Updated Claim Procedure Requirements for Non-Grandfathered Health Plans
The Internal Revenue Service, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Labor have revised the interim final regulations governing internal claims and appeals and external reviews for non-grandfathered group health plans under the 2010 health reform law. The have also revised the forms for adverse benefit determinations and updated the list of state consumer assistance programs. Many of the changes ease the burden of plan administration. To learn more, please click here to read the Alert published by the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Client Service Group on July 1, 2011.
IRS Issues Guidance on Health Plan Excise Tax Returns, Code Section 162(m)
On June 24, 2011, the IRS finalized rules on automatic extensions for Form 8928 Excise Tax Returns for employer-sponsored health plans and also released guidance on performance-based compensation plans of public companies. For highlights of the rules, please click here to read the Alert published by the Employee Benefit & Executive Compensation Client Service Group on July 7, 2011.
FTC Suit Signals Increased Scrutiny of Advertising Endorsements
In May, the FTC brought suit against a company that sold a promissory note business system based upon the allegation that the company used consumer testimonials that could not be substantively substantiated, and that the company did not adequately disclose the typical performance that consumers were likely to achieve. This marks the thirteenth case this year in which the Commission has alleged that a company has deceptively used testimonials and endorsements. To read more, please click here for the Bulletin published by the Consumer Protection Group on July 5, 2011.
EPA Issues The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule To Reduce Power Plant Emissions In the Eastern United States
In July the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (Cross-State Rule), requiring power plants in 27 states to reduce their emissions of nitrogen oxides and power plants in 23 of these states to also reduce their emissions of sulfur dioxide. The purpose of the rulemaking is to ratchet down power plant emissions that contribute to elevated concentrations of ozone in downwind states. For a summary of the relevant provisions of the Clean Air Act and the new Cross-State Rule, please click here to see the Bulletin published by the Environmental Client Service Group on July 22, 2011.
California Supreme Court Applies State Law Overtime Rules To Nonresident Employees
On June 30, 2011, the California Supreme Court, in Sullivan v. Oracle Corporation, issued an opinion unanimously holding that California based businesses must pay out of state workers overtime in accordance with California law for work performed in the state. The court also found that the failure to pay legally required overtime to these nonresident employees constitutes an “unlawful . . . business act or practice” for purposes of California’s Unfair Competition Law. For a summary of the case, please click here to see the Alert published by the Labor & Employment Client Service Group on July 13, 2011.
Antitrust Agencies Announce New HSR Form
The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division have announced a new Notification and Report Form intended to ease the filing burden on parties required to report their transactions under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976. According to the agencies, the changes are also intended to increase efficiency in reviewing transactions. To learn more, please click here to read the Alert published by the Antitrust, Franchise & Consumer Law Client Service Group on July 18, 2011.
Proposed Changes in U.S. Anti-Boycott Law
Congressman Berman (D. Cal.) has proposed an amendment to the law governing the U.S. Commerce Department’s anti-boycott regulations to eliminate the mandate that the Regulations contain their current exceptions for compliance with foreign boycotts. Under the amendment, the executive branch would be given the discretion to provide for exceptions but would not, as now, be required to do so. For more information, please click here to read the Memorandum prepared by the International Trade practice dated July 29, 2011.
The UK Bribery Act 2010
The long-awaited UK Bribery Act 2010 came into force in July, making it an offence for a person associated with an organisation (including its staff) to bribe a person or entity intending to obtain or retain business, or to obtain a business advantage. Of most concern to HR practitioners has been the ongoing debate surrounding corporate hospitality. For more information, please click here to read the Briefing published by the Labour and Employment Client Service Group ( London) dated July 1, 2011, and click here to read the International Regulatory Bulletin published July 1, 2011.
FSA Remuneration: Update for Financial Services Clients Operating in the UK
The deadline for compliance with the FSA’s revised Remuneration Code was 1 January 2011 for firms already in-scope of the Code, and 1 July 2011 for firms coming within the scope of the Code for the first time. For an update on the template that may be used in drafting the Remuneration Policy Statement, please click here to read the Briefing published by the Labour and Employment Client Service Group (London) on July 28, 2011.
Asia Trade – Update on Trade Agreements
Malaysia and Korea have agreed to conduct separate studies to assess the feasibility of commencing free trade agreement negotiations. This is a follow-up to the decision made by leaders of both countries to explore means of further enhancing and strengthening bilateral trade and investment relations. For more information, please click here to read the May – June 2011 Bulletin published by the International Trade Group.
Export Controls, Economic Sanctions and the New Republic of South Sudan
The U.S. Commerce Department has welcomed the new Republic of South Sudan to the family of nations to which export controls apply by recognizing that it is no longer to be treated as part of Sudan. It will now have its own separate designation on the Commerce Country Chart and be placed in Country Group B for license exception and other purposes. For more information, please click here to read the memorandum published by the International Trade Group July 12, 2011.