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Paul Zimmerman
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Showing 17 posts from July 2015.

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2015 Mid-Year Employment Law (A)musings

Employment law never ceases to amaze. In a short period of time, we came across several articles about claims and court determinations that seemed to stretch even the wildest imaginations. Each provides a cautionary tale: (Read More)

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Anthem-Cigna Mega Merger Likely Problematic for Providers

Anthem announced on July 24, 2015 that it would purchase Cigna, just three weeks after Aetna agreed to buy Human for $37 billion. The deal is valued at $54.2 billion, and would create the United States’ largest health insurer by membership, with a combined 53 million members. The merger will close sometime in 2016, pending regulatory approval. (Read more)

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California Court of Appeal Rules that Unruh Act Can Apply to Service Animals

On July 17, 2015, a California Court of Appeal confirmed that denying service to a patron with a service animal can give rise to claims under either the Unruh Act (California Civil Code §§51, 52) or the Disabled Person Act (“DPA”) (California Civil Code §§54-55.3); and that such claims need not be brought exclusively under the DPA. (Read more)

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California Judge Allows "Antioxidant Packed" Suit to Proceed

A federal judge in California has allowed plaintiffs to move forward with part of a proposed class action accusing Bai Brands of making misleading statements about beverages that touted high levels of health-boosting antioxidants.  (Read more)

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Hospitality Businesses Should Consider “Play and Pay” for the ACA

When working within the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are generally two options discussed. The “Pay” option, in which an employer with over 100 full-time employees now and over 50 in 2016 pays the fines associated with failing to offer ACA compliant group health insurance to all full-time employees, and the “Play” option, whereby an employer offers ACA compliant insurance that meets the requirements for minimum value coverage and affordability (employee contribution of no more than 9.5% of annual income) to full-time employees. (Read more)

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Looming Pay Hikes, Unions and Enforcement: A Primer on LA’s Increased Minimum Hotel Wage

Major metropolitan areas throughout the country have planned minimum wage increases to be implemented over the next few years. On June 3, 2015, Los Angeles joined a growing list of cities that have made national headlines for pledging to enact significant pay hikes. Yet, while all other business owners in Los Angeles have until the year 2020 to restructure operations so they can afford to pay minimum wage workers $15 an hour, (a 66% increase over the current rate), Los Angeles hotel owners and operators will be held to a higher standard in even less time. (Read more)

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Q&A: Los Angeles’ Hotel Minimum Wage

The associations that sought to obtain a preliminary injunction to halt the Los Angeles’ hotel minimum wage ordinance, The American Hotel and Lodging Association and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, were denied their motion. In its decision, the court stated, “Plaintiffs have not met their burden that the Wage Ordinance’s $15.37 per hour minimum wage provision is anything but a permissible exercise of the City’s power to institute such economic policy.”  This article provides background on this decision and issues associated with it going forward. (Read more)

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Los Angeles Proposing Strict Regulations on Short-term Vacation Rentals, But to What Effect?

In recent years, the short-term online vacation rental market has flourished, and connecting travelers with short-term bedroom, apartment, or home rentals has become what many value as a billion dollar industry. The industry, however, has gone largely unregulated by state and local municipalities. That soon may change, though, as issues regarding regulations and taxing, both of which are well established for traditional landlords and hotels, has complicated, for many private owners, what has so far been a lucrative endeavor. (Read more)

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Charles Wollertz © 123RF.com

Is Your Cocktail Lounge Taking Steps To Avoid Allergy Risks?

A rising percentage of Americans suffer from food-related allergies, and while efforts to warn of potential food allergies has become commonplace in restaurants, the issue gets surprisingly little attention in bars or lounges. Libations and/or their garnishes often contain some of the most common triggering ingredients. Milk, tree nuts, peanuts, egg and wheat are among the most common allergies in the U.S., and frequently find their way into beer and cocktails. Milk is an ingredient in a number of drinks, including the popular white Russian. Almonds are present in amaretto, wheat is often found in beer, and hazelnuts are an ingredient of Frangelico. (Read more)

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How is Big Data Impacting the Insurance Industry?

Overall, Big Data is slowly transforming the way insurance companies do business. Insurers use Big Data through analytic technologies and predictive modeling to improve overall performance, obtain more accurate pricing, deepen customer relationships, and improve loss prevention mechanisms.  (Read more)