Archives: Healthcare

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Class Certification Denied in Physician Equal Pay Lawsuit Under a Blanket Compensation Plan

An Illinois District Court recently denied certification of a class of female physicians claiming that their employer’s pay practices unlawfully discriminated against women in violation of Title VII, the Illinois Equal Pay Act, and the Illinois Civil Rights Act (Ahad v. Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University). Plaintiff alleged that the implementation of the … Continue Reading

Five Things Human Resources Professionals Are Doing to Make a Difference in Healthcare

The Association of Healthcare Human Resources Administrators’ 54th Annual Conference & Exposition held on September 15-18, 2018 in Pittsburgh focused on empowering attendees to meet the new realities faced by health care human resources professionals. Here are the Jackson Lewis Healthcare Industry Team’s “Top 5” takeaways from the conference. Investing in Developing Physician Leaders Pays … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Holding in Sexual Orientation Fair Housing Lawsuit May Foreshadow Similar Claims Brought Against Health Care Providers

On August 27, 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an Illinois District Court in holding that a seventy-year-old homosexual woman could maintain her Fair Housing Act (FHA) claims against retirement community, Glen St. Andrew Living Community, for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the “torrent of physical and verbal abuse from other … Continue Reading

Preparing for ICE Enforcement Actions at “Sensitive Locations”

ICE and CPB consider hospitals and other healthcare facilities to be sensitive locations where enforcement actions should be avoided without prior approval or unless there are exigent circumstances. Despite that policy, undocumented aliens continue to be arrested at medical facilities where they are receiving treatment or where they have accompanied ailing family members. Since the sensitive … Continue Reading

Labor Department Independent Contractors Guidance Targets Home Care, Nursing, Caregiver Registries

In its first substantive guidance on independent contractors, the Trump Administration has targeted misclassification in the healthcare industry. Our colleagues in the Staffing & Independent Workforce team offer details on the July 13, 2018 guidance to Wage and Hour Division field staff on determining whether home care, nurse, or caregiver registries are employers under the … Continue Reading

Physician Pay Equity Issues Are Under the Microscope

As our blog reported on June 21, and as is the case across many industries, issues related to physician pay equity are receiving increased attention nationwide. Doximity’s 2018 Physician Compensation Report (its second annual report) contained key national findings on the gender wage gap that point to widespread disparities in physician compensation: The overall disparity … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Permits Employee Allegedly Harassed by Patient to Proceed to Trial

A recent Fifth Circuit decision reminds healthcare employers that liability not only stems from potential harassment of employees by coworkers, but by patients as well. In Gardner v. CLC of Pascagoula, L.L.C. dba Plaza Community Living Center, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 17939 (5th Cir. June 29, 2018), the Fifth Circuit held that Kymberli Gardner, a … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Finds Employer’s Peer Review Process Does Not Constitute an Adverse Employment Action

The federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an interesting decision finding that the actions of an employer’s peer review committee did not constitute an adverse employment action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This decision was driven by the specific facts presented to the court, so it does not … Continue Reading

November 2018 Ballot Question Seeks to Impose Registered Nurse-to-Patient Ratio Limits on Massachusetts Health Care Facilities

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), the state’s highest court, has held that an Initiative Petition (Initiative Petition 17-07) seeking to create a new law (“The Patient Safety Act”) that would dictate to hospitals and acute care units in state-operated health care facilities the number of patients that may be assigned to a registered nurse … Continue Reading

Is Your Institution Doing Enough to Reduce Disruptive Physician Behavior?

Disruptive physicians are staple characters on television shows about the medical field. Some of the most recent T.V. doctors of this vein that come to mind are Dr. Gregory House of House and Dr. Perry Cox of Scrubs. While Dr. House and Dr. Cox present entertaining caricatures of disruptive physician behavior (“DPB”), in “real life” … Continue Reading

American Medical Association Adopts Resolution to Promote Pay Equity

The healthcare industry is following other industries with an increased focus and growing sense of alarm over the gender pay gap. According to Doximity, in 2017, female physicians on average earned $105,000 (27.7%) less than male physicians.  Similarly, a 2016 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that female academic physicians … Continue Reading

Are You Accessible In Cyberspace?—Healthcare Is Not Immune From the Latest ADA Title III Trend

