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Paul Zimmerman
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Delaware and U.S. Treasury to Collaborate on Sanctions Enforcement

Nonfinancial companies incorporated in Delaware may be in line for enhanced sanctions enforcement in the wake of an agreement recently entered between state officials and the U.S. Treasury Department.

Earlier this month, the Delaware Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control —which is tasked with enforcing U.S. sanctions—executed a memorandum of understanding that allows officials from Delaware and OFAC to join forces to shut down or otherwise disrupt illicit activities, including those of parties seeking to hide transactions behind anonymous entities. (Read More)

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Courts Find OFCCP's Sole Reliance on Statistical Analysis to Prove Pay Disparity Is Flawed

In two recent cases, courts have rejected conclusions of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that employers had discriminatorily underpaid its women, Black and Hispanic workers. In the first case, an administrative law judge for the U.S. Department of Labor set forth a ruling on September 22, 2020 that may lead the OFCCP to rethink its statistical analysis approach to workplace wage disparities. (Read More)

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EKRA Put to the Test Yet Again

Michelman & Robinson recently posted a blog about two Californians (a medical doctor among them) and three others (one from New Jersey and two Marylanders), all of whom admitted to their part in a conspiracy—in violation of the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act of 2018 (EKRA)—that involved multiple layers of kickbacks. EKRA enforcement continues with the indictment last month of the Chief Executive Officer of a Costa Mesa-based substance abuse treatment and counseling center. (Read More)

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Michelman & Robinson Launches COVID-19 Practice Group

COVID-19 has shaken us all, and it has had an unprecedented impact on how businesses operate worldwide. While therapeutics and vaccinations will in all likelihood rid us of the pandemic sometime in the foreseeable future, even then, the collateral damage left in the wake of the outbreak will be far and wide. This is particularly true in terms of potential legal exposure on the part of companies hit hard by the novel coronavirus. (Read More)

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DOL Proposes New Rules for Determining Independent Contractor Status

The Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) guarantees a minimum wage for employees and the payment of overtime for hours worked over 40 in one week for non-exempt employees. Independent contractors are not employees and thus they are excluded from FLSA coverage. Over the years, different federal agencies and courts have generated similar but different tests for determining independent contractor status, with the result that the same set of facts may yield different and inconsistent results depending upon the agency, court, and test. The trend, however, by both legislatures and courts concerned about the implications of the gig economy, has been to favor employment status and to limit those categories of workers who can be classified as contractors. California’s AB5 law, which dramatically limits who can be classified as a contractor, is a prime example of pro-employee status legislation. (Read More)

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FinCEN Expands Anti-Money Laundering Regulation and Oversight

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) has published a final rule requiring all banks not otherwise regulated or overseen by the federal government to establish and implement anti-money laundering programs. In so doing, FinCEN is unleashing relevant sections of the USA PATRIOT Act, removing the anti-money laundering program exemption for banks that lack a federal functional regulator, and extending to those financial institutions—private and other non-federally regulated banks; state-charted, non-depository trust companies; and non-federally insured credit unions—mandatory customer identification programs and beneficial owner requirements. (Read More)

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Chain of Kickbacks Leads to Long-Awaited EKRA Enforcement Against Marketers, Recruiters, and Treatment Facilities

Congress enacted the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (EKRA) back in October 2018—legislation that prohibits the payment of kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals to substance use treatment providers. Nearly two years later, a handful of men who ran a triple kickback scheme are amongst the first to plead guilty for violating the law. (Read More)

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California Employers Now Subject to Additional COVID-19-Related Laws Related to Cal/OSHA Reporting and Worker’s Compensation

The addition of even more employee-leaning laws in the Golden State continues. As Michelman & Robinson reported earlier this month, the California legislature passed—and Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law—AB 1867, giving an increased number of employees in California access to paid sick leave as it relates to the novel coronavirus pandemic through the remainder of 2020. Late last week, Governor Newsom placed his signature on two other bills: AB 685, which requires employers to report COVID-19 cases to Cal/OSHA within a prescribed period of time, and SB 1159, a law that makes worker’s compensation benefits more accessible to employees by creating a “disputable presumption” that an illness or death resulting from COVID-19 has arisen out of and in the course and scope of employment. The latter bill is likely to cause worker’s compensation premiums to skyrocket for many employers already trying to manage increased claims following pandemic-related furloughs and layoffs. (Read More)

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COVID-19-Related Paid Sick Leave Has Been Expanded in California Yet Again to All Employers with 500+ Employees

A bill has been passed and signed into law this week by Governor Gavin Newsom giving more employees in California access to paid sick leave as it relates to COVID-19.

As previously reported by Michelman & Robinson, ordinances are already on the books requiring certain employers to provide supplemental sick leave to employees within the City of Los Angeles as well as unincorporated L.A. County by virtue of the pandemic. These ordinances are in addition to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires most companies employing fewer than 500 workers to make two weeks of paid sick leave available to those affected by the coronavirus. (Read More)

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U.S. Senate Gets Additional Stimulus Conversation Started With Introduction of HEALS Act

Congress is working to agree upon a third round of stimulus to help individuals and companies still reeling from the economic and public health crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Toward that end, Republicans in the U.S. Senate have introduced the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, a nearly $1T package that includes provisions for (1) additional forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to help hard-hit small businesses remain viable, (2) reduced enhancement to unemployment benefits ($200 from $600) for those out of work, and (3) more $1,200 direct payments to most Americans. (Read More)