Tag Archives: Epstein Becker & Green

Employment Law This Week: Extended Podcast Edition – June 2019

In its new podcast series, Employment Law This Week has released an extended Monthly Rundown, discussing some of the most important developments for employers in June 2019.

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Companies Using Video Interviewing Beware: New Obligations for Positions Based in Illinois

Increasingly companies are using third-party digital hiring platforms to recruit and select job applicants.  These products, explicitly or implicitly, promise to reduce or eliminate the bias of hiring managers in making selection decisions.  Instead, the platforms grade applicants based on a variety of purportedly objective factors.  For example, a platform may scan thousands of resumes and select applicants based on education level, work experience, or interests, or rank applicants based on their performance on an aptitude test – whatever data point(s) the platform has been trained to evaluate based on the job opening.

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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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ILN Today Post

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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Employee Benefits Crash Course Webinar Series: Hot New Benefits

Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice now offers on-demand “crash courses” on diverse topics. You can access these courses on your own schedule. Keep up to date with the latest trends in benefits and compensation, or obtain an overview of an important topic addressing your programs.

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Recent Indictment of Anthem Hackers Serves as a Reminder of the Importance of Rigorous Workforce Cybersecurity Training, Incident Response Plans and Formalized Security Programs

On May 9, 2019, the United States Department of Justice announced the indictment of two Chinese Nationals as members of a sophisticated hacking group responsible for the hack of Anthem, Inc. and other unnamed U.S. based large technology, communications and basic materials companies. The hack resulted in the breach of personally identifiable information of over 78 million individuals held by Anthem and the theft of confidential business information from the victimized organizations. The indictment provides a roadmap to advanced hacking attacks regularly faced by technology, healthcare and infrastructure organizations with valuable data to protect. The indictment serves as a reminder that organizations subject to advanced persistent threat from organized hacking groups should adopt a defense in depth strategy including workforce cybersecurity training, vulnerability scanning, network monitoring and comprehensive incident response plans to thwart or mitigate these attacks. These protective countermeasures should be part of the organization’s formalized information security program.

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New Oregon Law Requires Employers to Remind Departing Employees of Their Noncompete Obligations

Pursuant to a recently passed Oregon state law (HB 2992), noncompete agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2020 will only be enforceable against Oregon employees if the employer provides the departing employee with a signed copy of the agreement within 30 days after the employee’s date of termination.  Though at first blush, this law merely codifies the best practice of reminding departing employees of their continuing obligations to their former employer, it contains a few nuances Oregon employers should keep in mind.

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NLRB Announces Plans for Further Rulemaking: Election Rules, Union Access to Employer Property, Question of Whether Student Athletes on Scholarship Are Employees, and More

The rulemaking priorities of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) have been released, signaling what Board Chairman John F. Ring described as “the Board majority’s strong interest in continued rulemaking.” The announcement was contained in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, published by the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

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Connecticut Likely To Become Latest State to Adopt $15 Minimum Wage

Connecticut appears poised to become the next state to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour, following the trend set by California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and most recently Maryland, in addition to numerous local jurisdictions.  Governor Ed Lamont is expected to sign H.B. 5004, which passed the state’s House and Senate earlier this month.

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