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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...

Key Takeaways from USDA Final Interim Rules for Domestic Hemp Production
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, November 2019

Introduction On Oct. 31, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its highly anticipated interim final rules, establishing the USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program to be administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)...

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...

USTR Announces List 4A Exclusion Request Process and Other US-China Trade Developments
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

The U.S.-China trade dispute continues to simmer with multiple significant developments in the past several weeks: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the exclusion process for Chinese imports subject to List 4A Section 301 tariffs will open on Oct. 31, 2019 and conclude on Jan. 31, 2020. List 4A and 4B tariffs on an estimated $300 billion of goods imported from China, effective Sept. 1, 2019 and Dec...

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...

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...

IBM Wins Dismissal of FCA Qui Tam Suit Alleging It Used Faked Audit to Pressure IRS to Renew Software License
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

On Sept. 30, IBM won dismissal of a federal False Claims Act (FCA) qui tam suit, Cimino v. IBM, No. 13-cv-00907 (APM), 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168059 (D.D.C. Sept. 30, 2019). In the suit, Relator Paul A. Cimino alleged IBM, assisted by Deloitte LLP, fabricated audit findings regarding Internal Revenue Service (IRS) usage of IBM-licensed software to coerce IRS into renewing its software enterprise license...

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...

FMSHRC Withdraws Simplified Proceedings Program
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

On October 10, 2019, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (“Commission”) published a notice it would withdraw its simplified proceedings program. The withdrawal of the program becomes effective 45 days after publication in the Federal Register unless adverse comment is received...

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...

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...

Proposed New Rules Implementing CFIUS Reforms
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, October 2019

CFIUS inbound investment national security review expanding to certain non-controlling foreign investments in critical technology, critical infrastructure, and sensitive personal data, as well as to certain real estate transactions.  The U.S. Treasury Department published proposed rules in the Federal Register on Sept. 24, 2019, concerning changes to the review process for foreign investment conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)...

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...

The Concept of Anchoring in Negotiation
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

Having a strategy when negotiating or participating in mediation is essential to a successful outcome that results in an agreement between the parties. Mediators see various levels of preparation and strategy by the parties participating in the process, and the party who approaches the mediation with a plan often achieves a more successful outcome. One effective strategy is anchoring: an effort to establish a reference point from which a party will make adjustments in negotiating...

D.C. Circuit Revives Veterinarian’s FCA Retaliation Suit Over Laboratory Animal Conditions
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

In a split decision on September 20 in Singletary v. Howard University, the D.C. Circuit reversed the dismissal of an FCA retaliation suit brought by a former Howard University veterinarian whose contract was cut short after she warned of unsafe conditions for animals in the medical school’s federally funded laboratories. No. 18-7158, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 28468 (Sept. 20, 2019)...

Breaking: US DOL Final OT Rule Raises the FLSA Exemption Thresholds, Effective Jan. 1, 2020
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the long-anticipated final rule for overtime exemptions, which alters the salary thresholds for several of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemptions. Under the final rule, the salary threshold levels for the white-collar exemptions and the highly compensated employee exemption were increased, making it more difficult for an employee to be classified as exempt under the FLSA. As a result, an estimated additional 1...

House Vote on Cannabis Industry-Related SAFE Banking Act Scheduled for September 2019
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

As early as September 23, 2019, the United States House of Representatives is expected to vote on the widely anticipated Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act...

Third Circuit Holds FCA Qui Tam Plaintiffs Not Entitled to Automatic Hearing on Government Motion to Dismiss
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

On Thursday, September 12, the Third Circuit decided United States ex rel. Chang v. Children’s Advocacy Center of Delaware, No. 18-2311. In a precedential decision, the panel held that when a relator has not requested a hearing on a government motion to dismiss a federal False Claims Act (FCA) qui tam action, the court is not required to hold an in-person hearing before dismissing the action...

MSHA Civil Penalties, Respirable Silica Quartz, and OSHA Drone Use
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

An Update in the World of Workplace Safety MSHA Civil Penalties On August 16, 2019, the United States Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a report on MSHA’s civil monetary penalties (“CMP”) program...

MV Transportation Inc. – NLRB rules on employer unilateral action
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

On Sept. 10, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued the MV Transportation decision and adopted the contract coverage standard in evaluating whether an employer’s unilateral action concerning terms and conditions of employment violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) duty to bargain...

An Ounce of Prevention with Working from Home ADA Accommodations
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

As seen on BankDirector.com: Even with a lack of legal clarity, banks can take steps to prepare for work-from-home accommodation requests from employees with disabilities. Technology now allows banks’ employees to be connected with coworkers and customers nearly anywhere in the world via email, chat, calls or video conferencing. Many banks use work from home, or telecommuting, as a perk to attract and retain talent...

NLRB Issues New Decision Adopting 3 Part Test for Analyzing Bargaining Unit Scope Disputes
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, September 2019

On Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its decision in The Boeing Company and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, adopting a three part test for determining whether a bargaining unit is appropriate under the analysis set forth in PCC Structurals, Inc., 365 NLRB 160 (2017)...

 

 

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