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Publications & Presentations

We encourage you to peruse this Publications & Presentations section for timely analysis and industry insights, including bylined articles, client alerts, white papers, practice and industry newsletters, audio and video broadcasts, featuring interviews with our lawyers, as well as case studies highlighting compelling legal challenges our clients have faced.

Also, please visit our Events page to learn more about upcoming seminars, CLE programs, and other presentations which may be of interest.

Recent Publications

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Caught Between Laws: Challenges for Health Care Providers in Using Criminal History Information in Employment Decisions
Authors: Julia E. Judish, Erica J. Kraus

In an effort to increase protection for vulnerable patient populations, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates incentives for states to strengthen the employment background check programs available to long-term care providers. Many states have responded to these incentives by creating or enhancing background check programs, increasing the ability of long-term care providers to screen for individuals with certain types of criminal convictions and exclude them from employment. Although these programs may help long-term care providers to protect their patients and to select a qualified workforce, employment policies based on criminal record information may be in tension with recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, even when such policies are based on exclusions mandated by state law. Employers, therefore, should carefully evaluate employment policies based on criminal history for the possibility of both state law consequences and federal civil rights liability.

The Ninth Circuit Provides Clarity on ERA Whistleblower Protections.
Authors: Daryl M. Shapiro, Timothy J. V. Walsh, Rebecca Carr Rizzo, Keith D. Hudolin

On November 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Tamosaitis v. URS Inc.1 and provided clarity on three key aspects of the whistleblower protections afforded under the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA), 42 U.S.C. 5801 et. seq. This decision has important implications for employers facing ERA whistleblower claims.

Huerta v. Pirker: NTSB Rules that UAS Are “Aircraft” and Subject to FAA Prohibition on Careless and Reckless Operations
Authors: Kenneth P. Quinn, Jennifer E. Trock, Benjamin M. Berlin, Graham C. Keithley

On November 18, 2014, in a unanimous decision, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are: (1) “aircraft” within the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) statutory and regulatory definitions; and (2) prohibited from operation in a careless and reckless manner under FAA regulations. The decision represents a significant win for the FAA in its attempts to prohibit unlawful UAS operations, and a setback for commercial interests that were hoping to turn the Pirker battle into a broader war against the FAA’s ban on commercial use of UAS. The opinion reverses an NTSB Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) decision earlier this year that the UAS Pirker commercially operated was a “model aircraft” beyond the FAA’s authority.

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