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Department of Justice Announces Strike Force to Combat Antitrust Crimes in Government Procurements
Dykema, December 2019

On November 5, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced the establishment of a Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) to deter, detect, investigate, and prosecute criminal schemes that undermine the integrity of the government procurement process. One of the highlights of the PCSF is to reprioritize prosecutions of cartel conduct after a several-year decline...

An Introduction to Labor Racketeering Actions Under The Federal Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Any person injured in his or her business or property by a pattern of racketeering activity may have standing to seek relief pursuant to the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970...

"Text Me?" Proposed Electronic Disclosure Rule Would Allow Greater Flexibility for Retirement Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

Under a new proposed rule, certain required disclosures could be provided electronically to all retirement plan participants, including former employees and beneficiaries. On October 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed rule intended to expand the use of internet technology to furnish ERISA-required disclosures to plan participants, and to reduce printing and mail expenses...

Emerging Concerns Regarding Silica Exposure in the Engineered Stone Industry
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

The dangers of workers developing silicosis amid the fabrication of engineered stone has become a topic heavily discussed in the news and elsewhere recently. Silicosis is a lung disease that develops from the exposure and inhalation of silica particles. On Oct. 2, National Public Radio (“NPR”) aired a story entitled “Workers Are Falling Ill, Even Dying, After Making Kitchen Countertops...

New California Employment Laws for 2020
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

2019 was a banner year for Governor Gavin Newsom. The Governor signed numerous bills into law, most of which are not employer friendly. For an in-depth analysis of how each law might affect your organization, contact your Hanson Bridgett labor and employment lawyer and/or join us for our Annual Client Seminars on January 28, 2020 (Walnut Creek), January 29, 2020 (Sacramento), or January 30, 2020 (San Francisco). Unless otherwise indicated, each new law takes effect on January 1, 2020...

Key Takeaways from USDA Final Interim Rules for Domestic Hemp Production
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Introduction On Oct. 31, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its highly anticipated interim final rules, establishing the USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program to be administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)...

CalPERS Issues Guidance on Uniform Allowance Reporting
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

A few weeks ago, CalPERS issued a Circular Letter to provide guidance to contracting agencies about reporting the uniform allowance, a statutory form of special compensation that applies only to classic CalPERS members. The Circular Letter provides much needed guidance about the uniform allowance, specific examples of reportable and non-reportable items, and reporting standards...

H-1B Visas – New H-1B Cap Registration Rules and Other Potential Changes
Dykema, November 2019

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule on January 11, 2019, introducing electronic registration requirement for employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The final rule went into effect on April 1, 2019, though the electronic registration requirement was suspended Fiscal Year 2020 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020) to allow USCIS to complete user testing and ensure the system and process are fully functional...

IRS Issues 2020 Limits for Retirement Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

On November 6, 2019, the IRS announced in Notice 2019-59 cost of living adjustments to the qualified plan dollar limits for 2020. Below is a summary of the limits that are generally relevant for most retirement plans. Effective January 1, 2020: The elective deferral limit for 401(k), 403(b), and eligible 457(b) plans is increased from $19,000 to $19,500. The catch-up contribution limit for those age 50 or older is increased from $6,000 to $6,500...

Judge Halts Presidential Proclamation Suspending Visas for Immigrants Without Health Insurance
Dykema, November 2019

The U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, issued a 28-day temporary restraining order (TRO) in an unusual weekend session just before the “Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System” was to go into effect on November 3, 2019. Judge Michael H. Simon agreed to “freeze things the way they are” so a determination can be made on the merits of the case...

Greater Reforms for Promoting Work-Life Balance
Lee & Ko, November 2019

 On 1 October 2019 significant changes to the Gender Equality Employment and Work-Life Balance Support Act came into force, including to employees' rights to paternity leave and reduced working hours for child and family care...

Is a Benefit Corporation Right for You?
Verrill, November 2019

The “benefit corporation” is a relatively new type of business entity. In 2010, Maryland became the first state in the U.S. to enact a statute recognizing and providing for the organization of this form of entity. In September, Maine joined 30 other states that have enacted benefit corporation legislation over the past nine years, and such legislation is currently pending in several more states...

Illinois Secure Choice Registration Is Underway for Employers with at least 25 Employees
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Starting Nov. 1, 2019, employers in Illinois with at least 25 employees must comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice Program) or offer employees an employer-sponsored retirement plan...

Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash Attempt a U-Turn on AB 5 via New Ballot Initiative
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

The fate of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) may be headed to the voters. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have unveiled the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act, a $90 million ballot initiative targeting AB 5. AB 5, signed by Governor Newsom on September 18, 2019, is expansive legislation that has potentially significant impact on California employers. AB 5 broadly adopts a new test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, with far-reaching implications...

The New Amendment to the KPK Law: Newly Passed Bill
Makarim & Taira S., October 2019

By the enactment of Law No. 30 of 2002 on The Corruption Eradication Commission, which was later amended by Government Regulation in lieu of Law No. 1 of 2015 on Amendments to Law No. 30 of 2002 on The Corruption Eradication Commission (“KPK Law”), the KPK was formed in 2002 in order to reduce the corruption prevalent in Indonesia...

USTR Announces List 4A Exclusion Request Process and Other US-China Trade Developments
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

The U.S.-China trade dispute continues to simmer with multiple significant developments in the past several weeks: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the exclusion process for Chinese imports subject to List 4A Section 301 tariffs will open on Oct. 31, 2019 and conclude on Jan. 31, 2020. List 4A and 4B tariffs on an estimated $300 billion of goods imported from China, effective Sept. 1, 2019 and Dec...

PTSD Compensation for First Responders without Associated Physical Injury Revisited by the Ohio Legislature in New House Bill
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

With the recent proliferation of mass shootings and other deadly incidents, several states have taken on the issue of allowing mental and/or emotional impairments caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to be a compensable workers’ compensation condition for first responders without the requirement of a physical injury. In June 2019, House Bill 80, the budget bill for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, included such a proposal...

New Decision from the Court of Appeal Regarding the Possibility to Deprive Employees of their Duties within the Period of Notice
Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, October 2019

In LG-2018-161055 the Court of appeal, in a case regarding preliminary action, gave an elaborated assessment regarding under what conditions an employer can deprive an employee of his or her duties in the notice period.   Introduction An employer only exceptionally has the right to deprive a dismissed employee of his or her duties within the period of notice. For this to be possible, there must be "particularly compelling reasons"...

Proposed Regulations Under the CCPA Provide Some Clarity, But Questions Remain
Verrill, October 2019

Earlier this month, the California Attorney General issued long-awaited proposed regulations (“Proposed Rule”) under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”)[1] along with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Action and Initial Statement of Reasons explaining the Proposed Rule...

2019 New California Laws Impacting Cannabis Businesses
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

Governor Newsom has signed several bills that impact the cannabis industry by providing relief from federal income tax deduction limitations, encouraging minority participation, encouraging union membership, and clarifying some other existing regulations. The bills include: Assembly Bill 37 repeals the limitation on deductions for business expenses for cannabis businesses, which had previously conformed to Internal Revenue Code section 280E for state tax purposes...

Good Tax News for the Cannabis Industry: California Repeals 280E Limitation for Personal Income Tax
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

Existing law, the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), among other things, consolidates the licensure and regulation of commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis activities and authorizes persons to conduct specified commercial cannabis activities, as defined, in the state. The objectives of the new law are as follows: To provide tax equity to the cannabis industry...

The Environment Bill 2019 - Water, Water, Everywhere
Shoosmiths LLP, October 2019

Part 5 of the Environment Bill, contains a number of disparate proposals relating to water – which could have major implications for many. Senior associate Joanne Sear and solicitor Grace Mitchell take a look at some of the key points in the Bill. Water resources planning According to its explanatory notes, the Bill is intended to “improve… water resources planning” and “facilitate… collaborative regional planning”...

IRS Finalizes New Hardship Distribution Rules for 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

On September 23, 2019, the IRS published final regulations that amend the rules for hardship distributions from 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The regulations finalize the proposed regulations issued in November 2018 to implement statutory changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 intended to make it easier for plan participants to take hardship distributions...

FDA Warns Consumers to Stop Using THC Vaping Products Amid Ongoing Investigation into Lung Injuries
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

Acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Norman Sharpless has issued a statement warning Americans to stop using vaping products that emit THC until further testing can be done. Federal and state public health agencies, including the FDA, have been investigating an unprecedented wave of 1,000-plus cases of severe lung injuries and deaths among consumers who claimed they used vaping products containing THC, nicotine, or both...

Cincinnati Is Latest City to Outlaw Hair Discrimination
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

Cincinnati, Ohio has joined a small but growing list of states and municipalities that ban discrimination on the basis of natural hair styles. On Oct. 9, 2019, the Cincinnati City Council voted 7-1 to add a hair-bias ban to the city’s existing non-discrimination law...

 

 

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