Articles Posted by Insights

Following through on Governor Hokhul’s promise in her 2022 State of the State address, New York lawmakers passed a blanket ban on all non-compete agreements, thus joining the growing federal and state efforts to curb their use.   However, the bill imposes greater restrictions than those implemented in other jurisdictions, including California, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois and Maryland.  The bill will take effect 30 days after it is signed by the Governor.

The Broad Scope of the Ban: 

The bill prohibits all employers, regardless of industry, from seeking, requiring, demanding or accepting a non-compete agreement from any “covered individual,” defined as any person who performs services on such terms that the individual is economically dependent on the other.  Thus, unlike other laws that include a carve out for highly compensated employees, the ban extends to all workers across the board, including workers hired as independent contractors.

On June 13, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) reverted to its prior employee friendly independent contractor test to find that makeup artists, wig artists, and hairstylists (“the stylists”) working for the Atlanta Opera were employees rather than independent contractors.  This revived independent contractor test will significantly impact employers who will now face a higher bar when seeking to classify workers as independent contractors excluded from the protections of federal labor laws.

The Discarded SuperShuttle Standard:  Since 2014 the NLRB applied the following non-exhaustive list of factors to determine independent contractor status:

  • The extent of control the employer exercises over the work

Internal Revenue Code Section 645 was enacted in 1997 because of the increasing use of revocable trusts as will substitutes to avoid probate in many states. While in some states like New Jersey and Texas, probate isn’t terribly expensive or difficult, an increasing number of individuals are designing their estate plans with revocable trusts for non-probate purposes. During the grantor’s life, they may be used for streamlined asset management and a less expensive alternative to guardianships in the event of incapacity. After death, trusts provide increased privacy as well as ease of administration when it comes to out-of-state property and possible inheritance tax freezes that can delay the availability of cash to administer an estate. By making an IRC Section 645 election, clients can treat certain trusts as part of their estate. Here are some of the benefits of doing that.

Statutory Requirements

Section 645 sets forth the statutory requirements for making the election to treat certain trusts as part of an estate. The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations on Dec. 4, 2002.

On May 30, 2023, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an opinion letter clarifying how to calculate leave taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) during a week containing a holiday. It is important for employers to properly calculate employee FMLA leave time because a miscalculation could be considered an interference with an employee’s FMLA rights.

The FMLA requires covered employers to provide eligible employees up to twelve workweeks of unpaid leave within a twelve-month period for qualifying family or medical reasons or twenty-six workweeks of unpaid leave within a twelve-month period for caretaking of qualifying service members.  Employees may take FMLA leave intermittently by taking leave in separate blocks of time or by working shortened weeks or days. The amount of FMLA leave taken by employees is calculated as a fraction of the employee’s actual workweek. For example, an employee who normally works forty hours a week but takes off eight hours for FMLA reasons, would use 1/5 of a week of his or her FMLA leave entitlement.

Full Workweek of FMLA Leave

The goal of this article is to highlight some of the changes to the rules governing retirement account distributions under the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (aka SECURE 2.0). The positive changes include the following:

  • The age at which one must withdraw required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) has increased to age 73 effective January 1, 2023; it increases again to age 75 effective January 1, 2033;
  • The penalty (excise tax) for failure to make a timely withdrawal is reduced to 25% from 50% and, in some cases, to 10%;

On May 30, 2023 Jennifer Abruzzo, General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board , sent a memorandum to all Regional Directors expressing her view that except in limited circumstances, non-compete provisions in employment and severance agreements constitute unfair labor practices under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) because they “tend to chill employees in the exercise of Section 7 rights” which protect employees’ rights to take collective action to improve working conditions.  While many mistakenly believe the NLRA’s reach only extends to unionized workplaces, both unionized and nonunionized employers are liable for unfair labor practices that violate employee Section 7 rights.

More specifically, the memorandum claims that non-competes interfere with employees’ ability to:

  • Concertedly threaten to resign to secure better working conditions;


Title VII prohibits employers from using neutral selection procedures that disproportionately exclude individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin unless the employer can show the procedures are “job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.”   In 1978, the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) adopted Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures providing guidance for employers to determine whether selection procedures commonly used in making employment decisions ran afoul of Title VII’s protections.

In response to the increased use of algorithmic decision-making tools (commonly referred to as artificial intelligence or “AI”) to assist in making a wide array of employment decisions, in May 2023, the EEOC issued new guidance entitled “Assessing Adverse Impact in Software, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence Used in Employment Selection Procedures Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”  While the EEOC’s guidance does not have the force of law and is not binding upon employers, it serves as a warning that the EEOC will be monitoring AI use to ensure that these decision-making tools do not adversely impact protected groups in violation of Title VII.

In today’s market, many spas are looking to expand their service lines to include cosmetic medical services, such as laser therapies, IV hydration, and Botox treatments.  With the prevalence of cosmetic medical services on the rise, people are now electing to receive these treatments in a spa setting – as opposed to a traditional medical office. Regulations abound, yet, they often fail to provide spas with direct guidance on these emerging services and the technological advancements in treatments. When forming a spa that provides cosmetic medical services (a “medi-spa”), there are a number of issues a business owner should consider.

First, it is critical to understand whether a medi-spa needs a state license or registration to operate. If a license or registration is required, it often must be obtained in order to form the entity itself.  The time it takes to obtain any necessary license or registration can also impact the medi-spa’s application to state tax authorities during the formation process.

Second, it is critical to understand what licensing boards regulate the medi-spa and its professionals. For example, estheticians are typically regulated by a state cosmetology board. Healthcare professionals can be regulated by a variety of boards, including but not limited to boards of medical examiners, nurses, chiropractors, pharmacists, and dieticians.  Each board has its own applicable rules and regulations, which often require certain credentialing and limit the scope of services the licensed individual can provide.

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Co-parenting can be a challenging but rewarding journey for both parents and children. Whether you’re co-parenting after a divorce, separation, or just sharing the responsibility of raising a child, it’s essential to establish a healthy co-parenting relationship to ensure the well-being of your child.

Five Tips for Successful Co-Parenting: 

Communication is Key

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A recent decision from the New Jersey District Court illustrates the extraordinary job protections for recreational marijuana users under the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (“CREAMMA”).


The job protection provisions of CREAMMA prohibit employers from disciplining employees “solely due to the presence of cannabinoid metabolites in the employee’s body fluid.”  Although CREAMMA expressly permits workplace reasonable suspicion, post-accident and random testing for marijuana, it also mandates a physical evaluation be conducted “by an individual with the necessary certification” to determine the employee’s current state of impairment before discipline can be imposed.  The physical evaluation requirement was included because current tests can only determine recent marijuana use, not current impairment.  However, the physical evaluation requirement was temporarily waived by regulation until such time that the NJ Regulatory Cannabis Commission (the “Cannabis Commission”) develops standards for a Workplace Impairment Recognition Expert (“WIRE”) certification. Thus, for the time being a physical evaluation is not a prerequisite for taking action against an employee who tests positive for cannabis.

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