Public accommodation lawsuits under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have been around for years, but traditionally involve physical barriers such as narrow parking spots or access aisles, lack of elevators, and inaccessible restrooms.  Increasingly, these lawsuits are not just confined to brick-and-mortar accommodations, but involve cyberspace.  For example, individuals who are … Continue Reading

Today’s Wake-Up Call: If You Don’t Protect Those Peer Review Records, They’re Public

Hospitals and physicians around the country rely on Federal, state, and local “peer review” statutes and regulations to protect records of peer review investigations from public disclosure. Such introspective, candid documents assessing what was done right and wrong during an operation or other procedure are essential to patient health and safety, and institutional quality control. … Continue Reading

The Joint Commission Issues Seven New Workplace Violence Prevention Recommendations

Many healthcare workers experience violence in the workplace often resulting from violent behavior by their patients, clients and/or residents. What can healthcare organizations do to improve safety and minimize the risk of workplace violence? In an effort to help healthcare organizations better prevent and address violence in the workplace, The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest … Continue Reading

“Your Own Cybersecurity Is Not Enough”: NJ Physician Practice Fined Over $400,000 for Data Breach Caused By Vendor

New Jersey’s Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (“Division”) recently announced that a physician group affiliated with more than 50 South Jersey medical and surgical practices agreed to pay $417,816 and improve data security practices to settle allegations it failed to properly protect the privacy of more than 1,650 patients … Continue Reading

Health Apps: Convenience vs. Security Risks

The pace of innovation in healthcare today has produced an amazing increase in the number of available mobile apps for health-related information. More than 300,000 healthcare apps are available online. Our colleagues in the Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security practice group discusses whether healthcare providers can tap into the available technology of “connectivity” and … Continue Reading

EEOC’s Notice Pleading Survives Motion to Dismiss in Failure to Accommodate and Wrongful Termination Suit

A North Carolina district court recently declined to dismiss a failure to accommodate and wrongful termination action brought by the EEOC on behalf of a patient accounts representative in EEOC v. Advance Home Care, Inc. (“Advance”). The plaintiff was discharged after she could not return to work without restrictions following exhaustion of her FMLA leave. … Continue Reading

“Vaccinate” Your Mandatory Flu Shot Policies Against Litigation

As we have just survived one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory, now is a good time to consider whether you should implement or revise a mandatory flu shot policy for 2018.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all United States healthcare workers obtain annual flu vaccines.  While many healthcare employers … Continue Reading

Why the Healthcare Industry Should Pay Particular Attention to Drug and Alcohol Issues in the Workplace

While all employers struggle with navigating the ever-changing landscape of drug and alcohol issues in the workplace, healthcare employers should pay particularly close attention. According to the annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index, illicit drug use among U.S. employees continues to rise, resulting in the highest drug test positivity rates in the last 12 years. … Continue Reading

Cost-Benefit Analysis 101 for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare entities (and their business associates) face stiff financial penalties for breaches resulting from the internal operations of the healthcare provider: $150,000 for a lost, unencrypted flash drive, $750,000 for sending an administrative service provider PHI without a signed BAA, and $2.5 million for a stolen laptop, just to name a few. Our colleagues in … Continue Reading

Affirmative Action Training May Be Your Best Friend

Many hospitals and healthcare facilities are federal contractors. Jackson Lewis regularly provides specialized assistance in developing and implementing affirmative action plans (AAPs). Some of the specific services we offer include: Identifying pertinent labor market areas and analyzing census-related statistical data Providing sample plan texts, notices, letters and policy statements Preparing utilization and availability analyses Conducting … Continue Reading

Navigating the Waters of Late Age Physician Testing

Rheumatologist Ephraim Engleman practiced medicine until he died at age 104 in 2015. Although Dr. Engleman’s story is atypical, as our colleagues who attended the American Health Lawyers Association’s 2018 Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute reported, and the Association of American Medicine Medical College’s November 2017 State Physician Workforce Data Report confirms, an increasing number … Continue Reading

Top 7 Legal Challenges Facing Physicians and Hospitals

The American Health Lawyers Association’s 2018 Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute in New Orleans focused on the legal challenges faced by physicians and hospitals. Here are the Jackson Lewis Healthcare Industry Team’s “Top 7” takeaways from the attorneys who attended the conference: Healthcare and labor & employment law are hot. According to Law360, Labor & … Continue Reading
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