Regions

Breaking News: Clean Power Call Awards

Just announced by BC Hydro, 19 projects have been selected for an award of an electricity purchase agreement under BC Hydro’s Clean Power Call.

More to come.

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The Women Business Leaders’ Summit

I’d like to bring to your attention an upcoming program and a fundraising event that will be hosted by the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation (WBL), a great women’s organization. The WBL was established to help senior executive women in the health care industry improve their businesses and continue to grow professionally. One of my colleagues at EpsteinBeckerGreen, Lynn Shapiro Snyder, is WBL’s founder and president.

On March 17 – 19, 2010, in Dallas, Texas, WBL will host the 2010 WBL Summit. You can learn more about this program at www.wblsummit.org. The Summit is WBL’s annual meeting and the only industry-wide meeting for senior executive women and women board members from the health care industry. Registration is currently closed, but there is a waiting list. 

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Department of Labor Supplements 403(b) Annuity Plan Guidance for Tax-Exempt Entities: Where Does Your Plan Stand?

The Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently clarified that tax-exempt entities (such as non-public schools or charitable hospitals) offering 403(b) annuity programs subject to Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”)must file an Internal Revenue Service Form 5500 Annual Report (“Form 5500”) for the 2009 plan year and thereafter. The new guidance, Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) No. 2010-01 (February 17, 2010), also details which employee annuity contracts must be reported on the Form 5500 and what types of annuity contracts are grandfathered from the reporting requirements.

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Lidings advises Turkey’s Ipek Jut in major delivery to Russian trading network Magnit

Lidings advises Turkey’s Ipek Jut in major delivery to Russian trading network Magnit

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195.1 UPDATE: New York Issues Guidelines, Instructions and Additional Model Notices of Pay Rates and Pay Days

The New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”) has recently made available important new information for employers regarding their obligations under Section 195.1 of the Labor Law including notice of pay rates, pay dates and other information.

As we previously reported (see our Client Alerts of December 11, and October 30, 2009), pursuant to Section 195.1 of the Labor Law (the “Statute”), as of October 26, 2009, employers must provide newly hired New York employees with written notice of their: (1) pay rate; (2) overtime pay rate (if they qualify for overtime pay); and (3) regular paydays.

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UPDATE – COBRA Subsidy: New Extension Through March 31, 2010

As we reported in our Client Alert of December 24, 2009 (“UPDATE: COBRA Subsidy: What it Means for Employers Now“), President Obama signed into law the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 (the “Defense Appropriations Act”), which, among other things, extended and expanded certain provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”) pertaining to premium assistance for benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (“COBRA”). The Defense Appropriations Act extended the COBRA premium subsidy program for assistance-eligible individuals who became eligible for COBRA from the period that began September 1, 2008, and ended on December 31, 2009, to the period that ended on February 28, 2010.

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Special Alert: ICE Expands Worksite Enforcement Activities in the Southeast

On Tuesday, March 2, 2010, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced that it was expanding its worksite enforcement strategy in the Southeastern United States. As part of this strategy, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), the agency within DHS directly responsible for worksite enforcement, indicated that it is issuing Notices of Inspections (“NOIs”) to 180 businesses in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. These NOIs alert the businesses that ICE will be inspecting their Form I-9s and seeking to review voluminous other business records, including a list of current and terminated employees with hire and termination dates; the names, social security numbers and dates of birth of all active employees; quarterly wage and hour reports and/or payroll data on all employees covering the period of inspection; quarterly tax statements; all correspondence with the Social Security Administration (including “No-Match” letters); and more! All of this is an effort by ICE to determine whether the businesses are complying with federal employment eligibility verification laws and regulations.

This DHS announcement is the latest in a series of expanding worksite enforcement efforts by the Obama administration. Instead of raids, the Obama administration has focused its efforts on auditing and investigating employers to determine if they are satisfying the Form I-9 requirements and are knowingly or unwittingly employing illegal workers. Hector Chichoni, the Chair of EBG’s Southeastern Immigration Practice, notes: “this action by ICE underscores what the Immigration Law Group at EBG has been advising clients since the Obama administration took office. Businesses need comprehensive employment verification and related compliance plans in place because the civil and potentially criminal consequences of this enforcement strategy can be severe. Businesses that ignore this important aspect of their operations can face substantial fines that make compliance now not only good corporate citizenship, but also good risk management.”

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The Changing Numbers of Women on Wall Street, in the Workforce, and in Boardrooms

The New York Times recently published a few intriguing articles about women that I wanted to share with you.

Women are working in the financial industry in fewer numbers these days, despite more than 20 years of increased hiring and promoting, according to the article “Where Are the Women on Wall Street?” What is responsible for this decline? As The Times notes, fewer female graduates are seeking careers in the financial industry and women are abandoning the industry faster than men. And when women are laid off from a financial job, it’s harder for them to return to the industry because they face an environment that’s more hostile to women than men. While this is disappointing news, The Times adds, on a positive note, that women continue to maintain “a strong presence in some areas in finance, including wealth management.”

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Update: Massachusetts Data Privacy Rules

As we discussed in our January 22, 2010, client alert Massachusetts Data-Protection Regulations To Have National Impact (click here), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will begin to enforce new …

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Immigration Alert: February 2010

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals finds Oklahoma E-Verify Law Unconstitutional

TPS Registration Process for Haitians

H-2B Oil Rig Workers Win Bid To Amend Overtime Action

USCIS Issues Guidance on H-1B Requirements for Employer–Employee Relationship

CBP Implements New Admission Policies at Newark, NJ, Airport to Identify Fraud in Employment-Related Visa Classifications

CBP Reminds U.S.-Bound Travelers from Visa Waiver Program Countries to Complete Online Travel Authorization

DOS Issues March 2010 Visa Bulletin

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