North America

ARPA’s Impact on Multiemployer Pension Plans and Contributing Employers

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”).  ARPA is the latest COVID-19-related stimulus legislation passed by Congress, but, unlike prior legislation, ARPA provides expansive funding rule changes and significant financial assistance to deeply underfunded multiemployer pension plans, including a one-time payment to certain plans from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) without any repayment obligations.

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Massachusetts Case Highlights Importance of Clear Communication in Compensation Plans

Preparing the terms of employee compensation can be a resource-intensive task requiring input from stakeholders across numerous departments, including human resources, finance, and legal. However, as the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s recent decision in Alfieri v. Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. demonstrates, investing those resources to complete the task will pay dividends when an employer is faced with a potentially costly claim for unpaid wages.

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“NAME:WRECK” Cybersecurity Vulnerability Highlights Importance of Newly Issued IoT Act

A recently discovered security vulnerability potentially affecting at least 100 million Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices[1] highlights the importance of the newly enacted IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 (the “IoT Act”). Researchers at the security firms Forescout Research Labs and JSOF Research Labs have jointly published a report detailing a security vulnerability known as “NAME:WRECK.” This is exactly the type of issue that the new IoT Act was and is designed to address at the governmental level, because the vulnerability can detrimentally affect the security of millions of interconnected IoT devices. As our recent blog “New Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Law’s Far Reaching Impacts” discussed, this is the type of cybersecurity risk that all organizations should consider and factor in to their supply chain risk assessments and mitigation measures. If your organization directly uses IoT devices, or contracts with vendors who supply IoT devices or software/systems using IoT devices, whether in the healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, hospitality or employment context, you should be evaluating your cybersecurity programs for protecting IoT devices.

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Apple Makes Big Changes to Its Tracking System

With the launch of iOS 14.5 slated for next week, Apple’s long-awaited changes to the use of its persistent identifier known as the “Identifier for Advertisers” (IDFA) have now gone into effect. While this change has been explained by Apple as a step to protect its users’ privacy, it will drastically change the ability of third parties and app publishers to collect information on and track users through apps on Apple devices. Read more…

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On April 19, 2021, the federal government released the 2021 Budget: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. The Budget proposes significant spending measures to stimulate the economy, including more than $101 billion over the next three years.

In this article, we highlight certain spending measures and new programs that the government has introduced for the purpose of encouraging innovation, sustainability and competition in the Canadian marketplace.

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#WorkforceWednesday News Rundown

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  Here’s a rundown of some of the top developments in employment law and workforce management this week:

Guidance for Mitigating Retirement Plan Cybersecurity Risk

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration issued its first cybersecurity best practices guidance for retirement plans. To assist plan sponsors and fiduciaries with their responsibilities to prudently select and monitor service providers, the guidance outlines considerations they can use to determine that service providers follow strong cybersecurity practices. Read more.

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Sharon Druker Honoured by the Jewish General Hospital Foundation

April 21, 2021 — As part of National Volunteer Week, the Jewish General Hospital Foundation salutes Sharon G. Druker, Ad. E., who has been contributing to the institution for many years as a long-time Hope & Cope volunteer and, more recently, as a Governance Committee Member.

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Evonne Xu Selected to Crain’s Detroit Business “Notable Women in Law” 2021

ROYAL OAK, Mich., April 20, 2021 – Howard & Howard is pleased to announce that attorney Evonne Xu was selected to Crain’s Detroit Business “Notable Women in Law” 2021. The women featured were selected by a team of editors based on their career accomplishments, track record of success in the field, contributions to their community, and mentorship of others.

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ViacomCBS Issues Advertising Guidelines for Its Adult Directed Networks

ViacomCBS (VCBS) has recently issued its “Advertising Guidelines” for its adult directed linear channels and digital properties, making these its first published guidelines since that merger.

Guidelines are not frequently updated, and the creation of a brand new set, created after the merger of TV giants Viacom (cable) and CBS (network) has been highly anticipated. Read more…

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RSS Welcomes Three Especially Talented Lawyers

April 15, 2021 — As of this week, three recruits are contributing to RSS’s vitality:

  • Caroline Cassagnabère, called to the Bar in 2018, has practiced civil and commercial litigation and class actions. She has impressive credentials in academic research and teaching. She holds a doctorate in law from a French university and has conducted research in comparative law at McGill University.
  • Catherine Cloutier was already a lawyer in Ontario before being called to the Bar of Quebec… yesterday! Her professional life has a scientific side since she is also a registered dietitian in both provinces.
  • Emily Dikranian is also a member of both the Bars of Quebec and Ontario. Ever since she entered the University of Ottawa, she stood out by making the Dean’s Honour List in both the civil law and common law faculties, where she graduated Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude.

All three are joining our Insurance Law Practice Group.

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