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Giving employees raises and bonuses can be complicated. As we previously discussed, misclassifying a bonus can result in an accounting nightmare. And one well-intentioned employer misstep, such as promising an employee payment of a bonus, can quickly reclassify a discretionary bonus as a non-discretionary bonus that must be accounted for in a non-exempt employee’s regular rate. When workers unionize, an additional wrinkle is added to the complex landscape of bonuses and raises – whether…
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. On February 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the FMLA into law guaranteeing certain employees up to 12 unpaid weeks off of work a year to care for children or ill family members, or to recover from one’s own serious health condition. During the time off, an employee’s medical benefits would remain intact. When initially passed, the statute’s purpose…
Congress passed a funding bill early this morning just after the February 8th deadline. The new legislation will make several changes to the Medicare program, delay cuts to disproportionate share hospitals, provide two years of funding for community health centers, and renew certain expired or expiring health care programs. The legislation increases government funding caps by about $300 billion over two years, extends government funding through March 23rd, and provides for a one year suspension…
Bitcoin, the most popular form of digital or crypto-currency, is gaining traction as an investment vehicle and a way to pay for goods and services. More than 100,000 merchants worldwide now accept Bitcoin, allowing consumers to book a hotel stay, take a taxi, or buy a car.  The buzz around crypto-currency continues to grow as Bitcoin options will likely soon be traded on the futures exchange and regulators consider how to monitor Bitcoin transactions. So…
The public comment period for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) proposed workplace harassment guidance closed last week. The EEOC’s broad definition of sexual orientation bias drew attention from practitioners and advocacy groups alike. Amidst the uncertain legal landscape surrounding harassment based on sex, the EEOC’s proposed guidance takes a progressive stance on the scope of what constitutes sex-based harassment. Under the proposed guidance, the EEOC’s definition of harassment based on sex, protected by…
Many of our readers are no strangers to the ongoing legal battle over the enforcement of arbitration agreements containing class action waivers. While the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has steadfastly maintained its position that such agreements interfere with employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), federal courts have largely refused to endorse the NLRB’s view; and because the federal appellate courts had taken a consistent view…
A bill amending the “site neutrality” limitations brought by Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was introduced in the House of Representatives last week and passed out of committee yesterday. H.R. 5273, the “Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016,” was introduced by two powerful Members of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee: Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA). The proposed amendments expand upon the definition of…
Hospitals and providers participating in physician-owned distributorships, or “PODs” may be at increased risk for government investigation or enforcement. A Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Report issued this month highlights the SFC’s concerns that certain POD structures may violate fraud and abuse statutes, including the Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law, as well as the Sunshine Act. According to the SFC Report, PODs are “physician-owned entities that derive revenue from selling, or arranging for the sale of, implantable…
Illinois is experiencing growth in telemedicine and telehealth offerings available to patients in the Prairie State. Historically, Illinois telehealth services have been more limited to hospital and institutional settings, but the last few years have since seen an expansion among providers offering such services directly to patients. And yet, Illinois remains a state that has not seen the same level of growth or overall “embracing” of telemedicine services compared to other large states.…
To get ahead of the curve, employers should start adopting more inclusive policies aimed at accommodating transgender employees. To date, 19 states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on both gender identity and sexual orientation (another three states only prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation). As we have previously reported, federal contractors are prohibited from discriminating against employers based on gender identity or sexual…