North America

Art Janura to speak at 2011 Illinois Municipal Conference

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Arthur L. Janura

Arthur L. Janura

Hoffman Estates Partner Arthur Janura is scheduled to speak at this year’s Illinois Municipal Conference. His topic is entitled “The Rising Cost of PSEBA Benefits: What Can Be Done?” The conference is planned for September 15-17 at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago.

The Illinois Municipal League works for the benefit of municipalities. The governing board is comprised of Mayors and Village Presidents. It provides a formal voice for Illinois municipalities in matters involving common interests, particularly legislative issues.

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Judge tosses class action alleging Joel Rothman’s clients’ diet drink doesn’t deliver on advertised health benefits

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Joel B. Rothman

Joel B. Rothman

A California judge on Wednesday dismissed a class action lawsuit against West Palm Beach Partner Joel Rothman’s fitness drink client that touts in its advertising health benefits that include the ability to burn more calories, raise metabolism and provide lasting energy. The judge ruled that because the lead plaintiff did not chart his daily caloric intake while using the fitness drink, it would be impossible to determine if the diet drink burned up to 100 calories, as it claimed, each time he consumed it. As such, the judge granted Mr. Rothman’s client motion for summary judgment and dismissed three claims brought under the California Legal Remedies Act and the state’s business and professions code for false and misleading advertising. Assisting Mr. Rothman with the lawsuit was Miami Associate Harley Storrings.

Law360 reported on the judges ruling in its August 10 edition. To read the article, please click here.

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Just post it: NLRB requiring that employers provide notice of employee rights

As if there weren’t already enough postings required for workplaces, the NLRB has now joined the party.  On August 25, 2011, the NLRB issued a final rule that requires employers to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.  Employers have until November 14, 2011 to post the required notice.

Who Must Post What?

The rule applies to the majority of employers covered by the Act, regardless of whether the employer has any union employees.  As the NLRB noted previously, the rule is designed to capture the “great majority” of small businesses in the United States.

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Labor and Employment Alert: NLRB Issues Final Rule Requiring Employers To Post Notice of Employees’ Rights

NLRB issues final rule requiring employers to post notice of employees’ rights

On August 25, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”), which requires employers to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”). This Final Rule was designed to close a so-called “knowledge gap” in the workforce. The Final Rule contains minor changes from the Board’s Proposed Rule on this topic.

Click here to view our previous Alert regarding the Proposed Rule, “Ready or not, here they come – NLRB issues new Proposed Rule to revamp the union election process.” The Final Rule is expected to take effect on November 14, 2011.

Who must post?

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New NLRB Poster Requirement

Arnstein & Lehr attorney E. Jason Tremblay

E. Jason Tremblay

On August 27, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) adopted a rule, which becomes effective as of November 14, 2011, that requires employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NRLA”). This Notice requirement applies to millions of private-sector employers that fall under the jurisdiction of the NLRA. The Notice is to inform both unionized and non-unionized employees of their rights under the NLRA and, specifically, provides that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities. The Notice also provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct and instructs employees on how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints.

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Federal Law Now Recognizes the Employee-Union Representative Privilege

Arnstein & Lehr attorney E. Jason Tremblay 

E. Jason Tremblay

In a case of first impression, the Northern District of Illinois recently held in Bell v. Village of Streamwood (Case No. 10 C 3263) that an employee-union representative privilege exists as a matter of federal common law. In so holding, the Court reasoned that a union representative’s role is not unlike that of an attorney, and that there is a strong interest in encouraging an employee accused of wrongdoing to communicate fully and frankly with his or her union representative. Therefore, the Court held that the employee-union representative privilege would extend to communications made: (1) in confidence; (2) in connection with “representative” services relating to anticipated or ongoing disciplinary proceedings; (3) between an employee and his or her union representative; (4) where the union representative is acting in his or her official representative capacity. Moreover, similar to the attorney-client privilege, the employee-union representative privilege is somewhat limited in that it only extends to the communications, not to the underlying facts and issues.

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Foglers Partner nominated for Book Prize

A text by Fogler, Rubinoff LLP’s partner, Vern DaRe, Bankruptcy in Canada, has been nominated for the Walter Owen Book Prize awarded by the Foundation for Legal Research.  The prize is designed to recognize excellence in legal writing and to reward outstanding new contributions to Canadian legal literature that enhances the quality of legal research in Canada.  This is the fourth edition of the text which is co-authored with John Honsberger, a life member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.  In addition to this practice at Fogler, Rubinoff LLP, Mr. DaRe is also an adjunct law professor of the University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Law, teaching courses in Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law and corporate reorganization.  In addition to Bankruptcy in Canada, Mr. DaRe is also the co-author of Debt Restructuring, Principles and Practice, published by Canada Law.


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Data Privacy and Network Security Alert: A flurry of federal data security and data breach notification bills introduced into Congress

Recent high profile data breaches and increased attention to the protection of consumers’ personal information has intensified the momentum towards enactment of a federal data security and data breach notification law. Currently 46 states and the District of Columbia have enacted data breach notifications with drastically different requirements and policies. Within the last few months, Congress has been inundated with national data security bills outlining an organization’s obligations when it suffers a data breach. Unfortunately, the proposed federal bills would, in many instances, further complicate an entity’s obligations upon a breach.

Among the numerous federal data security bills introduced, the following four are most recent and significant:

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Data Privacy and Network Security Alert: Attorneys General continue to increase legal standards for data privacy compliance

Many have written about it and several have contemplated it — whether states will adopt private data security standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), and use them as legal standards that owners and holders of personal information (PI) must comply with. That’s exactly what the Massachusetts Attorney General did when it recently filed suit against Briar Group, LLC and alleged, among several other things, that Briar was not PCI compliant at the time of its data breach in November 2009, affecting 53,000 MasterCard and 72,000 Visa accounts.

PCI DSS are private data security standards created by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council that apply to all organizations collecting credit cards. The Complaint alleged that Briar’s failure to implement basic data security measures on its computer system allowed hackers to gain access to Briar’s customers’ credit and debit card information. 

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Data Privacy and Network Security Alert: Massachusetts Attorney General says you must practice what you preach

In the first public settlement of its kind related to violations of the new Massachusetts Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth, 201 C.M.R. 17.00, Belmont Savings Bank has entered into a settlement with the Massachusetts Attorney General following a data breach in which an unencrypted backup tape containing the names, Social Security numbers, and account numbers of more than 13,000 Massachusetts residents was lost after a Belmont employee failed to follow the bank’s own Written Information Security Program (“WISP”).

In May 2011, a Belmont employee left an unencrypted backup tape on a desk rather than storing it in a vault for the night, which was then inadvertently thrown away by the evening cleaning crew. Although Belmont had a WISP, which met the new Massachusetts data security standards, Belmont failed to comply with the WISP in practice. Specifically, Belmont failed to encrypt portable devices, such as the backup tape, which contained personal information.

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