BROADER COVERAGE, HIGHER THRESHOLDS – HOW WILL THESE CHANGES AFFECT YOU?IntroductionIn 2006, New York City adopted a series of revisions to the City’s lobbying laws. Those amendments included a mandate that the City appoint a commission to review the lobbying laws and evaluate whether the City should make further changes to strengthen the administration and enforcement of the City’s lobbying laws. The Mayor and the City Council established the New York City Lobbying Commission (the Commission) in 2011, and the Commission then spent two years examining the law and holding hearings to consider potential changes. As part of its final report issued in March 2013, the Commission called on the Council and Mayor to adopt a series of further revisions. Accepting much of the report, in December 2013, the City Council passed, and the Mayor promptly signed, legislation implementing the Commission’s recommendations. Although lengthy, the … [Read more...] about New York City Updates Lobbying Laws
Remerge law definition
Last December, the Majority Staff of the Senate Finance Committee invited a select group of experts to participate in discussions regarding the need for reforms to the Stark law, which prohibits physicians and their immediate family members from referring patients to any entity in which the physician has a financial relationship, subject to certain exceptions. Financial relationships include both ownership and investment interests, as well as compensation arrangements. Billing Medicare for services provided pursuant to a financial arrangement that violates Stark is also prohibited and can subject providers to mammoth penalties under the False Claims Act. Over recent years, the breadth and complexity of the Stark law’s strict liability regime, along with its draconian penalties and myriad ambiguities, has had a decidedly chilling effect on the implementation of innovative payment models.The round table participants addressed these concerns, noting that the Stark law has … [Read more...] about Senate Finance Committee Publishes Report on Stark Law Reform – Are Changes to the Stark Law on the Way?
On February 23, 2015, the Department of Labor ("DOL") issued a revised definition of "spouse", as that term is used in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). The revised "spouse" definition now extends leave rights and job protections to eligible employees in same-sex marriages and common-law marriages entered into in a state where those statuses are legally recognized, regardless of the state in which the employee currently works or resides. Previously, the FMLA definition of "spouse" did not include same-sex spouses or common law spouses if the employee resided in a state that did not recognize the employee's same-sex marriage and did not provide for a common-law marriage. As most employers know, the FMLA requires covered employers to provide eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for qualified medical and family reasons, including personal or family illness, family military leave, pregnancy, adoption, or foster care placement.In United States v. Windsor, the … [Read more...] about FMLA “Spouse” Definition Now Includes Same-Sex Spouses and Common-Law Spouses
The Department of Labor’s revised definition of “spouse” under the FMLA was recently struck down in Texas. On March 26, 2015, in Texas v. United States, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted a request made by the states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Nebraska for a preliminary injunction with respect to the Department of Labor’s Final Rule that revised the regulatory definition of “spouse” to include same-sex partners under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).After the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) in United States v. Windsor, which defined spouse under federal law, as a person of the opposite sex, President Obama called for a review of all relevant federal statutes to implement the decision. Under the then-existing FMLA regulation defining spouse, eligible employees in same-sex marriages recognized in their “state of … [Read more...] about FMLA’s New Definition of “Spouse” Halted in Four States
On April 13, 2011, the Department of State (the “Department”) issued proposed amendments to various sections of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) regarding the definition of “defense service.” See International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Defense Services, 76 Fed. Reg. 20590-93 (amending 22 C.F.R. Parts 120 and 124). The Department reviewed the current definition of “defense service” in ITAR section 120.9 with an eye toward “enhancing support to allies,” “improving efficiency in licensing, and reducing unintended consequences,” and determined that the definition is “overly broad.” To address these concerns, the Department issued proposed amendments in an attempt to narrow the definition, and thereby reduce the scope of services for which companies must obtain approval from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”) under the ITAR. The … [Read more...] about The Department Of State Seeks To Narrow The ITAR Definition Of “Defense Service”