Apr 20, 2022

FBI RAT Goes After Cyber Criminals

Did you know that the FBI has an Internet Crime Complaint Center called IC3?  And did you know that IC3 has a Recovery Asset Team called RAT that, in 2021 alone, used its Financial Fraud Kill Chain (FFKC) to successfully place money holds on approximately $329 million out of $443 million in potential losses from business email compromises, a 74% success rate? That’s a pretty decent mouse trap. Here’s how it works.  A victim of cyber-crime fills out an online form at www.ic3.gov.  The complaint is automatically triaged through the FBI’s Internet Crime Database.  An IC3 analyst then reviews the… Read more

Apr 18, 2022

Georgia Anesthesia Operation Pays $7.2 Million to Resolve Kickback Claims

It is illegal to pay doctors for exclusive referrals.  If you get caught, it will cost you. Such was the lesson for a Georgia-based anesthesia business and its two principal founders, who have agreed to pay $7.2 million to resolve kickback allegations made by a whistleblower, who will receive $1.3 million under the deal. According to the complaint filed in 2016 and partially unsealed April 13, John R. Morgan, M.D., and Paul Weir, through their anesthesia business Care Plus Management, LLC, and 18 other entities they controlled, paid kickbacks to physicians from outpatient surgical centers in exchange for exclusive referrals… Read more

Feb 21, 2022

H-1B Cap Season is Almost Here

Immigration Travel Ban

It’s time to start preparing for the H-1B cap season. The H-1B cap registration period for Fiscal Year 2023 will open at noon Eastern on March 1, 2022, and run through noon on March 18, 2022. During the initial registration period, prospective petitioners or their authorized representatives must electronically register each foreign worker they intend to seek to file an H-1B cap subject petition and pay the associated $10 registration fee. What does this mean for your organization? If your organization is looking to hire qualified foreign professionals, now is the time to act. In addition to new hires, likely… Read more

Mar 9, 2022

Congress Amends Federal Arbitration Act with Respect to Arbitrability of Claims of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

President Biden signed into law a significant new piece of federal legislation that allows employees to avoid enforcement of any pre-dispute agreement that would require employees to arbitrate sexual assault or harassment claims. On March 3, 2022, the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021” was signed into law.  The new law amends the Federal Arbitration Act, Title 9 of the U.S. Code. The Act provides that arbitration agreements covering sexual assault and sexual harassment claims under state and federal law are unenforceable at the election of the person or class representative asserting the claim. … Read more

Feb 14, 2022

New York City to Require Bias Audits of Automated Employment Tools

New York City passed a one-of-a-kind law that will require employers to audit automated decision-making tools used to evaluate job candidates and employees.  AI and algorithm-based technologies used for hiring and promotions must be audited for bias that could lead to discrimination based on race, sex, age, or national origin.  Employers will have all of 2022 to prepare, as the law is effective January 1, 2023.  This law applies to employers with employees/applicants, whether those seeking to join the company or current employees seeking a different position with the company who resides in New York City. The law requires employers… Read more

Feb 11, 2022

New York City to Require Employers to List Salary Ranges in Job Postings

Employee Salary Exemption

New York City took the next step to expand its pay transparency laws.  Effective May 15, 2022, job postings must include the minimum and maximum salary offered for any position located within New York City.  This amendment to the New York City administrative code allows for employers to be held responsible for an unlawful discriminatory practice if the salary is not included in job listings.  Employers will have to include the salary range in all announcements or postings regarding promotion or transfer opportunities as well.  The stated salary range may be based on the highest and lowest salary that the… Read more

Feb 10, 2022

California Reinstitutes Paid COVID Leave

Coronavirus COVID-19 Caution Road Side Sign

At the same time that it is lifting statewide mask mandates (although local mandates may remain in place), California has reinstituted paid COVID leave requirements that had expired on September 30, 2021. The new law –Senate Bill 114 – was signed by Governor Newsom on February 9, 2022.  The new law appears as Labor Code section 248.6, and reestablishes the COVID paid supplemental leave requirement for employers with more than 25 employees.  The new law is retroactive to January 1, 2022, and goes into effect immediately, although an employer’s obligation to provide the new paid leave does not begin until… Read more

Jan 14, 2022

Supreme Court Blocks OSHA “Vaccine-Or-Test” Rule for U.S. Workers

COVID Vaccine

On Thursday, January 13, 2022, a divided U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s workplace vaccine-or-test rule, declaring that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had exceeded its authority.  (The Court let stand a separate vaccine mandate for people working in health care facilities that receive federal funding.) While the Court agreed that COVID-19 represents a grave danger to society, it disagreed that Congress had given OSHA the power to regulate threats to public health by imposing vaccination requirements on the U.S. workforce. The rule, which was published November 5th, went into effect earlier this week, would have applied to… Read more

Jan 12, 2022

New Agency Guidance Requires Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans to Cover Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests

COVID update

On January 10, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) issued guidance requiring employer-sponsored group health plans to cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests (“OTC Tests”) at no cost to plan participants starting January 15, 2022. Plan participants do not need an order from their health care provider to be eligible for the free tests. The Department guidance strongly encourages plans to pay for OTC Tests upfront so that participants do not need to pay out of pocket and then submit a claim for reimbursement to the plan. As an… Read more

Jan 4, 2022

Good News and Bad News Regarding Excessive Fines Clause in DOJ-declined FCA Cases

The Eleventh Circuit recently ruled that the Excessive Fines Clause applies in declined qui tam cases.  That is the good news.  However, the Eleventh Circuit also upheld a judgment where the ratio of total liability to actual damages was greater than 1500:1.  That is the bad news.  See U.S. ex rel. Yates v. Pinellas Hematology & Oncology, P.A., __ F. 4th __, 2021 WL 6133175 (11th Cir. 2021). In Yates, the defendant submitted 214 claims to Medicare. It falsely represented that tests were performed at locations with CLIA certificates, when in fact, they had been performed at locations without CLIA certificates.  Actual… Read more