New Jersey Employers Face Continued Difficulty Enforcing Employee Arbitration Agreements >
January 30, 2019
Many employers have agreements with their employees to arbitrate claims arising from the scope of employment. In New Jersey, this includes claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). New Jersey employers, however, have been experiencing difficulty enforcing these agreements. This trend has continued into 2019, as the Appellate Division recently invalidated another arbitration agreement in Skuse v. Pfizer, Inc., finding that the computer-based agreement's language was too vague and continued employment did not constitute assent, notwithstanding the agreement's language to the contrary.
PA Supreme Court Proposes Changes to Malpractice Venue Rules >
January 14, 2019
The Civil Procedural Rules Committee of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is proposing to eliminate one of the state's most important professional medical malpractice reforms against forum shopping - Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1006(a.1). This rule requires medical professional liability actions against health care providers to be brought only in the county where the cause of action occurred.
Pennsylvania's Act 112 Places New Patient Notification Requirements on Diagnostic Imaging Providers >
December 18, 2018
New legislation requiring notification to patients about test results will take effect on December 23, 2018. Titled the Patient Test Result Information Act ("Act 112"), the law requires any entity that performs an outpatient diagnostic imaging service in which a significant abnormality may exist to directly notify the patient or their designee within 20 days.
Philadelphia City Council Passes “Fair Workweek” Ordinance >
December 17, 2018
On December 6, 2018, the Philadelphia City Council passed the "Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance," which imposes scheduling and predictability pay requirements on certain employers in the hospitality, retail, and food service industries as of January 1, 2020. Mayor Kenney publically has supported the Ordinance and pledged to sign it into law.
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.