Legal Updates



The month of August was characterised, in legislative terms, by the approval and publication of the Law no. 54/2021, of August 13, which transposed into national law Directive (EU) 2019/1153, which sets out rules to facilitate the use of information for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences, and also amended the General Framework of Credit Institutions and Financial Companies. On the other hand, we highlight Decree-Law no. 72/2021, of August 16, which amended the Legal Framework for Venture Capital, Social Entrepreneurship and Specialised Investment, revised the framework applicable to the venture capital investment activity and also amended Decree-Law no. 77/2017 of June 30, which creates measures to boost the capital market, with a view to diversifying corporate financing sources. Read more…

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The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Continues its Medicare Advantage (“MA”) Enforcement Efforts with a $90 Million Dollar Settlement Against Downstream Provider Sutter Health

On August 30, 2021, the DOJ announced a $90 million dollar settlement with Sutter Health and affiliates[1] (“Sutter Health”) to settle False Claims Act (“FCA”) allegations brought by qui tam relator, Kathy Ormsby, related to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (“CMS”) MA Program.[2] Sutter Health elected to settle with DOJ and the relator without an admission of liability. As part of the Settlement Agreement, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) required Sutter Health to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement.

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Too soon to know the fate of tax increases attached to proposed budget bill

It is too soon to breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to tax increases attached to the budget reconciliation bill that has been introduced.

On August 24, 2021, the House of Representatives approved the framework of a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, but did not act on the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. These bills had been stalemated because of disagreements over simultaneous passage, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated an intent to pass both by the end of September. The infrastructure bill, which does not include any tax increases and has already passed the Senate, would then be ready for enactment with the president’s signature. Read more…

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Video: Biden Touts Employer-Mandated Vaccines, Booster Shot Questions, and EEO-1 Deadline Delayed – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at the renewed focus on mandatory vaccination policies and how those policies may need to shift in light of COVID-19 booster shots.

President Biden Calls on Employers to Mandate Vaccines

Shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for those 16 and older, President Biden encouraged private employers to “step up” their vaccination requirements.

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New York Issues Emergency Regulation Mandating COVID-19 Vaccination for Health Care Personnel

On August 26, 2021, the Public Health and Health Planning Council approved an emergency regulation requiring health care personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The emergency regulation is effective immediately and will remain in effect for 90 days, subject to review and renewal.

The emergency regulation supersedes the Section 16 Order issued by the New York Department of Health (“DOH”) on August 18, 2021, which mandated the vaccine for personnel at general hospitals and nursing homes.

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The passage of Bill C-208, effective June 29, 2021, has generated increased attention to the issues and planning opportunities surrounding the sale of family owned businesses, particularly where a sale of shares may qualify for the lifetime capital gains exemption for “qualified small business corporation” shares, or QSBC shares. The stated intent of Bill C-208, a private member’s bill, was to facilitate the sale of QSBC shares to a related party purchaser. This was accomplished by amending the rules in section 84.1 of the Income Tax Act (Canada) (herein the “Act“) which apply to a non-arm’s length sale of shares. Bill C-208 also amended section 55 of the Act, in connection with related party butterfly reorganizations, which will not be addressed in this article.

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Massachusetts SJC Endorses Expansive Reading of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Leave Act

Last week, a divided Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) in Osborne-Trussell v. Children’s Hospital Corp. ruled in favor of a broad interpretation of the 2014 Domestic Violence and Abuse Leave Act (“DVLA”), a law that provides certain employment protections for victims of domestic violence, including a prohibition against retaliation for seeking or using protected leave. Specifically, the DVLA prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against, or otherwise discriminating against, an employee who exercises rights under the DVLA, such as taking leave from work to seek or to obtain medical attention or legal assistance, or to go to court hearings stemming from the harassment or abuse. The DVLA also prohibits employers from interfering with an employee’s exercise, or attempted exercise, of these statutorily protected rights. For their part, employees are required to provide employers with “appropriate advance notice” of the leave associated with domestic violence and abuse.

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More work for tenants, greater uncertainty for landlords

The reality of the new Victorian rent relief scheme is that it will create more work for tenants and greater uncertainty for landlords. 

What is clear is that the State Government rent relief scheme is more complicated than the previous Jobkeeper-based scheme. The scheme introduces stricter compliance for tenants with mandatory timelines that will raise the barrier for entry. For landlords, a range of new tests for eligibility and turnover complicate a landlord’s proper assessment of eligibility and what relief should be offered. Read more…

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2021’s noteworthy changes to state breach notification laws

A handful of states have made changes to their breach notification laws during 2021, imposing stricter requirements either through expanding the definition of “personal information,” tightening notice deadlines, or calling for entities that experienced a breach to be named publicly on the Attorney General’s website.

While all of these laws are set to go into effect before the year’s end, one state’s proposed amendment moves in the opposite direction, seeking to prolong the notice deadline and afford entities additional time before making notice to impacted residents. Read more…

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Ninth Circuit Concludes That Time in Airport Security Line is Not Compensable for Employees of Airport Vendors

Many people are employed at airports.  Of those, many individuals work within the terminals for private companies.  Federal law requires that those employees who work in the terminals must go through security checks – just like travelers.

Jesus Cazares was one of those employees, working at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  In bringing a lawsuit against his employer, Host International, Inc. – which operates the Admiral Club at LAX – Cazares alleged that he and his fellow employees were not paid for the time they spent passing through airport security checks en route to their work at the Admiral Club.  The district court rejected the notion that such time is compensable under California law and, earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit agreed in Cazares v. Host International, Inc.

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