both your personal and professional lives. We look forward to sharing with you a snapshot of our activities over the course of the year.

Since our previous six-month review, the firm has been very busy. In fact RSS has been quite active for a century, tracing its origins to 1921. It is thanks to the trust and loyalty of our clients that we are proudly celebrating an important milestone: our 100th!! Past achievements are the steppingstones to consistently providing continued reliable advice to businesses and individuals.

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Mayor Bowser Signs Non-Compete Ban, Congressional Review Underway

The District of Columbia is bracing for a transition.  But while employers across the country wait to see what changes the Biden Administration may bring, Washington, D.C. employers should prepare for a drastic and imminent change in their own backyard.

As we previously reported, last month the District of Columbia Council passed the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-563) (the “Act”).  On January 11, 2021, Mayor Bowser signed the legislation. It will now be sent to Congress for the congressional review period set forth by the Home Rule Act.  Absent Congress passing and the President signing a joint resolution of disapproval, which is unlikely to happen, the law will take effect after 30 legislative session days and publication in the D.C. Register, and apply upon inclusion of its fiscal affect in an approved budget and financial plan.

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Less Than a Month After DOJ Brings Its First Wage-Fixing Indictment, DOJ Brings Its First “No-Poach” Indictment

In the past month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has made good on its 2016 threat, contained in its Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals (“Antitrust Guidance”) to bring criminal charges against people or corporations who enter into naked wage-fixing agreements or naked no-poach agreements.   First, as reported here, on December 9, 2020, DOJ obtained an indictment against the president of a staffing company who allegedly violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by conspiring with competitors to “fix wages” paid to physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA).  Although not mentioned in the indictment, a related Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint alleged that the defendant agreed with competing staffing companies to lower wages after a client unilaterally lowered the rates paid to the defendant for PT and PTA services.  On January 7, 2021, DOJ announced a second indictment, which alleged that two corporations operating outpatient medical care facilities violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by reaching “naked no poach agreements” with two competitors, pursuant to which they agreed not to solicit each other’s “senior-level employees.”

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Podcast: Forecast for Telehealth Fraud and Abuse Risk in 2021 – Diagnosing Health Care

This Diagnosing Health Care episode examines the fraud and abuse enforcement landscape in the telehealth space and considers ways telehealth providers can mitigate their enforcement risks as they move into the new year. Hear how the uptick in enforcement warrants close consideration by telehealth providers, especially those that are new to the space and have not yet built their compliance infrastructures.

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Under the Heroes Act, Employers can Help Pay your Student Loans

On December 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law a $900 billion pandemic relief bill that provides extended relief for qualified student loan borrowers. Known as the “Heroes Act,” the stimulus package is a win for borrowers seeking student loan repayment from their employers.

The initial $2.2 trillion stimulus package that Congress passed in March 2020 – the “Cares Act” –temporarily expanded Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “IRC”) to permit employers to make tax-free payments of up to $5,250 during calendar year 2020 towards employees’ qualified federal and private student loans. Prior to the Cares Act, employers were permitted under IRC Section 127 to make tax-free payments of up to $5,250 per year under an education assistance program towards an employee’s qualified educational expenses, which included, for example, tuition and books, but not student loan repayments.

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