The US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) re-opened to the public on May 25, 2022. Both the headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and the regional offices in Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan and San Jose, California, are now open. The offices had been closed to the public since March 16, 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For nearly two decades, contractors relied on email to submit their proposal submissions to the Government. Despite the conveniences of modern technology, prospective offerors often face issues with the timely delivery of their electronic proposals. Sometimes proposals are quarantined for containing macro files or rejected for exceeding file size limitations. Even when an offeror seeks to confirm receipt of its proposal, there is no guarantee that these follow-up communications will reach the intended agency representative.
Following in the footsteps of the District of Columbia, the Maryland law will create a mandatory statewide benefit that will be funded by payroll taxes. In contrast, the Virginia law will create a voluntary benefit program whereby employers may choose to purchase insurance plans to provide paid family and medical leave benefits to employees if they so wish.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on April 12, 2022, that it is launching a national emphasis program (the Program) focused on heat-related illnesses and injuries.
On July 1, 2021, the Virginia Overtime Wage Act (VOWA) went into effect, significantly deviating the state’s overtime pay laws from its long-standing reliance on the standards set forth in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel’s office issued a memorandum reiterating the rights of immigrant workers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Continuing its aggressive approach to expanding legal protections for workers and labor unions, the General Counsel’s office of the NLRB issued Memorandum OM 22-09, reiterating NLRB policy on workers’ rights to access the NLRB collective bargaining and remedial procedures regardless of immigration status, without fear of reprisals from their employers or the federal government.
Effective January 1, 2023, Washington employers with at least 15 employees must affirmatively disclose the wage scale or salary range and a general description of all benefits and other compensation being offered when posting job openings, regardless of whether such information is requested by the applicant.
While the United States awaits the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, which may overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate the federal standard for abortion access, some states are considering setting their own standards that would ban or protect the medical procedure.
As volatility in the cryptocurrency market has increased, regulators in the United States and around the world have indicated a willingness to impose tougher compliance requirements related to crypto assets. As a result, there is an increasing likelihood that companies that hold or deal in crypto assets may be subject to additional regulations in the coming years.
Manufacturers in the U.S. should take note of a new request for comment from the United States Trade Representative as a lack of support may lead to removal of the tariffs and surge in unfairly priced imports.
On May 18, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its decision in Jarkesy v. Securities and Exchange Comm’n, in which it examined the constitutionality of an agency civil money penalty enforcement proceeding.
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