Latest Updates

Best practices for employers under the EEOC’s new strategic enforcement plan

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced its “Strategic Enforcement Plan” for years 2017 to 2021. The 2017 plan replaces the earlier version, issued in 2012, but is not a radical departure from the previous agenda… more

For Waterproofing Patent, Arguments Against Obviousness Didn’t Hold Water

The Federal Circuit’s decision in Outdry Technologies Corporation, v. Geox S.P.A. discusses some criteria for determining whether or not the explanations provided by the PTAB in an IPR decision are sufficient to support a finding of… more

DOL to Restart Conversation on New Overtime Rule

On June 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor sent a Request for Information related to the now-enjoined overtime rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review.  After OMB completes its review, the RFI will be published in… more

Medicaid Fraud Control Units Report Focus on Personal Care Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released a report summarizing activities of State Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs or Units) for fiscal year 2016. The OIG is the designated… more

Hey, Alexa: What’s New in Children’s Privacy?... FTC Updates COPPA Guidance

Trying to keep pace with developments in internet-connected toys and other devices for children, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced June 21, 2017 that it has updated its guidance, a “Six-Step Compliance Plan for Your… more

FAA and Congress Move Forward with Drone Oversight

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Drone Report discusses the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision against the FAA’s registration requirements for recreational drones, the latest findings and recommendations of the FAA’s Drone Advisory… more

Nantkwest, Inc. v. Matal (Fed. Cir. 2017)

Patent applicants dissatisfied with final outcome of patent prosecution proceedings have long had two options for court review of a Patent and Trademark Appeal Board decision: an appeal to the Federal Circuit under 35 U.S.C. § 141 or… more

Supreme Court Confirms Retirement Plans of Church-Affiliated Organizations Can be Exempt from ERISA

In a much-anticipated ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 5 that retirement plans maintained by church-affiliated organizations can be exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), regardless of which… more

Can Marketing and Compliance Share a Playbook?

This post originally appeared on the Richard Bistrong, Front-Line Anti-Bribery Blog, www.richardbistrong.com, and is reposted with the permission of Richard Bistrong. can both compliance and market leaders share resources and data when… more

Oregon Ramps up State Consumer Protections in an Era of Deregulation

Oregon’s legislature recently expanded the scope of statutory consumer protections by passing a bill to amend the state’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (the “Act”). Recently, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown signed H.B. 2090 into law after… more

MoFocus: Our Insights into the Risk + Crisis Landscape - Vol.1 Issue. 1

What Companies Should Be Doing to Prepare for the Next Ransomware Attack - The “WannaCry” cyberattack that struck in May paralyzed businesses, government entities, and Britain’s National Health Service, encrypting computer files on… more

The GDPR and the Bottom Line: How the EU Data Privacy Regulation Will Affect U.S. Companies’ Data Collection and Processing Practices—and Their Revenue

For U.S. companies which do business in Europe or who process the personal data of European Union residents, the world of data privacy and security is about to get much more complicated. While U.S. privacy law is unsettled, with… more

Reimbursement Manager Pleads Guilty for Prior Authorization Process Issues

On Monday, June 19, 2017, Elizabeth Gurrieri became the second former employee of Insys Therapeutics (Insys) to plead guilty to federal anti-kickback charges related to the drug Subsys, an expensive fentanyl-based painkiller. According… more

Why Updating The Electronic Communications Privacy Act Poses Difficulties

The privacy of electronic communications is provided for under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. There are limited circumstances in which ISPs may disclose the contents of electronic and stored digital communications. But the… more

Trump Administration Rescinds WOTUS Rule

Earlier this week, the Trump administration added another Obama-era regulation to its list of policy rollbacks. On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced a proposal to… more

Equipment Manufacturers: Beware of the Rental Yard Customer When Safety Features Are Optional

Fasolas v. Bobcat of New York Appellate Division (April 1, 2017) - A typical argument made by the plaintiffs and their experts in a design defect/ product liability case is that “Safety should never be an option.” Over the years… more

Fourth Circuit Holds Complaining Employee is not Protected From Termination if the Employer Terminates Her Because It Believed Her Complaint was Fabricated

A recent Fourth Circuit ruling in a case handled by Mintz Levin provides some comfort to employers concerned about terminating an employee who they believe has made a false complaint of discrimination. In Villa v. CaveMezze Grill, the… more

Who Do You Want To Be Your Voice for Medical Matters?

