Ericsson Pleads Guilty to FCPA Violations in $1 Billion Settlement

Swedish telecom giant Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson has pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), in a $1 billion settlement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The settlement relates to a series of improper payments made by Ericsson to foreign officials around the world, as well as attempts to cover up those payments. Additionally, a subsidiary of Ericsson, Ericsson Egypt Ltd., also pleaded to additional charges. Continue reading “Ericsson Pleads Guilty to FCPA Violations in $1 Billion Settlement”

Medical Manufacturer Settles Whistleblower Suit for $37.5 Million

A California-based manufacturer of durable medical equipment (DME) has settled a lawsuit brought against it by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for $37.5 million. The suit accused the company of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute of the False Claims Act, alleging they had paid money, and offered other incentives, to those that offered their equipment. The suit came about due to whistleblowers at the company reporting their practices to the DOJ, and a part of the settlement is directed to redressing whistleblower grievances. Continue reading “Medical Manufacturer Settles Whistleblower Suit for $37.5 Million”

CDC Issues Guidance That Coronavirus Does Not Justify Discrimination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued legal guidance with respect to people’s reactions to the outbreak of the coronavirus in China. Namely, they wish to remind businesses that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin and race, and that such rules are still in effect. In particular, they want to emphasize that the coronavirus can infect anyone, and people of Asian descent should not be singled out as being more likely to carry the disease. Continue reading “CDC Issues Guidance That Coronavirus Does Not Justify Discrimination”

Proposed Law Would Invalidate Most Non-Compete Agreements

breach of contractA bill currently sitting in committee in the United States Senate would make most non-compete agreements invalid. Known as the Workforce Mobility Act, the bill would broadly prohibit non-compete clauses in employment contracts, with a handful of exceptions. While the bill is currently sitting in committee, if passed, it would have a major impact on employment contracts around the country. Continue reading “Proposed Law Would Invalidate Most Non-Compete Agreements”

DOL Finalizes Rule Clarifying Franchising and Joint Employment

construction worker on scaffoldingThe Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its final rule regarding the relationship between franchisor and franchisee, with respect to possible joint employment status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Namely, they have clarified that the existence of a franchising relationship does not make the franchisor more or less likely to be a joint employer. Instead, they have affirmed a set of criteria that, considered as a whole, is determinative of whether joint employment exists or not. Continue reading “DOL Finalizes Rule Clarifying Franchising and Joint Employment”

CMS Issues Final Rule on Hospital Price Transparency

stethoscope and medical chartThe Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule that will require all hospitals to make their pricing information publicly available. The rule is set to go into effect on January 1, 2021 and will require every hospital to publish the pricing information for all of their health care services on their websites. The rule was created with the intent of driving competition and increasing price transparency, while protecting patients from unexpected charges that could burden them with medical debt. Continue reading “CMS Issues Final Rule on Hospital Price Transparency”

Former Nissan Executive Ghosn Escapes House Arrest, Flees to Lebanon

stock chartCarlos Ghosn, a former executive at auto manufacturer Nissan, has fled to Lebanon after apparently escaping house arrest in Japan. Ghosn was arrested in 2018 after, it was alleged, he committed numerous financial crimes, including misusing company assets and embezzling company money for his own personal investments. The exact details of his escape remain unclear, but his flight to Lebanon has made it unlikely he will return to face prosecution in Japan. Continue reading “Former Nissan Executive Ghosn Escapes House Arrest, Flees to Lebanon”

Swiss President Declares Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency “Failed”

Facebook thumbs-downFacebook’s new proposed cryptocurrency, known as Libra, has faced numerous hurdles in the lead up to its launch sometime in 2020. Among those hurdles has been the inability to convince a single country’s central bank to accept Libra, making it unlikely that the cryptocurrency will be able to be used as an actual currency. This led Ueli Maurer, the President of Switzerland, to declare Libra had “failed” in its current form. Continue reading “Swiss President Declares Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency “Failed””

Fifth Circuit Affirms ACA Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional

U.S. ConstitutionThe Fifth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court ruling in part that says the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. While the district court went further to argue that the entire ACA, more colloquially known as Obamacare, was unconstitutional, the Fifth Circuit narrowly ruled on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. It then remanded the case back to the district court to determine what provisions, if any, were severable from the individual mandate. Continue reading “Fifth Circuit Affirms ACA Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional”

Google Faces Scrutiny Over Healthcare Data Sharing

laptop with Google on screenGoogle is facing legal scrutiny after a whistleblower revealed the tech company was collecting the healthcare data of millions of Americans as part of a partnership with Ascension Health, a large Catholic health care provider. In an initiative called “Project Nightingale,” Google gained access to information on as many as 50 million Americans, including details such as their names, addresses, birth dates, and full medical history. Critics are concerned about the purposes to which Google might put the data they collect, and whether they are complying with privacy laws to protect patient data. Continue reading “Google Faces Scrutiny Over Healthcare Data Sharing”