Tag Archives: Epstein Becker & Green

Arbitration Here We Come – New York State Statute Believed to Prohibit Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims Is Found by the Federal Court to Be Inconsistent with Federal Law

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Privacy Concerns Loom as Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Industry Grows

The market for direct-to-consumer (“DTC”) genetic testing has increased dramatically over recent years as more people are using at-home DNA tests.  The global market for this industry is projected to hit $2.5 billion by 2024.  Many consumers subscribe to DTC genetic testing because they can provide insights into genetic backgrounds and ancestry.  However, as more consumers’ genetic data becomes available and is shared, legal experts are growing concerned that safeguards implemented by U.S. companies are not enough to protect consumers from privacy risks.

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NLRB Rebalances Employers’ Rights to Prohibit Union Solicitation on Their Property

Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in UPMC overturned 38-year old precedent and held that employers may lawfully prohibit non-employee union solicitation in public spaces on their property absent evidence of discriminatory enforcement. This ruling may seem like common sense to many as employers have long been permitted to control what types of activities occur on their private property in other contexts.  However, for the past four decades, the NLRB has compelled employers to allow non-employee union organizers to engage in non-disruptive solicitation in areas, such as cafeterias and restaurants, where the Employer had opened its private property to the public.  The NLRB’s ruling in UPMC ends this compelled acquiesce and affirms employers’ property rights.

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Employer Insights: Recreational Marijuana in Illinois

On June 4, 2019, the Illinois legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Cannabis Act”).  Under the Cannabis Act, Illinois residents over 21 years of age may legally possess 30 grams of marijuana flower and five grams of marijuana concentrate for their personal use, starting January 1, 2020.  The 610-page Cannabis Act also provides the most extensive workplace protections for employers of any marijuana legalization statute around the country. Indeed, the Illinois General Assembly declares at the beginning of the Cannabis Act that “employee workplace safety shall not be diminished and employer workplace policies shall be interpreted broadly to protect employee safety.”  Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign the legislation this month.

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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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