• Category: HEAL®: Health Employment and Labor

417 matches.

Blogs
Clock 8 minute read

Negative online reviews are a concern for many businesses—but they present a unique challenge for healthcare providers, who are restricted by federal and state privacy laws in how to respond. Is the answer to have patients sign a form agreeing in advance of treatment not to make or post negative comments? According to a recent decision by a federal judge in Washington State, the approach tried by one plastic and cosmetic surgery practice runs afoul of a little-known federal law called the Consumer Review Fairness Act (“CRFA”). The case presents a cautionary tale for doctors and ...

Blogs
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We recently wrote about proposed Oregon legislation that would have addressed workplace violence in healthcare settings but failed to move forward in the legislature due to concerns about a provision that would have made assault on a hospital worker punishable as a felony.

This was not a concern that troubled the Kentucky legislature, which on March 27, 2024, signed and delivered to the state governor a bill relating to workplace violence against healthcare workers. The Kentucky legislation expands the offense of assault in the third degree perpetrated against a variety of ...

Blogs
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Oregon’s HB 4088A, introduced in the state legislature during the 2024 session, died in the Joint Ways and Means Committee when the legislature adjourned on March 7. The legislation was intended to strengthen Oregon’s workplace violence prevention laws by adding regulatory requirements and enhancing the criminal repercussions for assault of hospital workers. While most of the bill had bipartisan support, section 6 of the proposed legislation, which would have made the assault of a hospital worker a felony instead of a misdemeanor, garnered strong opposition.

In this post ...

Blogs
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As previously noted, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has invited a great deal of litigation, often resulting in interpretations favorable toward plaintiffs. As a result, we advise employers who use biometric technology in Illinois workplaces to adhere carefully to their obligations under BIPA. While that advice won’t change, employers operating in the health care sector can take some – though not too much – comfort in a recent ruling that limits their exposure under this law.

In Mosby v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital, the Illinois Supreme Court delved ...

Blogs
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What is the 8 and 80 overtime system?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) generally requires covered employers to pay non-exempt employees overtime for all hours worked over 40 hours in a work week. However, the FLSA provides an exception for certain employers in the health care industry, who are instead permitted to adopt a fixed work period of 14 consecutive days and pay overtime for all hours worked: (a) over 8 hours in a single day, or (b) over 80 hours in a 14-day work period.

Under the 8 and 80 overtime system, for example, an employee who works a 12-hour shift would be entitled ...

Blogs
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The federal government’s announcement that the COVID-19 public health emergency (“PHE”) declaration would end on May 11, 2023 marked the end of various federal mandates and benefits. The Centers for Disease Control’s authorizations to collect certain types of public health data expired, as did the requirement that insurance providers waive costs or provide free COVID-19 tests. However, the Biden Administration announced that COVID-19 hospital admissions, deaths, emergency department visits, test positivity and results of wastewater surveillance will continue to be reported, although the sources of some of this information will change.

Blogs
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In this episode of the Diagnosing Health Care Podcast Like the diversity of the industry itself, merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions in health care take many forms, varying in size and complexity.

While buyers tend to focus on several things as part of those transactions, securing key employees post-closing is an important but sometimes overlooked issue.

What are some important factors to consider when entering a transaction in a human capital-intensive industry like health care?

Blogs
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As health care entities around the country face staffing shortages, hospitals have started to turn to apps to fill nursing shifts. New apps allow hospitals to engage nurses as independent contractors to fill open shifts, allowing nurses to bid on shifts and select hours that match their schedule. Apps allow nurses to work as independent contractors and engage directly with the hospital as opposed to employees of the hospital or a nursing staffing agency that then engages on their behalf to staff the hospital. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on these apps, crediting their rise to nurses retiring or leaving the field after burn out from the COVID-19 pandemic, from which hospitals are still struggling to recover. But, these apps have existed for several years, and employment issues such as correct calculation of wages and tracking work time are something Epstein Becker Green has previously spotted.

Blogs
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On November 18, 2022, the Alliance Defending Freedom (“ADF”), a conservative legal group, filed a motion with the federal district court in the Northern District of Texas against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to withdraw approval of Mifepristone, an FDA-approved drug used to end pregnancies in the first trimester.[1]  While this case addresses access to a single product and was prompted by abortion opponents’ efforts to eliminate access to medication abortion, a loss for FDA in this case could have far broader implications.

Blogs
Clock 3 minute read

Effective November 16, 2022,  non-governmental health care entities must offer eligible employees continued employment for at least four months following a change in control without any reduction in their wages and benefits – including paid time off, health care, retirement, and education benefits in accordance with Senate Bill No. 315 (the Law). Change in control includes sales, transfers, assignments, mergers, and reorganizations and is deemed to “occur on the date of execution of the document effectuating the change.”

Blogs
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As we reported, the Los Angeles City Council approved a new healthcare worker minimum wage ordinance, increasing the minimum wage for healthcare workers at private healthcare facilities in Los Angeles to $25.00 per hour. Similarly, the Downey City Council approved its own citywide healthcare worker minimum wage ordinance. For the moment, however, both ordinances are on pause. The Los Angeles ordinance would have gone into effect on August 13, 2022, and the Downey ordinance would have become effective on August 11, 2022.

Blogs
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On June 29, 2022, the Los Angeles City Council (“Council”) approved an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage for people working at “covered healthcare facilities” in the city of Los Angeles (“City”) to $25 per hour.

Blogs
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How can health care employers use non-competes and other restrictive covenants to protect trade secrets? Attorneys Erik Weibust and Katherine Rigby explore the options available to employers, in an article for Law360.

