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New IRS Rules Allow Retirement Plan Sponsors to Self-Correct Broader Range of Plan Failures
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2019

The IRS recently issued a new version of its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System ("EPCRS") that gives sponsors of tax-qualified retirement plans additional options for self-correcting plan failures. The new EPCRS allows plan sponsors to use the Self-Correction Program ("SCP") in several circumstances, rather than requiring a Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP) filing with the IRS and payment of the applicable user fee...

Tariff Increase for $200B of Chinese Imports Announced and Process for Importers to Request an Exemption Forthcoming
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, May 2019

The Trump administration’s significant escalation of the trade dispute with China after months-long U.S.-China trade talks have faltered is a major news headline as the week concludes. The U.S. followed through on its warnings and increased tariffs on an estimated $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent starting May 10th. At the same time, the U.S. announced importers will be able to apply for an exemption from these tariffs...

Kentucky Expands Protections for Pregnant Workers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

On April 9, 2019, Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act (KYPWA), which expands protections for pregnant employees under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, KRS 344.010, et seq. Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy Effective June 27, 2019, employers with 15 or more employees in Kentucky in at least 20 calendar weeks in the current or preceding year will be required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions...

Court Limits Authority of DOJ to Dismiss Relator Claims
Dykema, April 2019

  Court Limits Authority of DOJ to Dismiss Relator Claims April 23, 2019 TheGranston Memoraised concerns that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) would employ its authority under 31 U.S.C. § 3730 tounderminequi tamrelator actions. Since the Memo was issued, the DOJ moved to dismiss 11 Anti-Kickback Statute cases brought by a professional relator, the National Health Care Analysis Group (“NHCAG”)...

NLRB Shifts Position on Successor Employers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Ridgewood Health Care Center, Inc. (Ridgewood), has changed how the Board will define a “perfectly clear successor” when evaluating whether an employer is bound by an existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) after acquiring another business...

Successor Employers Acquiring Unionized Workforces Benefit From NLRB Decision
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2019

In a recent case involving a health care facility, the NLRB issued a 3-1 decision that significantly changed a successor employer's bargaining obligations before imposing the initial terms and conditions of employment on a unionized workforce. While seemingly favorable to employers, the decision also serves as a reminder to companies that they should act cautiously and consult with counsel before they take over a business with a unionized workforce...

Beware: Violations Of State Safety Requirements Bring Penalties For Both State Fund and Self-Insured Employers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

Recently, Dinsmore has noticed an uptake in claimant allegations that an employer has caused an accident due to violation of a specific safety requirement (VSSR). A VSSR award is an additional award paid to the employee by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) billed directly to state fund employers or paid directly by a self-insured employer...

Possible Changes to the Legalization and Regulation of Hemp and CBD Oil
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced new steps it is taking to determine a framework for lawful marketing of appropriate cannabis and cannabis-derived products.[i] As expressed in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill), the FDA has the authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds...

IRS Clarifies General Public Use Requirements for Residential Rental Projects Financed by Tax-Exempt Bonds
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

The Internal Revenue Service recently eliminated an inconsistency between the definition of “general public use” for purposes of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) under §42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”) and the definition of “general public use” for purposes of tax-exempt multifamily housing bonds under Code §142(d)...

OCR Publishes Recommendations to Prepare for Cybersecurity Threats
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Spring 2019 Cybersecurity Newsletter includes new recommendations regarding how HIPAA covered entities can prepare to defend against cybersecurity attacks such as advanced persistent threats (APTs) and zero-day vulnerabilities...

Department of Labor Announces Proposed Joint Employer Rule
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

On April 1, 2019, the Department of Labor announced it will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its existing regulations, currently codified at 29 C.F.R. part 791, regarding whether a business qualifies as a joint employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires covered employers to pay nonexempt employees at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime for all hours worked more than 40 in one workweek...

340B Drug Ceiling Prices Now Available
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

On April 1, 2019, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched a secure website that lists the maximum price drug manufacturers may charge 340B-covered entities for 340B-eligible drug purchases (the 340B Ceiling Price Site).  Drug manufacturers and 340B-covered entities may access the 340B Ceiling Price Site through their HRSA Office of Pharmacy Affairs information system (the 340B OPAIS) account here: https://340bopais.hrsa...

March Comes in Like a Lion: New Verification Process and Focused Reviews for Government Contractors and Subcontractors
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

On March 25, 2019, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released its Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL). The CSAL was released in the OFCCP FOIA Library. This is the first time the OFCCP has not mailed the advanced courtesy notification to covered contractors and subcontractors, posting only in the FOIA Library...

