On June 15, 2006, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adopted an interim rule that permits employers to complete, sign, and store Forms I-9 electronically, as long as certain performance standards set forth in the rule for the electronic filing system are met. In conjunction with this interim rule, DHS is upgrading the downloadable PDF version of Form I-9 to enable employers and employees to electronically sign and save the filled Form I-9.
Public comments are being accepted through August 14, 2006. Comments identified by docket number fr15jn06-2 may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking portal: www.regulations.gov (document ID ICEB-2006-0006-0001) or by mail to Jim Knapp, Associate Legal Advisor, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Room 6100, 425 I. St., NW., Washington, DC 20536.
On June 9, 2006, BOLI filed with the Secretary of State a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding OFLA rights of uniformed service members upon returning from active duty. Under USERRA regulations, a member of the uniformed services returning to work from active duty is entitled to all of the seniority and seniority-based rights and benefits that would have accrued if the employee had remained continuously employed. The DOL, which enforces USERRA and FMLA, construes USERRA to require employers to count the hours the employee would have worked during the period of active duty toward the eligibility requirements for FMLA. The proposed BOLI regulation would require a similar application of USERRA to rights under OFLA. Public comment is accepted through July 21, 2006. Comments may be submitted by mail or email to:
Bureau of Labor and Industries
800 NE Oregon Street # 1045
Portland, OR 97232
The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act requires that parties to certain mergers and acquisitions notify the FTC and DOJ and then wait for a designated period before completing the transaction. Last week the feds adopted rules allowing merging parties to submit premerger notification filings electronically via the Internet. The new rules should speed processing and will allow parties to avoid costly and cumbersome duplication of documents. Details are at the HSR web site, https://www.hsr.gov/
Ater Wynne LLP takes off into the blogosphere today with the Oregon Business Litigation blog, hosted by the members of the litigation group in the Portland office.
With this inaugural post, let's note for posterity the recognition that Ater Wynne has recently received within the business community. Corporate Board Magazine announced last week that, for a fifth time, Ater Wynne has been named one of the top five corporate law firms in Portland. This recognition comes as a result of a survey of directors serving on boards of publicly traded firms listed with NASDAQ, the NYSE, and the American Stock Exchange.
Chambers USA in May listed seven lawyers in the Portland office among America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2006 Client's Guide. These rankings are based on in-depth client and attorney interviews. Those recognized as leading lawyers are litigators (and bloggers) Steve Blackhurst and Mark Turner, business lawyers Bill Campbell and Greg Struxness, environmental lawyers Doug MacCourt and Claudia Powers, and real estate lawyer Randy Johnson.
Washington CEO magazine listed four attorneys in the Ater Wynne Seattle office as among Washington's Most Amazing Attorneys: Greg Harris, Tom Kilbane, Art Butler and Kathy Feldman.