Blogs
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On March 22, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it had partially reopened the comment period for its permanent standard to protect health care and health care support workers from exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

Blogs
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As explained in greater detail by our colleague Stuart M. Gerson, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down two major, and quickly decided, rulings on January 13, 2022. After hearing oral arguments only six days earlier, the Court issued two unsigned decisions per curiam. A 5-4 decision in Biden v. Missouri dissolved a preliminary injunction against enforcement of an interim final rule (“Rule”) promulgated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), requiring recipients of federal Medicare and Medicaid funding to ensure that their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Blogs
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Reversing its prior position, CMS announced on December 28, 2021, that it would begin enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, established by the interim final rule, published November 05, 2021, in 25 states and the District of Columbia[1] in a phased approach beginning January 27, 2022. With the announcement CMS issued guidance for surveyors regarding enforcement in S&C Memo QSO 22-07-ALL (“Memo”), describing how CMS will enforce the rule and how facilities that are non-compliant may avoid enforcement action if meeting certain threshold criteria during periods up to 90 days after issuance of the Memo as follows:

Blogs
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On the evening of Wednesday, December 22, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it will hold a special session on January 7, 2022, to hear oral argument in cases concerning whether two Biden administration vaccine mandates should be stayed. One is an interim final rule promulgated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”); the other is an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). The CMS interim final rulepresently stayed in 24 states, would require COVID-19 vaccination for staff employed at Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers. The OSHA ETS, which requires businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that workers are vaccinated against the coronavirus or otherwise to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, was allowed to take effect when a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, to which the consolidated challenges had been assigned by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a ruling, on December 17, 2021, lifting a stay that had been previously entered by the Fifth Circuit. Multiple private sector litigants and states immediately challenged the decision.

Blogs
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As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS's) interim final rule (the “Rule”) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers (i.e., the “vaccine mandate”) was effectively stayed nationwide on November 30, 2021, by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (the “Louisiana Court”).  In yet another twist to the ongoing legal battles, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit lifted the nationwide stay and held that the Louisiana Court only had authority to block the vaccine mandate in the fourteen plaintiff states that brought suit in that court. Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.

Due to the litigation in the Eastern District of Missouri, as reported here, enforcement of the vaccine mandate is also blocked in ten other states:  Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.  In total, the vaccine mandate under the Rule is now stayed in twenty-four states, but is now in effect in the remaining twenty-six states.

Blogs
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Important guidance regarding COVID-19 testing in the workplace was recently issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) in the form of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Over the Counter (“OTC”) Home Testing and CLIA Applicability.

CMS regulates clinical laboratory testing pursuant to the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (“CLIA”). Generally, a laboratory or clinical setting (such as a physician’s office) must obtain CLIA certification to perform laboratory testing. Some OTC tests, however, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for home use and the new FAQs address the use of OTC home tests in the workplace.

Blogs
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On December 13, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the petition of New York health care workers seeking to stop the State from enforcing regulations requiring covered personnel of hospitals, nursing homes, public health centers, and other health care entities to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of continued employment, subject to narrow exceptions. The Supreme Court’s unsigned order allows the continuing enforcement of the regulations, as litigation of the multiple lawsuits challenging the statewide vaccine mandate for health care workers issued last August continues.

Blogs
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As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) interim final rule (“the Rule”) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers (i.e., the “vaccine mandate”) has been challenged in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Missouri (“the Missouri Court”) and the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division (“the Louisiana Court”).  As of the date of this writing, both Courts have granted preliminary injunctions placing the Rule on hold.

On November 29, 2021, the Missouri Court granted a preliminary injunction of the Rule, which applies to the coalition of ten states [1] that filed the challenge there. The following day, the Louisiana Court entered a similar injunction, which applies to the remaining forty states.

Blogs
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As featured in #WorkforceWednesdayThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule outlining vaccine requirements for staff at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers.

Attorney Frank Morris discusses the next steps for health care providers. In addition, covered employers should continue to monitor the recent litigation filed in the Eastern District of Missouri and the Western District of Louisiana seeking to permanently enjoin the CMS interim final rule.

See below for the video and podcast links. Visit ...

Blogs
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[UPDATE, Nov. 30, 2021: The District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri grants injunction for the ten plaintiff states listed in the First Complaint.]

As we previously reported, effective November 5, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule (the Rule) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers as a Condition of Participation by January 4, 2022.

On November 10, 2021, a coalition of ten states lodged a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

On August 26, 2021, the Public Health and Health Planning Council approved an emergency regulation requiring health care personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The emergency regulation is effective immediately and will remain in effect for 90 days, subject to review and renewal.

The emergency regulation supersedes the Section 16 Order issued by the New York Department of Health (“DOH”) on August 18, 2021, which mandated the vaccine for personnel at general hospitals and nursing homes.

The emergency regulation expands the mandate to cover personnel at entities ...

Blogs
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Our colleague Denise Dadika and Alexandria Adkins of Epstein Becker Green have a new post on the Workforce Bulletin blog that will be of interest to our readers: "New Jersey Mandates COVID-19 Vaccination or Weekly Testing for Workers in Health Care and Congregate Settings."

The following is an excerpt:

On August 6, 2021, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy signed Executive Order 252 (“Order 252”) requiring health care and high-risk congregate settings to maintain a policy requiring workers to either provide adequate proof of vaccination or submit to weekly COVID-19 ...

