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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

Another Federal Court Decertifies FLSA Collective Action of Hospital Workers Challenging Auto-Deduct Policy

We have previously discussed that, while medical providers have become a common target of plaintiffs asserting wage and hour claims arising out of so-called “auto-deduct” policies, more and more courts are realizing that the...more

Religious Institutions: October 2014

Timely Topics - Church splits and property disputes are not new, but they have certainly grown in number in recent years. In the seminal case on church property disputes, Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 20 L....more

E-Discovery - Nevada U.S. District Court's Special Master's Report and Recommendations: Failure to Preserve ESI, Litigation Holds

Small v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada arises out of an employment law dispute. The court appointed a special master who found that the defendant medical center failed to preserve a considerable body of...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

Pruitt v. Burwell Ruling Unlikely to have Major Impact on Employers in Near Term

AffOn Tuesday, September 30, federal Judge Ronald White of the Eastern District of Oklahoma ruled in Pruitt v. Burwell that the plain text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) does not allow for the...more

AHA Files Joint Amicus Brief in Supreme Court FCA Case

The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently filed a joint amicus curiae brief with several other associations, including the American Medical Association and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America,...more

ERISA Litigation Review

The courts have been busy in 2014, addressing a variety of issues in the employee benefits field in decisions that impact everyone from union travelers to ESOP fiduciaries. This advisory summarizes a selection of the 2014...more

False Claims Act Update

New Criminal Division Review Process for Qui Tam Complaints Expands Main Justice Involvement and Threatens Greater Criminal Exposure in Whistleblower Investigations. The Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal...more

Eighth Circuit Clarifies False Claims Act Pleading Standards for Whistleblowers

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently held that whistleblowers may satisfy the False Claims Act’s (FCA) heightened pleading standards without providing representative examples of false claims,...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

HEAL Advisory: Whistleblowers Rewarded Again by SEC and the Judiciary

On August 29, 2014, two whistleblower developments of particular interest to health care and life science entities emerged from the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals,...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

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Halbig ACA Case Before Full Court

Following up on our Week 22 ACA Countdown to Compliance post, the D.C. Court of Appeals granted the government’s petition for en banc review in Halbig v. Burwell, which held low income subsidies to purchase coverage through...more

Eighth Circuit Decision Tilts Rule 9(b) Split toward Whistleblowers

Last Friday’s Eighth Circuit decision in Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland favored the whistleblower in the ongoing controversy over specificity requirements in False Claims Act actions. The split had been even...more

Full D.C. Circuit to Rehear ACA Premium Tax Credit Case

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has vacated the 2-1 panel decision issued July 22, 2014, in Halbig v. Burwell, which struck down the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Rule providing for Affordable Care Act...more

Federal Appeals Courts Issue Contradictory Rulings on Federal Marketplace Subsidies under Affordable Care Act

Two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on the validity of subsidies for the purchase of health insurance under the federal marketplace established pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On July 22, a...more

Washington Court of Appeals Expands "Jeopardy" Element of Claim for Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

This month the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III issued a ruling in Becker v. Community Health Systems, Inc. that expands protections in a wrongful termination action based on violation of a public policy....more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FLSA Overtime Claims in Hospital Meal Break Cases

On August 26, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime claims brought against a myriad of health care systems and their...more

Seventh Circuit Limits “Worthless Services” Theory under False Claims Act

On August 20, 2014, the Seventh Circuit struck another blow against relators’ and the federal government’s increasingly aggressive False Claims Act theories of liability. Rejecting the relators’ use of the “worthless...more

Another Court Weighs in on Rule 9(b)’s Requirements Under the False Claims Act

A federal district court recently dismissed a qui tam relator’s complaint in a declined case against the Hospital for Special Surgery (“Hospital”), its former CEO, and an outside billing company alleging that they violated...more

Health Alert (Australia) - Week of August 25, 2014

In This Issue: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. Excerpt from Reports: Australia. Department of Health & Ageing Media releases - 20 August 2014 - New Centre to Deliver More Health...more

Summer Fraud and Abuse Roundup

The federal government was busy over the summer when it came to decisions and settlements under the Stark Law, anti-kickback law and federal False Claims Act. This article revisits recent developments with respect to...more

Oral COBRA Notice OK?

In a recent District Court opinion, a judge dismissed a COBRA claim against an employer based on the oral notice the employer gave a former employee of her right to continue coverage under COBRA. The court said that the...more

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