McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

Anticipating a vacancy in your manager position? Does your current or new manager need some training on a complex issue?  Are you facing a difficult and time-consuming project that your current staff does not have capacity to complete?  We can help. We work with a number of municipalities, and one constant refrain we hear from supervisors, staff and solicitors is that there is a shortage of qualified managers out there.  Several factors contribute to this…
Pennsylvania already counted itself as one of the more than 30 states with autonomous vehicle laws; however, the Platooning and Highly Automated Vehicles Act (the “Act”), signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on October 24, 2018, provided a glimpse of where automated vehicles are already operating in our society.  While immense public attention has been poured on autonomous personal vehicle development and testing, the Act highlighted that the commercial space is where our economy…
Recently, one forward thinking Pennsylvania grocery retailer opened a new Ecommerce hub facility at the site of one of its former, traditional grocery store buildings in a mixed-use neighborhood. Rather than demolishing the existing “brick and mortar” building, it is adaptively reusing the building by converting it to a new “click and mortar” facility. For many retailers, the traditional retail approach includes a commercial building with a significant retail display and sales area directly accessible…
Last legislative session, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives introduced H.B. 2664, which sought to add a new subsection to the Workers’ Compensation Act addressing post-traumatic stress disorders in certain first responders.  That Bill never made it out of committee, but that’s not the end of the story. Last month, H.B. 432 was introduced.  Like it’s unsuccessful predecessor, this Bill seeks to add a new provision to the Workers’ Compensation Act adding post-traumatic stress disorders to…
On March 7, the Department of Labor released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment on proposed changes to the minimum salary requirements in the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white-collar” overtime exemption regulations.  If that sounds familiar, the DOL went through this same process back in 2015, only to have that new rule blocked by a federal court in 2016, days before it was set to take effect. Key provisions in the DOL’s 2019…
Late last spring we discussed how the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) negatively affected development by increasing the costs incurred by developers to install water and wastewater infrastructure (Part I and Part II). Effective January 1, 2018, the TCJA required that water companies include advances for construction (“Advances”) and Contributions in Aid of Construction (“CIAC”) in taxable income. Of course, water companies do not want to incur the tax directly, so…
Last week amendments to the SEC continuing disclosure rules for municipal bonds went into effect. Under the new rules, municipalities that are planning a public offering of municipal bonds must update their continuing disclosure agreements to include covenants to disclose each of the following: Incurrence of a financial obligation of the obligated person, if material, or agreement to covenants, events of default, remedies, priority rights, or other similar terms of a financial obligation of the…
Property owners in Allegheny County have until April 1, 2019 to file assessment appeals this year.  The usual appeal deadline in Allegheny County is March 31.  However, because March 31 falls on a Sunday the deadline is moved to the next business day, or April 1, 2019. If you have any questions about appealing your property in Allegheny County, please contact Paul Morcom (717-237-5364) or Randy Varner (717-237-5464).…
On February 12, 2019, Representative Tina Davis introduced a bill proposing to establish a new regulatory commission with oversight over municipal water and wastewater authorities.   H.B. 494 would establish a Municipal Water and Wastewater Authority Oversight Commission (“Authority Commission”).  Representative Davis previously sponsored H.B. 798, which would have amended the Public Utility Code to subject municipal water and wastewater authorities to regulation by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (“PUC”).  Introduced in 2017, H.B. 798 failed…
In a key decision for many franchisors and franchisees, and others who rely on independent contractors, the National Labor Relations Board recently reinstated its test for examining contractor status.  In 2014, the Obama-era NLRB, in a case involving Fed Ex delivery drivers, “refined” its test for examining contractor status. The refinement was really a fundamental shift in how the NLRB reviewed these questions, and not surprisingly led to many more findings of employer-employee status. The…