In this edition of our newsletter for the public sector, you’ll find a great recipe for Easter, an interview with Stefan Grun, Executive Manager – Marketing & Communications, VicHealth and wrap up the federal budget.
New Jersey Appellate Division Permits Medical Marijuana User to Proceed with Disability Discrimination Claims Under LAD
In a decision that could have sweeping effects on New Jersey employers with drug-free workplace and drug-testing policies, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings ruled that the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) may require employers to reasonably accommodate employees who use medical cannabis permitted by the state’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. 24:6I-1 et seq. (“CUMMA”).
Epstein Becker Green Attorney Yulian Shtern Recognized as a 2019 Cannabis Law Trailblazer by National Law Journal
Thomson Reuters Practical Law published a Practice Note co-authored by Peter A. Steinmeyer and Robert D. Goldstein, Members of the Firm, “Hiring from a Competitor: Practical Tips to Minimize Litigation Risk.” This Practice Note discusses potential statutory and common law claims when hiring from a competitor, the need to identify any existing contractual restrictions a potential new hire may have, how to avoid potential issues during the recruitment process, ensuring the new hire is a “good leaver” during the resignation process, responding to cease and desist letters, and potential pre-litigation settlement concepts.
Funds and financial products
ASIC survey of marketplace lending providers
On 12 April, ASIC released Report 617 Survey of marketplace lending providers: 2017–18 and an accompanying infographic.
Commercial, Corporate and M&A
The team at Holmes O’Malley Sexton is particularly active in the M&A area. Highlights included practice head George Kennedy, who is based in Dublin, advising Silverbay Investment Holdings on the purchase of National Flight Centre, an Irish company specialising in training pilots, and assisting the O’Shea Family Partnership with its investment in 50% of the equity of property developer the O’Malley Group. Limerick-based associate Shane Costello is also noted.
Steven Weinberger is a senior attorney in the Real Estate Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert. He represents landlords and tenants in the leasing of office buildings, retail and industrial properties and ground up development projects located in metropolitan markets throughout the country.
E-commerce has seen exponential growth in India since the issuance of press note 2 of 2000 by the Government of India permitting 100% foreign direct investment (“FDI”) in Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce activities. With the growth came deviations and the Government received many complaints about certain marketplace platforms violating the policy by influencing the price of products and indirectly engaging in inventory based model, which is not otherwise permitted. The Government issued another press note dated December 26, 2018 (“Press Note”) to introduce certain changes to the FDI policy in the e-commerce sector. Coming into effect from February 1, 2019, this Press Note has had far-reaching implications on e-commerce entities (with FDI) operating in India, requiring them to significantly overhaul their existing business model to comply with the current FDI Policy. Reportedly various e-commerce giants like Amazon sought an extension for compliance with this Press Note, however, no such extension was granted, and this Press Note became effective on February 1, 2019.
While Far from a Knockout, the Southern District of New York Strikes a Blow for Businesses Facing Website Accessibility Lawsuits
It is no secret that businesses have long been awaiting a court decision that would help stem the surging tide of website accessibility cases – over a thousand of which have been filed in the Southern District of New York over the last two years. While the S.D.N.Y.’s recent decision dismissing a website accessibility complaint in Himelda Diaz v. Apple, Inc., 18-cv-07550 (LAP) (S.D.N.Y. March 28, 2019) may not have gone as far as businesses would have hoped, it is nonetheless an important victory. Ideally, by requiring greater effort from the plaintiff’s bar to successfully maintain a website accessibility lawsuit, perhaps the court will finally see a reduction in the number of such claims being filed every week.
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.