New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect >
November 8, 2018
On October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law (Sick Leave Law) took effect. New Jersey joins nine other states, including California, Massachusetts, and Vermont, with mandatory paid leave laws - no comparable federal law exists. The Sick Leave Law applies to all employers with employees in New Jersey, regardless of size.
Act 111 Reinstates the IRE Process in Pennsylvania >
November 2, 2018
On October 24, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 111 (formerly known as House Bill 1840), which restores the IRE process so that Pennsylvania workers' compensation insurers and employers may once again cap benefits for certain injured workers at 500 weeks of partial disability benefits. Act 111 became immediately effective on October 24, 2018.
PA Supreme Court Clarifies Burden of Proof in Firefighter Cancer Presumption Cases >
October 23, 2018
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued a decision definitively addressing the burdens of proof for a firefighter-claimant seeking occupational disease benefits for cancer and for an employer who seeks to rebut the presumption that the firefighter-claimant's cancer is related to his or her firefighting activities.
Nonprofit Hospitals and State and Local Tax Exemptions: An Uncertain State of Affairs >
October 22, 2018
A recent Illinois decision on the tax-exempt status of nonprofit hospitals provides a reminder of the uncertainty that surrounds the standards governing exemptions for hospitals and other nonprofits at the state and local level. The ruling in September that hospitals seeking a property tax exemption must still satisfy the requirement under the state constitution that their property is “used exclusively” for charitable purposes, notwithstanding recent legislation intended to make the process of qualifying for an exemption more predictable.
Pennsylvania Enacts Significant Changes to Contractor-Subcontractor Payment Act >
August 20, 2018
For the first time since 1994, Pennsylvania has enacted significant changes to the Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act, otherwise known as CASPA. Owners, contractors and subcontractors on private construction projects in Pennsylvania need to be aware of these changes, how the changes can and will impact their projects and, most importantly, what written notices are now expressly required to preserve payment positions or defenses.
Pa. Commonwealth Court Holds C&R Agreement Cannot Be Used to Avoid Payment of Certain Medical Bills >
August 20, 2018
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently issued a decision in which it held that a compromise and release (C&R) agreement could not be used to avoid payments already owed to a provider by an employer. Specifically, the Court refused to set aside a fee review determination that an employer owed reimbursement to a pharmacy for prescription compound creams and, instead, determined that the pharmacy was not bound by the C&R agreement entered into by the claimant and the employer, where the parties had stated that neither the claimant nor the employer would be responsible for past charges related to those prescription compound creams.
Pennsylvania Ushers in New Era with Alternative Ratemaking Legislation >
July 2, 2018
On June 28, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation (House Bill 1782, to be codified at 66 Pa. C.S. § 1330) authorizing public utilities to implement alternative rates and rate mechanisms in base rate proceedings before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (“PUC” or “Commission”). Originally introduced on September 14, 2017, by Representative Sheryl M. Delozier, the passage of House Bill 1782 is the General Assembly's latest effort to keep Pennsylvania at the forefront of innovation in the utility sphere.
Strategies for Contesting Reimbursement Claims Related to Out-of-Pocket Medical Marijuana Expenses >
May 31, 2018
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 16 of 2016 (the Medical Marijuana Program) into law on April 17, 2016 thereby beginning the process of implementing the state's Medical Marijuana Program. Under the Program, the term "medical marijuana" refers to marijuana obtained for a medical use by a Pennsylvania resident with one of the serious medical conditions enumerated in the Act, including severe chronic pain and neuropathies as well as for opioid reduction therapy.
U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Employers in Class Action Waiver Case >
May 21, 2018
On Monday, May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court issued a significant ruling holding that employers can require employees to arbitrate their disputes individually and to waive their right to resolve their employment disputes via class or collective action. The Court's ruling, by a 5-4 margin, is an important victory for employers that, absent Congressional action, will likely permanently alter the landscape of class and collective action employment litigation and should signal all employers to review their current arbitration practices.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Signs Expansive Pay Equity Bill Into Law >
April 30, 2018
On April 24, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the "Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act" into law. The Act, which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), is one of the broadest pay equity laws in the nation in both scope and enforceability. New Jersey joins states like California, New York, and Massachusetts that have recently enacted expansive pay equity laws. The New Jersey Act becomes effective on July 1, 2018.
Commonwealth Court Limits Payments to Chiropractors >
April 25, 2018
The Court held, in a decision that has implications for employers, workers' compensation insurers, and third-party administrators, whether these same-day office visit charges constituted "a significant and separately identifiable service performed in addition to the other procedure" would determine whether payment was due.