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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
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Showing 22 posts from 2019.

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Madelyn Polzin ©

A Mixed Bag At Best: The Attorney General's Proposed CCPA Regulations

The long wait is over. The Attorney General of California has finally issued his proposed regulations on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and for privacy professionals, it feels like Christmas morning. The sense of anticipation in unwrapping the regs has been visceral—are they akin to that bright and shiny toy we’ve been yearning for, or more like underwear and socks from Aunt Bernice? At first blush, they’re a little bit of both.
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Commercial Leasing in the Cannabis Age

Cannabis is on fire. And as more and more jurisdictions move to legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational use, would-be players in the cannabis space are lining up to sign leases on commercial property from which they hope to operate. Which begs the question: do these cannabis-related leases require any unique terms given the nature of the business? The answer is a definitive yes.

A critical concern for any storefront retailer, including those operating a cannabis business, is the lease agreement. To be sure, given the unique circumstances presented in the pot biz—namely, the interplay of federal and state laws, banking and insurance industry aversion, and the relative unknowns presented by a new and burgeoning industry—leases for dispensaries and associated retail operations require special considerations. Here’s an overview. (Read More)

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Attention New York Employers: Sweeping Changes Have Been Made to the State’s Discrimination Law

Summer Associate Adam Korn contributed to this post

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, New York has become the most recent state to make it easier for employees to bring sexual harassment lawsuits against their employers. On August 12, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law that lowers the bar for what is considered workplace harassment and eliminates many of the barriers employees have faced in litigating these claims. Here’s how: (Read More)

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Attention Indie Musicians

Attention indie musicians: Rhapsody International Inc. has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve claims that they failed to pay songwriters royalties for their streamed music. What this means is that you may be entitled to compensation. (Read more)

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AndreyPopov © 123RF.com

The NLRB Weighs in on Misclassification

If you’re in management, there’s some good news to report out of the National Labor Relations Board—at least theoretically.

The NLRB has just ruled that it’s not  a violation of federal law–namely, the National Labor Relations Act—when employers misclassify their workers as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. (Read More)

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New York Cannot Prohibit the Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims

Last year, amid the growing #MeToo movement, New York enacted a law that prohibited the mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims. The law declared any such contract provision entered on or after July 11, 2018, to be “null and void.” N.Y.C.P.L.R. 7515 (“7515”). Even before it was passed, legislators were concerned about the law’s ability to withstand challenge that it was preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), which provides for the judicial enforcement of arbitration agreements and awards (the FAA applies in both state courts and federal courts). The U.S. Supreme Court strongly supports the FAA and has repeatedly ruled that its pro-arbitration mandate must be broadly interpreted. Perhaps aware of 7515’s shaky foundation in light of the FAA, the statute states that it applies “except where inconsistent with federal law.” N.Y.C.P.L.R. 7515(a)(4)(b)(i). (Read More)

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Supreme Court Rules a Plaintiff’s Failure to File EEOC Charge Is Not Fatal to Title VII Lawsuit Unless Timely Raised by a Defendant

It’s a given that employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion – this according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state and local governments. It’s also been a given that a court lacked jurisdiction over a court action for discrimination under Title VII until and unless an employee first filed a charge of discrimination on the underlying claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Not anymore. By way of its recent ruling in Fort Bend County v. Davis, the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that this now-familiar administrative filing precondition is a “procedural obligation” and not a jurisdictional prerequisite to a lawsuit. (Read More)

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Attention Employers: Prepare for Reinstated EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting by Summer’s End

Does your company employ 100 people or more? If so, be forewarned – a federal court has lifted the Office of Management and Budget’s stay of the revised EEO-1 form that requires companies to submit a summary of 2018 wage information and hours worked for all employees by race, ethnicity and sex by job category to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (Read More)

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Madelyn Polzin ©

Amendments Bring New Clarity to CCPA Scope in Advance of 2020 Deadline

In the rush to pass AB-375 (the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)) before the 2018 deadline to withdraw the looming ballot initiative, it was clear that amendments would be necessary.  Mere months after its passage, SB-1121 was passed to clean up technical and grammatical errors, but the more substantial revisions were anticipated this year.  In tracking those amendments, businesses have gained clarity on their 2020 compliance obligations. (Read More)

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Attention Agents: Fees Charged May Be Unlawful

Brokers and agents take note – an appellate court in California handed down a decision earlier this month that strikes at the legality of “broker fees” charged by agents. (Read More)