Get the Five W's and How: Negotiation Notes and Mediation Minutes
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

A key capability for a successful attorney is effective negotiation skills to resolve conflict and legal disputes. Negotiating over 1000 such disputes for clients and serving as a mediator in over 100 cases, has been a tremendous education on how to successfully resolve conflict...

Be Fully Prepared: Negotiation Notes and Mediation Minutes
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

“You can’t have confidence unless you are prepared. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” — Coach John Wooden Once you have developed the facts (who, what, when, where, why and how) and the law pertaining to your dispute or conflict, you need to prepare for your negotiation or mediation. Coach John Wooden stated “You can’t have confidence unless you are prepared. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail...

Mediating the Sexual Harassment Case
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

As part of the #MeToo movement, many new laws, regulations, and workplace policies regarding sexual harassment have been enacted. As a result, we are seeing an increased number of claims involving harassment. Courts and parties are favoring mediation more often with these claims because of the sensitivity of some situations and the desire for confidentiality and a quick resolution. This is especially so with claimants who are minors or who are victims of prior abuse...

The Mindset for Successful Mediation
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2019

The proverb is true – it does take two to tango. It is equally true in mediation.  For adversaries to reach a resolution, they need to come to terms on the merits. To maximize the chances of a successful resolution, they should also be of the correct mindset. I have found that one mindset maximizes the chances of success. “Win/Lose.” By definition, parties come to mediation with a dispute. Frequently, the parties are embroiled in litigation...

DOL Proposes Another Major FLSA Rule Change: This Time on Calculating the “Regular Rate of Pay” for Overtime
Dykema, March 2019

Earlier this month, the DOL published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to increase the minimum salary level most exempt employees must be paid in order for them to be deemed exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements. For a summary of that proposal,click here. The comment period for the proposed changes will close in late May, and it is anticipated that the salary level rules will be finalized and implemented in early 2020...

DRE Implements Petition Process for Removing Discipline Information from Website
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2019

California Business and Professions Code Section 10083.2 requires the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) to provide information regarding the status of every DRE licensee on its website, including information regarding any disciplinary actions taken by the DRE against a licensee. The purpose of these disclosures is to ensure full transparency concerning information the DRE deems to present a "credible risk" to members of the public. The issue with Section 10083...

Federal Court Grants Broad Access to Mental Health Facility's Residents, Records for Purposes of Investigation
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

A trio of federal statutes often referred to collectively as the P&A Acts, which includes the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI), the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (PADD), and the Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights Act (PAIR), authorize the creation and operation of a protection and advocacy system (P&A system) to monitor the care of individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities...

Updated TEFRA Approval Process Effective April 1
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

The IRS recently modernized the public approval process (“TEFRA approval”) for private activity bonds (“bonds”) for TEFRA approvals given on or after April 1, 2019.  States and political subdivisions issuing bonds, or on whose behalf bonds are issued (“issuers”), and states and political subdivisions whose geographic jurisdiction contain the site of a project (“hosts”) may take advantage of these new rules...

ADR Agreements Acceptable Condition of Employment Under Kentucky Statutory Amendment
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

Employers in Kentucky are now expressly permitted to require an employee or prospective employee to agree to arbitrate or engage in some form of alternative dispute resolution as a condition of employment. On March 25, 2019, Gov. Matt Bevin signed a statutory amendment authorizing this change to KRS § 336.700. This law applies retroactively to agreements that have already been executed by employees before March 25, 2019. This amended statute does a number of things...

Ninth Circuit Decision on Santa Monica Short-Term Rental Ordinance is Win for Cities, Defeat for Airbnb
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2019

On March 13, the Ninth Circuit issued its highly anticipated opinion in HomeAway.com v. City of Santa Monica, upholding the City's ordinance restricting short-term home rentals on popular websites like Airbnb.com. Background In light of the severe housing crisis currently afflicting California, concerns have arisen over the impact of short-term home rentals on the supply of long-term housing...

12 Questions Directors Should Ask About New Bank Activities
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

As seen in Bank Director A bank’s board of directors must answer to a variety of constituencies, including shareholders, regulatory agencies, customers and employees. At times those constituencies may have competing interests or priorities. Other times, what may appear to be competing interests are actually variations of aligned interests...

New Advisory Opinion from Ethics Commission Impacts Substitute Teachers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

The West Virginia Ethics Commission issued a new Advisory Opinion on March 7, 2019, which is going to impact the way some teachers arrange for substitutes. The opinion sought was whether it is a violation of the Ethics Act for teachers to prearrange a relative to substitute teach in their absence or place relatives on a preferred list of substitutes for their classrooms...

New OARRS Reporting Obligations Become Effective March 19, 2019
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

Beginning March 19, 2019, naltrexone drug products, including Vivitrol, dispensed pursuant to an outpatient prescription and indicated for the treatment of alcohol dependence or the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence must be reported to the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS)...

