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The New OFCCP Director: Trump Administration to Tap Florida City Attorney

Ogletree Deakins • November 17, 2017
We understand that the Trump administration has chosen Craig E. Leen to serve as senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. Leen, who until recently was the city attorney for Coral Gables, Florida, is anticipated to be the next director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Lessons To Be Learned From The Breach Of Nearly 500,000 Individual Health Records Reported In September 2017

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 17, 2017
A recent report indicates that nearly 500,000 individual health records were breached in September 2017. This figure is taken from the 39 healthcare data breaches involving more than 500 records that were reported to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights in September 2017. Healthcare providers suffered the most breaches with 27 reported incidents, followed by health plans with 10 breaches, and 2 breaches reported by business associates of covered entities. This demonstrates the need for security measures by both HIPAA Covered Entities and Business Associates.

Beltway Buzz, November 17, 2017

Ogletree Deakins • November 17, 2017
Tax Bill or Health Bill? It’s Two Bills in One! Caught in a legislative black hole, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) cannot escape efforts to eradicate it—or at least large chunks of it. Late Thursday evening, the Senate Finance Committee passed by a 14 to 12 margin its current tax reform bill, which included—to much surprise—a controversial provision that would repeal the ACA’s individual mandate. Although the Trump administration had been pushing to eliminate the individual mandate for over two weeks, the Senate had until now feared that the politically charged measure might jeopardize passage of the entire tax bill. Supporters of the Senate bill maintain that the more than $300 billion in estimated savings over 10 years will be used to enhance tax cuts to the middle class, while critics charge that the additional savings will instead be funneled into greater tax breaks for the wealthy. Critics also fear that repealing the individual mandate might cause health insurance premiums to rise sharply and overall coverage to drop as younger and healthier Americans decline to enroll. Interestingly, despite early contrary rumors, the bipartisan Alexander-Murray bill, which would retain federal cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers for two years, did not find its way into the current draft of the Senate bill. The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill sometime during the week after Thanksgiving.

Puerto Rico Labor Department Updates Regulations on Payment of Annual (Christmas) Bonus

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 17, 2017
Employers in Puerto Rico must comply with updated regulations on the payment of the generally required annual bonus to eligible employees. The Puerto Rico Department of Labor (DOL) updated the regulations, effective October 18, 2017, following legislation adopted early in the year.

CDPAP Fiscal Intermediaries Must File an Application for Authorization With DOH or Cease Operations

FordHarrison LLP • November 17, 2017
Executive Summary. On November 1, 2017, the NYS DOH issued its "Application for Fiscal Intermediary Authorization" and implementation guidelines. Significantly, DOH imposed a very short timeframe, stating: "As of November 1, 2017, all existing FIs will have thirty (30) days to submit their FI Authorization application to the Department." If no filing is made, the FI must cease operating under CDPAP. Those who wish to begin operating an FI may also want to file by this date. A copy of the application can be obtained at https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/mrt_10003.htm

California Court Rules PAGA Plaintiffs Need Not Assert Injury, or Employer Knowledge, to Collect Penalties for Paystub Violations; Where Do Employers Go From Here?

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 17, 2017
A California Court of Appeal dealt another blow to employers in a recent ruling interpreting the state’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). In Lopez v. Friant & Associates, the court considered the proof required for a PAGA plaintiff to succeed on a claim based on underlying violations of Labor Code section 226(a).1 In short, the court held that PAGA plaintiffs asserting such claims need not show that the violation caused “injury” or resulted from “knowing and intentional” conduct, as required for a penalty award under a related Labor Code provision.
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