Labor & Employment Energy & Utilities

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$4.5 million wage settlement for Pa. and WVa. workers in oil and natural gas industry

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it has reached agreement with numerous employers in the oil and natural gas industry in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to provide 5,310 workers...more

Department of Labor Targeting Oil and Gas Contractors

On December 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that it had achieved $4.5 million dollars in settlements from private employers as a result of a two year investigation into contractors working in the...more

Additional Risk: Does Your Company Have Additional Insured Coverage for Claims by Contractors’ Employees?

One of the biggest risks oil and gas companies face is a blowout or other catastrophic event that causes serious injury or death. In the aftermath of such an event, companies often find themselves facing lawsuits by injured...more

CalPERS’ Commitment to Infrastructure (Real Assets Annual Program Review, November 2014)

On November 17, 2014, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest U.S. public pension fund with approximately $300 billion in assets, conducted its annual real assets program review. CalPERS’...more

Saskatchewan Prime Contractor Regulations Coming into Force January 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015, The Occupational Health and Safety (Prime Contractor) Regulations will come into force in Saskatchewan (the Prime Contractor Regulations). If you are doing business in Saskatchewan, you should...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Circuit Court Lacks Jurisdiction over Whistleblower Rate Challenge

State of Illinois ex rel. Pusateri v. The Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company presented an important question for the utilities bar: do the Circuit Courts have jurisdiction to order rate refunds on the grounds that the utility...more

Sixth Circuit Decision Confirms that Employers May Lawfully Choose Not to Hire a Job Applicant with a Prior History as a False...

Some employers in the health care and other industries who regularly deal with the federal government and are subject to the False Claims Act (“FCA”) have felt helpless in trying to weed out serial whistleblowers in the...more

The Ninth Circuit Provides Clarity on ERA Whistleblower Protections.

On November 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Tamosaitis v. URS Inc. and provided clarity on three key aspects of the whistleblower protections afforded under the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA), 42 U.S.C. 5801...more

Sixth Circuit Dismisses Whistleblower’s Claims Made By Job Applicant

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a job applicant lacks standing to bring whistle-blower claims under the Energy Reorganization Act and the False Claims Act (“FCA”) because those laws’...more

You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry... Wage and Hour Investigations on the Rise

A representative from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)'s Wage and Hour Division recently warned that the payroll practices of some of this state's most active industries (including the oil and gas services industry) may be...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Scope of Whistleblower Statute

During the September term, the Illinois Supreme Court debated an important question about the scope of the state Whistleblower Act: does a plaintiff state a claim under the statute by alleging that the defendant falsified...more

Job Applicant Denied Whistleblower Protection in Sixth Circuit

Job applicants lack standing to bring whistleblower retaliation claims under the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) because they are not “employees,” according to the Sixth Circuit Court of...more

Ontario MOL consulting on extending noise protection to all Ontario workers

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is proposing that all Ontario workers be protected from excess noise in the workplace. Currently, the regulations for Industrial Establishments, Mines and Mining Plants and Oil and...more

Election Results and Analysis

Going into the November 4 midterm elections, Democrats held a 55-45 (two Independents caucus with the Democrats) seat advantage in the Senate while Republicans held a 234-201 advantage in the House. With several races still...more

Mine Fatalities: Causes, Prevention, and MSHA Enforcement

A number of fatal mine accidents occurred in the United States between January 1 and September 22, 2014. Coal Mines - - Four underground employees on foot were crushed by equipment in operation. - Two...more

Cambios en la normatividad laboral para empresas petroleras - Decreto 2089 de 2014

El 17 de octubre de 2014, el Ministerio del Trabajo expidió el Decreto 2089 mediante el cual se adoptan medidas especiales para garantizar la vinculación de mano de obra local a proyectos de explotación y producción de...more

13 Fired After Department of Watershed Management Internal Investigation

The Atlanta Department of Watershed Management recently conducted an internal investigation after reports of theft and mismanagement arose from within the organization. Soon afterward, the department fired 13 unnamed...more

Private Equity Fees and Expenses [Video]

Pepper partner and co-chair of the firm's Funds Services Group, Julia D. Corelli, recently presented at a special luncheon for the CFA Society of Philadelphia where she discussed how PE firms' fees and expenses are being...more

Joint Committee’s Report on Energy Tax Incentives Misses the Mark on Green Jobs

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) on September 16 published a report analyzing federal energy tax incentives. The report is available below. The report is generally insightful; however, it has a misguided job-creation...more

Mexico's New E&P Contracts

Historical Background - Early Mexican E&P: Early in the last century, Mexico became both an important oil producing nation and trendsetter in nationalization of oil industries. In the process it told a...more

New CA Law Gives Refineries Broad Authority to Designate Maintenance Records Trade Secrets

Ah, what would corporations give to be able to have trade secret protections for their information simply by declaring it a trade secret? For oil refineries in California, that dream may now be a reality....more

Ninth Circuit Upholds TERO Requirements in Indian Country Mineral Leasing

Conducting commercial operations on tribal lands can pose significant challenges for non-Indian companies. Demonstrating sensitivity to the cultural nuances of Native American society and navigating the complex web of federal...more

California Proposes Major Changes to Refinery PSM Standard

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has proposed a new Process Safety Management standard for oil refineries (the "Refinery PSM Standard"). The proposal, which is a precursor to formal notice and comment...more

The Latest Update on Aviation Regulatory Matters Involving DOT, FAA, TSA, and Other Federal Agencies

Congressional Action Impacting Aviation - Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Requests Airline Information on Ancillary Service Fees, Consumer Privacy Protection: Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV, chairman of the...more

Ontario Government Responds to Early Results of Mine Safety Review

In December 2013, the province asked Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer to undertake a review of the occupational health and safety issues related to the mining sector, focusing first on underground mines. The review...more

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