Utah and Idaho Continue Trend of State Legislatures’ Focusing on Non-Competes

Two western states, Utah and Idaho, have recently passed or amended their statutes dealing with post-employment restrictions on competition.  This continues a national trend in which new state law in this area is increasingly the product of legislative action rather than judicial interpretation.  Thus, even if an employer has no current presence in these states, it is worth one’s time to understand these changes because they could soon be coming your way.

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An Excess of Excess (Clauses)

Foster v QBE European Underwriting Services (Australia) Pty Ltd as managing agent for Lloyd’s Syndicate 386 [2018] NSWSC 440

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ILN Today Post

West Virginia passes law permitting forced pooling

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice recently signed into law HB 4268, the “Co-Tenancy Modernization and Majority Protection Act.” A victory for landowners and the natural gas industry, the bill will take effect July 1, 2018 and essentially acts as a forced pooling law similar to that already in effect in Pennsylvania.

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Ninth Circuit’s Decision Holds That Salary History Is Not a Defense to Equal Pay Claims

The federal Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) mandates equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.  Employers that pay men and women different wages for the same work are strictly liable for violations of the EPA unless they can show that one or more of four exceptions apply to explain the wage disparity. The four statutory exceptions are seniority, merit, the quantity or quality of the employee’s work, or “any other factor other than sex.”  The Ninth Circuit recently took up the question of the meaning of the fourth, catchall exception – “any factor other than sex” – in order to consider whether an employer may rely, in whole or in part, on an employee’s prior salary as a basis for explaining a pay differential in Aileen Rizo v. Jim Yovino.

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Washington Prohibits Nondisclosure Agreements Related to Sexual Harassment or Assault

On March 21, 2018, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed bill SB 5996 (the “Law”), which prohibits employers from requiring as a condition of employment that employees sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing them from discussing workplace sexual harassment or sexual assault. The Law goes into effect on June 7, 2018.

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DOJ Antitrust Division Follows Through on Warnings Regarding Antitrust Scrutiny of Employer Non-Solicitation Agreements

On April 3, 2018, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) announced that it had entered into a settlement with two of the world’s largest railroad equipment manufacturers resolving a lawsuit alleging the defendant employers had entered into unlawful “no-poach” agreements.  The DOJ’s Complaint, captioned U.S. v. Knorr-Bremse AG and Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp., 18-cv-00747 (D. D.C.) alleges that three employers referred to as Knorr, Wabtec and Faively,[1] unlawfully promised one another “not to solicit, recruit, hire without approval, or otherwise compete for employees.”  It goes on to allege “[t]hese no-poach agreements denied American rail industry workers access to better job opportunities, restricted their mobility, and deprived them of competitively significant information that they could have used to negotiate better terms of employment.”

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Senate Confirms John Ring to Restore Full Five-Member Board

On Wednesday, the Senate narrowly confirmed John Ring, a management-side labor attorney from Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”).  With this vote, Ring fills the last remaining open seat on the Board, which was previously held by former Chairman Philip Miscimarra.  Ring’s term will expire on December 16, 2022.  The confirmation vote of 50-48 was largely down party lines, with only two Democrats voting in favor of Ring’s confirmation.  The strong opposition from the Democrats is likely due to the perceived efforts of the Trump administration to install pro-business members to the Board.  Several prominent Democratic senators, including Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), made very critical statements about Ring ahead of the vote.

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Talking Tax – Issue 114

Case law

The Harman Obligation and the requirement to produce documents under a Tax audit

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Insurance in Superannuation Code of Practice: Transition position

What is your insurance transition position?

The first part of this series, released on 2 March 2018, focussed on superannuation funds indicating their intention to adopt the Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice (Voluntary Code), and the second part, released on 27 March 2018 focussed on the claims handling process. One further key issue for funds that choose to adopt the Voluntary Code will be managing the transition process.

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Hall & Wilcox lawyers named as 2019 Best Lawyers in Australia

Leading independent business law firm Hall & Wilcox is pleased to announce 36 lawyers have been recognised in the 2019 Best Lawyers in Australia list as published in today’s Australian Financial Review.

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