North America

Don’t read this after 6:00 p.m.! The right to disconnect

By Eliab Taïrou, from our Labour and Employment Law Practice Group

December 4, 2019 —

Hyperconnectivity

It goes without saying that we live in a world that has become “hyper-connected”, as we are constantly staring at our cell phones or other electronic devices. Many employees find themselves, outside of office hours, constantly responding to emails and requests from their employer, colleagues or clients.

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Monitoring ERISA Investment Fiduciaries

Fiduciaries of employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) that appoint investment managers (“Appointing Fiduciaries”) will be interested in the opinion of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Scalia v. WPN Corporation, et al (“WPN”) regarding their duty to monitor investment fiduciaries.  Given the potential risk related to a breach this fiduciary duty, the WPN opinion is likely to be an important one for Appointing Fiduciaries.

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Court to Consider Whether California Ride Share Drivers Who Make Airport Runs Are Exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act Continue Reading…

On November 26, 2019, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard B. Ulmer ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) might not apply to Uber drivers who are engaged in interstate commerce while driving passengers to or from international airports.

In his claims before the Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement (“DLSE”), driver Sangam Patel (“Patel”) seeks recovery of unpaid wages, overtime pay, vacation pay, meal and rest break premiums, and unpaid business expenses allegedly owed by Uber. Uber petitioned to compel arbitration of Patel’s (“Patel”) claims under the FAA.

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After Decades of Broad Enforcement Discretion, FDA Signals New Approach to Homeopathic Drugs

Two announcements made by FDA in late October signal a marked change to FDA’s regulatory approach to “homeopathic” drugs. On October 25, 2019, FDA withdrew the 1988 Compliance Policy Guide (“CPG”) 400.400 Conditions Under Which Homeopathic Drugs May Be Marketed, and, concurrently, published revised draft guidance titled Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic (the “Revised Homeopathic Draft Guidance”).

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Court of Appeal Keeps Barry and Honey Sherman’s Estate Files Sealed

Kevin Donovan is the Chief Investigator Reporter at the Toronto Star.  He also is the author of a book about the unsolved murders of Toronto billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife Honey Sherman entitled “The Billionaire Murders: The Mysterious Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman”.  In the book, as reviewed by Jeff Gray of The Globe and Mail, Donovan sets out to determine what actually happened to the Shermans and who their killer might be.  He explains that on occasion, he even acted as The Toronto Star’s lawyer – even though he has no legal training and is not a lawyer – and has attended at court to question police to unseal such things as search warrant documents.
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Howard & Howard Announces Formation of Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group

ROYAL OAK, Mich., November 26, 2019 – Howard & Howard has announced the official formation of a Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. The practice group’s attorneys assist businesses in staying compliant with data privacy laws and regulations, preventing and protecting against cybersecurity threats and risks, and managing and responding to data breaches. The announcement was made by firm President and CEO, Mark A. Davis.

“Data privacy and cybersecurity concerns have steadily grown as advances in technology continue. We have built a team of attorneys with the knowledge, training, and experience, in both the U.S. and abroad, needed for companies that find themselves on the front line of cyber and data threats and breaches,” said Davis.

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Late Compromise Halts Proposed Changes to Pennsylvania’s White-Collar Exemptions Continue Reading…

On November 21, 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (“DLI”) formally withdrew new regulations that would have increased the minimum salary requirements for the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act’s (“PMWA”) white-collar exemptions.  The withdrawal occurred on the same day the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (“IRRC”) was scheduled to consider the new requirements and rule upon them at a public meeting.

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RSS takes part in the Barreau’s continuing education activities

November 25, 2019 — On Friday, December 6, in Montréal, the Quebec Bar will be presenting its annual day of continuing education on recent developments in insurance law.

RSS will be involved again this year: Katherine Delage will be chairing the event, while Marcel-Olivier Nadeau will be speaking on presenting the evidence in arson cases.

 

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Unlocking Hidden Tax Savings Through Real Estate Tax Abatements

Benjamin Franklin stated, “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” But that doesn’t mean that the taxes levied can’t be challenged.

It is a common misconception that tax abatements are only available when new structures are being built. In fact, owners and users of existing properties, such as offices, warehouses, retail shopping outlets, hotels, nursing homes and multi-family residential units, also have the opportunity to achieve substantial tax refunds or savings through the abatement process. Similar opportunities exist for the reduction of personal property taxes levied upon equipment and other items used in operating businesses and real estate. Many people also do not realize that real estate tax abatements can be achieved by tenants who pay more than one-half of the annual tax levy.

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Legalization of cannabis: Benoît Chartier remains very active with training activities

November 22, 2019 — On November 14, Benoît Chartier, a partner with the firm and co-chair of our Insurance Litigation Practice Group, gave a presentation at the Montréal office of the world-leading insurance brokerage firm Marsh. The presentation, accredited by Quebec’s Chambre de l’assurance de dommages (ChAD), discussed the legal impact of the legalization of cannabis and edible by-products on the insurance industry in Quebec.

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