North America

Estate planning update – Important tax changes ahead

The information below was recently sent out to many of McDonald Hopkins’ estate planning clients. We encourage you to take a moment to read the information and stay tuned for further updates on estate planning ideas based on any developments to pending tax proposals. You can also click here for additional McDonald Hopkins insight on estate planning.


Even before last year, the historically high estate and gift tax exemption amounts were set to be reduced at the end of 2025. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic fallout of the pandemic, and the 2020 elections, which brought changes to both the White House and Congress. It now appears that significant changes in tax law, including reduced estate and gift tax exemptions, could happen sooner than expected. The information below covers some of the changes that have already occurred and some proposed changes that could significantly affect your estate plan. Read more…

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New York City to Require Sexual Harassment Disclosures for Human Services Contractors

On March 3, 2021, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio issued Executive Order No. 64 (“EO”), which, effective immediately, imposes new sexual harassment reporting requirements on “human services” providers who contract with the City.  The EO requires the Department of Investigation (“DOI”) to review information about sexual harassment complaints and provide its findings to any City agency that contracts with the disclosing provider.

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DOL Withdraws Independent Contractor Rule

As we previously discussed, in early January 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Final Rule regarding independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  On May 5, 2021, in line with the policy goals of the new administration, the Department issued a Final Rule withdrawing the January Final Rule.  The withdrawal went into effect on May 6, 2021, upon the publication in the Federal Register (86 FR 24303).  The January independent contractor rule was originally to go into effect in March, before the Department issued a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to withdraw the rule.  The January rule identified “the nature and degree of control over the work” and “the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss based on imitative and/or investment” as two “core factors” that would have been the most probative to determine whether a worker was an independent contractor.  The rule also identified three additional factors and would have provided that “the actual practice of the worker and the potential employer is more relevant than what may be contractually or theoretically possible.”

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Megan J. Parpart of Howard & Howard Selected to 2021 Class of “Up & Coming Lawyers” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly

ROYAL OAK, Mich., May 10, 2021 – Attorney Megan J. Parpart has been named to the 2021 Class of “Up & Coming Lawyers” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. This award honors Michigan lawyers who have established a name for themselves by displaying the ambition, drive, determination, and accomplishments that set them apart among their peers—in their first 10 years in practice.

“I am a corporate attorney that understands business and provides practical advice and creative solutions to clients.” – Megan J. Parpart

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Time Is Money: A Quick Wage-Hour Tip on … Providing Paid Time Off for COVID-19 Vaccinations

With the United States in the midst of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, there has been focused attention on the rollout of vaccines approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the actual number of individuals being vaccinated. Presently, 250 million COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered and individuals 16 years of age and older are eligible to receive the vaccine.  Now, in an effort to get more people vaccinated, employers are being encouraged to provide paid time off for employees who have not yet been vaccinated against the virus.

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Daniel A. Cotter Receives Lawyers-Lend-A-Hand Inaugural “My Hero Award”

ROYAL OAK, Mich., May 6, 2021 – Royal Oak, Mich.-based Howard & Howard is pleased to announce that attorney Daniel A. Cotter has received the Lawyers-Lend-A-Hand Inaugural “My Hero” Award for 2021. This award honors an attorney for their contributions to a tutoring or mentoring program.

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The Wellington Application and the Right to Choose One’s Lawyer

By Marcel-Olivier Nadeau, from our Insurance Law Practice Group

Mr. Nadeau was representing Intact assurances and Desjardins assurances and in that case.

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May 6, 2021 — In Pelletier c. Gauthier (Decision issued April 13, 2021 by the Honourable Jocelyn Pilote, j.c.s., C.S. – 150-17-004304-207), defendants Gauthier et Simard filed a Wellington application against Intact Compagnie d’assurance and Desjardins Assurances générales as impleaded parties, requesting only the right to select their lawyer.

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Why Not Just Make Everybody Hourly?

For more than 80 years, federal law has provided a general right to premium pay for working overtime hours, originally just for covered employees, then later for employees of covered enterprises.  The laws of more than 30 states contain a comparable requirement, though in some instances differing in the particulars.

This presumptive right to the overtime premium is, of course, subject to the familiar exemption construct whereby individuals whose employment satisfies one or more of the dozens of exempted categories fall outside the premium pay requirement.  Many of the most significant employment law battles over the past three decades have focused on whether certain groups of workers satisfied the criteria for an overtime exemption, resulting in businesses spending billions of dollars on judgments, settlements, and defense costs.  Think pharmaceutical sales representatives, insurance claims adjusters, financial advisors, mortgage loan officers, insurance and bank underwriters, automotive service advisors, various types of drivers, and more.  Hardly a week goes by without reports of seven-figure verdicts or settlements involving challenges to exempt status.

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RCCB PROMOTES NEW PARTNERS AND COUNSEL

Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC (RCCB), a law firm offering a distinctive combination of practical business acumen, legal expertise and entrepreneurial passion, today announced the promotion of attorneys Matt Brinker and Alex Nassar to Partner and Jennifer Ilana Tintenfass, David P. Dalesandro and Jordan Kovnot to Counsel. Brinker and Dalesandro reside in the firm’s Conshohocken office, with Nassar, Kovnot and Tintenfass in the Philadelphia office. The promotions were effective March 1, 2021. Read more…

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Keeping the Faith…less Doctrine Alive

The Southern District of New York’s latest decision in Rubio v. BSDB Management, reaffirms the viability of New York’s faithless servant doctrine, under which a court may require a disloyal employee to return any compensation received from the employer during the period of disloyalty. However, an employer pursuing such a claim must detail the basis of the claim in order to avoid dismissal. Read this Alert their potential liability for violations. Read this Alert

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