Blogs
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Our colleagues Adam C. Abrahms and Juan Larios of Epstein Becker Green recently published an Act Now Advisory that will be of interest to our readers: "California’s New COVID-19 Vaccine (Non)Mandate and Testing Requirements."

The following is an excerpt:

On July 26, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued a State Public Health Officer Order (“Order”) seeking to address the increase California is experiencing in positive COVID-19 cases. With infections of the COVID-19 Delta variant rising, Governor Gavin Newsom and State Public Health ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

On June 12, 2021, a federal District Court in Texas soundly rejected an attempt by Houston medical workers to challenge the legality of their employer’s decision to require that all employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine. In the lawsuit, Bridges, et al. v. Houston Methodist Hospital et al., 117 hospital workers sued for an injunction to block the hospital’s mandatory vaccination policy as well as the termination of any employee unwilling to comply with the employer’s mandate that all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. More specifically, the employees asserted that the ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

As employers are expanding their fertility, surrogacy, and family planning benefits, the tax treatment of such benefits continues to be a challenge for employers and their employees by both increasing the cost of these benefits and creating administrative hurdles. In a private letter ruling, the IRS maintains its position that the majority of the medical costs and fees incurred by a same-sex couple seeking to have a child through gestational surrogacy are not deductible “medical expenses” under Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code. On January 12, 2021, the IRS issued ...

Blogs
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Our colleagues Susan Gross Sholinsky, Lauri F. Rasnick, Jennifer Barna, Gretchen Harders, Nathaniel M. Glasser, and Nancy Gunzenhauser Popper of Epstein Becker Green have recently published an Act Now Advisory that will be of interest to our readers: "EEOC Updates Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination Policies, Including Mandates, Incentives, and Accommodations."

The following is an excerpt:

On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced the release of updated guidance regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, providing welcome ...

Blogs
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In this episode of the Diagnosing Health Care Podcast:  Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many jurisdictions have enacted protections from COVID-19-related liability claims through legislation and executive orders. These liability shields, however, may give health care businesses a false sense of security and offer little protection when it comes to employment claims.

Epstein Becker Green attorneys Denise Merna DadikaGregory Keating, and Elena Quattrone discuss the unintended liability consequences health care employers must consider as they ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

2021 is set to be a landmark year for the number of jurisdictions raising wage floors across the country. According to a National Employment Law Project report, as of January 1, 2021, 20 states and 32 municipalities raised their minimum wage. By the end of 2021, the report tracks that as many as 24 states and 50 municipalities will increase wages for the lowest-paid workers.

Perhaps as a reaction to the steadily growing Fight for $15 movement or in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 40 cities and counties will have met or exceeded a $15 minimum wage by the end of 2021. Eight states — ...

Blogs
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Our colleague Robert O'Hara of Epstein Becker Green has a new post on the Workforce Bulletin blog that will be of interest to our readers: "OSHA Launches New COVID-19 Initiatives: With More to Come".

The following is an excerpt:

President Biden’s January 21, 2021 Executive Order (EO) on COVID-19 tasked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to: launch a national enforcement program, review and correct any shortcomings in their prior enforcement strategies and to determine whether any Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) were necessary and, if so, to issue an ...

Blogs
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Our colleagues Susan Gross Sholinsky, Nancy Guzenhauser Popper, Eric Emanuelson, and Christopher Shur of Epstein Becker Green have a new post on the Workforce Bulletin blog that will be of interest to our readers: "New York City Council Establishes Board to Assess Employers’ COVID-19 Workplace Health and Safety Protocols and Training."

The following is an excerpt:

The New York City Council is planning to evaluate how effectively both the City, as an employer, and private employers disseminated and implemented COVID-19 workplace guidance over the past year with the goal of ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

On February 10, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued  updated guidance and a report emphasizing the importance of a wearing a mask that fits tightly over the face to slow the spread of COVID-19.  The report, which provides the basis for the CDC’s updated guidance, is based on CDC experiments that showed “substantially improved source control and reduced wearer exposure” when worn properly. The publications recommend two specific ways to ensure a mask works the best it can: (1) make sure the mask fits snugly against the face and (2) pick a mask with ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

Our colleagues Susan Gross Sholinsky, Genevieve M. Murphy-Bradacs, Ann Knuckles Mahoney, and Jenna D. Russell of Epstein Becker Green have recently published an Act Now Advisory that will be of interest to our readers: "Latest New York State Department of Labor Guidance Significantly Expands COVID-19 Sick Leave Obligations".

The following is an excerpt:

On January 20, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (“NY DOL”) issued another round of guidance (“Guidance”) on the use of COVID-19 sick leave under the New York State COVID-19 Sick Leave Law (“Law” ...

Blogs
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Our colleagues Susan Gross Sholinsky, Ann Knuckles Mahoney, Jennifer L. Nutter, and Eduardo J. Quiroga of Epstein Becker Green have recently published an Act Now Advisory that will be of interest to our readers: "Roadmap to Compliance: Major Employment Laws Effective as of January 2021 and Beyond".

The following is an excerpt:

While state legislatures focused much-needed attention on pandemic-related legislation throughout most of 2020, many continued to alter their employment laws in significant ways, or simply had previously passed laws scheduled to take effect at the start ...

Blogs
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Our colleagues Maxine Neuhauser and Eric I. Emanuelson, Jr. of Epstein Becker Green have recently published an Act Now Advisory that will be of interest to our readers: "Remote Workforce or Not, New Jersey Employers Must Ensure Notices and Posters Remain Up to Date."

