Coronavirus/COVID-19

Information Blocking – How Did I Become an “Actor”?

The roll out of the Office of the National Coordinator’s (ONC) 21st Century Cures Act Interoperability and Information Blocking Rules is reminiscent of the way HIPAA has rolled out over the course of the past 25 years. As of May 1, 2021, Actors have been required to comply with the Information Blocking rules. However, it will take some time before all Actors know who they are and for complaints of Information Blocking to be determined to be actual instances of Information Blocking, by which time the penalties that have not yet been finalized may also need to be adjusted.

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New York Reaches 70 Percent: What Does That Mean for NY Employers?

On June 15, 2021, New York State celebrated reaching 70 percent of its adult population having received at least one vaccination dose. As a result, the State lifted most of its New York Forward industry-specific COVID-19 guidelines—including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and gathering contact information for tracing—making them optional for most employers. The State has archived its industry-specific reopening guidance, which employers may, but are not required to, continue to follow[1].

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Video: States Adjust COVID-19 Regulations and OSHA ETS Released – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at the ways in which states are relaxing COVID-19 restrictions and discuss the much-anticipated Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) emergency temporary standard.

States Adjust COVID-19 Regulations to Align with CDC Guidance

States are relaxing or lifting COVID-19 regulations in different ways to align with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), causing confusion for many employers. The CDC’s guidance does not provide a recommended mechanism for confirming vaccine status, which is also leading to different regulations in different states. Read more about changes in CaliforniaIllinois, and New York.

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COVID Re-Opening Phase 5: What Now for Illinois and Chicago Businesses?

On June 11, 2021, Illinois and the City of Chicago entered Phase 5 of its five-stage reopening plans. As part of the transition, Illinois released Executive Order 2021-12 (the “Phase 5 Reopening Order”) and new Phase 5 Guidance. Chicago also issued Phase 5 Recommendations and provided a helpful graphic that provides additional recommendations, which apply to all businesses. For Illinois and Chicago businesses, Phase 5 means a lifting of many COVID-19 restrictions across industries. Although businesses can start operating closer to normal, Phase 5 is a new normal that still includes social distancing and masking recommendations that should be on your Company’s radar.

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Α financial “breath” for the film industry

A Common Ministerial Decision (Ν. 24907/2021 – Government Gazette – B’ 1820 / 29.04.2021) has been issued recently in Greece according to which a total amount of 8,000,000 euros will be granted as a support measure for cinemas and film distributors that have been affected by the restrictive measures due to Covid-19 pandemic, as part of the initiatives taken for the support of the sector of culture who has suffered particularly badly. According to members of the Government, this program is part of a general plan of initiatives for the practical support of the sector of culture, with both horizontal and specialized measures.

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Case dismissed: Employees lose challenge to mandatory vaccine policy

The issue of mandatory vaccines has been a sensitive one for employers. Although the EEOC cleared the way for employers to mandate vaccines in its Technical Assistance guidance, What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws, most employers have taken the route of strongly encouraging rather than mandating vaccines.  Now, with the rate of vaccines leveling off, employers are re-thinking that approach.  A Texas federal court’s recent decision dismissing a challenge to an employer’s vaccine requirement may provide just the legal support some employers need to implement a vaccine mandate. Read more…

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OSHA issues emergency temporary standard applicable to healthcare providers

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has announced it will issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus. Read more…

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U.S. Department of Justice Announces Interagency Task Force to Combat COVID-19 Relief Fraud

On May 17, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force (“Task Force”) to ramp up enforcement efforts against COVID-19-related fraud.[1]

Organized and led by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the Task Force convened its first meeting on May 28 and aims to “marshal the resources of the [DOJ] in partnership with agencies across government to enhance enforcement efforts against COVID-19 related fraud.”[2]  The Task Force will involve coordination among several DOJ components, including the Criminal and Civil Divisions, the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  “Key interagency partners” have also been invited to join the Task Force, including the Department of Labor, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Small Business Administration, the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Relief, and Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, among others.

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Podcast: What’s New for Insurers in Mental Health Parity Compliance – Diagnosing Health Care

In this episode of the Diagnosing Health Care Podcast:  The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury jointly released a set of frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) related to recent changes made to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act effective as of February 10, 2021, and enacted by the Consolidated Appropriations Act at the end of 2020. Accordingly, health plans and insurers must ensure that they understand, and are prepared to provide regulators with documentation of their compliance with, parity requirements on at least a small group of specific non-quantitative treatment limits.

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14 Practices, 13 Lawyers and "Lawyer of the Year" Award – Lidings Recognized by Best Lawyers 2022

Best Lawyers, an international legal directory annually identifying the most prominent lawyers around the world by analyzing their professional skills and achievements during the year, once again lists Lidings’ experts among the best lawyers in Russia. Based on the results of the new Best Lawyers 2022 research published on June 10th, 2021, 13 Lidings’ lawyers are recognized among the top legal advisors in 14 key practice areas in Russia:

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