North America

Establishing a Business Entity: Another Collaboration From Sharon Druker

Since 2015, Sharon G. Druker, Ad. E., is co-author of the chapter on Canada in Establishing a Business Entity: An International Guide, a manual on creating businesses in 40 jurisdictions. The 2022 edition of this publication offered by the International Lawyers Network, an association of law firms in 67 countries, has just been released. It can be downloaded at no cost.

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Sharon Druker and Rhona Luger Collaborate on an International Manual on Real Estate Transactions

The International Lawyers Network [ILN], an association of 91 full-service legal firms with over 5,000 lawyers in 67 countries, just announced the release of the seventh edition of Buying and Selling Real Estate: An International Guide, a manual on the purchase and sale of real estate in some 30 jurisdictions. The manual can be downloaded at no cost.

Sharon G. Druker, Ad. E., and Rhona Luger are the editors of the chapter on the Quebec regime, that discusses numerous questions related to residential as well as commercial transactions.

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U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2023 Report Recognizes Six Practices

Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld is pleased to announce that six practice areas have been recognized in the 2023 edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” report. We are honored that multiple practices have been ranked again, including Bankruptcy for the third year and Intellectual Property for the second year. And we are thrilled that our Tax, Real Estate, and Private Client Services (Trusts & Estates) practices are joining the rankings this year.

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NLRB Dramatically Increases Liability for Unfair Labor Practices with Far-Reaching “Consequential Damages”

On December 13, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) issued a decision that greatly broadens the remedies available for violations of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). Prior to this decision, the Board’s “make whole” remedies for more than 80 years have generally included only backpay, reasonable search-for-work expenses, and interim employment expenses.

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Video: Speak Out Act Takes Effect, Enhanced Data Privacy Obligations for California Employers, and SEC Releases Whistleblower Annual Report – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we discuss how the Speak Out Act pays homage to the fifth anniversary of the #MeToo movement, outline the enhanced implications of the California Privacy Rights Act, and note the record-breaking numbers set by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) whistleblower program.

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Assumption of Risks in Sports: Two Recent Superior Court Decisions

There is a theory in civil liability called “assumption of risk”. This well-enshrined notion is based on the premise that an individual who willingly participates in a risky or dangerous activity and is aware of the inherent risks associated thereto cannot claim damages if he is injured when this risk or danger materializes. Two recent decisions illustrate that, while this notion has a limited application and depends on the facts and circumstances, liability claims still rest on the requirement of a fault.

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New York City’s Automated Employment Decision Tools Law Enforcement Postponed Until April 15, 2023

As we previously noted, New York City’s Automated Employment Decision Tools Law (“AEDT Law”), regulating employers’ use of automated employment decision tools, with the aim of curbing bias in hiring and promotions, had an effective date of January 1, 2023.  In late September 2022, we reported about the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (“DCWP”) issuing a Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Rules related to the AEDT law.  The hearing subsequently took place on November 4, 2022, and dozens of organizations and individuals submitted comments, leaving many observers wondering whether the comments would impact the quickly approaching January 1, 2023 enforcement date and how the DCWP would interpret the law.

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NLRB General Counsel Proposes Lower Standard for Requiring Employers to Provide Financial Information

In an Advice Memorandum dated April 20, 2022 and released on November 30, 2022, the Division of Advice within the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”) Office of the General Counsel urged the Board to overturn existing Board law to significantly lower the standard for when an employer must furnish the union with its general financial information. This latest push to bolster unions during bargaining follows the NLRB’s General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo’s (“GC”) issuance of Memorandum GC 21-04 regarding Mandatory Submissions to Advice on August 12, 2021, wherein she signaled her intent to change this standard.

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Accurate Job Descriptions Remain Critical for ADA Compliance

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers do not have to excuse an employee from performing an essential function of a job as a reasonable accommodation. Several courts have found that a job duty is an essential function where an employee performs it up to twenty percent of the time, particularly where the job description suggests that an employee must be able to perform it.  The Eleventh Circuit has recently gone in a different direction.  In Brown v. Advanced Concept Innovations, Inc., the Eleventh Circuit held that such a function was not essential, and thus, an employer violated Florida’s anti-discrimination law (which courts interpret consistently with the ADA) by failing to excuse an employee from performing it. While Brown may arguably be an outlier, it reinforces the importance of maintaining accurate and up-to-date job descriptions.

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Final Vote on California’s Anticipated New Non-Emergency Regulation for COVID-19 Prevention to Take Place on December 15, 2022

In June 2022, the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety (“Cal/OSHA”) proposed initial non-emergency standards for COVID-19 prevention in the workplace that were intended to replace the current COVID Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) set to expire on December 31, 2022.  Following oral and written comments received from the public, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board (the “Board”) made further updates to the proposed non-emergency standard as of December 2, 2022 (the “Anticipated New Regulation”).  It is expected that the Board will vote on the Anticipated New Regulation, with no further modifications, at its upcoming meeting on December 15, 2022.  The Anticipated New Regulation would then become effective from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2024.

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