The following is an excerpt:

The year 2020 brought significant changes nationwide to how and where employees work and expanded the legal landscape. The expectations of employer compliance with employment law, however, remained unchanged. In New Jersey, for example, 2020 brought a package of legislation aimed at ...

Blogs
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Our colleagues Jennifer Barna, Scarlett L. Freeman, and Nathaniel M. Glasser of Epstein Becker Green have a new post on the Workforce Bulletin blog that will be of interest to our readers: "EEOC Updates COVID-19 Guidance on Employer Administered or Mandated Vaccinations."

The following is an excerpt:

As the first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations are being administered across the United States, employers are considering whether to mandate and/or administer the COVID-19 vaccine to employees.  On December 16, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” or ...

Blogs
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Our colleague Nathaniel M. Glasser and Jennifer Barna of Epstein Becker Green have co-authored an article in Bloomberg Law that will be of interest to our readers: "COVID-19 Vaccines and Workplace Challenges."

The following is an excerpt:

As COVID-19 vaccines become widely available, employers will face a critical set of challenges, ranging from whether they can—or will want to—mandate all or some employees get vaccinated, to what liability may attach to mandating vaccination, and even whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) could require a ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

Our colleagues David M. Prager, Jennifer L. Nutter, Alice Kwak, and Mary T. Vu at Epstein Becker Green recently published an Act Now Advisory that will be of interest to our readers in the health care industry: “Annual California Employment Law Update: New Laws for 2021 Provide COVID-19 Protections and Expand Family Leave.” This year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed numerous employment-related bills passed by the California Legislature. Major changes affecting employers with California operations in the coming year include:

  • requiring COVID-19 supplemental paid sick ...
Blogs
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Our colleagues

Following is an excerpt:

The National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, overruled decades of convoluted Board precedent regarding “dual-marked ballots” in union representation elections – ...

Blogs
Clock 3 minute read

To limit exposure and reduce the spread of COVID-19, New York and New Jersey are requiring long-term care facilities to implement testing for staff.

New York

On May 11, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.30 requiring nursing homes and adult care facilities, including all adult homes, enriched housing programs and assisted living residences (“facilities”), to test all staff for COVID-19 twice per week.  Staff who refuse to be tested will be deemed to have incomplete health assessment and will be prohibited from providing services until the test has ...

Blogs
Clock 3 minute read

Failing a drug test may not kill the buzz for medical marijuana patients in the Empire State.  In contrast to courts in California and other jurisdictions, a New York state court has held that medical marijuana users are entitled to reasonable accommodations, even if they only obtain certification after testing positive for marijuana.

In Gordon v. Consolidated Edison, Inc., Kathleen Gordon failed a random drug test by her employer, Consolidated Edison, Inc. (“CEI”).  After testing positive, but before her termination, Gordon became a certified medical marijuana patient to ...

Blogs
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Our colleague David J. Clark New Indiana Law Will Restrict Physician Non-Competes.

Following is an excerpt:

Joining many other states that in recent years have enacted laws regarding physician non-competition agreements, Indiana recently enacted a statute that will place restrictions on such agreements which are originally entered into on or after July 1, 2020.

Under Pub. L. No. 93-2020 (to be ...

Blogs
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As the number of COVID-19 cases in the State of New Jersey continues to grow, Governor Murphy has issued various executive orders aimed at combatting COVID-19.  On April 1, 2020 the Governor signed Executive Order 112 (“EO 112”), which focuses on the health care industry with a goal of increasing the number of health care workers responding to COVID-19 in New Jersey.  EO 112, among others things:

  • Allows the Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to reactivate the license of any health care professional previously licensed in New Jersey who retired ...
Blogs
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A post on the Health Law Advisor blog will be of interest to many of our readers: "HHS Office for Civil Rights Bulletin on Civil Rights Issues During the COVID-19 Crisis," by attorneys of Epstein Becker Green.

Following is an excerpt:

The Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued a bulletin on March 28, 2020 to remind entities covered by federal civil rights statutes of their continued obligation to prohibit ...

Blogs
Clock less than a minute
On March 27, 2020, NLRB General Counsel John Ring issued General Counsel Memorandum 20-04, entitled “Case Summaries Pertaining to the Duty to Bargain in Emergency Situations” providing employers with guidance “regarding the rights and obligations of both employers and labor organizations, particularly in light of responsive measures taken to contain the virus,” including both “measures taken out of prudence” as well as and other actions that “have been required by state, local or federal authorities.” Our Act Now Advisory reports on the General ...
Blogs
Clock 5 minute read

Notwithstanding numerous restrictions limiting access to many resources during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, marijuana users in states where medicinal and adult use is legal may still have access to cannabinoid supplies. Even as states, counties, and municipalities increasingly restrict or shut down business activities to stem the spread of the virus, many jurisdictions will keep medical marijuana dispensaries open as “essential” businesses like pharmacies and grocery stores.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Deemed “Essential” Businesses

Blogs
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A post on the Management Memo blog will be of interest to many of our readers: "Coronavirus Considerations for Employers with a Unionized Workforce," by attorneys Adam S. Forman, Michael S. Ferrell, Steven M. Swirsky, and Elizabeth "Libby" Martin of Epstein Becker Green.

Following is an excerpt:

As we have discussed in prior Advisories, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (“Coronavirus” or “COVID-19”) public health emergency is raising important issues for employers addressing rapidly developing disruptions to the workplace and the lives of employees with mass school ...

Blogs
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Our colleague Colorado Mandates 4 Days of Paid Leave for COVID-19 Testing.

