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Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law – January 2021 Update for Employers

January 8, 2021 | Blog | By Natalie C. Groot, Patricia Moran, Emma Follansbee

Happy New Year! While many of us are thrilled to see 2020 in the rear view, 2021 ushers in a huge challenge for Massachusetts employers – the beginning of benefits and Job protections under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave law (MAPFML).
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Health Law Diagnosed — Bioethical Considerations in a Pandemic

January 7, 2021 | Podcast | By Nili Yolin, Bridgette Keller

Mounting anxiety over how to control the spread of infectious disease outbreaks encourages public and political discourse of bioethics.
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HIPAA 2021 – What Can We Expect?

December 28, 2020 | Blog | By Dianne Bourque, Ellen Janos

As we’re all painfully aware, public health issues dominated 2020 and with the country’s attention focused on COVID-19 testing, status, transmission and care, HIPAA went mainstream. Health information became critical not only for health care providers, but for all manner of businesses, employers, property owners, and the national media. HIPAA – or more often than not “HIPPA” – was frequently touted in the news and on social media as the reason why COVID-related information could or could not be shared. As we head into 2021 with the pandemic raging on, the vaccination program underway, and a new administration taking over, here is a look at what we expect for “HIPPA” in 2021.
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Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

New COVID-19 Stimulus Package Becomes Law: FFCRA Considerations for Employers

December 28, 2020 | Blog | By Corbin Carter, Michael Arnold

The new COVID-19 stimulus package is now law. As discussed herein, it provides some employers an incentive to extend COVID-19 related FFCRA leave benefits through Q1 2021.
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FDA in 2020: What a Year! (Part 3 of 3)

December 23, 2020 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana

In addition to the incredible work of agency scientists and reviewers to get the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in December (as we covered in Part 2 of our year-end post), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has continued to make substantial progress on its non-COVID priorities as well, which we cover in this part 3 of our year-end post.
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Energy & Sustainability Viewpoints Thumbnail
Late on December 21, 2020, the Senate debated and approved a COVID-19 relief package and omnibus spending bill for 2021 that included, deep in its 5,500-plus pages, tax extenders for a selection of renewables tax credits, including a one-year extension for the wind production tax credit ("ITC") and a two-year extension for the solar investment tax credit ("ITC"), as well as a five-year extension for offshore wind projects taking the ITC. The bill, which was earlier approved by the House, is expected to be signed by President Trump later this week.
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Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

FDA in 2020: What a Year! (Part 2 of 3)

December 22, 2020 | Blog | By Joanne Hawana

Following up on our colleagues’ post earlier this month covering the Food and Drug Administration’s 2020 device law and policy activities, this post will explore prescription drug and biologic law and policy developments over the past year. We’ll also begin looking forward into 2021 and the agency’s transition to an incoming Biden Administration.
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Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
The EEOC has updated its guidance regarding mandatory vaccination in the workplace and has outlined the permissible scope of a mandatory vaccination program. While the guidance has neither the force nor application of a statute or regulation, it provides a compelling structure for a legally compliant mandatory workplace vaccination program.
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Ongoing USCIS Delays in Issuing Receipt Notices

December 17, 2020 | Blog | By John Quill

On December 15, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is still experiencing delays in issuing receipt notices for filed petitions and applications.
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Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

FDA in 2020: What a Year!

December 15, 2020 | Blog | By Benjamin Zegarelli

What a year for the Food and Drug Administration! FDA, an agency with regulatory oversight of 20-25% of products on which consumers spend, including food and medicines, but which typically stays out of the limelight, was thrust into the public eye amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the year many Americans became familiar with lesser-known and niche policies like those governing emergency use authorizations (EUAs) and with the role of FDA in regulating laboratory developed tests (LDTs). The agency also took some flak for seeming to bow to political pressure in authorizing hydroxychloroquine for emergency use as a potential COVID-19 treatment, then rescinding the authorization, as well as for its less-than-accurate pronouncements of positive data concerning convalescent plasma treatment. These were reminders that the agency Americans trust to protect the public does get things wrong sometimes and is susceptible in some ways to political pressure, and that effectively ensuring the public health requires a balance between safety and effectiveness and patient access to medical products. As we look ahead, we eagerly anticipate how FDA will protect and promote public health in a Biden administration. In this post we’ll explore the FDA’s device law and policy activities from 2020.
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Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