In the recently completed legislative session, a bill was passed to revoke the ability of certain individuals to serve as an Agent under a Medical Directive. A Healthcare Directive informs your health care provider about your wishes… more

Updates in Federal Employment Law

No-Recording Policies at Work Must Be Limited - On June 1, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board that the federal National Labor… more

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Statute Outlawing Disparaging Trademarks

On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam that a statute banning registration of disparaging trademarks violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court’s invalidating the statute should allow… more

Ascensus is becoming a big time player

The first job I had was working as an ERISA attorney for a small law firm that was affiliated with a third party administrator (TPA) called CBIZ Retirement Services, Inc. Let’s just say that CBIZ wasn’t much of a moneymaker, so that… more

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights

Upon hearing the term intellectual property rights, the first image that most people conjure are the tens or hundreds of patents that cover the various features of a smartphone – from the display, to the software, to the electronic… more

Melinta Therapeutics Receives FDA Approval for Baxdela in Skin Infections

On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the fluoroquinolone antibiotic, Baxdela® (delafloxacin), for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI). Approval of… more

Foreign Investment Reporting to the United States: Out-Bound Investment from the United States (Part 6)

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), conducts seven (7) mandatory surveys to collect information on direct investment. These seven surveys consist of an initial survey for any new direct investment and… more

“Catch-All” Phrases Insufficient To Give Proper Notice of Grounds for Petition

In Emerachem Holdings, LLC v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., the Federal Circuit made clear that “catch-all” phrases in a Petition for IPR and/or a Board’s Institution Decision are insufficient to put a patent owner on notice of… more

The Brewers Association Releases the Independent Craft Brewer Seal

As the beer landscape in the United States continues to change, the Brewers Association has announced a way for consumers to ensure the beer they are buying is produced by an official “craft brewer.” Breweries in the United States… more

Supreme Court to Clarify Definition of “Whistleblower” Under The Dodd-Frank Act

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday granted certiorari in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc., a case the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided this past March. This is significant because the Supreme Court may clarify how broad the term… more

IRS gets upper hand in S corporation compensation audits

Any compensation the owner receives is subject to FICA tax, which imposes an equivalent burden. And the IRS frequently attacks owners who receive cash distributions from an S corporation, arguing that the distributions were essentially… more

A Cautionary Ruling for Website Accessibility

Websites may constitute “public accommodations” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to one court. On June 12, 2017, in a case of first impression, a federal district court in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. held… more

Massachusetts DOR Sending Letters to Sellers Regarding July 1 Effective Date of Economic Nexus Directive

Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (Department) sent letters to several companies regarding Directive 17-1. The Directive announces a “rule” requiring remote internet sellers to register for and begin collecting… more

Employment Matters Newsletter, Summer 2017

by JAMS

Mediation in Employment Discrimination Disputes Can Serve the Interests of All Parties - Federal and state laws protect the right of individuals to obtain and hold employment without discrimination. Courts and administrative… more

Continuous Representation Rule Does Not Apply Merely Because Attorney Remains Counsel of Record

Moonlight Enterprise, LLC v. Mroz, 2017 WL 1237947 (Va. March 30, 2017) - Brief Summary - The Virginia Supreme Court held that the continuous representation rule does not apply to an attorney who ceases to perform legal services… more

The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

On June 22, Senate leadership released their proposed substitute for the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), as a discussion draft. The BCRA was updated on June 26, and the… more

Supreme Court Partially Revives President’s Travel Ban, But Imposes Limitations

The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week that portions of the controversial Executive Order No. 13780, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” (known informally as the “travel ban”), should no… more

