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- Health Care Alert: Proposed Updates to Federal Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records RegulationsOn Tuesday, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a proposed rule which would amend the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations, found in 42 C.F.R. Part 2.
- Client Alert: President Obama Issues Executive Orders Establishing the Federal Privacy Council and Commission on Enhancing National CybersecurityAs part of an ongoing effort to improve the federal government’s cybersecurity practices, President Barack Obama signed two executive orders this week establishing a Federal Privacy Council to be filled by Senior Agency Officials from at least 24 federal agencies, and a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, to be composed of up to 12 members appointed by the President.
- On February 1, 2016, Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) introduced Senate Bill 268 in the Ohio General Assembly to significantly overhaul Ohio’s civil rights law.
- Oil and Gas Alert: EPA Proposes Amendments to GHG Reporting Rule for the Oil and Natural Gas IndustryOn January 29, 2016, USEPA proposed amendments to the petroleum and natural gas systems source category of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule, 40 CFR Part 98, subpart W (GHG Reporting Rule).
- On January 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division (WHD) issued an Administrator’s Interpretation on joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant Worker Protection Act (MWPA).
- On February 3, 2016, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board approved revisions to Pennsylvania’s natural gas regulations which, in part, would create a new regulatory chapter covering unconventional natural gas wells.
- On February 1, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published proposed revisions to its Employer Information Report (the EEO-1) that are intended to “assist the agency in identifying possible pay discrimination and assist employers in promoting equal pay in their workplaces.”
- CVS recently announced that it has entered into clinical affiliations with four additional health care providers to “help enhance access to high-quality, affordable health care services for patients.”
- Only one month after oral argument, the Supreme Court of Ohio has issued its decision in the consolidated cases of Hupp v. Beck Energy Corporation (renamed on appeal as Hustack v. Beck Energy Corporation) and Claugus Family Farm L.P. v. Seventh District Court of Appeals, affirming the holding of the Seventh District Court of Appeals that the leases at issue were not perpetual and thus void as against public policy.
- The issue of accommodating medical marijuana users in the workplace is becoming more common. As we reported last year, the Colorado Supreme Court has unanimously held that employers may still terminate employees who use medical marijuana – even though medical marijuana use was specifically authorized by the Colorado Constitution and even though Colorado law protects employees’ lawful off-duty conduct.
- In 2002, the New York City Council enacted the Transgender Rights Bill to expand the gender-based protections under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) and ensure protection for those whose “gender and self-image do not fully accord with the legal sex assigned to them at birth.”
- In August 2015, the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, enacted a paid sick leave law (see our previous Labor and Employment Alert on the ordinance). The ordinance would have required all private employers in the City of Pittsburgh to provide their eligible employees with at least one hour of sick leave for each 35 hours worked.
- On January 11, 2016, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) final rule on pay transparency became effective. The rule implements Executive Order 13665, issued in April 2014, prohibiting federal contractors from discharging or discriminating against an employee or applicant "because such employee or applicant has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant" (See our previous Labor and Employment Alert on the final rule). The OFCCP’s final rule applies to all federal contractors with contracts in excess of $10,000 entered into or modified on or after January 11, 2016.
- The Ohio Department of Taxation recently issued an updated Information Release that unmistakably targets digital advertising fees for imposition of sales tax. Traditional advertising services placed through TV/radio broadcasts or through newsprint have never been subject to sales tax.
- On January 5, 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law legislation prohibiting employment discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived status as a caregiver.
- Labor and Employment Alert: Form 1095 Deadlines Extended and Other December Developments Impacting Health Benefits
In a welcome development, the IRS announced on December 28, 2015 (IRS Notice 2016-04) the following extensions of Form 1095-C and Form 1095-B deadlines:
Original Deadline New Extended Deadline Distribution to employees February 1, 2016 March 31, 2016 (2-month extension) Electronic filing with IRS March 31, 2016 June 30, 2016 (3-month extension) Paper filing with IRS* February 29, 2016 May 31, 2016 (3-month extension)
* Paper filing is only permitted if an entity is filing fewer than 250 Forms 1095-C or 1095-B.
- Recently the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced three settlements to resolve investigations into potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- In October 2015, Representative Tom Brinkman introduced House Bill 377 in the Ohio General Assembly to make Ohio the nation’s 26th right-to-work state (along with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).
- The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices recently released guidance for employers conducting internal I-9 audits. The guidance covers topics including how to define the scope of an internal audit, how to communicate to employees regarding the audit, how to fix specific errors discovered during the audit, and other related questions.
- On January 1, 2016, the Texas Open Carry Law becomes effective. The new law allows a person with a concealed handgun license to carry a holstered handgun in plain view in any public place where a concealed handgun is otherwise permitted.