PPACA ‘Patient’s Bill of Rights’ Published as Final Rule

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on June 28 published a Final Rule in the Federal Register implementing provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The provisions were dubbed "The Patient’s Bill of Rights" by the agency. This Final Rule takes effect Sept. 23, but it breaks little ground from the […]

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Illinois and Nevada to Up Minimum Wage Rates on July 1

While most states are staying pat and one–Colorado–has actually lowered its minimum wage rate in 2010, Nevada and Illinois are bucking the trend with upticks coming July 1. Acting in accord with an amendment to the Nevada Constitution added in 2006, Labor Commissioner Michael Tanchek announced that his department is increasing the state minimum wage […]

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DOL Regulations Fold Gay Couples into FMLA Parenting Coverage

Moving to accomplish through regulations what it can no longer get through Congress after the loss of its Senate super-majority, the Obama Administration has ruled through a Department of Labor (DOL) administrative interpretation (AI) that gay couples are entitled to the same parenting benefits as others under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. […]

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Federal Contractors , Subcontractors Have New Union Rights Notification Obligation

Under Executive Order 13496 issued by President Obama early in his administration, federal contractors and subcontractors are obligated to inform their workforces of their right to join a union. After a lengthy internal government review and public commentary period, the final rule implementing that order has been issued, and as of June 21, 2010, affected […]

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OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) Takes Effect

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officially rolled out its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) this past Friday, June 18, 2010. The program seeks to increase fines and penalties against companies that repeatedly violate OSHA standards. The SVEP “concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, […]

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DOL Cracks Down on Illegal Employment of Youths

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced stiffer penalties for violation of the child labor laws covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other pieces of legislation.  "Beginning today, employers who hire children too young to work will face stiffer penalties," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Work is not child’s play. […]

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Supreme Court Adds Chaos to NLRB Decision-Making

In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that decisions issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) since January 2008, when it was left with just two of five full-board members, are non-binding. Due to gridlock between a Democratic-Party-controlled Congress and a Republican-Party-controlled executive branch under President Bush in his final two […]

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E-Verify Spruces Up Its Web Interface Experience

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which operates the online E-Verify employment eligibility verification program, has announced some enhancements and improvements to the user experience, including a home page redesign. E-Verify is an extension of the former Basic Pilot program that allows employers to check the work-in-the-U.S. eligibility status of new hires by going online […]

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Breaches of 500-Plus Medical Records Nearing Century Mark

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which is tasked with monitoring breaches of private health information (PHI) records, reports that, since implementation of the breach rule earlier this year, the total reported through June 4, 2010, stands at 93, and this is just for breaches affecting 500 or more records. The others with fewer than […]

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Vermont Ups the Ante on Health Care Reform

Those individuals and public interest groups who favored the single-payer health care option–i.e., "Medicare for All" in one form or another–should be heartened by recent legislation passed in the Vermont legislature that became law without the governor’s signature. The Universal Access to Health Care Act passed into law on May 27 when Governor Jim Douglas, […]

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