Despite signing a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the government less than three years ago, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. continued to engage in practices violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, federal prosecutors have alleged. The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking damages and civil penalties for the corruption of the drug-dispensing process, as detailed in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former sales representative in January 2011. According to the government's complaint, Novartis gave multi-million-dollar kickbacks to doctors and fraudulent rebates and discounts to pharmacies, resulting in millions of dollars in overpayments from Medicare and Medicaid.
Affordable Care Act To Go Full Strength in 2014
After epic congressional battles and a pivotal Supreme Court ruling upholding the law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — signed into law in March 2010 — remains a source of confusion and/or misinformation for many Americans. Most are not aware of what benefits the ACA provides or when certain changes are scheduled to occur. While many provisions are already in place, some of the biggest reforms will not take effect until the start of next year.
Identity theft was the most common crime reported to the Federal Trade Commission last year, comprising 18% of all complaints. Among those who routinely gather large quantities of personal information are all levels of governmental authorities. Unfortunately, government agencies face the same security threats as private businesses, as proven by a string of significant government data breaches in recent years:
Basketball’s Jason Collins came out of the closet last month and made history by becoming the first openly gay, active major league athlete. By all accounts, he received a very warm reception. Protecting his workplace rights as a gay male, however, would be no slam dunk were it to come to that – at least not for now.
Earlier this year, President Obama proposed reforming outdated export control laws by transferring certain items from the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the more flexible Commerce Control List (CCL). The USML lists defense articles, services and technology regulated by the State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). In contrast, items on the CCL contain both commercial and military applications and are regulated by the Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR). By changing the classification of certain parts and components, U.S. manufacturers can more easily supply their overseas customers with less sensitive defense-related items.
Cloud computing and the proliferation of online courses are effecting profound changes in the way we learn. These changes, in turn, have significant implications for ongoing compliance with FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), which generally prohibits schools from disclosing students’ personally identifiable information (PII) without proper consent.
All is still not quiet on the social media front, where a host of conflicting laws and regulations continue to leave many employers between a rock and a hard place.
Private employment-discrimination lawsuits are down, but the federal government is taking up much of the slack.
When asked for a job reference, a kind-hearted manager might be tempted to gloss over the misconduct or performance issues that had prompted the company to fire an employee. But as a Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Takeda") manager learned the hard way, in the context of an age-discrimination suit, managers should resist that temptation.
FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law that is intended to protect the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds from an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. One of its key provisions requires that schools have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from the student's education record.