SCOTUS Extends, Affirms Reach of Whistleblower Protections

A 6-3 Supreme Court decision has reaffirmed the extension of whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002 to a public company's contractors and subcontractors. SOX states that no "public company …, or any officer, employee, contractor, subcontractor or agent of such company, may discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass or in any other manner […]

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New Jersey Seeks Supreme Court Reversal of Sports Betting Ban

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is taking his case for statewide sports betting to the U.S. Supreme Court after having his bid to overturn a federal ban rejected by three other courts. In November 2011, New Jersey voters approved a bill establishing sports betting, and Christine signed it into law in January 2012. The NFL, […]

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Supreme Court Holds Donning and Doffing Time Not Compensable

A unanimous Supreme Court has ruled that employees' donning and doffing of protective equipment and then traveling to and from their workstations is not compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) unless collectively bargained. In Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, the court ruled: "We hold that petitioners' donning and doffing of the […]

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A-Rod and Taft-Harley

Both A-Rod and Taft-Harley have something in common besides hyphenated names. A-Rod, aka Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees' highly compensated third baseman, over the weekend learned that an arbitration panel for Major League Baseball (MLB) had reduced his suspension from baseball to 162 games from 211 — in short, all of the 2014 season and postseason. […]

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New Jersey Becomes 14th State to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

Ever since the Supreme Court's June decision overturning Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the full extension of benefits to same-sex couples — such as health and retirement plans — has been embroiled in the legal distinction between a "state of marriage" and "state of celebration." Until yesterday, there were just 13 […]

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IRS Issues Guidance on Refunds for Prior Same-Sex Spouse Benefit Taxes

Following the Supreme Court decision invalidating Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a ruling that legally married same-sex couples are now entitled to the tax benefits long accorded legally married opposite-sex couples. The IRS has subsequently issued guidance granting refunds for any taxes paid prior to […]

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Supreme Court Convenes, for a Week at Least

In the midst of a federal government shutdown, the U.S. Supreme Court opened for business today as it does annually on the first Monday in October. The court announced it would be business as usual through the end of the week, but further deliberations may depend on a resolution to the budget impasse in Congress. […]

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HHS Clarifies Definition of Spouse for Nursing Home Care Under Medicare Advantage

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives.  This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which […]

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ADA Celebrates 23rd Anniversary Today

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law on July 26, 1990, 23 years ago today, as then-President George H.W. Bush signed the legislation into law. The ADA contains five sections, or what are called "titles" in government-ese, to wit: Title I Employment, Title II State and Local Government, Title III Public Accommodations, Title IV […]

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4th Circuit Upholds PPACA Employer Mandate

Though the Shared Employment Responsibility provision (aka: employer mandate) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been put on ice for an additional year, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the provision as constitutional. Often dubbed "play or pay," the Employer Shared Responsibility provision forces employers with […]

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