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Paul Zimmerman

Showing 13 posts from September 2014.

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OIG’s Special Fraud Alert Regarding Lab Payments for Referring Physicians

In general, the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) operates to protect the public from overutilization of medical services, by prohibiting payments for referrals. A violation that does not qualify for a safe harbor under the statue can result in fines and imprisonment for any party involved in a prohibited transaction. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a fraud alert regarding compensation paid to physicians who refer specimens to laboratories for processing. The report provides a detailed analysis of several types of referral arrangements that it believes are likely to violate the AKS. (Read More)

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How do I discipline thee? Let me count the ways … The Pros and Cons of Progressive Discipline Policies

Employee discipline is a nettlesome issue. Employers should strive to be fair and consistent in all disciplinary matters, but as they say, the devil is in the details. Circumstances, the people involved, the environment, and how certain conduct impacts a company will always vary from one situation to the next, making it a tall order to mete out “punishment” in a fair and consistent manner without fail, each and every time. (Read More)

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Classification is Key: Ninth Circuit Considers FedEx Drivers Employees, Not Independent Contractors

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that former drivers of Federal Express should be classified as employees, as opposed to independent contractors pursuant to California’s right-to-control-test. The Court held that plaintiffs in Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16585 (9th Cir. Aug. 27, 2014), had been improperly classified as independent contractors, and were entitled to various expenses and wages. The decision applies to over 2,300 FedEx drivers. (Read More)

Spencer Hamer Discusses “Employment Law Developments: Year in Review” at the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans)

Spencer Hamer presented “Employment Law Developments: Year in Review” at the California Department of Transportation in San Diego on September 25, 2014. He addressed new employment laws in California that became effective in 2014 and laws that have either been signed or await Governor Brown’s signature for 2015. In this segment, he explains that Assembly Bill 2416 was created to crack down on employers who have been evading wage claims brought by employees.

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Will you be ready for California’s New Paid Sick Leave Law?

California has implemented a new sick leave law—beginning on July 1, 2015, an employee who works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment is entitled to paid sick days for prescribed purposes, to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. (Read More)

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Advertisers Beware – “Operation Full Disclosure” is in Effect

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun its public campaign to reign in advertisers who are not in compliance with their many rules requiring clear and conspicuous disclosures. On September 23, 2014, the FTC disseminated warnings to more than 60 companies regarding the inadequacy of the disclosures contained in their consumer television and print advertisements. While the FTC is not currently disclosing who received the warnings, the agency did note that the list included “20 of the 100 largest advertisers in the country.” Targeted advertisers were required to inform the FTC of their efforts to fix the inadequate disclosures.  (Read More)

David Samuels Discusses Post-Incident Evidence Preservation at the 15th Annual California Tourism Safety & Security Conference

David Samuels spoke at the 15th Annual California Tourism Safety & Security Conference in Costa Mesa, California on “Post-Incident Evidence Preservation” on September 18, 2014. During his presentation, David discussed best practices for preserving evidence after an incident occurs, including legal issues and strategies related to keeping evidence intact. In this video excerpt, David discusses the importance of properly preserving photo and video evidence.

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Can you Inherit a Social Media Account? New Delaware Law says Yes

Delaware has reportedly become the first state to recognize social media accounts as property, and enacted a law whereby a deceased person’s executors and heirs can receive passwords.  (Read More)

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Is Your Restaurant Ready for the FDA's Menu Labeling Rules?

It’s time to watch America’s waistline: menu labeling rules are coming at a fast and furious pace. Final rules regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) proposed menu labeling are expected to be released later this year. Once enacted, the new measure will ostensibly create a national standard for menu labeling, requiring restaurants with 20 or more locations to display caloric and nutritional information (such as fat and sodium content) for standard menu items, as well as for food served in buffets and salad bars. By creating this national standard, consumers throughout the country will be exposed to nutritional information in at least 200,000 restaurants, including hotel chains. View Full Article 

Still Yelping…for Now

On September 2, 2014, the Ninth Circuit dismissed Levitt v. Yelp! Inc., a class action brought by small-business owners for violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), based on allegations that Yelp! manipulated user reviews and ratings in order to induce owners to buy advertising. The three-judge panel in Levitt held that, even if Yelp! manipulated user reviews based on a company’s refusal to advertise with Yelp!, plaintiffs failed to state a claim for economic extortion because they were not entitled to positive review placement on their Yelp! pages. Additionally, the plaintiffs failed to state a claim under the UCL because Yelp! is not a business competitor.  (Read More)