China 301: List 3 Now A Reality

China United States Trade Solution
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By Susan Kohn Ross

Late on July 10, 2018, U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer released a list of the next Chinese-made products targeted for additional duties, this time at a 10% rate and worth about $200 billion. The statement in support of this action can be found here, and the list of affected products here. As before, the list of products is released in Federal Register pre-publication format.

The dates to keep in mind are as follows… Continue reading “China 301: List 3 Now A Reality”

China 301 Tariffs Took Effect – What Happens Next?

China tariffs
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By Susan Kohn Ross

The U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) issued a press release on July 6, 2018 in which the process companies can use to seek exclusion from the 25% tariff imposed on the same day on goods from China was announced. The timeline requires all original exclusion requests to be filed by October 9, 2018. Each will be reviewed to insure completeness and will then be posted for public review, and 14 days from the date of any posting, all objections are due. No more than 7 days later, any applicant may file its reply. All such submissions are filed through regulations.gov and must reference Docket No. USTR-2018-0025. Continue reading “China 301 Tariffs Took Effect – What Happens Next?”

California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 – GDPR Lite?

By Susan Kohn Ross and Aaron Wais

In a compromise to avoid a ballot measure, at the very last moment on the very last day, just before the stroke of midnight, on June 29, 2018, the California legislature passed and Governor Brown signed into law the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (the “Act”), which takes effect on January 1, 2020. Many of its provisions are similar to the General Data Protection Regulations (“GDPR”), which took effect in Europe at the end of May, and required companies to institute new internal data privacy regimes. So, while those companies which prepared for the GDPR are well on their way to gaining compliance with this new law, there is still much to be done by them and especially those companies which were not impacted by the GDPR. Continue reading “California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 – GDPR Lite?”

NLRB General Counsel Issues Pro-Employer Guidance Regarding Workplace Rules

By Erica Parks

On June 6, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel issued Memorandum 18-04, titled “Guidance on Handbook Rules Post-Boeing.”  In it, the NLRB’s General Counsel (GC), provided guidance to the NLRB’s regional offices regarding how to analyze the legality of common employer policies in light of the NLRB’s decision in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (December 14, 2017).  The Boeing decision and the GC’s memo represent a pro-employer shift away from the NLRB’s decidedly more pro-employee positions during the Obama administration.

Continue reading “NLRB General Counsel Issues Pro-Employer Guidance Regarding Workplace Rules”

25% Tariff Imposed on Chinese Goods

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By Susan Kohn Ross

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today issued two lists of products on which the U.S. seeks to impose tariffs on goods made in China at a 25% rate. The lists together cover 1,102 tariff lines valued at approximately $50 billion. According to the USTR’s release, the list of products settled on was intended to focus on “products from industrial sectors that contribute to or benefit from the ‘Made in China 2025’ industrial policy,” and include aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials and automobiles. Cellular telephones and televisions are not included. Continue reading “25% Tariff Imposed on Chinese Goods”

New Federal Act Amending Dodd-Frank Also Seeks to Help Startups

business concept money of glass and growht small tree
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By Mark Hiraide & David Gordon

In late May, President Trump signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. Although the president and many Republican members of Congress had threatened to repeal and replace Dodd-Frank, the new law’s actual changes are relatively minor. The new law rolls back some of the post-financial crisis legislation enacted in 2010, particularly for smaller community banks and credit unions. But it largely leaves intact the core framework of Dodd-Frank.

Less publicized but worthy of attention is the new law’s Title V—Encouraging Capital Formation, which amends the Securities Act of 1933 and Investment Company Act of 1940 with regard to early stage companies. Like the amendment to Dodd-Frank, the new law’s amendments to the federal securities laws are modest.  Continue reading “New Federal Act Amending Dodd-Frank Also Seeks to Help Startups”

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements Are Enforceable

By Stephen Rossi Last week, in an important win for employers, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit-split on whether class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), holding that they are. The Court decided three cases, Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, and National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., … Continue reading U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements Are Enforceable

New York City & State Implement Stronger Protections Against Workplace Harassment

New York City Dawn
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By Greg Hessinger

As states begin to focus heightened attention on sexual harassment in the workplace in the wake of the #MeToo movement, New York State (“NY State”) and New York City (“NYC”) have implemented stronger protections for employees against workplace harassment. The new requirements, which have been passed into law in NY State and NYC, will impact employers’ training, policies & procedures, and employment agreements for New York employees.

New York State: Continue reading “New York City & State Implement Stronger Protections Against Workplace Harassment”

Is Everyone Now an Employee in California?

By Jeffrey Davine

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County.  It is likely that this case will drastically alter the landscape in California as to how workers are classified.  From a tax perspective, the result could be significantly increased costs and administrative burdens for businesses operating in California.

Worker Classification.
For tax purposes, workers are divided into two categories- employees and independent contractors.  The tax withholding and reporting obligations with respect to each category of worker are substantially different and significant dollars can turn on how a worker is classified. Continue reading “Is Everyone Now an Employee in California?”