In a recent decision, the United States Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the Federal Arbitration Act requires a court to stay a proceeding pending arbitration and provides no discretion for the court to dismiss the action. In Smith v. Spizzirri,1 the Supreme Court settled a significant circuit split on the interpretation

On December 29, 2023, the USCG issued Maritime Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 13-2023, Change 1, an updated version of MSIB 13-23, adding a Frequently Asked Questions section to the document addressing compliance with the Safer Seas Act which was passed in December of 2022.
Continue Reading USCG Updates Guidance on Safer Seas Act Compliance, Continuing to Show Strict Interpretation and Enforcement of Its Requirements

On November 13, 2023, the U.S. Coast Guard published Policy Letter 23-05 which provides the first actual guidance for vessel owners and operators on the expectations for the surveillance equipment that they are required to install and maintain under the Safer Seas Act, which became law in December 2022 as part of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023.
Continue Reading USCG Issues First Guidance on Safer Seas Act Camera Requirements

The Safer Seas Act was passed and enacted into law in December 2022 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Act includes many changes for the maritime industry, specifically for owners and operators of vessels. The below checklist, current as of March 3, 2023, summarizes the required operational and onboard changes. It is

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor released a new highly anticipated final regulation under which retirement plan fiduciaries, such as 401(k) plan sponsors, are permitted—but are not obligated—to consider climate change and other environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors when selecting retirement plan investments or exercising shareholder investment rights, such as proxy voting, under

The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (“SECURE 2.0”), signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022, is another round of retirement reforms that began with the original SECURE Act (i.e., the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act”) passed in 2019. SECURE 2.0 contains over 90 provisions that will have at

Thousands of workers across the country have filed discrimination claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) since the inception of the Covid-19 pandemic.  In an exclusive report, Bloomberg revealed that “[s]ince April 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has received roughly 6,225 Covid-related charges of discrimination under federal civil rights laws” and

In a significant win for the #MeToo movement, the U.S. Senate passed a bill on Thursday, February 10, 2021, which ensures that employees who are sexually harassed or assaulted in the workplace can pursue their claims in court.  The bill invalidates pre-dispute agreements that require individuals to arbitrate claims related to sexual harassment or sexual

In an opinion that employers across the country have been eagerly anticipating, the United States Supreme Court today issued a per curiam opinion blocking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) rule that would have required roughly 80 million workers to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination or be tested weekly and wear masks to avoid being

On Friday, January 7, 2022, the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld a COVID-19 vaccine mandate program that the state’s largest private healthcare system implemented for its employees. Hayes, et al. v. University Health Shreveport, 21-01601 (La. 1/7/22). In doing so, the Court reaffirmed the employment-at-will doctrine, and its decision will likely be cited in