On June 25, 2018, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) published Advisory Opinion 18-05, allowing a nonprofit medical center to provide or arrange for certain support services for individuals who care for adults with chronic medical conditions (the “Opinion”). The Opinion is significant because it helps to define the limits of recently enacted exceptions to the Civil Monetary Penalties Law (“CMP Law”). In addition, the Opinion follows other recent guidance and regulations promulgated by OIG and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that demonstrate a trend toward permitting providers to offer various forms of caregiver assistance, including Advisory Opinion 09-01 (regarding complimentary local transportation provided by a skilled nursing facility to friends and family of residents of the facility) and Advisory Opinion 11-16 (regarding a hospital’s provision of free transportation, lodging, meals and other items and services to patients and their family members).
Monthly Archives: June 2018
President Trump Revives Protections for Administrative Agency Whistleblowers by Passing the Whistleblower Protection Coordination Act
On June 25, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Whistleblower Protection Coordination Act (the “Act”), permanently reinstating the Whistleblower Ombudsman Program, which was created in 2012 to encourage employees of federal government administrative agencies to report wrongdoing but expired on November 27, 2017 due to a five-year sunset clause.
Beginning July 1, 2018, recreational marijuana can be legally sold, taxed, and consumed in Massachusetts—one of nine states, in addition to Washington, D.C., that now permits recreational marijuana use. Massachusetts already is one of 29 states that allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes (and 17 others permit certain low-THC cannabis products for medical reasons).
The parliamentary inquiry into the operation and effectiveness of the franchising code of conduct commenced on Friday, 8 June 2018, and is expected to deliver change to the sector.
In a landmark decision on June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court by a 5-4 margin overruled a thirty-year precedent requiring public employees to pay “agency fees” for non-union member individuals. What does this mean for the future? Detroit Free Press writer John Gallagher, who is also a union president for the Newspaper Guild of Detroit, offers the fascinating perspective on “why unions will survive” the court’s decision. Detroit-based McDonald Hopkins attorneys James Boutrous, Miriam Rosen, and David Schelberg have been considering how the decision will impact their clients and other organizations, public and private. Here is a look at some of their initial thoughts:
Intellectual Asset Management (“IAM”) has released IAM Patent 1000 –The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners 2018. It reports that Connolly Gallagher LLPreceived recommendations from both local and national commentators as being “professional, polished, accommodating, flexible and a joy to work with.”
District of Columbia Voters Approve Eliminating Tip Credit, but Final Result Remains Uncertain Continue Reading…
Voters in the District of Columbia on June 19, 2018 approved an initiative (Initiative 77) that would incrementally increase the minimum cash wage for tipped workers to $15.00 per hour by July 1, 2025, and starting July 1, 2026 to the same amount as the then-minimum wage for all other workers, effectively eliminating the tip credit. If the initiative takes effect, the District would join seven states that do not have a separate minimum wage for tipped workers, i.e., Alaska, California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
Past compliance with the full range of international trade, export controls, and economic sanctions laws and regulations should be a critical element of due diligence in mergers and acquisitions. Unfortunately, trade compliance is often overlooked. As in other areas of law, successor liability has been applied repeatedly to hold acquiring companies liable for export and import violations that occurred before the acquisition. Penalties for violations of these laws can exceed $1,000,000 per violation. In addition, remedying past violations can be time consuming and could potentially restrict the company’s future ability to export and contract with the government. As such, any company contemplating a merger or acquisition should ensure they have a framework in place to screen a target company’s export and import activities.
Since the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (“TFTEA”) was signed into law in February 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has increased enforcement of U.S. import laws and regulations. Increased enforcement and associated risks should drive an increased focus by importers on compliance with CBP regulations. However, there remains a knowledge gap among some importing companies and non-trade attorneys related to a few of the basics of import regulations. In this regard, businesses and corporate attorneys should familiarize themselves with the issues below in order to navigate the increasingly risky waters of customs compliance.
The U.S. government maintains a variety of lists of sanctioned or denied parties—including entities, individuals, aircraft, and vessels—with whom companies and individuals are prohibited or restricted from dealing. These lists are assembled for different reasons and under differing authorities. That is, what might get an entity onto a list and how that entity might work to get off the list depends on the authorities and the national security purposes underlying the designation.