April 2011 Client Alerts

May 12, 2011

Authored by: Bryan Cave

W-2 Reporting of Employer-Provided Health Care Costs

The 2010 health care reform legislation included an obligation for employers to inform employees of the cost of their health coverage.   The IRS has now issued Notice 2011-28, which provides interim guidance for employers on W-2 reporting  of the cost of coverage.  For more information, please click here to read the Alert regarding the Notice published by the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Client Service Group on April 5, 2011.

Form I-9:  Changes to Accepted Documentation

As of May 16, 2011, the documents employees present to employers for I-9 verification are subject to new regulations.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security has issued a final rule concerning the list of acceptable documentation.  To learn more about the changes in acceptable documentation, please click here to read the Alert published by the Labor & Employment Client Service Group on April 27, 2011. 

Reminder for Plan Administrators to Review Confidentiality Procedures for Qualified Retirement Plans 

Plan administrators of plans that offer employer stock as an investment alternative should review the disclosures provided to plan participants.  Investment in employer stock represents a significant litigation threat for plan fiduciaries.  However, the plan fiduciary may be relieved of liability for participant losses resulting from the decision to invest in employer stock if certain disclosures are provided under ERISA Section 404(c).  To learn more, please click here to read the Alert published by the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Client Service Group on April 12, 2011.

Pension Plan Reporting of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts

Representatives of pension plans with interests in foreign financial accounts may be required to report those accounts to the Internal Revenue Service.  On February 24, 2011 the Treasury Department issued final regulations greatly expanding the reporting requirements for individuals and entities that hold interests in foreign accounts.   To learn more about the regulations, please click here to read the Alert published April 12, 2011 by the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Client Service Group.

ITC Invites Public Comments on Using Patent Licensing to Satisfy Section 337’s Domestic Industry Requirement

In an unusual move, the U.S. International Trade Commission has requested public comments on domestic industry issues involving patent licensing.  The Commission’s questions focus on how companies who  license their patents in portfolios can satisfy Section 337’s domestic industry requirement with respect to an individual patent.  To learn more, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Intellectual Property Client Service Group on April 25, 2011.

Federal Reserve Issues Clarification Regarding Definition of “Credit Card” — Prepaid Cards That Access Lines of Credit are Impacted

On March 18, 2011, the Federal Reserve issued a Supplementary Information and Final Regulation and Commentary clarifying the definition of credit card.  To learn more about how the new Supplementary Information impacts debit and prepaid cards that access a line of credit, please click here to read the Alert published by the Financial Institutions Client Service Group on April 20, 2011.

French Economic Dismissal:  Pre-Dismissal Obligation to Attempt to Relocate Employee Abroad

One of the obligations prior to dismissing an employee for economic grounds in France is to attempt to relocate the employee within the company or group, even abroad.  A French Circular dated March 15, 2011 sets forth in detail the procedure to follow in the event of relocations abroad.  To learn more, please click here for the Briefing published by the Labor & Employee Client Service Group, Paris, on 15 April 2011.

Liberalization of the Paris Commercial Court’s International Chamber

The Paris Commercial Court recently announced that as from January 1, 2011, its international chamber will now accept, in appropriate cases, to hear pleadings and to receive exhibits in foreign languages.  To learn more about this announcement, please click here for the Alert published by the Commercial Litigation Client Service Group, Paris, on 28 April 2011.

DDTC Issues Proposed Rule Regarding Replacement Parts/Components and Defense Articles Incorporated into Dual-Use Items

On March 15, 2011, the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls issued a proposed rule to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations in two important respects.  First, to create a license exemption to allow for the export of replacment parts and components to support previously licensed defense articles. Second, to eliminate export licensing requirements in a limited number of instances for articles that are incorporated into dual-use items subject to the Export Administration Regulations.  To learn more about the proposed rule, please click here to read the International Regulatory Bulletin No. 481 published April 7, 2011.

MOFCOM Regulations Provide Supplemental Information on New M&A National Security Review

On March 4, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) issued interim regulations on matters relating to the implementation of the security review system for merger with and acquisition of domestic enterprises by foreign investors.  The interim regulations will be effective for a five-month period from 5 March 2011 to 31 August 2011.  To learn more, please click here to read International Regulatory Bulletin No. 482 published April 22, 2011.

Malaysia Fully Implements Strategic Trade Action 2010 from 1 April 2011

Malaysia’s Strategic Trade Act 2010, Regulations and Orders, which aims to control export, transshipment, transit and brokering of strategic items, including arms and related material, that will or may facilitate the design, development and production of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their delivery systems came into force on 1 January 2011.  To learn more about this and other export control developments, please click here to read the April 2011 Asia Trade Alert.