Top Stories

SCOTUS to Sort Out Class-Action Waiver Conundrum

The specific question at issue before the Court in all three cases is whether the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which provides that employees have a right to engage in “concerted activities” for mutual aid or protection, trumps the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and its express policy in favor of arbitration. More >

Considerations for Payors Regarding Tom Price’s HHS Secretary Appointment

On November 28, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump nominated current House Budget Chair Representative Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Price introduced an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan in 2015 entitled the “Empowering Patients First Act” (EPFA). EPFA suggests extensive healthcare reform applicable to payors in both the public and private sectors. Upon his nomination for HHS Secretary, Price promised that the impending healthcare reform overhaul would bear significant resemblance to his 2015 proposal, which ran on a two-year implementation timeline. While Congress will present the ultimate reform initiative to Price to implement in his new role, Price’s past healthcare reform efforts, both via EPFA and other congressional activities, are likely to help shape the final decisions. More >

What Trump’s HHS Secretary Appointment Could Mean for Healthcare Providers

President-elect Donald Trump announced on November 28, 2016, that current House Budget Chair Representative Tom Price is his choice for Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. Many providers are wondering what health care reform could look like under Price’s appointment. While Congress will present the ultimate reform initiative to Price to implement in his new role, Price’s past healthcare reform efforts are likely responsible for his selection as HHS Secretary, and therefore his proposals should be given consideration. More >

Five Things Every Hospital Board Member Should Know About the Collection of Patient Debt

Hospital boards have a thousand moving pieces to watch. Boards are not supposed to understand the day-to-day operations of the hospital collection process. Rather, hospital boards are charged with ensuring that policies, processes and people are in place so that the hospital is in compliance with the rules, laws and agreements governing the collection of patient debt. More >

CPSC Wins Decisively in Rare Decision Addressing Procedural Defenses to CPSA Enforcement Actions

On November 17, 2016, Judge William Conley of the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin issued an opinion and order addressing rarely litigated procedural defenses to CPSA enforcement actions. The case, United States of America v. Spectrum Brands, Inc., No. 15-cv-371-wmc, involves allegations that Spectrum Brands, Inc. (“Spectrum”) violated the reporting requirements under section 15(b) of the CPSA by failing to immediately notify the CPSC of a potential defect in one of Spectrum’s coffee pot carafes that may pose a significant product hazard. The decision will be closely analyzed by product manufacturers, retailers, and legal practitioners alike, both because federal courts rarely issue opinions in CPSC enforcement actions and because Judge Conley roundly rejected Spectrum’s numerous procedural defenses. More >

DOL Overtime Rule Blocked by Federal Court

On Tuesday, November 22, a Texas federal district court judge entered a nationwide injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing a rule that would raise the salary threshold for the FLSA's “white collar” exemptions. This means that, unless there is an appeal and immediate ruling, the new salary threshold will not go into effect on December 1. More >

Webinar: Machine Learning and Big Data Analytics for Hiring

Increasingly, today’s employers rely on big data solutions—from resume screens to social media search tools—to source, recruit, and hire employees. While big data has the potential to reduce recruiting costs and streamline hiring, these tools also present a host of legal and other business risks. For example, a seemingly neutral algorithm could actually create or perpetuate discrimination based on protected characteristics. Before implementing these tools, employers need to understand how big data impacts the candidate selection process and how to recognize hidden risks that may exist. More >

CPSC Again Pursues Significant Penalties for Untimely Reporting

On November 14, 2016, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that PetSmart, Inc. has agreed to pay a $4.25 million civil penalty for failing to timely report that two of the fish bowl brands it sold had a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or that the fish bowls posed […] More >