Following is an excerpt:

On March 10, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order directing he Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (“DLE”) to create emergency rules to “ensure workers in food handling, hospitality, child care, health care, and education can get paid sick leave to ...

Blogs
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On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared that the 2019 novel coronavirus (known as “COVID-19”) is now a pandemic. The effects continue to be felt in the United States, which currently has well over 1,000 cases of COVID-19. As of March 12, 2020, 19 states have declared a state of emergency to ensure there are resources to address the coronavirus, and President Trump has announced a ban on travel to and from Europe for 30 days starting on Friday, March 13, 2020, which was extended to the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 15th. Additionally, on March 13, 2020 President ...

Blogs
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Our colleague NJ Supreme Court Rules That the LAD Protects Registered Medical Cannabis Users.

Following is an excerpt:

On March 10, 2020 the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), employees who legally use cannabis as permitted by the state’s Compassionate Use of Cannabis of Medical Marijuana Act[i] (“Compassionate Use Act”) may ...

Blogs
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Our colleague   .

Following is an excerpt:

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel recently issued a memo which, in a surprise to many, concluded that the filing of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (“C Forms”) does not start the statute of limitations on ...

Blogs
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We encourage our readers to visit Workforce Bulletin, the newest blog from our colleagues at Epstein Becker Green (EBG).

Workforce Bulletin will feature a range of cutting-edge issues—such as sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion, pay equity, artificial intelligence in the workplace, cybersecurity, and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on human resources—that are of concern to employers across all industries. EBG's full announcement is here.

Click here to subscribe for email notifications—you’ll receive a confirmation email to click.

(And if you haven't ...

Blogs
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Delaware is reminding its employers that a safe, drug-free workplace can pay.  On February 1, the state’s Department of Insurance (the “Department”) amended its regulations to emphasize the availability of workers’ compensation insurance discounts of up to 19 percent for employers who participate in the Delaware Workplace Safety Program (the “Program”), and who implement a drug-free workplace program at their worksites.  The amended regulations took effect on February 11, 2020.

The Workplace Safety Program

First implemented in 1989, the Program offers an ...

Blogs
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We have written extensively on mandatory vaccination policies and employers’ obligations to accommodate requests for exemption based on religious or disability grounds.  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a recent decision that provides helpful guidance to employers who mandate vaccinations.  In Horvath v. City of Leander, No. 18-51011 (5th Cir. Jan. 9, 2020), the Fifth Circuit held that the defendant City of Leander did not violate a firefighter’s religious freedom when it discharged the firefighter after he refused to choose either of two accommodations to the ...

Blogs
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Sponsors of health plans have long known that the only constant in life is change. In 2020, that is surely to remain true.

Ding-Dong! The Cadillac Tax Is Dead!

On December 20, 2019, as part of the year-end appropriations bill, the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) so-called 40% “Cadillac Tax” on high-cost health plans was finally, after much lobbying and other efforts by sponsors and health care payers, put to an end with a full repeal. The “Cadillac Tax” was currently scheduled to take effect in 2022 (after two delays), and would have taxed employer-sponsored plans worth more than ...

Blogs
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A bill to amend the New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Loss Job Notification Act, also commonly referred to as the New Jersey WARN Act (“NJ WARN Act”), which the New Jersey Senate passed on December 16, 2019, if enacted, will create significant financial liability for covered New Jersey employers that undergo a mass layoff, or a transfer or termination of operations, by requiring the employer pay severance to both full-time and part-time employees.

The NJ Warn Act, enacted in 2007, requires New Jersey private employers with 100 or more full-time workers to provide 60-day ...

Blogs
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On December 19, 2019, New Jersey enacted legislation amending the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) to add a definition for “Race” - which has always been a protected category under the NJLAD – and for the term “Protective hairstyle.”  The Amendment, referred to as the “CROWN Act” (short for “Create a Respectful and Open Workspace for Natural Hair Act”), amends the NJLAD to add the following to the statute’s list of definitions:

“Race” is inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture ...

Blogs
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Our colleague Steven M. Swirsky .

Following is an excerpt:

The National Labor Relations Board, in its December 17th decision in Apogee Retail LLC d/b/a Unique Thrift Store, has reversed its prior rule and held that employer requirements that employees treat ...

Blogs
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With 2019 nearly rolled up, it is time to exhale and recap the latest dose of marijuana laws affecting the workplace.  In the last twelve months, Illinois became the eleventh state to legalize recreational marijuana use by adults[1] and several other jurisdictions passed or modified their existing laws governing marijuana and the workplace.  Below is a summary of this year’s developments and some thoughts about what 2020 might bring.

Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Use

On June 25, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into law ...

Blogs
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Our colleague Steven M. Swirsky 

Following is an excerpt:

The National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) has announced that it is publishing proposed changes to its Rules and Regulations that will begin to reverse the Board’s 2014 changes, which took effect in 2015, to its representation election ...

Blogs
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Our colleague Sharon L. Lippett

Following is an excerpt:

Fiduciaries of employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) that appoint investment managers (“Appointing Fiduciaries”) will be interested in the opinion of the U.S. District Court for the Western ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

Continuing New Jersey’s efforts to eliminate and to hold employers accountable for employee misclassification, the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) recently adopted Regulations implementing a 2010 law (“Law”) that empowers the NJDOL Commissioner (“Commissioner”) under certain circumstances to direct the suspension or revocation of one or more licenses held by an employer who has failed to maintain and report required State wage, benefits and tax records or who has failed to pay wages, benefits, taxes or other contributions ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

In September 2019, the New Jersey Division of Rights (“DCR”) issued enforcement guidance (“Guidance”) clarifying and explaining how the DCR applies the state’s Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) to discrimination based on hairstyles, particularly with respect to those “closely associated with Black people.”  The Guidance states that the LAD’s prohibition on discrimination based on race encompasses discrimination that is ostensibly based on hairstyles that are inextricably intertwined with or closely associated with race and therefore prohibits ...

