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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
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Showing 12 posts from November 2015.

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Massive Fraud Alleged by Camarillo Pharmacist

Russell Reitz, a Camarillo pharmacist, with a modest prescription-filling service, R&O Pharmacy, sold his business to Philidor Rx Services, a mail-order pharmacy, for $350,000.Reitz stayed on as manager, only to see an avalanche of insurance money flood the pharmacy—on a course to equal $230 million annually. Reitz would learn that federal investigators were probing the operations of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, a company with close ties to Philidor.  (Read more)

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Samantha Craddock © 123RF.com

FTC and FCC Sign Memorandum of Understanding

On November 16, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) announced they had executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Continued Cooperation on Consumer Protection Issues. This formalized protocol of cooperation is significant, and acknowledges both agencies’ operational authority in similar space with respect to consumer protection issues. Notably, the MOU formalizes the agencies’ combined work efforts, providing for joint enforcement actions, inter-agency consultation on investigations, collaboration on consumer and industry outreach, as well as regular meetings between senior officials from the FTC and FCC, including the creation of “Designated Liaison Officers.” (Read more)

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California Court of Appeal Rules in Favor of Nurse in Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

In Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, a recent California Court of Appeal decision, Plaintiff Karen Nosal-Tabor, a registered nurse and former employee of defendant Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center (Sharp), sued Sharp for wrongful termination and retaliation. Nosal-Tabor claimed that she was terminated for refusing to perform nurse-led cardiac stress testing. Before she was terminated, she had complained to Sharp’s management that its policy of allowing nurses to perform unsupervised cardiac stress tests was unlawful, because Sharp did not have legally adequate standardized procedures to allow nurses to perform such testing, as required under California law.  (Read more)

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Dusit Panyakhom © 123RF.com

Sound and Savvy Operational Solutions to Offsetting the Increased Minimum Hotel Wage

Article originally appeared in HALA Newsletter

In the last issue, we discussed the Los Angeles City Council’s approval of a Citywide Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance, which required establishments with at least 300 guest rooms to raise their minimum wage to $15.37 by July 1, 2015. Those with 150-300 rooms have until July 1, 2016, to comply, and only hotels that demonstrate severe prospective financial hardships will be exempt.

In order to mitigate the impact of the increased wage, hotels should consider evaluating their operations to find ways to offset these costs. The following are some ways that establishments can take a sound and savvy approach to operational issues in order to keep their bottom lines intact: (Read more)

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Southern California Cities Following LA’s Lead by Increasing Minimum Wages

Article originally appeared in HALA Newsletter

Championed by union organizers, last year the Los Angeles City Council’s Economic Development Committee gave final approval to increase the minimum wage to $15.37 per hour for hotels with 300 or more rooms by July 1st, 2015, and for hotels with 125 or more rooms by July 1st, 2016.

California’s minimum wage is $9 per hour, increasing to $10 on January 1, 2016. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage from $9 per hour to $10.50 an hour beginning in 2016. The rate will then jump to $12 in 2017; $13.25 in 2018; $14.25 in 2019; and $15 by 2020, taking place on the first of July each year. (Read more)

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State of Short-Term Rentals in California

Article originally appeared in HALA Newsletter

Online short-term rental companies, a recent phenomenon, have gone largely unregulated in California. That is soon likely to change, however, as many cities throughout the state have either enacted or are considering legislation to govern and regulate this lucrative and ever-growing industry. In that regard, this article summarizes the major legislation and issues that are currently being considered by these municipalities and the state as a whole. (Read more)

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sakkmesterke © 123RF.com

FLSA’s Proposed New Rules Regarding Overtime Exemptions

Article originally appeared in HALA Newsletter

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) overtime exemptions, and President Obama recently announced plans that will extend overtime under the FLSA for salaried “white collar” employees who earn an annual salary less than $55,440. These regulations, if finalized, will likely have a major impact on hotels. (Read more)

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Natalia Sheinkin © 123RF.com

The California CDI’s Insurance Diversity Initiative

On November 4, 2015, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) hosted its 4th Annual Insurance Diversity Summit, and issued the results of its second Insurer Supplier Diversity Survey.  These are significant outputs of California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones’s “Insurance Diversity Initiative,” a major policy begun in 2011; the Commissioner ‘s first year on the job. (Read more)

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California Enacts Craft Distilleries Act

Craft distilleries are on the rise in the United States, growing at a rapid rate in recent years as tastes have trended towards cocktails and spirits. Recognizing the opportunity for further growth in this $10.3 billion market, the California Legislature enacted the Craft Distillers Act of 2015 into law last month. (Read more)

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Fantasy Sports Company FanDuel Sued by Redskins Wide Receiver

Pierre Garcon v. FanDuel Inc. is a recently filed class action in federal court in Maryland against an online fantasy football site. Pierre Garcon, a Washington Redskins wide receiver, is challenging FanDuel’s advertising practices, as well as its very business model, for the unauthorized use of NFL players’ names and images. FanDuel and other similar web-based fantasy sports outlets charge customers to play weekly fantasy football events and offer prizes to winning customers. A similar lawsuit, however, was decided in 2007 by the 8th Circuit, in C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., et al. In that case concerning fantasy baseball, the federal appellate court determined that player names and statistics could be used without a license by fantasy baseball operators.  (Read more)