At a recent open Commission meeting, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted unanimously to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend the Health Breach Notification Rule (HBNR). The FTC’s proposed amendment aims to codify the HBNR’s application to digital health and mobile technologies. However, several aspects of the proposed amendment lack clarity and are likely to cause confusion unless further clarified through the ongoing rulemaking process.
The My Health My Data Act in Washington State (the Act) is expected to be signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee this year, after being passed by both the Washington Senate and House in different versions. Unlike recent state privacy laws, the Act specifically targets consumer health data that is not covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It includes provisions that apply to processors and third parties who may handle a broadly defined set of consumer health data, beyond healthcare-adjacent businesses. The Act could have a significant impact on various entities, including advertisers, mobile app providers, wearable device manufacturers, healthcare companies and their data processors who handle non-HIPAA-regulated health information.
On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed rule that would prohibit employers from using noncompete agreements with their employees or independent contractors. This proposal arises from a preliminary finding by the FTC that noncompetes constitute an unfair method of competition in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act). It comes on the heels of the FTC’s November policy statement asserting its intention to rigorously enforce and expand the scope of Section 5 of the FTC Act’s ban on unfair methods of competition.
If adopted, this rule would make it illegal for an employer to enter into a noncompete agreement with a worker, maintain a noncompete with a worker or represent to a worker that the worker is subject to a noncompete. Employers would also be required to rescind existing noncompetes and inform workers that they are no longer enforceable.
Employment background checks help employers hire individuals with integrity whom they can trust, and who do not present a risk to the business, other employees, or the customers and clients that the business serves. Buyers in transactions may view target businesses that run background checks as lower risk for employee performance and retention issues. Background checks also constitute an important area for employment diligence in transactions because an employer or background check vendor’s failure to follow the hypertechnical disclosure and authorization requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other applicable state and local laws risks potentially material class action exposure and $1,000 penalties per violation. This article explores mitigation strategies that buyers may use in due diligence to identify and valuate potential FCRA exposure.
Restrictive covenants were once the exclusive province of the courts in each state. That is no longer the case. Although case law still governs restrictive covenants, states also are enacting restrictive covenants statutes.
Today, 30 states (including Washington, DC) have laws affecting restrictive covenants. Unlike state statutes regulating trade secrets (which largely follow the Uniform Trade Secrets Act), the state statutes governing restrictive covenants run a wide gamut. These changes reflect an increasing hostility towards restrictive covenants. In this Westlaw Today article, McDermott’s Brian Mead and Aaron P. Sayers provide an overview of state statutes that became effective in late 2021 or are becoming effective in 2022.
On September 15, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted 3–2 along party lines (with Republican commissioners dissenting) to issue a policy statement announcing an expansive interpretation of the FTC’s Health Breach Notification Rule, 16 CFR Part 318 (the Rule). According to the policy statement, the Rule applies to health apps and connected devices that are not subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) but are capable of drawing information from multiple sources—for example, through a combination of consumer inputs and application programming interfaces (APIs).
Telemedicine in the United States is facing an important crossroads. While telehealth services have demonstrated their value as an integral part of care delivery, federal and state waivers instituted during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to expire soon. As lawmakers and agency officials consider updated or expanded digital health rules, regulators are expected to intensify their scrutiny of providers.
- Privacy considerations beyond the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, including Federal Trade Commission requirements;
- How to prepare for the Health Breach Notification Rule;
- The ins and outs of advertising telehealth, including claims, endorsements and social media;
- Strategies for engaging with users in the digital environment; and
- Increased fraud enforcement.
Class action litigation brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is on the rise—particularly in California—after the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a 2017 decision applying a hypertechnical approach to the FCRA’s disclosure requirements. Background checks are an integral part of the hiring process, but they open employers up to lawsuits for noncompliance with disclosure or adverse action requirements. Plaintiffs’ firms are turning their attention to these cases because of the potential for statutory and actual damages, punitive damages, costs and attorneys’ fees. In our recent webinars, we discussed strategies to help employers avoid and defend these claims.
A Net-Neutral Decision for Health Care? What Providers Can Expect in the Wake of Net Neutrality Repeal
As the Federal Communications Commission repeals the Open Internet Order—more commonly known as the net-neutrality rules—health care consumers and providers have been left wondering how this change will affect their ability to receive and deliver health care using digital health tools. In this On the Subject, we outline how changes in internet access will affect digital health and what the regulatory landscape will look like in the coming months and years.
On October 20, 2016, the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued joint Antitrust Guidance to Human Resource (HR) Professionals (the Guidance) involved in hiring and compensation decisions. The agencies issued the guidance to educate HR professionals about how the antitrust laws apply in the employment context.
Read the full article here.