Blogs
Clock 3 minute read

As discussed in our March 28, 2019 blog post, New Jersey adopted its own individual health insurance mandate, the   New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act (“NJHIMPA”).  The NJHIMPA requires, with certain qualifying exemptions, New Jersey residents to have minimum essential health coverage. New Jersey employers must verify health coverage information provided by individuals. To assist with employer reporting, New Jersey launched an official website with guidance on the filing requirements.

Recent updates to the official website, which was lasted updated on ...

Blogs
Clock less than a minute

Following an effort in the state legislature to legalize recreational marijuana, on July 29, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed S.6579A/A.8420 (the “Law”), a law decriminalizing marijuana possession in New York State. The Law will take effect on August 28, 2019. The Law expunges many past convictions for marijuana use and reduces the penalty for possession of small amounts (less than two ounces) of the drug from a misdemeanor to a violation.

Importantly, the Law does not legalize marijuana, and – relevant to this blog – therefore provides no employment protections for ...

Blogs
Clock 4 minute read

On August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed legislation amending the state’s current medical marijuana pilot program. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act (the “Medical Cannabis Act”) makes the medical marijuana program, which was initially enacted as a pilot program in 2013, permanent and expands the qualifying medical conditions for a medical marijuana card to include at least 12 new conditions, including chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, and ulcerative colitis. The Medical Cannabis Act also provides ...

Blogs
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Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice now offers on-demand “crash courses” on diverse topics. You can access these courses on your own schedule. Keep up to date with the latest trends in benefits and compensation, or obtain an overview of an important topic addressing your programs.

In each compact, 15-minute installment, a member of our team will guide you through a topic. This on-demand series should be of interest to all employers that sponsor benefits and compensation programs.

In our newest installmentTzvia Feiertag, Member of the ...

Blogs
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This Employment Law This Week® Monthly Rundown discusses the most important developments for employers in August 2019.

This episode includes:

  • Increased Employee Protections for Cannabis Users
  • First Opinion Letters Released Under New Wage and Hour Leadership
  • New Jersey and Illinois Enact Salary History Inquiry Bans
  • Deadline for New York State Anti-Harassment Training Approaches
  • Tip of the Week

See below to watch the full episode – click here for story details and video.

We invite you to view Employment Law This Week® – tracking the latest developments that could ...

Blogs
Clock 3 minute read

On July 16, 2019, the New Jersey Supreme Court (“Court”) granted certification to review the Appellate Division’s decision in Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, which ruled that the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination’s (“LAD”) requirement that employers reasonably accommodate disabilities applied to an employee’s use of medical cannabis legally prescribed pursuant to New Jersey’s Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (“CUMMA”[1]). Employers may expect to see additional direction regarding their obligation to accommodate employees’ use ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

On July 9, 2019, Hawaii became the 26th state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. HB 1383 (the “Law”), which became law when Governor David Ige allowed the veto deadline to pass without signing or striking down the bill, decriminalizes the possession of up to three grams of marijuana. It will go into effect on January 11, 2020.

Under the Law, those caught with up to three grams of marijuana will no longer face jail time but will still face a fine of $130. This is the smallest amount of marijuana that any state has decriminalized so far. Currently, possession of any ...

Blogs
Clock less than a minute

This Employment Law This Week® Monthly Rundown discusses the most important developments for employers in July 2019. Both the video and the extended audio podcast are now available.

This episode includes:

  • State Legislation Heats Up
  • NLRB Overturns Another Long-Standing Precedent
  • SCOTUS October Term 2018 Wraps Up
  • Tip of the Week: How inclusion and trust can increase innovation in the workplace

See below to watch the full episode - click here for story details, the video, and the extended audio podcast.

Stay tuned: Sign-up for email notifications and subscribe to the ...

Blogs
Clock 5 minute read

On July 2, 2019, New Jersey joined Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York City, and Oklahoma in enacting employment protections for authorized users of medical cannabis. New Jersey’s new medical cannabis law (“Law”), which became effective upon signing by Governor Phil Murphy, amends the state’s Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (“CUMCA”),[1] N.J.S.A. 24:61-2, et seq. Among other measures, the Law prohibits employers from taking an adverse employment action against a current or prospective employee based on the individual’s status as a registered ...

Blogs
Clock 4 minute read

On June 5, 2019, Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada signed AB 132 (the “Law”), which prohibits employers from declining to hire a prospective employee based on pre-employment marijuana drug tests. On the heels of a new New York City law which prohibits employers from requiring pre-employment drug testing for marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols (the active ingredient in marijuana), Nevada is now the first state to prohibit employers from using pre-employment drug tests to screen out applicants who use marijuana.

Under the Law, beginning January 1, 2020, employers in Nevada ...

Blogs
Clock 5 minute read

On June 4, 2019, the Illinois legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Cannabis Act”).  Under the Cannabis Act, Illinois residents over 21 years of age may legally possess 30 grams of marijuana flower and five grams of marijuana concentrate for their personal use, starting January 1, 2020.  The 610-page Cannabis Act also provides the most extensive workplace protections for employers of any marijuana legalization statute around the country. Indeed, the Illinois General Assembly declares at the beginning of the Cannabis Act that “employee workplace ...