Community Solar 101
Dykema, March 2019

Texas LawyerMarch 14, 2019By Rodrigo Figueroa According to ERCOT, the entity that oversees 90 percent of the State’s grid, as of January 2019 there was nearly 1,500 megawatts of installed utility-scale solar capacity in the ERCOT region, with that number expected to almost triple to 4,300 megawatts by the end of 2020 (one megawatt is enough to power about 200 homes in Texas during times of high-peak demand)...

California Supreme Court Rules No Vested Right to Airtime Purchases; Leaves California Rule Intact
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2019

On March 4, 2019, the California Supreme Court ruled in Cal Fire Local 2881 et. al. v. California Public Employees' Retirement System that public retirement system members do not have a vested right to purchase "airtime" – nonqualified service credit unrelated to public service...

DOL Proposes Increase to FLSA Exemption Threshold
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2019

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a rule that would significantly change the pay standards for overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Since 2004, the minimum salary necessary to qualify for an administrative, executive, or professional exemption under the FLSA has been $455 per week ($23,660 per year). Under the proposed rule, this minimum would increase to $679 per week ($35,308 per year)...

DOL Finally Proposes New White Collar Exemption Regulations
Dykema, March 2019

The much awaited revised new regulations governing who qualifies for the FLSA white collar exemption has finally been revealed by the Department of Labor. It did so on March 8 by publishing anNPRM(“Notice of Proposed Rule Making”). In December of 2016, a Texas federal court entered a nationwide injunction halting the implementation of new regulations which would have dramatically increased the salary threshold for exempting most white collar employees from overtime...

All Stop: Ruling on the Applicability of Exclusion to BIPA Claims Delayed
Dykema, March 2019

The fallout from the Illinois Supreme Court’s January 25, 2019, opinion inRosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., 19 IL 12316, continues.Rosenbachsettled the dispute of who qualifies as an “aggrieved person” under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), and in doing so opened the floodgates for this litigation to proliferate...

Biometrics and Search Warrants: The Intersection of Your iPhone and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments
Dykema, March 2019

On January 19, 2019, federal Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore of the Northern District of California denied the Government’s application for a search warrant that sought: “all digital devices” present at a California residence; (Order at 3), and “any individual present at the time of the search to press a finger (including thumb) or utilize other biometric features…for the purposes of unlocking the digital devices found in order to permit a search of

Law Firm Networks Compete with the Biggest Players
World Services Group, March 2019

Legal networks allow independent firms to act as a unified group for better client service.  Lawyer Sasha Stepanova was working just hours before Christmas to close a deal for a corporate client when a situation arose where she urgently needed a Dutch lawyer to review a new document. There was no time to spare. As a member of the World Services Group (WSG) law firm network, she called WSG member Johan Boeren directly in the Netherlands...

PTO Proposes U.S. Counsel Requirement for Foreign Domiciled Trademark Applicants And Registrants
Dykema, February 2019

Goal Is to Improve Accuracy and Reduce Potentially Invalid Registrations On February 14, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued aNotice of Proposed Rulemaking(“NPRM”) to require foreign domiciled trademark applicants and registrants to be represented by a licensed U.S. attorney at the PTO. The comment period on the NPRM is open until March 18, 2019...

San Francisco's Off-Street Parking Requirements Eliminated for Good
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2019

As of January 20th, 2019, San Francisco no longer requires a minimum number of parking spaces in new structures or new uses. This new law applies Citywide to all zoning districts. Previously, the City eliminated the parking requirement in many zoning districts in order to reduce traffic congestion, encourage alternative forms of transportation, and lower the cost to build housing...

San Francisco Supervisors Again Attempt to Limit Home, Apartment Sizes and Limit Demolitions
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2019

San Francisco Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Rafael Mandelman introduced the "Housing Preservation and Expansion Reform Act" in December 2018, a proposed law which hopes to limit major renovations and demolitions plus limit the size of newly built or newly altered residential structures. The two sponsors believe the current process results in too many larger units and demolitions, and that there is a connection between the two...

Ohio Enacts New Cybersecurity Requirements for Insurers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, February 2019

Senate Bill 273 goes into effect on March 20, 2019, and creates new requirements for Ohio insurance companies, including health insurance plans, to develop and implement specific information security programs to safeguard nonpublic business and personal information. Senate Bill 273 is based upon the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Insurance Data Security Model Law (also referred to as "MDL-668")...

Medical Marijuana Rollout in Ohio
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, February 2019

The Ohio medical marijuana market saw a robust start to sales on January 16, 2019.  First-day sales totaled more than $75,000, per the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program, and total sales exceeded $330,000 in the first several weeks. This initial sales boom is magnified by the fact that only five of the 50-plus state-approved provisional dispensaries are operational (and only four on the initial date of sales)...

