On March 30, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the Commission) issued an order conditionally accepting the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator’s Tariff revisions in Docket No. ER12-309, effective January 1, 2012. MISO proposed the revisions to help further its policy of “first ready first served.” MISO believes that the Tariff changes, which modify its generator interconnection procedures (GIP), will help clear the backlog of projects in the queue and better enable projects that are ready to move forward to do so.
Living Under the H-1B Cap – Alternative Visa Options and Strategies for Employing Foreign Nationals in the U.S.Category: Legal Update, News
The H-1B visa is commonly known as the “workhorse” of U.S. work visas as U.S. companies rely on it more than any other visa to employ foreign workers in the U.S. The H-1B visa is available to employers who want to hire a professional foreign national worker with at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (or its equivalent in work experience) for a job which requires a degree in that field (also known as a specialty occupation) and the employer can demonstrate that it will be paying at least the prevailing wage to the foreign employee.
Everyone who has followed events in Brazil over the years has heard year after year that the country was on the verge of emerging as an international economic powerhouse. While it took a while for Brazil to finally emerge, it is certainly the case today that it has arrived, and U.S. manufacturers looking for new markets can no longer have serious aspirations in Latin America without having a Brazil strategy. Why is Brazil so important to U.S. businesses looking for markets for their products? Look at its current standing in the world:
The most significant revamping of United States patent law in the last 50 years was enacted on September 16, 2011, with President Obama’s signature of the America Invents Act. The Act, which will be implemented over the next 18 months, changes the procedures for obtaining new patents and provides new tools for challenging existing patents. Small businesses need to understand the changing patent laws to adequately manage their intellectual property rights and liabilities. Some of the most important changes to the patent laws are examined below.
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2012 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most of the limits related to retirement plans are increased.
The American Bar Association (ABA) Death Penalty Representation Project (DPRP) recently announced that Fredrikson & Byron is one of three law firms nationally that will be awarded its annual Exceptional Service Award at the Project’s 25th anniversary dinner in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Fredrikson & Byron was recently ranked 33rd by Corporation Service Company (CSC) and World Trademark Review in its Top 100 list of U.S. trademark services firms for 2010. The report, appearing in the August/September issue of World Trademark Review, was prepared using public trademark filings data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and reviewed by CSC’s seasoned team of trademark professionals. Go to CSC’s web site to view the results. This is the sixth straight year in which Fredrikson & Byron has been ranked among the top 100 U.S. trademark firms in the annual report.
As we reported previously in our September FredNEWS, effective November 14, 2011 most employers will be required to post a Notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
Employee wellness programs have become increasingly popular as employers seek to control health insurance costs, improve the health and productivity of their workers, and reduce absenteeism. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Employer Health Benefits 2010 Annual Survey, approximately three-fourths of employers offering health benefits already provide some type of wellness program.
Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 162(m) imposes a $1 million deduction limit on compensation paid by a public corporation to certain executive officers. However, an exception applies to “qualified performance-based compensation,” which does not count against the deduction limit. Stock options may qualify for this exception if certain conditions are met, one of which is to specify a limit on the stock option grants. The Internal Revenue Service recently issued proposed regulations that clarify that the stock option plan must specify the maximum number of shares that may be granted to any individual employee during a specified period. If the plan merely states an aggregate maximum number of shares that may be granted during a specified period, and does not contain a specific per-employee limit, stock options will not qualify for the exception.