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CONSTRUCTION ADVISORY: Shutdown of New Jersey Transportation Trust Funded Projects on Schedule for Midnight July 8th

Please see the advisory below from the Utility & Transportation Contractors Association (UTCA), authored by FPSF Partner Paul T. Fader, legal counsel to the UTCA, advising contractors to take action to preserve their rights and interests as the State's shutdown of Transportation Trust Fund projects approaches.

Click here or below to access the full advisory.  

 

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New Federal Law To Provide Uniform Trade Secret Protection


By Philip J. Morin III and Veronica P. Hallett 

Intellectual property theft has been estimated to cost American businesses over $300 billion per year according to some sources.[1]  On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the “DTSA” or “Act”), a new law creating a uniform federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation.  The passage of the DTSA represents the most significant expansion of federal intellectual property law since the Lanham Act provided federal protection for trademarks 70 years ago.

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Philadelphia’s “Ban the Box” Law Amendment Further Restricts an Employer’s Ability to Consider Criminal Histories of Prospective Employees

By Philip J. Morin III & Nishali Amin Rose       NishaliRose_cropped.jpgPhilMorin.jpg

On December 15, 2015, former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed an amended version of 2011’s  Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards, otherwise known as the “Ban the Box” law, that further restricts employers’ inquiries into applicants’ prior criminal histories. The amended ordinance will go into effect March 14, 2016.

 

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Employment/HR Alert: Court Expands Potential Liability of Employers For Discrimination Claims by Temporary Workers from Staffing Agencies

PhilMorin.jpgHallet.jpgBy Philip J. Morin III and Veronica P. Hallett 

 

In a recent precedential opinion, Faush v. Tuesday Morning, Inc., ___ F.3d ___ (3d. Cir. Nov. 18, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the defendant company could be found liable for discrimination claims asserted by a worker supplied by a temporary staffing agency for the purposes of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 based upon the level of supervision and control the company exerted over the temporary worker.   

 

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Landmark NJ Supreme Court Decision Presents New Framework for Municipalities, Developers & Affordable Housing Advocates

By Ravinder Bhalla, Esq. 

For decades in New Jersey, municipalities, developers and affordable housing advocates have endured an ever changing landscape of regulations surrounding affordable housing obligations and requirements.  In a landmark decision issued March 10, the New Jersey Supreme Court dramatically shifted the landscape in two important ways.

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New Jersey Courts Provide Broader Protection for Surety Bondholders

By Paul T. Fader, Esq & Jason Isom, Esq. 

As many public contractors are aware, a surety bond ensures contract completion in the event of default by a contractor. For public agencies, which often must rely on the promises of the lowest responsible bidder, the importance of surety bonds cannot be understated. . .

 

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U.S. Supreme Court Announces Public Worker’s Sworn Testimony Protected by First Amendment in Retaliation Lawsuit

By J. Andrew Kinsey, Esq. 

On June 19, 2014, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held in Lane v. Franks, No. 13-483 that the First Amendment protects public employees who provide truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena, outside the scope of their ordinary job responsibilities. The case was brought by Edward Lane who was hired by a community college in Alabama as a Director of a program for underprivileged youth.  During an audit of the program, he discovered an Alabama state representative, Suzanne Schmitz, was on the payroll but had not been reporting for work.  Lane fired Schmitz and testified before a grand jury and criminal trial which lead to Schmitz’ conviction.  Shortly thereafter, Lane was fired and the program for which he worked was eliminated. 

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New Law Empowers Municipalities to Create Clean Energy Projects

I recently wrote the following article regarding a new law that empowers towns to use their borrowing power to support clean energy projects. The law created New Jersey PACE, which stands for

"Property Assessed Clean Energy", which permits a municipality to create a clean energy special assessment that can be attached to the property and thereby provide funding for a clean energy project. This provides the property owner/developer with the ability to provide for improvements such as energy upgrades, fail-safe power backups, on-site renewable generation, and micro grids. The financing can be done through a County Improvement Authority or Municipal Bond Issue.

 

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How to make full use of CRIZ designation

By: Seth R. Tipton, Esq.
Originally published April 14, 2014 in Lehigh Valley Business

With a strong application, including $350 million worth of new “shovel-ready projects,” Bethlehem won approval from the state as a pilot city for designation in the new City Revitalization and Improvement Zone.

The CRIZ program brings potent tax incentives to spur development on 130 acres of otherwise difficult-to develop properties, including the former Bethlehem Steel Machine Shop No. 2, slated to house a new Bass Pro Shops, and the Martin Tower.

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New Jersey LAD Now Requires Reasonable Accommodations for Employees "Affected By Pregnancy"

By Jr. Andrew Kinsey, Esq. & Phil Morin, Esq. 

On January 21, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill (S2995) that amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and prohibits pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.  While New Jersey courts had previously recognized a claim of pregnancy discrimination as a form of sex or gender discrimination, the amendment makes clear that employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for workers on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.  This law takes effect immediately.

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