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Emerging Concerns Regarding Silica Exposure in the Engineered Stone Industry
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

The dangers of workers developing silicosis amid the fabrication of engineered stone has become a topic heavily discussed in the news and elsewhere recently. Silicosis is a lung disease that develops from the exposure and inhalation of silica particles. On Oct. 2, National Public Radio (“NPR”) aired a story entitled “Workers Are Falling Ill, Even Dying, After Making Kitchen Countertops...

New California Employment Laws for 2020
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

2019 was a banner year for Governor Gavin Newsom. The Governor signed numerous bills into law, most of which are not employer friendly. For an in-depth analysis of how each law might affect your organization, contact your Hanson Bridgett labor and employment lawyer and/or join us for our Annual Client Seminars on January 28, 2020 (Walnut Creek), January 29, 2020 (Sacramento), or January 30, 2020 (San Francisco). Unless otherwise indicated, each new law takes effect on January 1, 2020...

CalPERS Issues Guidance on Uniform Allowance Reporting
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

A few weeks ago, CalPERS issued a Circular Letter to provide guidance to contracting agencies about reporting the uniform allowance, a statutory form of special compensation that applies only to classic CalPERS members. The Circular Letter provides much needed guidance about the uniform allowance, specific examples of reportable and non-reportable items, and reporting standards...

IRS Issues 2020 Limits for Retirement Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

On November 6, 2019, the IRS announced in Notice 2019-59 cost of living adjustments to the qualified plan dollar limits for 2020. Below is a summary of the limits that are generally relevant for most retirement plans. Effective January 1, 2020: The elective deferral limit for 401(k), 403(b), and eligible 457(b) plans is increased from $19,000 to $19,500. The catch-up contribution limit for those age 50 or older is increased from $6,000 to $6,500...

Greater Reforms for Promoting Work-Life Balance
Lee & Ko, November 2019

 On 1 October 2019 significant changes to the Gender Equality Employment and Work-Life Balance Support Act came into force, including to employees' rights to paternity leave and reduced working hours for child and family care...

Illinois Secure Choice Registration Is Underway for Employers with at least 25 Employees
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Starting Nov. 1, 2019, employers in Illinois with at least 25 employees must comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice Program) or offer employees an employer-sponsored retirement plan...

Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash Attempt a U-Turn on AB 5 via New Ballot Initiative
Hanson Bridgett LLP, November 2019

The fate of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) may be headed to the voters. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have unveiled the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act, a $90 million ballot initiative targeting AB 5. AB 5, signed by Governor Newsom on September 18, 2019, is expansive legislation that has potentially significant impact on California employers. AB 5 broadly adopts a new test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, with far-reaching implications...

Keep Medicare Enrollment Information Correct and Current or Suffer Consequences
Verrill, October 2019

While most providers understand the need to bill Medicare correctly, many often fail to recognize the potentially disastrous results of not keeping Medicare informed of your correct and up-to-date practice information. A recent case highlights the dangers of a seemingly innocent error, which resulted in a physician’s Medicare billing privileges being revoked...

PTSD Compensation for First Responders without Associated Physical Injury Revisited by the Ohio Legislature in New House Bill
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

With the recent proliferation of mass shootings and other deadly incidents, several states have taken on the issue of allowing mental and/or emotional impairments caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to be a compensable workers’ compensation condition for first responders without the requirement of a physical injury. In June 2019, House Bill 80, the budget bill for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, included such a proposal...

2019 New California Laws Impacting Cannabis Businesses
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

Governor Newsom has signed several bills that impact the cannabis industry by providing relief from federal income tax deduction limitations, encouraging minority participation, encouraging union membership, and clarifying some other existing regulations. The bills include: Assembly Bill 37 repeals the limitation on deductions for business expenses for cannabis businesses, which had previously conformed to Internal Revenue Code section 280E for state tax purposes...

New Decision from the Court of Appeal Regarding the Possibility to Deprive Employees of their Duties within the Period of Notice
Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, October 2019

In LG-2018-161055 the Court of appeal, in a case regarding preliminary action, gave an elaborated assessment regarding under what conditions an employer can deprive an employee of his or her duties in the notice period.   Introduction An employer only exceptionally has the right to deprive a dismissed employee of his or her duties within the period of notice. For this to be possible, there must be "particularly compelling reasons"...

IRS Finalizes New Hardship Distribution Rules for 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

On September 23, 2019, the IRS published final regulations that amend the rules for hardship distributions from 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The regulations finalize the proposed regulations issued in November 2018 to implement statutory changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 intended to make it easier for plan participants to take hardship distributions...

