Legal Updates

FSSAI issues Draft Regulations for GMO Food Products


The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (“FSSAI”) on November 15, 2021, issued Notification F.No.1/Standards/GM Food regulation/FSSAI/20181 which in turn notified the draft Food Safety and Standards (Genetically Modified or Engineered Foods) Regulations, 2021 (“Draft Regulations”). These Draft Regulations are governed by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (“Act”) and are applicable to Genetically Modified Organisms (“GMOs”), Genetically Engineered Organisms (“GEOs”), Living Modified Organisms (“LMOs”) which are intended to be used directly in the food and food processing industries. The FSSAI has currently invited comments and suggestions from all stakeholders in relation to the Draft Regulations.

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Employment Law in 2022: What You Need to Know at the Start of the New Year

As we turn the page on 2021, we reflect on a year of uncertainty and challenges, and look forward with hope to the year ahead. Last year, employers and employees alike faced uncharted waters as we began to envision a post-pandemic world and start the recovery journey. We heard the term “great resignation” for the first time, employees returned to offices and began adjusting to new office protocols, and employers grappled with establishing vaccination policies.  So, what are the key legal takeaways from 2021, and what will employers face in the new year? Here’s what you should know: Read more…

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Will 2022 Be the Year California Voters Repeal PAGA?

Employers with operations both large and small in California are all too familiar with California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), the controversial statute that permits a single employee to stand in the shoes of the state’s attorney general and file suit on behalf of other employees to seek to recover penalties for alleged Labor Code violations.

The in terrorem effect of PAGA lawsuits, in which a plaintiff need not satisfy class certification criteria to represent an entire workforce, has led many employers to pay large settlements just to avoid legal fees and the possibility of larger awards, even when the evidence of unlawful conduct is spotty or entirely absent.

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Unpacking Averages: Likelihood of FDA Medical Device Inspections

It is common for FDA and others to show a map of the United States with the states color-coded by intensity to showcase the total number of inspections done in that state.  Indeed, FDA includes such a map in its newly released dashboard for FDA inspections.  In reviewing that map with the U.S. map color-coded to reflect where medical device establishments are located, do you notice anything?  Not to destroy the suspense for you, but it turns out that FDA tends to inspect where medical device inspection facilities are located.  Really.

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DOL Issues New York HERO Act Workplace Safety Proposed Rule, Including Workplace Safety Committee Requirements

On December 22, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (NY DOL) issued the long-awaited proposed rule (Proposed Rule) regarding the workplace safety committees that are required by the New York HERO Act (HERO Act). While there is no current effective date for the Proposed Rule (which is first subject to a public comment period and a February 9, 2022 hearing), employers should become familiar with, and consider taking actions to timely comply with the Proposed Rule should it be adopted as currently drafted.

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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rejects “ABC Test” for Determining Joint Employment under Minimum Fair Wage Law

Over the past few years, lower courts in Massachusetts have grappled with determining whether the “ABC test” under the independent-contractor statute provides the proper framework for assessing joint-employment liability. The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has finally answered that question.  On December 13, 2021, in Jinks v. Credico (USA) LLC, the SJC held that the independent-contractor statute’s “ABC test” does not apply and instead adopted the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) “totality of the circumstances” approach to joint employment.

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CMS Reverses Position and Will Begin Enforcement of Health Care Staff Vaccine Requirement

Reversing its prior position, CMS announced on December 28, 2021, that it would begin enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, established by the interim final rule, published November 05, 2021, in 25 states and the District of Columbia[1] in a phased approach beginning January 27, 2022. With the announcement CMS issued guidance for surveyors regarding enforcement in S&C Memo QSO 22-07-ALL (“Memo”), describing how CMS will enforce the rule and how facilities that are non-compliant may avoid enforcement action if meeting certain threshold criteria during periods up to 90 days after issuance of the Memo as follows:

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Time Is Money: A Quick Wage-Hour Tip on … Did You Remember to Make Necessary Changes to Comply with New 2022 State and Local Wage-Hour Laws?

December is not the shortest month of the year, but it always seems to go by the fastest.

And with holidays and vacations, not to mention employees working remotely, it’s not unusual for matters to be put off until the new year — or for a project or two to fall through the cracks.

Often times, there are no real consequences if a project gets pushed off into the new year.

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Cap on Intermittent New York Paid Family Leave Eliminated Effective January 1, 2022

Earlier this year, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board adopted amendments to the regulations for the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law clarifying that when Paid Family Leave (PFL) is taken intermittently, the maximum number of intermittent leave days an employee may take is based on the average number of days the employee works per week.

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New York Adopts Rules Clarifying Sick Leave Law

On December 22, 2021, the New York Department of Labor (“DOL”) adopted rules (“Rules”) implementing the state’s sick leave law (NY Labor Law §196-b, or the “Sick Leave Law”), providing long-awaited clarification of the Sick Leave Law, which went into effect over a year ago on September 30, 2020. The Rules, codified as Section 196 to Title 12 of the NYCRR, were proposed on December 9, 2020, and adopted without change. In addition to providing definitions of terms used in the Sick Leave Law, the Rules address three topics: (i) documentation an employer may require to verify an employee’s eligibility to use sick leave; (ii) how to count the number of employees an employer has for the purposes of determining employees’ sick leave entitlement; and (iii) how to calculate an employee’s accrual of sick leave. In addition, the DOL’s response to public comments it received after the Rule was proposed, explain how carryover of accrued unused sick leave works.

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