Philadelphia City Council Passes Bill Intended To Aid In Promoting Equal Pay

By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. On December 8, 2016, Philadelphia City Council attempted to level the playing field for women in Philadelphia with respect to equal pay when it voted to amend the Philadelphia Code to include a provision on wage equity. Bill 16840, which is currently in Mayor Kenney’s office and expected to be signed, would prevent an employer from asking a prospective employee about his or her prior wages. The provision would also prevent an employer from retaliating against a prospective employee for refusing Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: Paid Sick Time

On August 3, 2015, the Pittsburgh City Council amended the city’s code to add the “Paid Sick Days Act.” The Act, which will become effective on January 11, 2016, is expected to benefit more than 49,000 employees. The Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide its employees with 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours, of paid sick leave per year. For employers with less than 15 employees, the Act requires Continue reading →

Philadelphia Health Care Lawyers: New Home Care Overtime Rules Start Next Week

  by Melanie Bork Graham, Esq.and Christopher Ezold, Esq. The US Department of Labor (DOL)’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations extending overtime to home care workers will take effect on October 13. While DOL first issued the new regulations in 2013, industry groups challenged the new regulations in federal court.  The regulations were upheld on appeal. The Home Care Association of America and the national Association for Home Care and Hospice then filed an emergency petition to the US Supreme Court to delay the Continue reading →

Philadelphia Health Care Lawyers: State and Federal Pull Away from Fee-For-Service

by Melanie Bork Graham, Esq. Health policy wonks and the quality movement have long championed the shift away from fee-for-service to payment models that ‘align incentives with outcomes.’  But alternative payment models are based on predictions rather than services rendered, and can have significant ramifications for the sustainability of any practice. Common alternative payment structures include: 1) bundled payments, where one payment covers multiple services for an episode of care (common in obstetrics); 2) capitation, such as a global payment per patient per month regardless Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers Discuss Marriage Equality and Employee Benefits

In June 2015, the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages across the country. Members of the LGBT community, however, still face many legal battles regarding how this ruling will be implemented in individual states. One of the biggest questions that still needs to be answered is how the ruling will affect the benefits packages an employer provides to its employees. Impact on Employee Benefit Packages The Supreme Court decision will impact employees’ benefits packages in several ways.  First, if prior to the Supreme Court’s Continue reading →

Philadelphia Health Care Lawyers: Latest Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act

In June, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax subsidies for both state and federal health exchanges. Six justices were in favor of the decision. The Court’s ruling should ensure the survival of the ACA until after the 2016 presidential election. The Affordable Care Act Survives Another Supreme Court Ruling The case called into question whether customers of the federal marketplaces in 34 states were eligible to receive federally funded subsidies to help pay for their insurance Continue reading →

Philadelphia Business Lawyers: No Cyber Liability Coverage for Knowing Refusal to Release Data

by: Melanie Bork Graham, CIPP/US Last month, one of the first courts to address coverage under a cyber liability policy held that allegations of refusal to release data to a customer did not trigger a duty to defend the insured for technology errors and omissions liability. In Travelers Property and Casualty Company of America v. Federal Recovery Services et al., Travelers filed a declaratory judgment action to determine its obligation to defend its insured Federal Recovery Services, Inc.  Federal Recovery was in the business of Continue reading →

Philadelphia Healthcare Lawyers: Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania – Potential Issues for Employers

Marijuana laws are changing rapidly across America; right now there are 24 states permitting the use of marijuana for medical uses when prescribed by a physician (and 18 states with pending legislation to do the same), there are 14 states that have decriminalized marijuana (substituting fines for jail time) (and 17 states with pending legislation to do the same), and there are 4 states that legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol (and 16 states with pending bills to do the same). Pennsylvania has pending bills Continue reading →

Philadelphia Healthcare Lawyers: Will the Antibiotic Resistance Action Plan Affect Your Practice?

-By Melanie Bork Graham Last week the White House issued a National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.  It is laudable that the administration is calling attention to this issue and requesting additional funds to fight it.  Even in the lay press it is well recognized that anti-microbial resistance is a significant public health threat.  It is estimated that at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused each year by antibiotic resistance.[1] But the plan may be focusing on the wrong actors. The Continue reading →

Philadelphia Healthcare Lawyers: The Physician’s Right to Practice Evidence-Based Medicine

By Melanie Bork Graham Very simply, in Pennsylvania doctors do not have to treat patients who refuse vaccinations for themselves or their children. Why is this important?  Because Pennsylvania’s immunization rate is the second lowest in the country at 87%[1]which is not sufficient to retain herd immunity – for instance, herd immunity for MMR requires 92-95% immunization.[2] Herd immunity is the ability of a community to fight off infectious disease as a “herd” by vaccinating a certain percentage of the population.  Vaccinating at the herd Continue reading → Continue reading →