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- Governor Jay Inslee recently signed Substitute House Bill 1071, amending Washington’s data breach notification law.
- As expected, the Supreme Court has just resolved a circuit split over the statute of limitations for non-intervened False Claims Act cases by maximizing the time a relator has to file a complaint. The decision in Cochise Consultancy, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Hunt, No. 18-315 (May 13, 2019) will greatly expand a defendant’s time frame for potential FCA liability and lead to more cases involving faded recollections, costly document recovery, and potential damages for decades-old alleged fraud.
- Health Care Alert: HHS Exercises Enforcement Discretion to Reduce Maximum Annual Penalties for HIPAA BreachesOn April 30, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a notification of enforcement discretion in the Federal Register revising the maximum annual penalty amounts for breaches under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
- On April 25, 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia accepted a proposal from the EEOC that will require employers who are covered by the EEO-1 reporting requirements to submit supplemental data on employees’ pay segmented by sex, race, and ethnicity by September 30.
- In 1990, Congress enacted the Federal Debt Collection and Procedures Act. One feature of that law allows a federal court to issue a “writ of continuing garnishment” to access a convicted participant’s retirement plan benefits to satisfy a restitution order entered as part of the participant’s criminal sentencing.
- HR professionals know that conducting timely and effective internal investigations is vital in order for the company to make better decisions when facing contentious allegations.
- Health Care Alert: Conviction of Texas Doctors, Surgeons and Health Care Executives Raises Important New Fraud and Abuse Considerations for ProvidersOn April 9, 2019, federal jurors in the Northern District of Texas returned a guilty verdict against seven doctors, surgeons, and health care executives accused of participating in a $200 million bribery and kickback scheme at Forest Park Medical Center (FPMC), a physician-owned hospital in Dallas.
- Client Alert: USEPA Issues Interpretive Statement on NPDES Applicability to Releases of Pollutants from a Point Source to GroundwaterOn April 12, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued an interpretative statement concluding that all releases of pollutants from a point source to groundwater are excluded from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program pursuant to Sections 301 and 402 of the Clean Water Act (Act). USEPA’s interpretative statement clarified that such discharges are excluded from NPDES permit requirements even where pollutants are conveyed to jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater.
- On March 13, 2019, the City of Cincinnati joined a growing number of states and municipalities that have passed laws prohibiting employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s salary history.
- Whistleblower Defense Alert: District Court Finds Bank Cannot Face FCA Liability Without Evidence of Explicit Claims to Fannie Mae and Freddie MacLast month, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois confronted a bank’s potential liability for false information obtained (and even allegedly encouraged) by bank employees in the processing of consumer loans.
- President Trump issued two Executive Orders (EO) on April 10, 2019 to expedite permitting and construction of primarily energy-related infrastructure projects.
- Client Alert: Federal Circuit Reverses District Court and Finds Method of Treatment Claims Patent EligibleThe United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently revisited the question of patent eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
- Whistleblower Defense Alert: District Court Holds that DOJ Can Still Dismiss Qui Tam Cases After It Declines To Intervene—With No Justification Required for DismissalIn a recent decision, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota held that the Department of Justice (DOJ) can still dismiss a qui tam filed under the False Claims Act even after it has declined to intervene in the case.
- Health Care Alert: FDA Announces Public Hearing to Inform Regulatory Next Steps with Respect to CBD ProductsOn April 3, 2019, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a notice in the Federal Register (available in full here) announcing a public hearing and related comment period regarding stakeholders’ experience with products containing the cannabis derivative cannabidiol, popularly known as “CBD.”
- Health Care Alert: Senate Panel Hears Concerns that ONC’s Proposed “Interoperability” Rule Could Expose New Cybersecurity Risks; Comments Due May 3, 2019On March 26, 2019, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions held a hearing to evaluate a rule proposed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology ) to implement certain provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act (related to health information technology.
- Client Alert: Supreme Court Holds Businesses Engaged in Nonjudicial Foreclosures Are Not “Debt Collectors” Under the FDCPAOn March 20, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, unanimously holding that a business engaged in nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings is not a “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”), except for the limited purpose of one section.
- The U.S. Supreme Court has vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision approving a settlement between Google and a class of its users, based on unresolved questions regarding the users’ standing to bring their federal privacy claim.
- Labor and Employment Alert: New Jersey Bans Non-Disclosure Agreements Related to Discrimination, Retaliation and HarassmentOn March 18, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill into law that bars many types of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that arise in the employment arena.
- Labor and Employment Alert: U.S. Department of Labor Proposes to Raise the Overtime-Exempt Salary Threshold to $35,000On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finally released its proposed rule to expand the overtime protections in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
- Client Alert: Sixth Circuit Holds in Nicole Gas that Baker Botts Does Not Apply to Contempt SanctionsThe Sixth Circuit recently held that Baker Botts, L.L.P. v. ASARCO, L.L.C., 135 S. Ct. 2158 (2015) does not apply to contempt sanctions.
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