Lynne Kassie to Receive the Mérite Christine-Tourigny

The Mérite Christine-Tourigny is one of the Bar of Quebec’s most distinctive tributes. It is awarded each year to mark a member’s social commitment and special contribution to the progress of women in the legal profession.

This year, the distinction is awarded to Lynne Kassie, Ad. E., head of our firm’s Family Law Group. Ever since her beginnings, Ms. Kassie has acted as a mentor to many women lawyers and continues to shine with her sound advice, her energy and her passion for the profession. The Mérite will be officially awarded at the Journée du Barreau, on June 17.

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No Surprises Act Update – New IDR Guidance

On April 14, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance on the Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process, created under the No Surprises Act (NSA) to provide a mechanism for payers and providers to resolve disputes as to appropriate payment amounts for certain out-of-network claims. In addition, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury launched two online portals– one to host the IDR process for providers and payers and one to host the patient-provider dispute resolution process for self-pay and uninsured patients.

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ILN Today Post

The Tip of the Spear Piercing the Regulated Cannabis Industry: How Intoxicating Hemp Cannabinoids and the Illicit Market Pose Significant Challenges to the Emerging Industry

Cannabis Business Executive (CBE), April 18, 2022

Consumer demand and public support for cannabis legalization has led to sweeping reform across the Country. Unfortunately, this appetite combined with a lack of access to regulated marijuana has perpetuated both a robust and unregulated illicit marijuana market, and an unregulated hemp industry where intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, THC-O and HHC are freely sold directly to consumers. In states like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that are on the cusp of opening their doors to adult-use programs, and in California, the first state to enact cannabis laws, these unregulated marketplaces thrive, accounting for a large majority of cannabis sales. Such unchecked illicit activity, if permitted to continue, will be the tip of the spear piercing and undermining the regulated cannabis industry.

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Video: NLRB Updates, Quick EEO-1 Deadline – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we update you on two major developments from the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) and this year’s abridged timeline to submit EEO-1 data.

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Spring Cleaning: Decluttering From Recent Intellectual Property Detritus & Dusting Off Old Posts

Our favorite thing about spring [is] spring cleaning. It’s a way to say, “I’m dusting off the winter blues and coming out of hibernation.”… At the office, spring cleaning can take on a whole new meaning. It is a chance to reorganize and refresh your workspace and your workflow. Plus, organizing will actually improve your overall focus and work performance. Don’t believe us? Read on to learn why.

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Many cultures have the tradition of spring cleaning.  These range from those in Iran observing the Persian New Year festival of Nowruz (and the practice of “khooneh tekouni,” or “shaking the house” to prepare for Nowruz), to the Jewish traditional pre-Passover cleaning (and the ritual bedikat chametz), to the Clean Monday (Kathara Deftera) traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church to the Asian celebrations of Ninyabaat, Songkran, and Xiao Nian. In more Northern countries and frontier cultures, spring cleaning presented the opportunity to wipe away soot and grime of winters indoors in shelters lit and heated by oil-burning lamps or wood-burning fires.   In the last decade, the United Kingdom has taken the tradition outdoors, with The Great British Spring Clean, which is a national campaign run by Keep Britain Tidy. As one participant noted, “It is the UK’s single biggest environmental mass participation event and sees volunteers from across the country make more than one million miles of British outdoor spaces cleaner and greener.”

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NLRB General Counsel Urges Labor Board to Expand Prohibition on “Captive Audience” Meetings and Employers’ Right to Present Their Views on Unionization

On April 7, 2022, Jennifer Abruzzo, General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”), issued Memorandum GC 22-04, titled “The Right to Refrain from Captive Audience and other Mandatory Meetings” (“GC Memo”). It is no secret that the General Counsel has been an advocate for policies and practices that would increase union representation and make it easier for unions to gain recognition and win votes on representation. This includes restricting steps employers can take to share their views with employees. Such a step that the GC Memo calls for is a series of restrictions on what have been called “captive audience speeches,” that is, meetings on company time where employers present their views.

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NLRB General Counsel Pushes to Skip Union Elections by Reinstating Joy Silk Doctrine

Employees’ free choice and their right to a secret-ballot election on union membership are potentially at risk, given the latest development from the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”). On April 11, 2022, the NLRB’s General Counsel filed a brief urging a change in long-standing precedent, demanding that the Board force employers to recognize unions as the representative of their employees without first allowing employees the opportunity to cast their votes on union membership in a secret-ballot election held by the Board. The only real requirement for this dramatic result is that the union present signed authorization cards from a majority of the employees that ostensibly confirm the employees’ desire to be represented by the union and that the employer decline recognition of the union without a good faith doubt as to the union’s majority. This brief is General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo’s first major move to follow through on her previously stated goal of restoring this standard—known as the Joy Silk doctrine—which was abandoned more than 50 years ago.

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Ohio Enacts Changes to Overtime Exemption Laws and Class/Collective Action Procedures

Earlier this month, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill (SB) 47, which formally adopted sections of the Portal-to-Portal Act (Portal Act) amendments to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), exempting employers from paying overtime under certain circumstances. SB 47 also eliminates so-called “hybrid” collective/class actions for Ohio plaintiffs by adopting the FLSA’s “opt-in” requirement for individuals seeking to join a wage and hour lawsuit on Ohio state law claims for failure to pay overtime. The law takes effect on July 6, 2022.

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Video: The Current Environment for Non-Compete Agreements – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesdayThere has been a wave of legislation restricting non-compete agreements in the states, as well as a focus on such agreements at the federal level.

The continued shift towards remote work has also complicated non-competes.

How do employers maintain compliance? Attorney Erik Weibust tells us more.

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ILN Today Post

DOL issues guidance on cryptocurrency retirement plan investments

Earlier last month, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance relating to cryptocurrency as an investment option in participant directed 401(k) plans. It was the closest the DOL has ever come to saying “No way!” on a fiduciary issue. Read more…

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