Blogs
Clock less than a minute

Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice now offers on-demand "crash courses" on diverse topics. You can access these courses on your own schedule. Keep up to date with the latest trends in benefits and compensation, or obtain an overview of an important topic addressing your programs.

In each compact, 15-minute installment, a member of our team will guide you through a topic. This on-demand series should be of interest to all employers that sponsor benefits and compensation programs.

In our newest installmentCassandra Labbees, an Associate in ...

Blogs
Clock less than a minute

As we previously reported, on April 9, 2019, the New York City Council passed Int. 1445-A, which prohibits employers from pre-employment drug testing for marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols (“THC,” the active ingredient in marijuana). On May 10, 2019, Int. 1445-A became law by operation of the New York City legislative process, which automatically made the bill law after 30 days without action by Mayor de Blasio. The law becomes effective May 10, 2020, giving New York City employers one year to prepare.

Under the law, employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies ...

Blogs
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On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law A 3975 (“the Law”), which significantly expanded the state’s the Family Leave Act ("NJFLA"), Family Leave Insurance Act ("NJFLI"), and Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“SAFE Act”). We prepared an Act Now Advisory, summarizing the extensive changes made by the Law, including, among other things, the expanding and making uniform the definition of “family member” for all three laws, and, effective June 1, 2019, extending the NJFLA to employers that have 30 or more employees.

In response to ...

Blogs
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This Employment Law This Week® Monthly Rundown discusses the most important developments for employers heading into May 2019.

NYC is set to become the first city to ban pre-employment marijuana drug testing. With a growing number of jurisdictions legalizing the medical and adult recreational use of marijuana, it’s no surprise to see the emergence of additional employment-related laws. The New York City Council recently passed a bill that would prohibit marijuana drug testing for prospective employees as a condition of employment. The Council passed the bill on April 9 ...

Blogs
Clock less than a minute

June 6, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

NYC Roundtable Event

Our colleagues Denise M. Dadika, Michael F. McGahan, Kathleen M. Premo, and Ian Carleton Schaefer will be participating in an upcoming interactive roundtable discussion "Managing in the #MeToo Era: The Latest Legal Developments and Their Implications for Health Care Employers" on the implications of the #MeToo movement for members of the health care industry. The program will include an in-depth discussion on:

  • creating a workplace environment free from harassment and discrimination, including the critical role ...
Blogs
Clock less than a minute

In an announcement about New York’s budget for fiscal year 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo highlighted, among other things, an amendment to Section 3-110 of New York’s Election Law mandating three hours of paid time off for all New Yorkers to vote on election day.

Under the amendment, which is effective immediately, all New York employees who are registered to vote may request up to three hours of paid time off to vote, regardless of their work schedules, as long as the request is made at least two working days before the election.  New York employers may designate that any ...

Blogs
Clock 4 minute read

As employers are wrapping up their reporting under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) for the 2018 tax year (filings of Forms 1094-B/C and 1095-C/B with the IRS are due by April 1, 2019, if filing electronically), they should start preparing for new reporting obligations for the 2019 tax year.

After a string of failed efforts to repeal the ACA, Congress, through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”), reduced the federal individual shared responsibility payment assessed (with limited exceptions) against individuals who failed to purchase health insurance to $0 beginning ...

Blogs
Clock 4 minute read

The information letter issued by the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on February 27, 2019 (the “Information Letter”) provides a reminder to plan sponsors about the importance of disclosing the procedure for appointing authorized representatives in the benefit claim and appeal procedures for employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1976 (“ERISA”), as amended and also about the extent of the authority of the authorized representative. The Information Letter was in response to a query as to whether an entity that acts as a patient ...

Blogs
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On March 18, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill amending the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to prohibit contractual provisions that result in the wavier of a right or remedy provided under the LAD or prevent the disclosure of information pertaining to claims of discrimination, retaliation or harassment.   The amendment, which is immediately effective, prohibits any provision in an employment agreement, other than a collective bargaining agreement, that:

  • Waives any substantive or procedural right or remedy relating to a claim of discrimination ...
Blogs
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Our colleague David A. Clark at Epstein Becker Green was recently quoted in The New York Times, in “Did Your Doctor Disappear Without a Word? A Noncompete Clause Could Be the Reason,” by Michelle Andrews. Read more about the article here.

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

The New York City Commission on Human Rights published legal enforcement guidance defining an individual’s right to wear “natural hair, treated or untreated hairstyles such a locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, and/or the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.”   The guidance applies to workplace grooming and appearance policies “that ban, limit, or otherwise restrict natural hair or hairstyles”:

[W]hile an employer can impose requirements around maintaining a work appropriate appearance, [employers] cannot enforce such ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

Health care providers and custodial agencies operating in Illinois are now subject to new obligations under the Health Care Violence Prevention Act (210 ILCS 160/1 et seq.)(“HCVPA”), which went into effect on January 1, 2019. The HCVPA, which was enacted in response to two 2017 incidents involving inmates who assaulted hospital nurses, seeks to reduce the growing rates of violence against health care workers.

The HCVPA establishes both preventive and curative measures to protect health care workers. Health care providers are required to create an OSHA-compliant workplace ...

Blogs
Clock 3 minute read

The U.S. Department of Justice reached a January 31, 2019 settlement of an American with Disabilities Act ("ADA") Title III complaint against health care provider Selma Medical Associates relating to provision of medical services to an individual with opioid use disorder ("OUD").  The settlement is notable for health care providers and employers as it makes clear that DOJ considers OUD as a disability under the ADA thereby triggering the full panoply of ADA rights for those with OUD.

