While employers wait to see whether, and to what extent, the Federal Trade Commission enacts its proposed rule banning non-competes, the Office of the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB”) has joined the fray, denouncing the legality of restrictive covenants.
Employers (hopefully) are aware that their employees are afforded certain rights under the National Labor Relations Act (the “NLRA” or “Act”), including the right to self-organization, to bargain collectively, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
On May 12, 2023, the Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2023-38 (the “Notice”), providing guidance on the rules taxpayers must satisfy to qualify for the domestic content bonus credit (the “Domestic Content Bonus”) available under sections 45 and 48 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), for “qualified facilities” or “energy projects” placed in service after December 31, 2022, and under Code sections 45Y and 48E for “qualified facilities” or “energy storage projects” placed in service after December 31, 2024 (collectively, the “DC Projects”).
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On February 3, 2023, the SEC announced that Activision Blizzard Inc. — the publicly traded video game developer and publisher of such well-known videogames as “Candy Crush” and “World of Warcraft” — “agreed to pay $35 million to settle charges that it failed to maintain disclosure controls and procedures to ensure that the company could assess whether its disclosures pertaining to its workforce were adequate” and “violated an SEC whistleblower protection rule” by impeding employees “from communicating directly with the Commission staff about a possible securities law violation.”
In an attempt to address concerns about pay inequity, California and New York rang in the new year by implementing laws that require employers to include information about compensation ranges in job postings, joining Washington, Colorado and Connecticut, which have already implemented similar pay transparency laws.
On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced plans to prohibit employers from imposing or enforcing non-compete clauses in agreements with workers, including employees and independent contractors, in almost all contexts.
In a surprising release, on November 29, 2022, the Department of Treasury (the “Treasury”) and the Internal Revenue Service (the “Service”) issued Notice 2022-61 (the “Notice”), providing initial guidance on the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements (the “Labor Requirements”) impacting a broad swath of clean energy tax credits included in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “IRA”) (i.e., sections 45, 30C, 45, 45Q, 45V, 45Y, 45Z, 48, 48C, 48E, and 179D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”)).
On October 25, 2022, a federal jury in Houston awarded a woman $365,000,000 in punitive damages and over $1,000,000 in compensatory damages, after finding that her employer had terminated her in retaliation for complaining about race discrimination.
Consider the following scenario: Your company uses a contractor staffing company to perform cleaning and maintenance tasks at one of its facilities.
Every year, April brings surprises for the unwary — typically in the form of an April fool’s joke.