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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

Appellate Court Decision Changes Rules on Healthcare Worker Meal Period

Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (February 10, 2015) - A statute requires two meal periods for shifts longer than 12 hours. But an order of the...more

New York State Supreme Court Finds 24-Hour Home Care Attendants Must be Paid for Sleep and Meal Periods

The New York State Department of Labor ("NY DOL") has consistently enforced the New York Labor Law ("NYLL") as permitting third-party employers of 24-hour home care attendants to pay their employees for 13 hours of a 24-hour...more

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Lifetime Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

The Supreme Court overturned the Sixth Circuit’s long-standing Yard-Man presumption, ruling that courts should apply ordinary contract principles to determine whether benefits have vested....more

Health Care Employees Should Not Have Been Permitted To Waive Their Second Meal Periods

In this putative class/Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) action, Jazmina Gerard (and others) challenged a hospital policy that allowed health care employees who worked shifts longer than 10 hours to voluntarily waive one...more

Fifth Circuit: Hospital Enjoys Standing to Seek ERISA Benefits

The Fifth Circuit ruled that an out-of-network medical provider that was assigned a patient’s rights to health insurance benefits has standing to sue a health plan that underpays its portion of the benefits due even if the...more

What Employers under Collective Bargaining Agreements Should Know about the Decision in M&G Polymers v. Tackett

Recently, the United States Supreme Court undertook a significant course-correction in the vesting of retiree health benefits under collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”). ...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

High Court Sides with DOL, Holding that Agencies May Flip-Flop on Regulatory Interpretations Without Engaging in...

In June, we wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to address whether a federal agency (in this case, the Department of Labor) must engage in formal notice-and-comment rulemaking in order to significantly alter its...more

Could Eight Words Spell the End of “Obamacare” ?

The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in the latest challenge to federal health care reform. And this challenge, though highly technical, is anything but minor – it could unravel the entire infrastructure of federal...more

King v. Burwell: What a Subsidy Shutdown Would Mean for Consumers, Insurers, Providers and States

Editor’s Note: On Wednesday, March 4, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case that will determine whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) permits individuals who buy individual health insurance...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - March 2015

Media is abuzz with speculation on the potential impact of King v. Burwell—arguments begin tomorrow, March 4th, at 10 a.m. Many consider the case the greatest threat to the Affordable Care Act since SCOTUS upheld the...more

Has the Supreme Court Given Advance Notice How It Will Decide King v. Burwell?

On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court will hear argument in King v. Burwell, the most publicized case in some time. Most readers are aware that the issue is whether certain tax subsidies essential to the proper...more

State Attorneys General Return to Health Care Reform in U.S. Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in what is being teed up to be “Round 2” on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the case King v. Burwell, the question before the Court is whether the IRS can extend tax...more

Court Holds That Physician’s State Law Claim For Disability Benefits Is Preempted by ERISA: Hershan v. Unum Group Corporation

A federal court has held that a radiologist’s state law contract claim for certain disability insurance benefits arose under a welfare benefit plan governed by ERISA and was therefore preempted by ERISA. In Hershan v. Unum...more

Same-Sex Spouse Has No Standing to Assert COBRA Notice Claim

A New Jersey federal district court held (in an unpublished opinion) that a former plan participant’s same-sex spouse who never enrolled in the benefit plan did not have standing to assert a claim alleging that his spouse’s...more

California Health Care Employees Cannot Waive Entitlement to Second Meal Period When Working In Excess of 12 Hours

Narrowly construing the California Labor Code provisions on meal periods, the California Court of Appeal struck down a provision in the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders that allows health care employees working...more

Oops! California Court Gets Around to Invalidating 22-Year-Old Meal Period Waiver Rules for Healthcare Employees

For nearly 22 years, IWC Wage Order No. 4 and IWC Wage Order No. 5 have permitted employees in the “health care industry” who work shifts in excess of eight total hours in a workday to “voluntarily waive their right to one of...more

Did You Know…Second Meal Period Waivers Invalid for Health Care Workers When Working More Than 12 Hours

In Jazmina Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, the California Court of Appeal held that the wage orders health care companies have been following for years were wrong and contrary to the California Labor Code....more

DC Court Rejects Unilateral DOL Regulation of Home Care Workers in Sharply Worded Rebuke; DOL to Appeal

In a pair of welcomed decisions for third-party employers in the home care industry, Judge Richard J. Leon of the D.C. Federal District Court vacated major provisions of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Home Care Final...more

Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Eliminates Presumption That Union Retiree Health Benefits Are Vested For Life

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a judicial presumption - commonly referred to as the Yard-Man presumption - that union retiree health care benefits are vested for life in the...more

No False Claim Despite Violation of Licensing Law and Medicare Conditions of Participation

Last week a federal court in Florida granted a radiology practice’s motion for judgment in its favor in a False Claims Act case, despite these formidable obstacles: (1) the practice had billed Medicare for services performed...more

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit's Approach to Retiree Medical Benefits

Ordinary contract principles govern disputes about collectively bargained retiree medical benefits. A Morgan Lewis team secured a major victory for employers when the U.S. Supreme Court, in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v....more

The Fraudulent Joinder Doctrine...It’s Not Just For Fraud Or Joinder

In Weidman v. ExxonMobil Corporation, et al., No. 13-2007 (4th Cir., January 8, 2015), the Fourth Circuit confirmed that the “fraudulent joinder” doctrine requires neither an allegation of fraud nor a situation involving a...more

Supreme Court Rejects Analysis of Duration of Retiree Benefits As Contrary to Contract Law

On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved a long-standing dispute between the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the remainder of the federal judiciary in a case concerning the extent to which...more

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