North America

New requirement to disclose your prête-nom or nominee agreements to Revenu Québec

August 15, 2019 — Are you a party to a “prête-nom” or nominee agreement? These are commonly used in real estate transactions to register property in the name of a nominee corporation, which holds legal title only, with the beneficial ownership retained by the true owner(s). Nominee corporations are often used to collect rent and pay expenses, or to acquire family assets such as a residence.

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Howard & Howard Welcomes Back Grace Mata Gomez

Royal Oak-based law firm Howard & Howard is pleased to announce that Grace Mata Gomez has rejoined the Firm. Grace, who was previously with the Firm before relocating to San Diego in 2015 due to her husband’s job transfer, returned to her native Central Illinois to practice out of the Firm’s Peoria, Illinois office.

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Illinois Joins New Jersey in Protecting Hotel (and Casino) Employees from Sexual Harassment and Violence by Requiring Employer-Provided Panic Button Devices

Earlier this summer, we reported on ground-breaking legislation in New Jersey that requires hotels with more than 100 guest rooms to supply hotel employees assigned to work in a guest room alone with a free panic button device and to adhere to a specific protocol upon activation of a panic button device by a hotel employee.  In what may signal the start of a national trend, Illinois just became the second state to pass similar legislation targeting not only hotels but also casinos located within its jurisdiction.

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New Hampshire Governor Vetoes $12 Minimum Wage Bill

At a time when many states and localities are increasing the minimum wage, New Hampshire’s Senate passed a bill that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2022.  The very next day, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu vetoed the bill. In doing so, Governor Sununu issued a veto message that said the bill would have a “detrimental effect” on the state’s residents and would lead to lost jobs, reduced hours, and less money in the pockets of employees.

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What’s New in E-Cigarette Regulation?

There is little question that youth e-cigarette use has been on the rise. In 2018, an estimated 3.6 million kids reported “current use” of e-cigarettes (defined as use on at least one day in the past 30 days), up from just 220,000 kids reporting such use in 2011 (See National Youth Tobacco Survey findings). Although youth e-cigarette use raises public health concerns, there’s also a public health upside to e-cigarettes, as they have been shown to be an effective tool in helping current adult cigarette smokers kick the habit and are a safer option for current smokers than combustible tobacco products (e.g., cigarettes).  Therefore, it seems that broad restrictions on everyone’s access to these products is probably not the solution here. So what is the answer? How do we keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of children, but maintain their availability for adult cigarette smokers? Let’s track what’s recently been done on the federal and state/local levels to address the issue.

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Maintaining Attorney-Client Privilege During Investigations in the Financial Services Industry

In the financial services industry, investigations by the government or self-regulatory organizations are commonplace, and because they inevitably involve employee conduct (or misconduct), there is frequently an internal employment-related investigatory component. With potential financial liability and reputational harm ever-present, the strength of a company’s investigatory process is critical.

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Up in Smoke: The Countdown on Vape Enforcement Discretion Begins

On July 11, 2019, a Federal judge for the U.S. District Court for Maryland ruled that manufacturers and importers of products such as e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (“ENDS”) have ten months to submit applications for marketing to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). The ten-month deadline is applicable to new tobacco products on the market as of the August 8, 2016 deeming rule that extended FDA’s regulatory jurisdiction to include all tobacco products. Accordingly, manufacturers of e-cigarettes now have until May 2020 to submit applications for market approval in order to continue selling their products.

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Howard & Howard Donates $12.5K to Heart of Illinois United Way for Education, Financial Stability, and Health of Women and Children

Royal Oak-based law firm Howard & Howard has donated $12,500 to the Heart of Illinois United Way as part of its 150th anniversary “12 Months of Giving” philanthropic initiative. The gift was announced at the Heart of Illinois United Way’s annual “Power of the Purse” fundraising event on May 9, 2019.

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DOL Releases New Opinion Letters on FLSA Section 7(k) and Public Agency Volunteers Continue Reading…

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) shows no signs of fatigue as it releases two new opinion letters on the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) within the first week of August.  These opinion letters address the FLSA’s partial overtime exemption on a “work period basis” and the status of public agency volunteers.  As we have previously advised, employers should read the WHD’s opinion letters carefully and consult with experienced counsel with any questions about their practices vis-à-vis WHD interpretive guidance.

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Legislative Efforts to Curb Sexual Harassment in the Hospitality Industry Finally Reach Fruition in Illinois

Earlier this year, we reported legislative efforts in Illinois to curb sexual harassment in the hospitality industry via Illinois House Bill 3551, which would require restaurants to adopt a sexual harassment policy and provide training to all employees.  While that bill appears to have stalled in the House, similar requirements appear in Illinois Senate Bill 75 (titled the “Workplace Transparency Act”), which, after sitting on the Governor Pritzker’s desk for several months, was finally signed by Governor Pritzker on August 9, 2019.

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