Sep 25, 2023

The New ‘Buy Clean Concrete’ Guidelines Applicable to State of New York Agency Construction Contracts

The New York State Office of General Services has issued the long-awaited New York State Buy Clean Concrete guidelines applicable to certain State of New York (“NYS”) construction projects. The guidelines “establish the minimum requirements for [NYS] agencies when developing and executing contracts involving low embodied carbon concrete and the applicability of the guidelines to State projects that involve the use of concrete.” The guidelines set forth “Maximum Global Warming Potential Limits for Low Embodied Carbon Concrete” (“GWP”). The applicable GWP limit depends on the specified compressive strength of the concrete and is measured in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent… Read more

Sep 1, 2023

DOL Issues Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Overtime Exemptions

On August 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking titled “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees,” that would extend overtime protections to an estimated 3.6 million salaried employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires most employers to pay employees overtime compensation at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, unless the employee qualifies for an exemption. To qualify as an exempt executive, administrative, or professional employee under the FLSA, generally… Read more

Aug 31, 2023

August Brings a Flurry of Activity from the National Labor Relations Board

As August ends, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) has issued two significant decisions as well as a direct final rule about representation cases. On August 25, 2023, the Board, in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, overhauled longstanding procedures relating to union organization and recognition. The Cemex decision eliminates the need for unions to file an election petition with the Board before a union may demand recognition. Instead, unions may now demand recognition from an employer on the basis of asserting majority support through recognition cards. Under the Cemex rules, if a union makes a claim of majority support, the employer… Read more

Aug 29, 2023

SEC’s New Cybersecurity Rule—Including Key Disclosure Requirements

Cybersecurity icons floating above a keyboard

SGR would like to bring to your attention the recent development from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding cybersecurity regulations that impacts public companies subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. We are highlighting key aspects of the new rule, including the introduction of new disclosure forms and requirements. In March 2022, the SEC introduced a proposal encompassing new rules, rule amendments, and form amendments designed to enhance and standardize disclosures related to cybersecurity risk management, strategy, governance, and material cybersecurity incidents. On July 26, 2023, the SEC announced its adoption and implementation… Read more

Aug 28, 2023

IRS Issues Desired Relief for Plan Sponsors Trying to Comply with SECURE 2.0 Roth Catch-Up Requirement

On Friday, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Notice 2023-62 (the “Notice”) providing welcome relief to plan sponsors with respect to the new SECURE 2.0 requirement that all catch-up contributions made by high-income employees be treated as Roth.  This provision was set to become effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2023—however, the newly released guidance announced a two-year transition period for this requirement. This means that, until 2026, catch-up contributions for high-income employees (those who earned more than $145,000 in the prior year) will be treated as satisfying the catch-up contribution requirements, even if they are not designated… Read more

Aug 14, 2023

EEOC Proposes Regulations to Implement Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Pregnant woman working

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published new proposed regulations on Friday, August 11, to implement the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”), signed into law at the end of December 2022. The PWFA requires covered employers to offer “reasonable accommodations” to applicants and employees to address health issues related to pregnancy or childbirth, so long as the accommodation does not cause an “undue hardship” on the operation of the covered employer’s business. The PWFA applies to all private and public sector employers with at least 15 employees and expands existing protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights… Read more

Aug 14, 2023

NLRB Revises Standard for Evaluating Employer Policies

On August 2, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued its decision in the much-watched Stericycle Inc. and Teamsters 628 case, returning to a case-by-case standard for evaluating challenges to employer-promulgated policies (for both union and non-union employees), and overturning a prior more employer-friendly standard that employed a balancing test to categorize policies into three groups. On September 4, 2020, the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) determined policies in Stericycle’s employee handbook pertaining to personal conduct, conflicts of interest, and confidentiality of harassment complaints were overbroad and dissuaded an employee from engaging in protective activity, in violation of Section 8(a)(1)… Read more

Jun 21, 2023

Proposed Bill Outlawing Non-Compete Agreements in New York

A sweeping proposed bill (A1278B) amending the New York Labor Law to make unlawful any non-compete agreement has passed the state Assembly and is heading to New York Governor Hochul. If signed, the bill would cover all non-compete agreements entered into or modified 30 days after the bill’s effective date. Notably, the pending bill does not require the rescission of existing non-compete agreements. The proposed bill provides that all non-compete agreements purportedly covering any person who performs work or services for another person (employee or contractor) are void and permit an affected individual to bring a civil action against an… Read more

Jun 20, 2023

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Employers Can Sue for Strike Damages

In an 8-1 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled for the employer in Glacier Northwest v. Teamsters, Local 174 in a case that has significant implications for a union’s right to strike and for the targeted employer to respond to the strike with a court action for property damage. In Glacier, the Court addressed whether the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or the “Act”) preempts an employer’s state tort claim against a union “alleging that the Union intentionally destroyed its property during a labor dispute.” The Court held that the NLRA does not protect a union from state claims… Read more

Jun 15, 2023

USPTO Warns of “Spoofed” Calls that Impersonate its Employees

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently issued an alert warning of scams being perpetrated where a caller impersonates an employee of the USPTO. In a tactic called “spoofing,” the scammers trick phone networks into displaying caller ID that is different from their actual information. To obtain more information on reporting spoofed calls and protecting yourself from scammers, read the USPTO’s recommendations. You may also contact a member of SGR’s Intellectual Property Practice.