North America

Sexual harassment at work: what your company needs to know. ILN lawyers from around the world weigh in.

The International Lawyers Network’s Labor & Employment Group announces the second release of its publication, “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know.” This collaborative electronic guide offers a summary of key labor law principles in 21 jurisdictions across the globe, serving as a quick, practical reference for those reviewing their sexual harassment policies and training in these jurisdictions.

Director of Global Relationship Management, and the guide’s facilitator, Lindsay Griffiths, says “We’re pleased to offer the second edition of our paper, which builds on our previous efforts. We have a number of new jurisdictions, and the group continues to work collaboratively to update the paper to be a practical and valuable resource for employers examining their sexual harassment policies and training, to ensure they can avoid or promptly handle any #metoo incidents.”

To view the paper, please click here: http://bit.ly/ILNMeToo

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Whether Worth Less or Worthless, Quality of Care Issues Under the FCA are Worth Noting

On February 27, 2019, Tennessee-based holding company Vanguard Healthcare, LLC (“Vanguard”), agreed to pay over $18 million to settle a False Claims Act (“FCA”) action brought by the United States and the state of Tennessee for “grossly substandard nursing home services.” The settlement stems from allegations that five Vanguard-operated facilities failed to do the following: (1) administer medications as prescribed, (2) provide standard infection control resulting in urinary tract and wound infections, (3) attend to the basic nutrition and hygiene requirements of residents, (4) take prophylactic measures to prevent pressure ulcers, and (5) use physical restraints only when necessary. The FCA makes it illegal for anyone to submit claims (or cause claims to be submitted) for reimbursement to Medicare or Medicaid that are known to be false or based on false information. This settlement also resolves allegations that the Director of Operations, CEO, and several Vanguard companies caused false and/or fraudulent claims to be submitted.  Both the CEO and Director of Operations agreed to pay $250,000, and Vanguard will enter into a chain-wide corporate integrity agreement. The $18 million settlement is the largest “worthless services” settlement to date in Tennessee.

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As Summer Approaches, the SDNY Once Again Provides Hope for Businesses Exhausted by Repeated Website Accessibility Lawsuits

While businesses have long grown weary of the plaintiff bar’s seemingly endless stream of website accessibility lawsuits, it appears that judges in the SDNY may be increasingly feeling the same way. For the second time this spring, following on the back of the decision in Mendez v. Apple, a judge in the SDNY, in the case of Diaz v. The Kroger Co., 18-cv-7953 (KPF),has granted a business’ motion to dismiss a website accessibility lawsuit. While decided on multiple grounds, the Court’s decision is primarily based on mootness, providing businesses who have already taken the necessary steps to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at Levels A and AA, and to also maintain compliance going forward, with a potential blueprint to defeat “secondary strike” lawsuits brought in the SDNY.

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Tamsin R. Kaplan Contributes Section to ILN Paper on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The chapter, “What US: Massachusetts Companies Need to Know,” provides an overview of current workplace sexual harassment law, legislative response to the recent increase in sexual harassment complaints, and guidance for employers to enforce compliance in the workplace.

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$102 Million Wage Statement Award Against Wal-Mart Will Likely Lead To More Wage Statement Class Actions In California

While it may be true that employees rarely even look at their wage statements, there is one group of persons who certainly do – plaintiffs’ lawyers.  Or, more precisely, California plaintiffs’ lawyers.

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Tightened rules on the operation of drones

If you are a drone user, or if you’re planning to purchase one for recreaonal or professional purposes, you should pay aenon to new federal regulaons. Considering recent incidents such as the collision of a drone and a plane in its final approach at the Québec City airport, or sighngs of drones at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, Transport Canada [TC] had no choice but to ghten the applicable rules. As of June 1, 2019, Canada followed the lead of numerous countries in adopng tougher requirements for drone operaon. The key words are safety and knowledge.

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Upcoming Anti-Harassment Training Deadlines Require Law Firms to Train Employees in 2019

The Time for Training Is Now

In the past year, New York City, New York State, California, and Delaware have implemented new laws requiring all employers—regardless of industry—to train their employees on certain aspects of sexual harassment and reporting procedures. As a result of the #MeToo movement and the renewed focus on sexual harassment, at least 22 state legislatures are considering changes for employers, including mandating anti-harassment training, broadening the definition of “harassment,” and limiting dispute resolution options.

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Private Equity Firm Uses AI Instead of Employees to Source Deals

A recent WSJ article about a private equity firm using AI to source investment opportunities by Laura Cooper presages a larger challenge facing employees and employers: AI tools do “the work of ‘several dozen humans’” “with greater accuracy and at lower cost.”  In the competitive and employee-dense financial services sector, AI tools can provide a competitive advantage.

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Sick leave: must the medical certificate disclose a diagnostic?

June 4, 2019 — An employee taking a sick leave is usually required to justify his absence with a medical certificate. But can the doctor simply state that “This leave is medically justified” or must he provide details of the illness?

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