Legal Updates

As the Holidays Approach, the Latest Wave of ADA Cases Challenge the Absence of Braille Gift Cards

While the seemingly endless wave of website accessibility cases filed by serial plaintiffs shows no signs of abating (a situation not helped by the United States’ Supreme Court’s denial of Domino’s Petition for Certiorari last month), those who follow accessibility law and the businesses who have been deeply affected by the relentless barrage of serial plaintiffs’ claims, have been waiting for the inevitable “next big thing” that the plaintiff’s bar would pursue en masse under Title III of the ADA.

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New Program Integrity Rule Expanding Medicare Revocation and Denial Authorities Takes Effect Today

By: George B. BreenMelissa L. Jampol, and Alexis Boaz

Today, a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) establishing new enforcement initiatives aimed at removing and excluding previously sanctioned entities from Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) goes into effect.[1] Published September 10 with a comment period that also closed today, the new rule expands CMS’s “program integrity enhancement” capabilities by introducing new revocation and denial authorities and increasing reapplication and enrollment bars as part of the Trump Administration’s efforts to reduce spending. While CMS suggests that only “bad actors” will face additional burdens from the regulation, the new policies will have significant impacts on all providers and suppliers participating in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP.[2]

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Ohio House introduces bill to protect general contractors

The Ohio House of Representatives on Oct. 23 introduced House Bill 380, which would extend Ohio’s Prompt Pay Act (R.C. 4311.61) to provide payment protection to general contractors in Ohio.

The act currently protects subcontractors by imposing stiff penalties, including 18 percent interest and attorneys’ fees, against general contractors (or higher tier subcontractors) who do not pay subcontractors within 10 days of receiving payment from the owner for work on construction projects in Ohio.

Click here to learn more about the amended bill, which would extend the protection to general contractors by requiring owners to pay general contractors within 35 days of receiving the contractor’s pay application.

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Tariffs on Wine, Whisky, and Cheese Provide Extra Fright This Halloween

Halloween parties are an annual tradition for many Americans. But this year Halloween may be a little spookier than usual as some popular party items could become more expensive.

On Friday, October 18, new 25% tariffs went into effect on many food and drink imports from the European Union (“EU”). These tariffs were first proposed by the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) back in April as part of an ongoing World Trade Organization (“WTO”) dispute surrounding civil aircraft subsidies granted by the EU.[1] This month, the WTO finally ruled on the matter, siding in favor of the United States over the EU. As a result, the United States has placed $7.5 million worth of tariffs on European goods.[2]

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Recent Changes to Massachusetts Cannabis Regulations

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) recently released final revised recreational-use regulations, following a lengthy public hearing and comment review process.  The revised regulations (Revised Rules) will take effect after they are filed with the Secretary of State.  Key elements of the Revised Rules include:

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Bill Aimed at Removing Authority from NLRB Introduced in the Senate

On October 24, 2019, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Protecting American Jobs Act.  The bill, cosponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), would significantly amend the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by removing much of the authority currently held by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”).

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NYCCHR Issues Guidance on Discrimination Based on Immigration Status and National Origin

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (“the Commission”) published a legal enforcement guidance (“Guidance”) clarifying its standards with respect to discrimination based on actual or perceived immigration status and national origin. The Guidance applies to employers, housing providers, and providers of public accommodations.

As the Guidance explains, “[d]iscrimination based on immigration status often overlaps with discrimination based on national origin and/or religion.” Under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), employers with four or more employees are prohibited from discriminating on any of these bases against job applicants, employees, interns and independent contractors.

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Mandatory to Give Reasons for Refusal of Trade Mark Registration

In a recent judgement delivered by the Delhi High Court vide its order dated October 16, 2019 in the case of Intellectual Property Attorneys Association vs The Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks & Anr. [W.P.(C) 3851/2019], the High Court has observed and clarified that the Registrar of Trade Marks (“Registrar”) is duty bound to send a copy of the order containing the grounds for conditional acceptance or refusal of the application for registration of trade marks under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (“Act”).

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Better work-life balance for EU parents and carers

The EU Work – Life Balance Directive, which recently came into force, has the aim of creating a better labour environment, and equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work, and thus enabling “the reconciliation of work and family life for workers who are parents or carers”.

EU Work – Life Balance Directive

Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the “Directive”) has come into force, setting a deadline of 2 August 2022 for the transposition of its provisions into the national legislations of the EU Member States.

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Time is Money: A Quick Wage-Hour Tip on… Final Payment of Wages to Terminated Employees in California

California law has specific requirements regarding the payment of final wages to terminated employees. The failure to comply with those requirements can require an employer to pay an individual up to 30 days of pay – known as “waiting time” penalties. As “waiting time” claims are often pursued in the context of class actions, where plaintiffs seek up to 30 days of pay for each former employee, it is critical that employers understand when final wages must be paid. And that deadline is different depending up whether the company has terminated the employment or the employee has quit.

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