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MSHA Tackles Rising Metal/Nonmetal Fatalities

Only two months into 2015 and it has already been a busy year for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Last year, MSHA launched “Voice in the Workplace” as an initiative to prompt more involvement by miners in...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Legal Considerations During Massive and Quick Layoffs"

Class Action Lawsuit Recently Filed Against Drilling Company for Alleged WARN Act Violations - The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”) requires certain companies who conduct large and quick...more

Changing MSHA Penalties: What’s on the Horizon for Mine Operators?

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is in the process of reviewing proposed new civil penalty regulations following multiple hearings in which stakeholders offered their comments. Civil penalties for safety...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

Managing Workforce Contraction During An Energy Slump: Special Considerations for Nonimmigrant Workers Affected By a RIF

Continuing our weekly "Falling Oil Prices and RIFs" series, this week's topic focuses upon immigration law issues that typically arise during workforce reductions....more

Managing Workforce Contraction During An Energy Slump: Frequently Asked Questions

Continuing the Q&A series following our previous in-house “Falling Oil Prices and RIFs: A Roundtable Overview of the Most Significant Legal Compliance Obligations” compliance seminar, this week's discussion centers around the...more

Clean Jobs Coalition Calls For Updated Renewable Energy Laws In Illinois

On February 4, 2015, the newly formed Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called for an update of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that was put into place in 2007. ...more

Managing Workforce Contraction During An Energy Slump: Frequently Asked Questions

As everyone knows, oil prices have sunk to a historic low for months. While that is good news for some people, many energy-related companies are now seriously considering workforce reductions and reorganizations in order to...more

Employee Refusing to Provide SSN Has No Religious Discrimination Claim

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires employers in some situations to accommodate employees’ and applicants’ religious beliefs and practices by varying policies and procedures of general applicability. However, as...more

Applicant Can’t Claim Religious Bias After Refusing to Give "Mark of the Beast"

Many employers are convinced that the law requires them to accommodate almost every religious belief that an applicant or employee may have. The law actually does not go quite that far. In fact, one federal court of appeals...more

2/15: Nothing in Life is Certain but Death and Tax Extenders: The Corporate Tax Provisions of H.R. 5771

When Congress met at the end of last year, the primary objective for the meeting was clear - to prevent taxes from slowing the recovery that the economy has enjoyed for the last several years. ...more

Broader Regulation of Offshore Contractors on Horizon

On November 12, 2014 the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) strongly signaled a forthcoming review of its offshore facility decommissioning regulations and regulatory authority over contactors. While the...more

Tread Carefully When Implementing a Reduction in Force

With recent price drops in the oil and gas industry it is likely that reductions in force (RIFs) are looming on the horizon. But employers need to tread carefully when implementing any RIF, as it can raise thorny issues under...more

California Joins Whistleblower Lawsuit Against BP

The state of California jumped aboard a whistleblower lawsuit in progress against BP Plc, alleging that BP had overcharged the state by up to approximately $300 million for nearly a decade for natural gas. The plaintiffs in...more

Nationwide Refinery Worker Strike Continues to Spread

The current United Steelworkers strike is the first national strike called by the union since 1980. After contract negotiations with Shell Oil Company failed, 3,800 workers stopped work at nine sites on February 1, 2015. The...more

Oil Price Decline: Positioning for Turnaround or Sale

As a reaction to the dramatic oil price volatility, many energy companies plan to streamline operations by reducing work force and shedding assets. Those who do so face tightening credit and decline in asset value that may...more

The 2016 Federal Budget: Targeting Independent Contractor Misclassification as Part of the “Fissured Workplace”

The President released his Fiscal Year 2016 Budget today, February 2, 2015. In furtherance of the President’s budget request, the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division provided a 32-page budget justification to Congress...more

Texas Oil Regulator Files Wrongful Termination Claim After Exposing Safety Issues

An oil inspector in Texas claims to have been wrongfully fired for reporting safety violations within his company and being subject to unfair retaliation in the time leading up to his dismissal....more

The Sixth Circuit Holds That an Arbitration Clause in an Expired Contract Still Applies

Does the duty to arbitrate survive the expiration of a contract? The United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit recently held “yes.” The Sixth Circuit became the first federal appeals court to examine whether a contract’s...more

If You Are Planning Layoffs – Here Are Five Things You Need to Know

Unfortunately, when the price of oil goes down, the employment numbers also move downward in Houston. Many clients in the oil and gas industry are either planning or considering downsizing measures, which means that it is a...more

Enforcing a "Fair Day's Pay" - What Can You Do in the Face of This Initiative

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced in late 2012 it was launching a multi-year wage and hour enforcement initiative on Marcellus Shale contractors operating in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Following that...more

Layoffs in the Energy Sector – Are Employers Prepared?

Over the past few weeks, the media has focused intently on the oil and gas industry’s extensive layoffs. Well known energy companies have made front-page news with their announcements of their significant layoffs that have...more

The Shale Play Today - January 2015

In This Issue: - Enforcing a "Fair Day's Pay" - What Can You Do in the Face of This Initiative? - Pennsylvania Finds Naturally Occurring Radiation from Gas Drilling Poses Little Threat - Washington County...more

Effectively Managing Workforce Contraction in Turbulent Times

The dramatic drop in the price of oil is forcing many energy-related companies to reevaluate their operations and consider steps to trim their costs. With predictions that low oil prices will extend well into 2016, such...more

The Construct - December 2014

In This Issue: - Another Perspective: Constructing (and Eating) a Piece of the Energy Sector Pie - An Interview with Melvin Stroble, REM, Project Manager, Energy for Black & Veatch - Executive Order 13658...more

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