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Same-Day Delivery Companies: 2; MA Independent Contractor Statute: 0. First Circuit Once Again Upholds Classification of Couriers...

Relying on its precedent, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held for the second time this year that the Federal Aviation Administrative Authorization Act of 1994 (“FAAAA”) preempts application of the Massachusetts...more

Drone on Drones: Swarm of Local Regulations Approaches

The City of Lompoc is considering a drone ordinance following a citizen complaining about a camera-equipped drone invading his privacy . He indicated that, despite three calls to the police department, he was told nothing...more

Senate Version of Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Preempts Local Drone Regulations

On March 17, 2016, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee of the United States Senate approved amendments to the most recent funding legislation for the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), the FAA...more

Federal Preemption Narrowed For Aviation Suppliers In Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp.

On April 19, 2016, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion on the issue of federal preemption in Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp. The sixty-one page opinion effectively narrowed the scope of federal...more

Third Circuit Limits Federal Aviation Act Preemption for Product Liability Claims

In a departure from a string of cases supporting field preemption of state-law aviation product liability claims under certain circumstances by the Federal Aviation Act (FAAct), the Third Circuit recently held that the FAAct...more

FAA Clarifies Federal, State, and Local Regulation of UAS

The FAA has released a fact sheet regarding state and local regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”). The FAA advises that state and local restrictions should be consistent with the extensive federal statutory and...more

FAA Releases Guidelines For Local Regulation Of Drones

In the past few years unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, have grown in popularity and availability. With the proliferation of drones comes some difficult privacy and public safety questions for school...more

Google Asks Congress For Self-Driving Car Help

As reported almost everywhere, on Tuesday, March 15, Google told a Senate Hearing that Congress should pass legislation regulating self-driving cars. Google, through Chris Urmson (Director, Self-Driving Cars), explained that...more

First Circuit Allows FedEx Drivers to Continue with Wage-and-Hour Claims under Massachusetts Wage Act

Misclassification of workers is a trending topic in employment law and can result in significant financial damages for unwary employers. In Schwann v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., No. 15-1214, U.S. App. 1st Cir. 2016,...more

Preemption prevails in watercraft case under Federal Boat Safety Act

For vehicle manufacturers that find themselves in state court facing product liability claims over safety mechanisms, federal preemption is frequently examined as an affirmative defense. Watercraft manufacturers, in...more

February 2016 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

In February 2016, two federal appellate courts ruled in favor of companies in IC misclassification cases: one where the NLRB was reversed in a decision where the agency had found stagehands to be employees and not ICs; the...more

The InterConnect Flash! No. 53 - February 2016

2 Steps Back — First Circuit Could Have Done More for the Independent Contractor Business Model - Approximately one year ago in FLASH No. 46, we wrote about Massachusetts District Court Judge Robert G. Stearns’ industry...more

School Districts and Drones: The Door Remains Open for Regulation Efforts

Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS"), otherwise known as drones, are everywhere. Literally. And their recreational use is likely to become even more prevalent given the hundreds of thousands of UAS's that were projected to be...more

Drone on Drones: Arizona Bill Would Preclude Local Government Drone Regulation

The Arizona Senate has introduced new legislation creating a comprehensive state policy on drone use that would preempt cities from enacting their own regulations. While the bill is likely to see major changes before becoming...more

Drones - The Division Between Federal and State Law and What it Means to You

Underscoring the shifting regulatory landscape applicable to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS or drones), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on December 17, 2015 put state and local governments on notice that they cannot...more

Keeping an Eye on "Pervasive Regulation" in Aviation and its Effect on Implied Federal Preemption

Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit issued another opinion regarding the scope of federal preemption in the context of federal aviation regulations. In National Federation of the Blind v. United Airlines Inc. (No....more

Generators of Regulated Medical Waste in New Jersey Must Meet Federal Standards After Preemptions

Generators of regulated medical waste (RMW) in New Jersey may need to revise their handling, marking and storage practices and procedures to meet federal hazardous materials requirements (49 CFR parts 171-180) (the federal...more

Seattle Becomes First City in U.S. to Allow Uber Drivers to Unionize

In December, 2015, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted in favor of legislation that expressly permits drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services to unionize. Drivers for these companies, who are treated as...more

Washington Court Upholds Preemption Ruling for Aircraft Component Manufacturer

Last week, in the Estate of Virgil Becker v. Forward Technology Industries, Inc., a Washington appellate court upheld a lower court decision affirming the dismissal of claims against an aircraft component manufacturer on...more

Supreme Engagement: CEQA’s Continuing Saga In California’s High Court

A new year often brings fresh perspective. With 2016 still in its infancy, it is natural to reflect back on what has been and also to contemplate what is yet to come. The California Supreme Court’s recent CEQA decisions, and...more

Uber Complicated? State and Local Labor Law May Fill in Federal Gaps

Last week, Seattle passed a historic law that would allow Uber drivers – whom Uber has steadfastly maintained are independent contractors despite legal challenges – to organize, form a union, and bargain over the terms and...more

Aviation Happenings - Winter 2016

Court Holds that Seating a Passenger Behind an IFE Box Does Not Constitute Montreal Convention “Accident” - The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently held that seating a...more

Federal Law Preempts State Wage Law in Employee Misclassification Case

A Massachusetts Superior Court recently ruled against a group of truck drivers who claimed that a delivery company violated the Massachusetts Wage Act by misclassifying the drivers as independent contractors rather than as...more

First Circuit Court of Appeals Clarifies Limited Deference to Surface Transportation Board Views on Railroad Preemption

In two companion decisions released in October, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, considered the extent to which federal preemption of state and local laws applies to railroad operations involving the...more

Supreme Court Update: Maryland V. Kulbicki (14-848) And Order List

… und willkommen zurück! Oktober Term 2015 kicks off today with argument in OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs (13-1067), a case which explores the contours of the commercial-activity exception to the Foreign Sovereign...more

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