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Paul Zimmerman

Showing 12 posts from February 2016.

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Brian Jackson ©

Employee Wellness Programs Challenged By EEOC

UPDATE: On Thursday, February 25, 2016, the EEOC informed a Wisconsin federal court that it would be appealing to the Seventh Circuit the December ruling finding that a plastic maker's policy requiring mandatory medical exams for employees as part of voluntary wellness programs is legal under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Attorneys at Michelman & Robinson, LLP will be closely monitoring this appeal and will provide substantive updates on this blog as the legal issue evolves. (Read More)

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Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee ©

CMS Finalizes Overpayment Reporting Rule, Intensifying Need for Proper Compliance Programs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a Final Rule on February 12, 2016 requiring providers and suppliers receiving funds under the Medicare program to self-identify, report and return overpayments (e.g., arising from violation of the federal False Claims Act) by the later of the date that is 60 days after the date on which the overpayment was “identified”; or the date any corresponding cost report is due, if applicable. The meaning of “identification” is clarified, indicating that a person has identified an overpayment when the person has or should have, through the exercise of reasonable diligence, determined that the person has received an overpayment and quantified the amount of the overpayment. In order to make a report, providers and suppliers must use an applicable claims adjustment, credit balance, self-reported refund, or another appropriate process to satisfy the obligation to report and return overpayments. (Read More)

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Wavebreak Media Ltd ©

Love Thy Neighbor, But Not Thy Co-Worker?

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, we thought it would be a good time to discuss the topic of office romances. Like death and taxes, the office romance is one of life’s certainties.(Read More)

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Sebnem Ragiboglu ©

San Diego Tourism Surcharge Lawsuit Moves Forward

A judge recently ruled that the nonprofit group San Diegans for Open Government (“SDFOG”) has standing to challenge the City of San Diego’s practice of charging hotels a fee used to promote the City’s tourism industry. While the case has yet to  be decided on the merits, the lawsuit could have wide-ranging impact as it concerns a practice that stands to generate more than $1 billion over the next forty years. (Read More)

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rukanoga ©

Pay Data Solicited by Administration to Advance Equal Pay

On January 29, 2016 President Obama announced his Administration was taking further action to advance equal pay goals for all workers by seeking better insight into discriminatory pay practices across industries and occupations. This proposal will require employers with 100 employees or more to annually collect summary pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity, and provide such information to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Jenny Yang, chairwoman of the EEOC said, “Too often, pay discrimination goes undetected because of a lack of accurate information about what people are paid.” (Read More)

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sai0112 ©

$43 Million False Ad Claim Settlement with FTC is Harder to Swallow Than a “Bogus” Diet Pill

Sale Slash LLC (Slash), a company that the Federal Trade Commission has accused of fraudulently selling "bogus" weight loss pills, has agreed to pay more than $43 million to settle the agency's claims that it exaggerated the pills' effectiveness and marketed them by spamming consumers and using fake celebrity endorsements. In a filing in California federal court on February 2, 2016, Slash agreed to pay the amount as part of a stipulation for a permanent injunction and monetary penalties against it. (Read More)

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Hans-Jörg Nisch ©

Insurer Prevails on Rescission Claim Against H.J. Heinz Co.

On February 1, 2016, Judge Arthur J. Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania overrode a jury verdict and ruled that Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company (Starr) can rescind its policy covering H.J. Heinz Co. for up to $25 million in losses tied to the accidental contamination of baby food because Heinz made material misrepresentations in its insurance application. (Read More)

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Gui Yongnian ©

Proposal Calls for CA Insurers to Divest From Coal

On January 25, 2016, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones asked California insurers to voluntarily divest their investments in the thermal coal industry. In addition, beginning in April 2016, California insurers writing $100 million or more in premiums nationally will be required to disclose their investments in carbon-based industries, including coal, oil, and natural gas to the California Department of Insurance (CDI) on an annual basis. Such disclosures will be made public so that interested parties “can know the extent to which insurance companies are invested in the carbon economy.”  The goal of this initiative, as stated in the CDI press release, is to mitigate the financial risk to insurance companies posed by investments that are shrinking in value as the state turns to clean, renewable fuels. (Read more)

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prykhodov ©

Lyft Multi-Million Dollar Settlement Leaves Classification Question Unsettled

Ride-Sharing service Lyft agreed to pay $12.25 million and provide drivers with certain additional workplace protections as settlement of a proposed class action lawsuit filed in California brought by drivers who alleged they were employees and not independent contractors. The settlement, filed in San Francisco federal court on February 3, 2016, does not address classification of such drivers, nor does it reclassify the Lyft drivers in particular. (Read more)

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Bakhtiar Zein ©

S. CA Restaurant Chain to Pay Over $750,000 for Violating Wage & Hour Laws

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division  announced last week that a Southern California based restaurant chain will pay more than $750,000 in civil penalties and back wages for serious violations of wage and hour laws, including extensive violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. (Read more)