Supreme Court: Public Benefit Programs Cannot Exclude Churches Solely Because They Are Religious

In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, No. 15-577 (June 26, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that excluding a church from a public benefit program for which it is otherwise qualified violates the Free Exercise… more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Travel Ban

On June 26, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued a mixed decision in the “Travel Ban” litigation, relating to Presidential Executive Order 13780 (“EO”). As explained in more detail below, the SCOTUS decision gave a partial… more

DOL Wage and Hour Division to (Once Again) Issue Opinion Letters

In what likely signals the end of the era of “Administrator’s Interpretations,” the DOL announced today that it will return to the practice of issuing opinion letters to provide guidance to employers and employees on Fair Labor… more

Work Permits in Wisconsin: New Requirements and Modernized Statutory Language

Recently signed by Governor Walker, 2017 Wisconsin Act 11 went into effect on June 23, 2017. The act has two objectives. First, it seeks to modernize the language used in the Wisconsin Statutes to refer to labor performed by minors… more

Changes to Financial Reporting Requirements for Associations

On June 23, 2017, Governor Scott approved House Bill 6027, which provides substantively identical changes to the annual financial reporting requirements for condominium, cooperative, and homeowners’ associations… more

US Supreme Court Holds that 3-Year Time Limit to Challenge Registration Statements Cannot Be Tolled, Precluding Opt-Out Plaintiffs from Filing Individual Actions

Officers, directors, and underwriters frequently become targets of securities fraud litigation after a public offering. In a landmark case decided yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court provides defendants with another tool to defeat these… more

Deepening the Divide on Whether Avoidance Provisions Apply to Foreign Transfers

In In re FAH Liquidating Corp., Case No. 13-13087 (Bankr. Del. June 13, 2017), the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware recently followed the Fourth Circuit and Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in holding… more

Redefining the Denominator: Supreme Court Adopts New Test in Regulatory Taking Case 

In Murr v. Wisconsin, the US Supreme Court declined to find that a landowner's riverfront property was the subject of a regulatory taking. In a 5-3 decision, the majority adopted a new test for defining the bounds of the property… more

Two Significant Employment Laws Await Governor’s Decision

Previously, we reported on two bills making their way through New Jersey’s Legislature which if passed, would impact employers and employees statewide..… more

Immigration Updates: June 26, 2017

The United States Supreme Court has allowed portions of President Trump’s travel ban to take effect; citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen may be denied admission to the United States if they lack any bona fide… more

What Lawyers Should Know About the New Auditor’s Report Revisions

After more than six years of deliberations, it looks like the revised auditor’s report is about to become reality. On June 1, the PCAOB adopted a new auditing standard that substantially modifies the long-familiar content of that… more

Supreme Court to Decide Bankruptcy Test for Recharacterizing Insider Debt Claims

On June 27, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal brought by Ropes & Gray of the Fourth Circuit’s decision in PEM Entities LLC v. Eric M. Levin & Howard Shareff. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case will have… more

New Legislation Allows Philadelphia to Shut Down Local Businesses Who Violate Its Anti-Discrimination Laws

The City of Philadelphia will now have the authority to shut down a business within the city for an undefined “period of time” if the business severely or repeatedly violates Philadelphia’s anti-discrimination laws, under a bill signed… more

The Department of Defense Emphasizes Heightened Cybersecurity Compliance at Industry Information Day Event

We had the opportunity to attend Department of Defense’s (DoD) Industry Information Day on Friday, June 23, at the Mark Center Auditorium in Alexandria, Virginia. DoD’s Chief Information Officer published advance notice of the meeting… more

How Will Federal Legal and Regulatory Changes Impact Connecticut Employers?

For the last six years, you haven’t seen much on this blog about changes to federal employment laws because, well, there just weren’t any. What we DID see, however, were changes to regulations and enforcement orders… more

Companies Should Continue to Prepare for Pay Ratio Disclosure

The pay ratio disclosure rules adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August 2015 require proxy disclosure in 2018 for most registrants. These rules require the disclosure of the ratio of the median of the… more

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