Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP is a full-service law firm that offers clients the national reach and sophisticated experience of a large firm and the local connections and value of a boutique firm.

This combination of reach and local autonomy supports our clients with the clout of a mega-firm and the service hallmarks of a boutique. With one firm, our clients get a macro view of the law with a micro focus on their unique legal needs. With 16 offices in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr serves businesses throughout the United States and internationally. We represent recognizable names in corporate America, exciting start-ups and an array of closely held and privately held companies, as well as nonprofits, governmental and educational entities.

On November  20, 2019, the Commonwealth’s highest court issued a significant decision regarding overtime compensation, which makes it illegal for employers to use the “fluctuating work week” method (“FWW”) to calculate overtime.  In this significant departure from longstanding wage and hour practices and federal law, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania outlawed the FWW method because it does not guarantee non-exempt employees at least one-and-one-half times their regular rate for working more than 40 hours per workweek, as required by state law.  GNC Store Managers Bring Suit for Overtime Violations This decision arose from the matter of Tawny Chevalier et al.…
New Jersey Appellate Division Rejects Consumer’s Attempt to Declare Arbitration Provision Invalid Under New Jersey Plain Language Act In a recent unpublished opinion, Maisano v. LVNV Funding, LLC, No. A-1775-18T2, 2019 WL 6341035 (App. Div. Nov. 27, 2019), the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s order compelling Maisano (the “consumer”) to arbitrate his claims against LVNV Funding, LLC (“defendant”), an entity that acquires outstanding credit card accounts and collects the balances. In this case, the consumer entered into a credit card agreement with Credit One (“Agreement”) and as a result of the consumer’s failure to make payments…
Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr LLP has been extremely active in navigating the current status of the EB5 industry and determining what courses of action need to be taken given the existence of the new regulations (“New Regulations” or “REGS”), the possibility of the pending legislation being adapted, and the recently-filed temporary restraining complaint against USCIS and related parties in order to invalidate the REGS. The current EB-5 Regional Center Program has been extended by a continuing resolution until December 20, 2019.  However, on July 24, 2019, USCIS published new regulations that became effective on November 21, 2019, and until otherwise modified by…
Pennsylvania Seeks to Raise Minimum Wage, Scrap Salary Increase for Overtime Exemption The Pennsylvania Senate passed Senate Bill 79 on November 20, 2019, which would raise the minimum wage but also halt the state Department of Labor and Industry (“DLI”) from raising the salary threshold for overtime wages. The bill, which still needs to pass the house and be signed by the governor, is expected to pass and represents a compromise between the Republican-controlled legislature and Democratic governor. Under the proposed law, Pennsylvania’s minimum wage would gradually raise over the next three years to: $8.00/hour effective July 1, 2020 $8.50/hour…
FDA Issues Round of CBD Warning Letters and Revised Consumer Update, Restates Potential Risks and Unknowns On November 25, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) announced that it had issued Warning Letters to 15 companies for illegally selling products containing cannabidiol (CBD). Simultaneous with its latest round of CBD-related enforcement, the Agency also published a revised Consumer Update, in which it detailed specific safety concerns and questions about CBD products. Although FDA raised these concerns and questions before (e.g., at its May 31, 2019 CBD hearing and in a previous version of the Consumer…
IF THE SHIELD AGAINST AT-WILL TERMINATION OF THE CFPB’S DIRECTOR IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL, WHAT NEXT? The U.S. Supreme Court has already agreed to consider in the matter of Seila Law v. CFPB whether the for-cause requirement for the President’s dismissal of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) director is unconstitutional as a violation of the separation of powers. Now the Court is being asked by All American Check Cashing to review the same issue but with a twist: if that for-cause termination requirement is unconstitutional, must all of the CFPB’s enforcement actions therefore be dismissed? For the CFPB, the Department of…
USDA Issues Long-Awaited Hemp Production Rule, Some Questions Answered, Many Remain On October 29, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a pre-publication version of its long awaited hemp production interim final rule. Public comments are due 60 days after USDA publishes the rule in the Federal Register. While we are still digesting the 161-page rule, below are our initial observations regarding the rule. USDA State and Tribal Plan Review, Producer Compliance Per the rule, a State or Indian Tribe that wants to have primary regulatory authority over the production of hemp in that State or territory of…