Proposed Bill Would Increase Skilled Nursing and Intermediate Care Facility Citations and Penalties
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2019

On February 13, 2019, Assembly Member Ash Kalra, District 27 (San Jose), introduced AB-506. If passed, AB-506 would amend California Health and Safety Code Sections 1423, 1424, and 1424.5 to grant the Department of Public Health the authority to issue more citations and higher penalty amounts...

SEC to Implement Two Additional Material Event Disclosures
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, February 2019

Issuers and borrowers who enter into continuing disclosure undertakings on or after February 27, 2019 in connection with the offering of municipal securities will be required to report two new material events. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is implementing the amendment to Rule 15c2-12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Rule 15c2-12) by virtue of Release No...

USCIS Makes Significant Changes to Form I-539 Beginning March 11, 2019
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, February 2019

USCIS recently announced that beginning March 11, 2019 it will require use of a new version of Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, a form commonly used to extend or change the status of H-4 and L-2 dependents.  USCIS stated it will also require use of a new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status...

California Court Rules That "Reporting Time Pay" Owed Even If Employees Are Not Required to Physically Report To Work
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2019

Employers in industries with fluctuating daily labor needs, such as retail services, often require employees to call in ahead of a scheduled shift to find out whether they are needed to work. According to a recently-published California Court of Appeal decision, employees who are required to use such a call-in procedure may be entitled to "reporting time pay" if they are told not to come to work that day—even if the employees do not physically report to work...

JP Morgan Goes Crypto, Argo Blockchain Exits
World Services Group, February 2019

When a scion of the investment banking world gets into crypto it is probably worth taking notice. JP Morgan Chase, America's largest bank, has just grabbed everyone's attention with the launch of its very own cryptocurrency, the JPM Coin. JP Morgan intends the internally developed crypto asset to be used in its wholesale payment system, which currently sees daily volumes in the region of $6 trillion...

HHS Proposes Changes to Prescription Drug Rebates and Discounts Kickback Safe Harbors
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, February 2019

On January 31, 2019, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced a proposed rule that would significantly change the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) regulatory safe harbors regarding prescription drug rebates and discounts...

The Supreme Court Remains Steadfast in Favor of Arbitration
Dykema, February 2019

Justice Kavanaugh’s first authored opinion as a Supreme Court Justice inHenry Schein, Inc. v. Archer and White Sales, Inc., No. 17-1272, 586 U.S. ____ (2019) further cements the Supreme Court’s stance on arbitration. Over the years, the Supreme Court has consistently held in favor of arbitration and rejected attempts by parties and the lower courts to ignore binding arbitration clauses. For instance, inAT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct...

Win Your Lender-Liability Lawsuit and Enforce Your Loan Documents with this 342-Year-Old Statute
Dykema, January 2019

Long before eMortgages, electronic signatures, and mobile apps hit the secured lending scene, Lord Nottingham proposed that the English Parliament pass An Act for Prevention of Frauds and Perjuries in 1677 to prevent nonexistent agreements from being “proved” through false testimony. That statute and its progeny remain an important resource in today’s financial services industry...

HHS and HSSC Release New Cybersecurity Practices for the Health Care Industry
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, January 2019

On December 28, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSSC), published the “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients” (HICP Publication), which is a four-volume publication designed to provide voluntary cybersecurity practices to health care organizations of all types and sizes, ranging from local clinics to large health care systems...

National Labor Relations Board Returns to Longstanding Independent Contractor Standard
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, January 2019

On January 25, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) returned to the common-law agency test for determining whether workers qualified as independent contractors. SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., 367 NLRB No. 75 (2019) The decision expressly overrules the Board’s decision in FedEx Home Delivery, 361 NLRB 610 (2014), enf. denied 849 F.3d 1123 (D.C. Cir. 2017)...

Logistic Center for the Distribution and Transportation of Oil Products
Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C., January 2019

On January 17, 2019, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, passed an executive order whereby he proposed the creation of the “Logistic Center for the Distribution and Transportation of Petroleum Products” (the “Center”), as a decentralized administrative entity separate from the Ministry of Energy, with technical, operational and management autonomy...

OCR Issues Request for Information on Potential Changes to HIPAA Rules
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, January 2019

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has published a Request for Information on Modifying HIPAA Rules to Improve Coordinated Care (RFI). OCR announced the publication of the RFI through a December 12, 2018 press release available here.  OCR Director Roger Severino stated that OCR is “looking for candid feedback about how the existing HIPAA regulations are working in the real world and how we can improve them...

 

 

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