The Omnibus Rule and Email

Health care providers are well acquainted with the implications of using unsecured email to communicate with patients under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  However the recent HIPAA omnibus rule modifications may require a provider to provide patient records via unencrypted email if the patient requests the records in that format.  HITECH Act, Section 13504(e). Under the Privacy Rule, a provider must have administrative, technical and physical safeguards in place to protect the privacy of Protected Health Information (PHI) and must safeguard PHI Continue reading →

“I’m Sorry” Does Not Mean “I’m Liable” For Claims Arising Out of Health Care Errors in Pennsylvania

On October 3, 2013, Pennsylvania amended the Insurance Company Law of 1921 to include Sections 601-C through 605-C, encouraging and protecting apologies and other ‘benevolent gestures’ by health care providers toward patients who have been injured by substandard care. What does the law do? The law states that it is the public policy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to reduce medical malpractice liability by encouraging apologies for errors.  When a medical error occurs, doctors are encouraged to say nothing and let their attorneys handle the Continue reading →

Philadelphia Health Law Attorneys: Are You An Accidental Business Associate?

It seems as though everyone knows that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that patient health information (PHI) be kept secret, but very few understand who must comply with HIPAA, or how to comply.  This can be chalked up to the complexity of the law and lawmakers’ failure to educate the public.  Until late last year, only ‘covered entities,’ (CE) such as doctors and health plans, were responsible for complying with the extremely burdensome regulatory requirements of HIPAA. This changed on September Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Discrimination Lawyers Discuss Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act and by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has defined sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment in the workplace can occur in a variety of different circumstances including conduct that affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Attorneys Want You to be Aware of Recent Employment Laws

As societal needs change, so does the workforce.  New jobs arise and old ones adapt to new circumstances.  In an effort to keep up with the ever-changing workforce, legislature constantly proposes and enacts new employment laws.  Experienced Philadelphia labor attorneys keep abreast of these changes in order to better represent employees who may face a violation of their rights, and to counsel employers and small businesses on how to comply with these laws.  Following are a few of the most recent labor laws enacted in Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: A Guide to Identifying Workplace Discrimination

What to do if You Suspect Workplace Discrimination When an employee or manager suspects discrimination in the workplace, he or she should take the following steps: Know your rights. Employees should know their rights and responsibilities under state and federal anti-discrimination laws, including their right to be free from discrimination based on age, gender, race or color, national origin or ancestry, religion, disability, pregnancy, or even genetics. Keep detailed notes.  Notes should include times, places, types of discrimination that take place, and whether there are Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Attorney Explains Types of Employment Claims

Employees and employers can bring many types of employment claims in Pennsylvania. Discrimination: Workplace discrimination is illegal when it is based on a protected class such as age, gender, race, national origin, religion, disability, pregnancy, or genetic information.  Employees who can prove discrimination can sue to have the practice remedied and for wages and other damages. Wage payment: Federal and Pennsylvania laws establish a fixed minimum wage for employees, as well as regular paydays. Violations of these laws can lead to penalties against the employer Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Law Attorney Q&A: What If I am Wrongfully Accused of Discrimination?

Answer: An Employee Must Demonstrate Evidence of Discrimination In order for an employee to prove illegal discrimination by his or her employer, the employee must show two things: That there was discrimination or a discriminatory practice. That this discrimination was against a protected class. Protected classes under federal and Pennsylvania state law  include the following: Age (over 40) Sex Race or color National origin Ancestry Religious creed Disability or handicap Genetic information Sexual orientation (in some locations) Discriminatory practices can include discrimination in: Hiring and Continue reading →

Philadelphia Employment Lawyer Explains When “Unfair” Becomes “Wrongful Termination”

We handle all types of employment claims – but we rarely see a good ‘wrongful termination’ claim.  That’s not because there aren’t a good number of terminations that are wrong, or unfair, but because Pennsylvania wrongful termination laws are very limited.  These laws apply to the entire Commonwealth; for instance, although Philadelphia has some local ordinances that protect employees under limited circumstances, but do not protect employees against wrongful terminations. The reality of employment is that it is often unfair; terminations for no reason or Continue reading →