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FMG Law Blog Line

Archive for April, 2011

Georgia Legislature Passes Strict, “Arizona-Style” Immigration Bill

Posted on: April 20th, 2011

By Ben Mathis & Kelly Morrison

On April 14, the Georgia state legislature passed immigrant legislation (HB87) on April 14, the final day of its 2011 session.  Governor Nathan Deal announced that he approves of and will sign the bill.  HB87 is strict, mandating that, effective July 1, 2013, any private company with more than 10 full-time employees, along with every public employer, regardless of its size, must register with the federal E-Verify program to check the legal status of new hires.  Larger companies will have to implement the bill’s measures even sooner—January 1, 2012 for companies with 500 or more employees, and July 1, 2012 for companies with 100 or more employees.  (more…)

The Dash to the End of the Session

Posted on: April 1st, 2011

By Bobby Baker

The legislative crossover day (Day 30) has come and gone with some interesting results regarding what bills are still alive and those that aren’t.  With less than 10 days left on the legislative calendar, Sine Die is scheduled for April 14, and there is a lot left to be done.  (more…)

Georgia Supreme Court Broadens Definition of “Occurrence” in CGL Policies

Posted on: April 1st, 2011

By Phil Savrin and Leanne Prybylski

In a decision issued March 7, 2011, the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that the term “occurrence” as used in commercial general liability (CGL) policies is satisfied where the loss is unintended even if the insured acted intentionally.  Prior to this ruling, Georgia courts were divided on whether the policies distinguished between intentional acts and unintended results.  The Supreme Court’s ruling in American Empire Surplus Lines Insurance Company v. Hathaway Development Company, Inc. now makes clear that an occurrence can arise from intentional acts performed negligently provided unexpected damage results.  The Supreme Court has thereby broadened the scope of coverage available to insureds, particularly in construction defect cases alleging faulty workmanship, and is in line with an emerging trend in other jurisdictions that include Florida, South Carolina and Texas.  (more…)

Supreme Court Expands Retaliation Protection for Wage Complaints

Posted on: April 1st, 2011

By Mary Anne Ackourey

In Kasten vs. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., the United States Supreme Court has prohibited employer retaliation against employees who make oral complaints of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The FLSA sets employment rules concerning minimum wages, maximum hours, and overtime pay and includes an anti-retaliation provision that protects employees who file complaints related to the Act.  Prior to last week’s decision, there had been a split among federal circuit courts concerning whether a complaint had to be in writing in order to invoke the Act’s protection or if such a complaint merely could be oral.  The Eleventh Circuit, for example, had held that unofficial oral complaints by employees to their employer could constitute protected activity.  In the Seventh Circuit, where last week’s case originated, the law had been that a purely verbal complaint was not “protected activity.” (more…)