The DOJ complaint was premised on the alleged refusal of Selma Medical to schedule a new patient family ...

Blogs
Clock 3 minute read

In a major decision sure to provoke controversy and legislative attempts to overrule it, the en banc Seventh Circuit, by a vote of 8 to 4, has held in Kleber v. CareFusion Corp., (No. 17-1206, Jan 23, 2019), that Section 4(a)(2) of the federal Age Discrimination In Employment Act ("ADEA") does not provide rejected external applicants with a cause of action.

The case was brought by Dale Kleber, a 58 year old applicant who applied for a position at CareFusion. The job description allegedly “required applicants to have ‘3 to 7 years (no more than 7 years)’” of relevant experience.

The ...

Blogs
Clock 4 minute read

In the November 2018 mid-term elections, state ballot measures for the legalization of marijuana were approved in three states – Michigan, Missouri, and Utah – and rejected in one state – North Dakota.

Michigan

Michigan is now the 10th state in the country to legalize the recreational use of marijuana under certain conditions. Michigan residents approved Proposal 1, allowing for recreational marijuana to be consumed, purchased, or cultivated by those 21 and over. The new law went into effect December 6, 2018, but the commercial system will not be running for another year. The ...

Blogs
Clock 6 minute read

Two recent federal cases illustrate why employers – even federal contractors – must be cognizant of relevant state-law pronouncements regarding the use of marijuana (i.e., cannabis) by employees. While one case found in favor of the employer, and the other in favor of the employee, these decisions have emphasized that state law protections for users of medical marijuana are not preempted by federal laws such as the Drug-Free Workplace Act (DFWA). Employers must craft a thoughtful and considered approach to marijuana in the workplace, and in most cases should not take a ...

Blogs
Clock 5 minute read

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has released Notice 2018-94, which extends the due date for furnishing the 2018 Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C to individuals from January 31, 2019 to March 4, 2019.

This extension is automatic, and, as a result, the IRS will not formally respond to any pending extension requests for furnishing the forms to individuals. In addition, filers do not need to submit a request or documentation to take advantage of this extension. Despite the extension, the IRS is encouraging employers and other coverage providers to furnish the 2018 statements as soon ...

Blogs
Clock 4 minute read

Based on proposed regulations released by the U.S. Department of Treasury on November 14, 2018 (the “Proposed Regulations”), participants in 401(k) and 403(b) plans may find it easier to get hardship withdrawals as early as plan years beginning after December 31, 2018. Hardship withdrawals are permitted on account of financial hardships if the distribution is made in response to an “immediate and heavy financial need” and the distribution is necessary to satisfy that need. The Proposed Regulations incorporate various prior statutory changes, including changes ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

Cannabis has been legalized in Canada as of October 17, 2018. What does this mean for employers with employees traveling to and from Canada? Can travelers from Canada to the United States with legally purchased cannabis simply drive to a state where recreational or medical use of cannabis is legal? The bottom line: Employers should remind employees that they cannot cross into the United States with Canadian cannabis under any circumstances.

The framework created in Canada did not change laws regarding borders. A traveler who purchases legal cannabis in Canada may not enter the United ...

Blogs
Clock 2 minute read

Last month, the New York State Court of Appeals invalidated a state Department of Health (DOH) regulation that restricted certain health care providers contracting with the state from paying executives more than $199,000 annually, regardless of whether the funds came from the state or not. However, the Court upheld two other DOH regulations; one that limits providers from using public tax-payer money directly to pay executives in excess of $199,000 annually, and another that limits the amount of public funds used for administrative costs.

In January 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo ...

Blogs
Clock less than a minute

Our colleague at Epstein Becker Green has a post on the Retail Labor and Employment Law blog that will be of interest to our readers in the health care industry: “DOJ Finally Chimes In On State of the Website Accessibility Legal Landscape – But Did Anything Really Change?

Following is an excerpt:

As those of you who have followed my thoughts on the state of the website accessibility legal landscape over the years are well aware, businesses in all industries continue to face an onslaught of demand letters and state and federal court lawsuits (often on multiple ...

Blogs
Clock 5 minute read

Employers and health plans should be aware that two recent federal decisions have recognized that the non-discrimination provision in the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Plans cannot categorically exclude coverage for procedures to treat gender dysphoria.

In Boyden v. Conlin, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin found that the state’s exclusion of gender reassignment-related procedures from the state employees’ health insurance coverage constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Section 1557 ...

Blogs
Clock 4 minute read

President Trump’s recently issued Executive Order entitled “Strengthening Retirement Security In America” (the “EO”) may be helpful to businesses that sponsor or participate in multiple employer retirement plans (“MEPs”), as well as single employer plans, even if the sponsors and employers are not small business owners. While the stated purpose of the EO, which was issued on August 31, 2018 (the “EO Date”), is to “promote retirement security for America’s workers,” the EO directs attention to small business owners (less than 100 employees), noting ...

Blogs
Clock less than a minute

Our colleagues at Epstein Becker Green has a post on the Retail Labor and Employment Law blog that will be of interest to our readers in the health care industry: “NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Guidance on Employers’ Obligations Under the City’s Disability Discrimination Laws.”

Following is an excerpt:

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (“Commission”) recently issued a 146-page guide titled “Legal Enforcement Guidance on Discrimination on the Basis of Disability” ...

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