Labor & Employment Energy & Utilities

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Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Maine Legislative Session in Recess Until April 29 - In late night sessions ending at 2:30...more

Sophisticated User Defense Does Not Extend to Salesman

Richard Moran III v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (April 13, 2016) - In 2008, the California Supreme Court unanimously held that the “sophisticated user” defense...more

OSHA’s Crystalline Silica Rule: Compliance Clock Ticks While Legal Challenges Mount

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published its final rule on “Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica” (the “Silica Rule”) on March 25, 2016, and as expected numerous manufacturing...more

When is a Reward a Bribe? OSHA Policy Limits Workplace Safety Incentive Programs

Years ago, my employer gave employees a coaster every quarter that the group had no OSHA reportable incidents. Now it would have been in violation to have such a program. Despite criticism from workers compensation carriers...more

CFTC Awards More than $10 Million to Whistleblower

On April 4, 2016, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced a whistleblower award of more than $10 million. This is only the third whistleblower award that the CFTC has approved since the inception of the...more

A Beginner’s Guide to OSHA’s Final Silica Rule

On March 24, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule was published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2016....more

OSHA Law Alert: OSHA Issues Final Silica Rule

OSHA has announced the finalization of its long-awaited silica rule. When it takes effect on June 23, 2016, the rule will (1) reduce the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica; (2) require employers to implement...more

E2 Report Finds Clean Energy Employs 2.5 Million Americans

Last week Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) released a report entitled “Clean Jobs America,” a comprehensive analysis of clean energy and clean transportation jobs in the United States. The study found that over 2.5 million...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update

The first of three Minnesota legislative committee deadlines arrives tonight at midnight. By the first deadline, a committee must act favorably upon a bill in its body of origin or the bill does not move forward. As a result,...more

Employment Alert: "Responding to the Skyrocketing Rate of Wage and Hour Claims"

It is no secret that wage and hour cases are on the rise. As several news sources have recently reported, this issue is of particular concern in the oil and gas industry. According to the Federal Judicial Center, in 2015...more

Wage and Hour Focus in the Energy Sector Alive and Well

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) focus on wage and hour violations, which caught the oil and gas industry by surprise a little more than six years ago, continues to cause problems for the energy sector. Most recently, the...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 03/25/2016

The Minnesota Legislature had a short week, with no official business on Friday due to their Easter recess. The legislature will return on Tuesday, March 29, at noon. This week, committees continued to hear budget details...more

OSHA Issues Final Silica Rule: What’s the Same and What’s Changed?

On March 25, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register its final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E....more

Mine Your Own Business? Three Neighboring Mines Don’t Meet WARN Act “Single Site of Employment” Test

When are sister corporations considered a “single employer” under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act)? And when are their worksites considered a “single site of employment”? ...more

Quebec 2016-2017 Budget: Continued Fiscal Discipline

On March 17, 2016, the Quebec government (Government) unveiled the 2016-2017 budget (Budget). The Government confirmed that it balanced the books for 2015–16 and anticipates maintaining a balanced budget for 2016–17. The...more

Week Two at the Capitol

On Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled his $100 million supplemental budget proposal to deliver tax cuts for over 400,000 Minnesota families, make needed investments in early learning to eliminate achievement gaps, rebuild the...more

Minerals Matters - Winter 2016

Welcome to the latest edition of Minerals Matters and the first one of 2016. Last year was, on the whole, positive for the sector. We had the drama of the UK General Election and the surprisingly decisive outcome which...more

OSHA Issues Hazard Alert on Tank Gauging

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have issued a new hazard alert for health and safety risks to workers who manually gauge or sample...more

The First Circuit's FWW Decision and Its Impact on Oilfield Employers

On February 12, 2016, the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision that an employer may use the fluctuating workweek (FWW) method to calculate overtime pay rates even when an employee’s weekly pay...more

News from Second and State

The second week of budget hearings have come and gone with no real fanfare and nothing especially earth-shaking to report. On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee heard budget requests from the Office of Attorney...more

Effectively Managing Workforce Contraction in Turbulent Times - Part 2

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 recent developments in the industry and predictions that low oil...more

What to Expect from OSHA in 2016: Michaels Discusses Hazard Alerts, Silica Rule, Reporting, and Other Priorities

On February 11, 2016, Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health and the head of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), spoke to 170 members of the oil and gas well...more

News from the Vermont Statehouse - An analysis from DRM's Government & Public Affairs Team

Committee Decides Physician Acquisition Disclosure Bill Is Unnecessary - The Senate Health and Welfare Committee has decided not to pursue consideration of S.245, a proposal to require disclosure of new affiliations...more

Saudi Arabia Update - February 2016

Legal developments - Local partner requirement reported to cease - Saudi Arabia seeks to draw investors to help reduce its reliance on oil exports and aims to facilitate foreign companies' investment in its market....more

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