Feinwachs Holds FCA Relator’s Emails to Counsel, Even Though on Employer’s Server, Protected as Work Product
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

In the False Claims Act (FCA) case of Feinwachs v. Minnesota Hospital Association, the district court recently upheld relator David Feinwachs’ claim of work-product privilege over emails sent to his work email account. No. 11-cv-0008, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155027 (D. Minn. Sept. 11, 2019).  Feinwachs was formerly general counsel of the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), a trade association of Minnesota hospitals and health care systems...

FDA Warns Consumers to Stop Using THC Vaping Products Amid Ongoing Investigation into Lung Injuries
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

Acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Norman Sharpless has issued a statement warning Americans to stop using vaping products that emit THC until further testing can be done. Federal and state public health agencies, including the FDA, have been investigating an unprecedented wave of 1,000-plus cases of severe lung injuries and deaths among consumers who claimed they used vaping products containing THC, nicotine, or both...

Cincinnati Is Latest City to Outlaw Hair Discrimination
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

Cincinnati, Ohio has joined a small but growing list of states and municipalities that ban discrimination on the basis of natural hair styles. On Oct. 9, 2019, the Cincinnati City Council voted 7-1 to add a hair-bias ban to the city’s existing non-discrimination law...

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding Individual Coverage HRAs
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

On Sept. 30, 2019, the IRS issued proposed regulations regarding how the employer-shared-responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and certain nondiscrimination rules under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) will apply to individual coverage health reimbursement accounts (HRAs). The proposed regulations aim to facilitate the adoption of individual coverage HRAs by employers on or after Jan. 1, 2020.   Background On Oct...

Employment: Trends & Developments
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2019

The labour and employment sector has once again seen many changes – both in terms of the initiatives of the legislator as well as changes in the way the sector works. One important change has been the implementation of the Law on Protection of Business Secrets (Gesetz zum Schutz von Geschäftsgeheimnissen – GeschGehG). The economic relevance of business secrets is very high...

Employment: Law & Practice
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2019

1. TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT 1.1 STATUS OF EMPLOYEE In Germany, an employee (Arbeitnehmer) enjoys a special status that is described as the personal obligation to perform work upon the employer’s instructions, without entrepreneurial risks and in a situation of economic dependence (to a certain degree) on the employer...

Kentucky Proposed 340B Policy and Procedures Manual
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

The Federal 340B Drug Discount Program (the “340B Program”) is a budget-neutral drug-pricing program that allows certain hospitals and clinics (“Covered Entities”) to buy discounted medication from drug manufacturers...

Changes to Definition of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities to Impact Hospitals
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

Effective Oct. 17, 2019, hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and other facilities which previously were exempt from the Ambulatory Surgical Facility (ASF) licensure requirement may now meet the criteria of an ASF. Governor Mike DeWine’s budget bill contained provisions which modified the definition of an ASF and will expand the number of facilities subject to regulation under Ohio law as an ASF...

Dental Practice Pays $10,000 in HIPAA Settlements for Disclosing Personal Health Information on Social Media
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

Elite Dental Associates, Dallas (“Elite”) has agreed to pay $10,000 to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and to adopt a corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule[1]. According to OCR, Elite is a privately owned dental practice in Dallas, Texas, providing general, implant, and cosmetic dentistry...

IRS Form 1099-K Payment Reporting Under California AB 5
Hanson Bridgett LLP, October 2019

On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) to limit the classification of workers as independent contractors in the state. The new law, effective January 1, 2020, will increase payroll tax responsibilities for California companies that must reclassify workers as employees...

FDA to Convene Metal-Containing Implants and Dental Amalgams Panel, Nov. 13-14, 2019
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

FDA announced it will open a public docket and hold an Immunology Devices Panel meeting to deliberate the potential for patients who receive medical device implants that contain select metal or metal alloys to develop immune and inflammatory reactions. The panel may provide input on scientific information the FDA should consider as part of premarket review and postmarket surveillance of metal-containing implants and dental amalgams...

Employers are Not Obligated to Notify Employees of Expiring Vacation Entitlements during Long-Term Illnesses
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

In its July 24, 2019 judgment (Case: 5 Sa 676/19), Hamm State Labor Court issued a ruling as to whether employers are obligated to also notify employees who are out of work due to long-term illnesses that their vacation entitlement will expire by December 31 of the calendar year or by March 31 of the subsequent year if those employees fail to take their vacation days. The court denied this on convincing grounds. The final verdict, however, will come from the Federal Labor Court...

The Works Council’s Right to Inspect Payroll with Gross Salaries Broken Down by Employee Names
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

The works council may demand access to the employees’ payroll. Considerations under data protection law do not require anonymization or pseudonymization. Federal Labor Court, May 7, 2019 – 1 ABR 53/17   FACTS OF THE CASE A company granted the works council access to its electronic employee salary file – the payroll showing gross salaries, while stripping employees’ names from the list, thus in anonymized (more correctly: pseudonymized) form...

 

 

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