North America

New Jersey State Department of Labor Proposes Repeal of Existing Overtime Exemption Rules and Adoption of Federal Overtime Exemption Regulations

by Suzanne K. Brown

On August 23, 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor overhauled the Federal overtime exemption regulations with amendments that included elimination of the former “long” and “short” tests for exemption (the application of one or the other being determined by the employee’s salary level), in favor of a single, streamlined duties test for each category of exemption, including executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. Since that time, New Jersey’s overtime exemption regulations, which were modeled on the Federal regulations in effect prior to August 2004, have been inconsistent with Federal law. Now, nearly seven years later, it appears that the New Jersey Department of Labor is ready to amend its regulations to eliminate those inconsistencies.

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Lawyers – We Are Still Missing the Boat with Clients

During the LMA’s opening session on Wednesday, we were treated to a great client panel on achieving greater collaboration – what you need to know to get a win-win relationship with your clients.  On the panel were Stephen Kaplan, the Senior Vice President & General Counsel for Connextions, Inc., Jeff Novak, the General Counsel for AOL Paid Services, and John Lewis Jr., the Senior Managing Counsel-Litigation for The Coca-Cola Company.

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Medical Marijuana/Cannabis and Employment Considerations

Read about ESSB 5073, the bill in the legislature regarding medical marijuana, and medical marijuana considerations in the employment context.

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Is Social Media On Your Mind? The top 5 questions you should be asking

On April 6, attorneys in McDonald Hopkins’ Labor and Employment Practice provided answers to some of the most pressing questions businesses face when dealing with social media. Those questions included:

  1. Isn’t my company better off leaving well enough alone?
  2. How do I protect my company’s brand in the social media world?
  3. Can I discipline employees for engaging in social media activities?
  4. What about privacy rights?
  5. Do I need a social media policy?
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HEALTH REFORM: Making Accountable Care a Reality: Multiple Federal Agencies Issue Proposed Guidance on the Medicare Shared Savings Program

On March 31, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released for public comment a much-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking implementing the voluntary Medicare Shared Savings Program (the “Program”) for accountable care organizations (ACOs). Also on March 31, the Office of Inspector General, along with CMS, released a Notice with Comment Period to solicit comments regarding proposed waivers from the federal health care program fraud and abuse laws for provider payments made in connection with the Program. On the same day, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice issued a Notice with Comment Period soliciting comments regarding a “Proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program,” and the Internal Revenue Service issued a notice outlining its analysis of tax-exempt organization participation in Medicare ACOs.

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Special Immigration Alert: Potential Consequences of Government Shutdown

The latest continuing resolution funding federal government operations is set to expire on April 8, 2011, and the threat of a government shutdown appears more of a reality. Under these circumstances, employers need to consider the potential immigration consequences of a government shutdown on foreign national (FN) employees. While contingency plans have not been published, it is instructive to look at what happened during the last government shutdown for guidance. At that time, both the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) and the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) stopped processing applications. Also, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) stopped all passport and visa-processing operations.

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Don’t Forget the Tip! DOL issues new regulations for tipped employees

Not even the United States Department of Labor (DOL) forgets the tip. On April 5, 2011, the DOL amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations for tipped employees. The regulations require employers with tipped employees to take action before the regulations take effect on May 5, 2011. Here are a few “tips” for employers regarding the new regulations:

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CMS Releases Proposed Rules for Accountable Care Organizations

On March 31, 2011, CMS released its proposed rules for public review and comment relating to Medicare payments for health care providers participating in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

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In Intact Compagnie d’assurance c. Pétrifond Fondation Compagnie Ltée (published at EYB 2010-180758 (C.S), Justice Geneviève Marcotte of the Superior Court attenuated the general principle regarding the waiver of subrogation by the wrap-up insurer against subcontractors and professionals who are insured under this type of civil liability insurance policy.

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HEALTH REFORM: CMS Holds First Teleconference Related to Sunshine Law for Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Medical Device Companies

On March 24, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) held a teleconference,[1] titled “Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership or Investment Interests.[2] During the teleconference, CMS provided interested parties with the opportunity to publicly comment on certain topics related to the implementation of Section 6002 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). These topics included (1) additional forms and natures of payments and transfers of value to be considered by CMS for reporting; (2) accessibility to, and usability of, the reported data for consumers; and (3) mechanisms for accurate, efficient, and cost-effective reporting of data. CMS announced that “draft regulations” will be issued later this year and that interested parties would have the opportunity to also comment on these draft regulations. See “Federal Transparency Is Now a Reality: Challenges and Opportunities for Pharma, Devices, and PBMs” for an overview of Section 6002 of PPACA.

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