Employer Vaccine Practices May Spur Bias, Consumer Claims

December 9, 2020 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin

Mintz Member Jennifer B. Rubin authored an article published by Law360 that examined legal challenges employers face as they contemplate the impact of the coronavirus vaccine on the workforce, and how mandatory vaccination programs may create a workforce of immuno-haves, or those who have received the vaccination, and potentially expose employers to employment and consumer claims.
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Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail

A Brief Guide to California's Latest Employer COVID-19 Reporting Obligations

December 7, 2020 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin, Audrey Nguyen, Nicole Rivers

California employers are now subject to three new COVID-19 related reporting obligations when there is a COVID-19 positive employee or employees in their workplaces, including: reporting to their (1) workers’ compensation carrier, (2) employees and other workers, and (3) local public health authority. We address each obligation below.
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Lobbying and Public Policy Viewpoints Thumbnail

Massachusetts FY2021 Conference Report

December 7, 2020 | Blog | By Steven Baddour, Daniel Connelly, Caitlin Beresin, Kaitlyn Sprague, Taylor Shepherd

The fiscal year 2021 (“FY2021”) budget process has been anything but typical. Shortly after Governor Baker’s budget proposal was released in January, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, reorienting the legislative calendar for the remainder of the 2019-2020 legislative session.
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Podcast Viewpoint Thumbnail
In the inaugural episode of Mintz’s Health Law Diagnosed, Dianne Bourque (Member, Mintz Health Law Practice) discusses why HIPAA is so engrained in our collective consciousness, how it was already equipped to handle public health emergencies, and the important changes made over the last several months to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Lobbying and Public Policy Viewpoints Thumbnail

Post-Election 2020 - Health Care Preview

November 23, 2020 | Blog | By Alexander Hecht, Anthony DeMaio, Brett Else, Tara E. Dwyer, Ellyn Sternfield

With the presidential transition underway, we now look forward to what the Biden administration will seek to accomplish, particularly in the realm of health care policy.
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Immigration Viewpoint Thumbnail

Form I-9 Requirements Flexibility Extended until December 31, 2020

November 19, 2020 | Blog | By Danielle Porter

On November 18, 2020, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced they would again extend flexibility relating to in-person Form I-9 compliance.
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Immigration Viewpoint Thumbnail

Important Reminders as the Holiday Travel Season Approaches

November 18, 2020 | Blog | By Maryanne Kline, Danielle Porter

As the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions continue, many who have endured long separations from home and family are eager to travel as the holidays approach. Everyone considering holiday travel is urged to carefully consider the risks and be fully aware of how ongoing conditions may impact travel.
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Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
Governor Cuomo has announced new guidelines allowing travelers to New York to sidestep the State’s mandatory 14-day quarantine period by obtaining a series of negative COVID-19 diagnostic test results before and after arriving in New York. Previously, the State mandated a 14-day quarantine for travelers from an evolving list of “high-risk” states that had a high rate of COVID-19 positive testing per capita. Now, the new framework applies to travelers from all states in the U.S. except those that are contiguous with New York (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont), which are already exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement.

The new protocol became effective Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
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Viewpoint Thumbnail

Crowdfunding Expanded; SEC Announces Increase in Amounts Permitted To Be Raised by Crowdfunding

November 11, 2020 | Alert | By Sanjana Ramkumar, Daniel DeWolf

Read about the SEC’s amendment to its capital raising rules for Regulation Crowdfunding to promote capital formation and expand investment opportunities.
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