Monthly Archives: December 2010

ILN Today Post

HHS Publishes Health Insurance Premium Rate Review Proposed Regulations – Implications for Health Insurance Issuers, Providers, and the Health Care Marketplace

On December 21, 2010, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released for public comment much anticipated proposed regulations implementing Section 2794 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) which requires HHS to establish a process for the review of “unreasonable” health insurance premium rate increases in the individual and small group markets. The proposed regulations, which would apply to rate increases in the individual and small group markets filed or effective on or after July 1, 2011, set an initial threshold for mandatory review of any rate increase at or above 10 percent. The proposed regulations were published in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on December 23, 2010 in the Federal Register, and public comments are due by 11:59 PM on February 22, 2011.[1]

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Registration for Medicare EHR Incentive Payments Starts January 3rd

Registration opens for the HITECH EHR Medicare Incentive Payments on January 3rd, 2011 for both eligible professionals and eligible hospitals. According to CMS, registration for the Medicaid Incentive Payments for the state of Washington will be delayed until sometime this spring or summer.

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Lidings announces the start of cooperation with the candidate to participate in the innovational project «Skolkovo» – DuPont corporation

Lidings announces the start of cooperation with the candidate to participate in the innovational project «Skolkovo» – DuPont corporation

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DOJ Pursues Antitrust Claims Against Companies That Agree With Competitors Not to Recruit One Another’s Employees

In an article published in yesterday’s New York Law Journal (December 22, 2010, New York Law Journal, p.4 (col. 4), Nonhire Agreements as Antitrust Violations), we discuss a complaint filed in September 2010 by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) against Adobe Systems, Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corporation, Intuit, Inc., and Pixar, which alleges that those companies entered into various bilateral agreements in which they agreed not to actively solicit each other’s highly skilled technical employees, and that those agreements violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. Calling such agreements “facially anticompetitive,” the DOJ alleged that such concerted behavior both reduced the companies’ ability to compete for employees and disrupted the normal price-setting mechanisms that apply in the labor arena. At the same time that it filed the Complaint, the DOJ filed a proposed Final Judgment, Stipulation and Competitive Impact Statement, effectively announcing the settlement of its claims, by which the defendant companies would agree to refrain from entering into similar agreements in the future.

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The Red Flags Rule Clarified – May Exclude Healthcare Providers

Earlier this week President Obama signed the Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010, which attempts to clarify the definition of creditor and may exclude some healthcare providers from implementing a Red Flags Rule Identity Theft Program, but the FTC may still have the final word.

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Abrupt Changes for New York’s Restaurants and Hotels: Minimum Wage, Tip Pooling, and Recordkeeping Requirements

By:  Amy Traub

Following up on our previous blog posting from November 2, 2010, on December 16, 2010, the New York State Department of Labor issued a new minimum wage order (the “Order”) which will bring immediate changes to the restaurant and hotel industries. Under the Order, employees will be due a higher minimum wage and subject to new tip pooling rules. Meanwhile, employers will need to comply with more stringent recordkeeping requirements. Although employers have until February 28, 2011, to adjust their payrolls, they will still owe their employees back pay as of January 1, 2011. Important highlights include:

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Restaurant Waives Overtime Defense Under FLSA

By: Kara M. Maciel and Forrest G. Read, IV

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s recent decision in Diaz v. Jaguar Rest. Group, LLC underscores the importance for hospitality employers to know which job duties their employees are performing in order to assert every potentially applicable affirmative defense when answering an employee’s FLSA lawsuit for non-payment of overtime. In Diaz, the Eleventh Circuit reversed the trial court’s decision that a restaurant, which failed to raise the administrative exemption to the overtime requirement at any point until shortly before trial, was permitted to amend its Answer and include that defense at the close of its case at trial.

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ILN Today Post

SEC’s Proposed Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Rules: What Is An Employer To Do?

By David W. Garland and Allen B. Roberts

Major provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) will gain substance and vitality only with amplifying interpretive rules. On December 17 the period closed for submitting comments on rules proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement whistleblower provisions added in a new Section 21F to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act). With the comment period having closed, and final rules expected to be implemented in the Spring of 2011, this is a good time to take account of the proposed rules regarding the statute’s anti-retaliation provisions and their potential impact on employers.   

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ILN Today Post

You Know The Olympics Are Over When…

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) sent out a reminder today, advising that pursuant to the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act (OPMA), marks and expressions listed on Schedules 2 and 3 of that Act will expire on December 31, 2010.   As a result, commencing on January 1, 2011, CIPO will no longer raise an objection pursuant to Section 12(1)(i) of the Trade-marks Act on the basis that an applied for mark consists of or so nearly resembles as to be mistaken for a mark or expresssion found in either of those Schedules. 

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Lidings Named Foreign Business Advisory Law Firm of the Year in Russia

Lidings Named Foreign Business Advisory Law Firm of the Year in Russia

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