Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated portions of Texas, Louisiana and Florida. For retail insureds in particular, the losses due to property damage and business interruption will be staggering. In an article published September 12, 2017, in South Florida’s Daily Business Review, Hunton Insurance lawyers Walter Andrews and Andrea DeField explain why it is critical that policyholders act fast to maximize insurance recovery for their hurricane-related losses. They also provide a checklist to guide policyholders through the claim process and to ensure maximum recovery for any property damage and business interruption losses. As Andrews and DeField explain, business interruption and related coverage endorsements may cover loss resulting from (1) an inability to open for business; (2) reduction in business income when the business remains open but cannot operate at full capacity; (3) civil authority orders barring access to an insured business; and (4) service and utility outages effecting business interruptions — an important coverage in light of Florida’s ongoing power outages.

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Earlier this month, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) dropped its defense of an Obama-era regulation that sought to increase the salary level for overtime-exempt employees from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. The regulation had been set to take effect in November 2016, but a last-minute preliminary injunction issued by a federal district court in Texas stayed the implementation of the regulation.

In the preliminary injunction ruling, the district court ruled that the new $47,476 salary threshold exceeded the scope of the DOL’s authority because such a high salary level had the effect of making an employee’s salary—and not their primary duty—the determinative factor in the exemption inquiry. Importantly, the district court’s preliminary injunction ruling went well beyond the appropriateness of the particular salary level at issue in the new regulation, and instead expressed the broader view that the DOL lacked the authority to impose any salary level requirement (regardless of the level of salary chosen) because the relevant provision of the FLSA focused on an employee’s duties, not their salary. 
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An insured seeking coverage for credit card fees assessed against its third-party payment processor following a data breach recently filed an appeal in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Spec’s, a liquor store chain with over 160 locations throughout Texas, suffered two major data breaches of its credit card payment system, resulting in the loss

Coastal areas in Texas have already begun evacuating as Hurricane Harvey heads for the Gulf Coast. Weather experts anticipate that the windstorm will reach Category 3 or Category 4 status by the time it makes landfall on the Texas coast late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Continue reading to see how you can prepare for possible losses.
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On April 18, 2017, the state of Washington passed House Bill 1493, which sets forth requirements for businesses who collect and use biometric identifiers for commercial purposes. Under HB 1493, a biometric identifier includes a fingerprint, voiceprint, retina, iris or other unique biological patterns or characteristic used to identify a specific individual.
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