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Maine to Pay Out $142,500 to Settle Whistleblower Suit

The state Department of Health and Human Services in Maine will pay $142,500 to a former employee as a part of a settlement for a federal whistleblower suit. That employee is Sharon Leahy-Lind, who was at one time a...more

Pro Se and Ex Rel. Don’t Mix, Even for Attorney Whistleblowers

William Verrinder filed a False Claims Act against three of America’s biggest companies—Wal-Mart, Sears and Rite-Aid—claiming they charged Medicare for expired drugs. Since he’s a lawyer himself, he filed pro se. That way he...more

New California Labor and Employment Laws for 2015

Like most recent years, the California Legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed many labor and employment bills into law once again in 2014. Below are highlights of the most significant new laws. Each will become...more

The False Claims Act and the Health Care Industry: 2014 Year in Review

On Nov. 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced settlements and judgments for False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases totaling $5.7 billion (compared to $3.8 billion in fiscal year 2013), $2.3 billion of which was...more

ACA Liabilities: Workplace Wellness Programs in Crosshairs of EEOC

Employers implementing new voluntary workplace wellness programs that are otherwise compliant with regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are nevertheless finding themselves in the crosshairs of the Equal Employment...more

Quirky Question #247, An Update on Wellness Programs

Question: Our company has been considering implementing financial incentives for employees to participate in biometric screening as part of an employee wellness program. Are there legal issues we should be...more

Employment Law - November 2014 #2

EEOC’s Wellness Challenge Feeling Under the Weather - Why it matters: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) efforts to challenge employer wellness programs hit a snag when a federal court judge in...more

Employment Law - November 2014

State Voters Pass Paid Sick Leave, Wage Increases - Why it matters: The polls have closed and the votes are in: The midterm elections will have a significant impact on employers across the country as voters in multiple...more

Responding Effectively to Third-Party Subpoenas

It is your lucky day!! A subpoena comes in the mail and makes its way to your desk. The subpoena comes from a creditor involved in a lawsuit with one of your employees and demands that you produce copies of your employee’s...more

Minnesota Judge Issues Blow to EEOC’s Challenge to Corporate Wellness Program (For Now, Anyway…)

Can an employer require employees to undergo biometric testing or suffer penalties under their health benefit plan as part of a corporate wellness program? On November 3, U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery refused to grant...more

Federal Judge Denies EEOC’s Petition for Temporary Restraining Order; Allows Employer to Penalize Employees Who Decline to...

Last week, we blogged about the EEOC’s recent litigations involving employee wellness programs, including the Honeywell case where the EEOC sought to prohibit Honeywell from penalizing employees who decline to participate in...more

Employment Law - Oct 2014 #3

DOL Grants Could Signal More Misclassification Actions - Why it matters: Employers have faced a tidal wave of litigation over the alleged misclassification of employees as independent contractors, with workers ranging...more

Doctors and Lawyers and Such

When doctors and lawyers get sideways with their business partners, they might dispute whether one or more of them are really “employees.” In a recent case, an anesthesiologist alleged disability and sex discrimination. To...more

With Prejudice: Judge Dismisses FCA Claim and Orders Sanctions Against Attorney

On October 16, 2014, United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah McCarthy of the Western District of New York issued a Report and Recommendation to District Judge William Skretny in which he recommended dismissal with prejudice...more

Eighth Circuit Says That Considerations Of Health Care Cost Savings Could Be Proxy For Age In ADEA Suits

The Eighth Circuit recently concluded that an employer may violate the ADEA by terminating an older employee in order to reduce its health care premiums. Tramp v. Associated Underwriters, Inc., 2014 WL 4977396 (8th Cir....more

Eighth Circuit Says Termination Made to Lower Health Care Costs Constitutes Age Discrimination

Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1993 Hazen Paper decision, employers that select employees for layoff using the date of vesting of their pensions based on years of service are not discriminating on the basis of age, even if...more

EEOC Files Its Second Complaint Challenging an Employer’s Wellness Program

Just six weeks after the EEOC sued Orion Energy Systems, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin claiming that Orion’s wellness program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act...more

Employee Taking Protected HIPAA Information Not Protected Under ADEA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires health care providers and other businesses to protect the confidentiality of certain patient information. Last month in an unpublished decision, the...more

California Employment Law Notes

Franchisor Is Not Liable For Franchisee's Alleged Sexual Harassment Of Its Employee - Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, 2014 WL 4236175 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) - Taylor Patterson was hired by Sui Juris (a franchisee...more

For-Profit Companies Find Religion – What’s a Transactional Lawyer to Do?

Last month, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby case that closely held for-profit corporations can have “free exercise rights” as “persons” under The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (“RFRA”),...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Termination of Whistleblowing RN, Confirming Narrow Reading of CEPA

In Hitesman v. Bridgeway, Inc., A-73-12 (June 16, 2014), a registered nurse was fired after he complained to management about the rate of infectious diseases among patients, reported his concerns to governmental agencies, and...more

ERISA self-insured health plan not required to cover same sex spouses

In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, No. 12–cv–04788 (NSR), 58 EBC 1077, 2014 WL 1760343 (S.D. N.Y. May 1, 2014), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York held a self-insured health plan that...more

OFCCP’s New Tricare Moratorium Directive: Delay of Game

On March 7, 2014, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued Directive 2014-01, TRICARE Subcontractor Enforcement Activities concerning the affirmative action obligations of subcontractors of...more

Despite Windsor, Federal Court Rejects Challenge to a Self-Insured ERISA Health Plan’s Denial of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor, the requirement that an ERISA health plan provide health coverage for same-sex spouses has often hinged on whether an employee benefit plan was insured or...more

Does OFCCP Have Jurisdiction Over TRICARE Participants? Stay Tuned. The Answer Lies Years In The Future

Over the past several years, we have written repeatedly about the efforts of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (the OFCCP) to gain jurisdiction over health care providers based solely on providers'...more

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