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The Employee Zone Of Privacy

Employers should recognize an employee’s zone of privacy in the workplace. Business owners and managers need to understand that while they have their employees’ attention for much of the workday, there are limits. An employer...more

Hospital Fires Back: Accuses Whistleblowers of Violating Patient Confidentiality

Hospitals have long seethed over employees who exploit their inside information to become whistleblowers. There’s generally not much they can do besides seethe unless the employee has some special duty of confidentiality...more

2014 EEOC Year In Review: Lots Of Action, Mixed Results

2014 has been a notable year for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency has initiated historic litigation, issued significant new guidance and signaled increased scrutiny of background checks and...more

Labor & Employment E- Note - December 2014

In This Issue: - SCOTUS Says Firms Don't Have to Pay for Security Screening Time - EEOC Saw Decline in Discrimination Settlements, Number of Cases - HHS Closes Loophole Allowing Employers to Cut Hospital...more

EEOC's Regulatory Agenda Anticipates Wellness Program Rules in February

Last month, federal agencies released their semiannual regulatory agendas. The agendas list the rules in progress for the various agencies, along with anticipated dates of issuance. New additions or shortened timeframes can...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

Gavel to Gavel: What's in store for employers?

In 2014, the government’s employment agencies were aggressive and active in terms of investigations and lawsuits. Employers should expect this to continue in the new year and pay particular attention to the...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

Same-Sex Marriage Rulings May Pose Some Challenges for Employers

Over the past two years, there has been a sea change in the treatment of same-sex spouses under both federal and state law. Now that federal law, and the laws in 35 states and Washington, D.C., recognize marriage equality for...more

EEOC to Issue Proposed Regulations for Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced recently that it intends to issue proposed regulations in the next 60 days to clarify its enforcement authority under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with...more

Undocumented Worker Can Cause Health Plan Problems

Employers know that since the 1980s they have been required to check the lawful work status of employees that they hire through the I-9 process. Employers also know that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can audit...more

EEOC Casts Uncertainty on Popular Wellness Programs

Action Item: Employers with wellness programs that involve higher premiums or other increased cost-sharing for employees who do not participate should contact us immediately to discuss their wellness strategies and to assess...more

Should Employers Drop Domestic Partner Dependent Coverage?

Over the past decade, many employers extended dependent coverage under their group medical insurance plans to employees’ domestic partners. For many employers, this change was made in order to allow gay employees to add their...more

Employers Get Ready to Ring in the New Year with New California Laws For 2015

Last week marked the official start of the holiday season. As we're now racing towards the end of the year, and getting ready for parties, gifts, and, perhaps, (ugh!) holiday travel, employers also should be getting ready to...more

Responding to West-African Employees who Travel to Ebola-Affected Countries - Employee Rights vs. Public Health Concerns

Buried near the end of articles in the New York Times and The Washington Post about the first United States Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was the observation that the quarantine being imposed on Mr. Duncan’s fiancée, her...more

Wellness Watch

According to reports, more than half of all businesses with over 200 employees ask employees to participate in biometric screening, and nearly 10% of them provide a financial incentive for employees to participate. As a part...more

EEOC Challenges Honeywell’s Wellness Program

The EEOC recently sued Honeywell International, Inc., claiming that Honeywell’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Although the EEOC...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

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 4: EEOC v. Honeywell and the Future of Wellness Programs

While my entries have focused principally on the employer shared responsibility rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), every once in a while an item comes along that nevertheless grabs my attention. The treatment of wellness...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

EEOC Promises Guidance On Wellness Programs In February

Good news! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced in its 2015 regulatory agenda that it will be issuing proposed regulations on the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic...more

Employee Benefits Developments - November 2014

Health Care Cost Consideration May Support Age Discrimination Claim. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned a lower court’s summary judgment ruling against a plaintiff’s age discrimination...more

EEOC Wellness Program Suits Highlight Need for Agency Guidance

The EEOC has been pursuing litigation against wellness programs of late, arguing that certain health plan penalties render participation in wellness program health screens ”involuntary” and thus violate Americans with...more

Caught Between Laws: Challenges for Health Care Providers in Using Criminal History Information in Employment Decisions

In an effort to increase protection for vulnerable patient populations, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates incentives for states to strengthen the employment background check programs available to long-term care providers....more

Sixth Circuit Decision Confirms that Employers May Lawfully Choose Not to Hire a Job Applicant with a Prior History as a False...

Some employers in the health care and other industries who regularly deal with the federal government and are subject to the False Claims Act (“FCA”) have felt helpless in trying to weed out serial whistleblowers in the...more

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