On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) revised the salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) exemptions. The change could cause millions of Americans to be reclassified as non-exempt.The FLSA requires employers to pay overtime wages for all time worked in excess of 40 hours per week. However, certain positions can be classified as “exempt,” allowing employers to disregard the overtime requirement. The exemptions are available for executive, administrative, and professional employees. To qualify, the employee must perform specific duties and be paid on a salary basis that meets a minimum salary level. Pursuant to…
Should relators rejoice? The Supreme Court may have put to rest the vast uncertainty surrounding the applicable statute of limitations in False Claim Act (“FCA”) suits where the government declines to intervene with its recent ruling in Conchise v. U.S. ex rel. Hunt. After the Eleventh Circuit’s holding deepened an already existing circuit split as to applicable statute of limitations under the FCA, the Supreme Court granted certiorari. The Whistleblower Wire blog previously discussed the Eleventh Circuit’s holding here and the Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari here. In its May 13, 2019 opinion, the Court unanimously affirmed…
The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the matter of Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to address the question of whether the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) single-director structure and the President’s authority to remove the director only “for cause,” as prescribed by 12 U.S.C. § 5491(c)(3), violate the separation of powers. The Supreme Court also directed the parties to brief the question of whether, if the CFPB is found to be unconstitutional because of 12 U.S.C § 5491(c)(3), that section can be severed from Dodd-Frank Act, which established the CFPB. Interestingly, the Court did…
Overview This week, Pennsylvania Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) introduced a bill, the “Adult-Use Cannabis Act” (Senate Bill 350), that would legalize adult-use (i.e., recreational) cannabis in the Commonwealth. If passed, the bill would legalize adult-use cannabis for individuals 21 years of age and older, and establish a permitting process for growers, processors, and dispensaries; the current measure would not place a limit on the number of permits that could be issued. The bill would also allow for cannabis delivery, consumption (i.e., “bring your own” or BYO) lounges, and home grow. Under the proposed legislation, the Pennsylvania…
Wages Employers frequently face a rash of absences and call-offs in the wake of a natural disaster. Generally, whether a business is required to pay an employee who misses work depends on whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). If an exempt employee misses work for personal reasons, but the business remains open, the employer may deduct a full day’s salary. This includes absences due to transportation problems caused by weather. Likewise, a business is not required to pay a non-exempt employee for time not worked. If a business is closed due to…
Following on the heels of a much publicized incident in high school athletics, the New Jersey Division of Rights (“DCR”) issued enforcement guidance (“Guidance”) clarifying and explaining discrimination based on hairstyles, “with a particular focus on hairstyles closely associated with Black people.” The Guidance follows an incident where a high school African-American wrestler was told by a referee that he must choose between cutting his dreadlocks or forfeiting the match. According to the DCR the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination’s (“LAD”) “prohibition on discrimination based on race encompasses discrimination that is ostensibly based on hairstyles that are inextricably intertwined with…
On September 20, 2019, the Tenth Circuit held that cannabis industry employers are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Defendant contended that because the employer’s employment activities are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, the FLSA’s protections to do not apply to its workers.  This argument was soundly rejected by the Tenth Circuit – putting cannabis industry employers on notice that the FLSA and most likely other federal workplace protections apply to workers in the cannabis space.     Earlier this year we discussed the case, Kenney v. Helix TCS, Inc., at the time the appeal was first argued. …
Language in Performance Bond Critical in Determining Surety’s Rights to Complete If an owner terminates a contractor due to a contractor default on a bonded project, can the surety hire the same contractor to complete the work under the bond?  Depending on the language of the bond, it may be permissible in Florida. Recently, in Seawatch at Marathon Condominium Association, Inc. v. The Guarantee Company of North America, No. 3D18-1337, 2019 WL 4850194 (Fla. 3d DCA Oct. 2, 2019), a Florida appellate court ruled that the unambiguous terms of an AIA A312 Performance Bond permitted a surety to propose a…
On October 2, 2019, the Supreme Court declined to review a 9th Circuit decision in a website accessibility lawsuit, Robles v. Domino’s. The 9th Circuit decision had reversed a grant of summary judgment and held that ADA Title III did potentially require that services of a place of public accommodations offered through websites and mobile apps, such as ordering pizza for delivery, be accessible, and remanded the case. Domino’s, supported by many major business groups, asked the Supreme Court to take the case and to provide direction on the application of the ADA to websites and other digital platforms. Many…