News & Analysis as of

Will you be Penalised for a Penalty?

Recent Developments in the law of Penalties - The law has long struggled with two competing notions about the proper approach to penalties, namely: 1. the freedom of parties to contract, 2. preventing a party from obtaining a...more

Labor And Employment E-Note - November 2015

A little-noticed provision in the federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 calls for OSHA to increase its penalties to adjust for inflation for the first time since 1990... Please see full E-Note below for more...more

OSHA Penalties to Increase in 2016

A little-noticed provision in the federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 calls for OSHA to increase its penalties to adjust for inflation for the first time since 1990. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act...more

Wait’s Over: IRS Says Waiting Time Penalties Aren’t Wages

We’ve long known that California law does not treat Labor Code Section 203 penalties as “wages.” Earlier this year, the IRS published its view on how to treat those penalties (often referred to as “waiting time penalties” or...more

UK Supreme Court unshackles the rule on penalties under English Law

Whilst on the face of it a decision of the UK Supreme Court may appear to have little relevance to the UAE or the Middle East region generally, this judgment will be of considerable interest to those of our clients and...more

ITC Section 337 Update – November 2015

Federal Circuit Panel Rules Commission Lacks Jurisdiction Over Digital Transmissions – On November 10, 2015, the Federal Circuit issued a 2-1 panel opinion in ClearCorrect Operating LLC v. ITC, Appeal No. 2014-1527, reversing...more

New Rules Will Make It Harder to Qualify for Long-Term Care Help From the VA

The Veteran's Administration (VA) offers a pension benefit to low-income veterans (or their spouses) who are in nursing homes or who need help at home with everyday tasks like dressing or bathing. The pension, called Aid and...more

Paying The Penalty? Supreme Court Clarifies Rule Against “Penalty Clauses”

Last week, the Supreme Court of England and Wales issued a judgment that gives some welcome clarification about when a contractual provision may be deemed an unenforceable “penalty clause”. This should help employers draft...more

OSHA Penalties Soon Getting a Boost

Michael Kinsley once said “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.” And one gaffe that has often been repeated is Speaker Pelosi’s statement from 2010, saying about the Affordable Care Act, “we have to pass the bill so...more

Trade & Manufacturing - News of Note - November 2015

GSP Program Review Results in Changes to Covered Products and Countries - In late September, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced the outcome of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)...more

Connecticut Addresses E-Cigarettes and Vapor Products, Imposes Signage Requirements on Select Employers

Connecticut has passed a new law regulating electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products in various venues, including numerous places of employment.  Effective October 1, 2015, Public Act No. 15 206 (the Act)...more

Supreme Court Ruling on Penalties: A Genuinely Commercial Approach

The Supreme Court has clarified and restated the scope of the English law rule against penalties. This important decision will have a far-reaching impact on commercial parties’ assessment of whether contract provisions...more

Trojan Horse In The 2015 Budget Agreement: OSHA Can (And Undoubtedly Will) Raise Penalties By 82 Percent

Wow! How did this happen? Buried in the fine print of the recent budget agreement between Congress and the White House, and seemingly slipped in at the last minute with no one claiming responsibility for the change, the...more

November and December 2015 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

OSHA Fines to Increase Dramatically

For the first time in 25 years, OSHA fines likely will be increasing. The change will take effect no later than August 1, 2016, and each year thereafter. A relatively obscure provision in the 2015 budget bill passed by...more

"SEC Announces Enforcement Results for Fiscal Year 2015"

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) recently announced its enforcement results for fiscal year 2015. The release touted high-impact and first-of their-kind actions, as well as an increase in the number and...more

Final Curtain Call for Tuomey: Long-Running FCA/Stark Case Settled

After 10 years of litigation, including two trials and appeals to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Tuomey Healthcare System (Tuomey) have entered into a settlement of DOJ's action...more

The November Surprise: OSHA Raises Penalties 82% And No One Notices

Employers woke up to a surprise on November 3. That’s when we learned that the Federal Budget Agreement, which was quickly worked out behind closed doors and signed the day before, includes surprise provisions authorizing the...more

OSHA Fines to Increase by Nearly 52%: This marks the first time penalties have increased in 25 years

OSHA critics often complain that the maximum allowed penalties have not changed since 1990 when the penalties were set at $7,000 (other than serious and serious) and $70,000 (repeat or willful). The “Bipartisan Budget Act of...more

Our Modern Markets: SEC Enforcement Focuses On Market Structure In Response To Rapidly-Changing Equity Markets

On Monday, November 2, 2015, Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, gave a speech at the SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society New York Regional Seminar in which he sought to address what he views as the...more

Record-breaking FCA settlements underscore importance of Stark Law compliance

In September and October, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced four record-breaking False Claims Act settlements – ranging from $25 million to $115 million – involving health care systems that allegedly made improper...more

CMS Proposes Sweeping Changes to Medicare Reimbursement for Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests

First Data Collection Period for Clinical Laboratories Is July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015 - In the October 1, 2015 Federal Register, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule...more

Jersey City, New Jersey Expands Paid Sick Leave

The Jersey City Council voted to expand the scope of the City’s existing sick leave ordinance on October 29, 2015. Under the Ordinance as amended, employers with less than 10 employees now will be required to provide...more

Can the California A.G. limit those incessant Prop 65 lawsuits?

The California Attorney General has proposed amendments to California’s Proposition 65 regulations governing enforcement actions brought by a “private person in the public interest.”...more

Recent MCDC Settlements Provide Guidance Concerning Scope of Materiality in Continuing Disclosure Obligations

In responding to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) initiative, the unanswered question for many municipalities and broker-dealers was determining whether...more

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