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October 2016

DOJ Increases False Claims Act Penalties

hundred dollar bills

By: Michael Wolak III

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has recently issued an Interim Final Rule that nearly doubles civil penalties for False Claims Act (“FCA”) violations. The FCA is a federal law that prohibits anyone from submitting false or fraudulent claims to the federal government for payment. See 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a). In addition to penalties for each violation, the FCA imposes treble damages, or three times the amount of damages that the federal government sustains because of the false claim.

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New Amendment to Provide Welcome Relief to California’s High Tech Industry

writing documents

By: Dennis Strazulo

Governor Brown recently approved Assembly Bill 2535 (AB 2535) to amend California Labor Code section 226. The amendment provides much-needed narrowing of the statute’s current requirement that an employer include hours worked on itemized wage statements for all employees except those whose compensation is solely based on salary and who are exempt from payment of overtime.

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OCR Casts a Wider Net on HIPAA Breaches


By: Agne Krutules

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), covered entities and their business associates have duties under the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule to protect patient health information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) regional offices are required to investigate all reported breaches involving the protected health information (PHI) of 500 or more individuals. With regard to smaller breaches, however, OCR has discretion whether to conduct an investigation.

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Beware of the Fees!!! Businesses and Universities Face New Risks with Retirement Plans

campus lawn

By: John Goselin and Ze'eva Kushner Banks

Plaintiffs’ attorneys have a new target – educational institutions offering 403(b) plans and the fiduciaries who are responsible for monitoring the plans. No less than eleven lawsuits, all but one of which have been brought by the same plaintiffs’ firm, have been filed in the last four weeks against universities all over the country, from Emory University in Atlanta to New York University to the University of Southern California. 

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Firm and Attorney News

U.S. News' Best Law Firms recognized FMG as a 2016 "Best Law Firm" for its practices in Construction Litigation, Construction Law, Insurance Law, Labor Law, Municipal Law, Municipal Litigation, Civil Rights Law, and Employment Law.


On Tuesday, October 4, FMG hosted the 2016 Wage and Hour Summit. The program included four informative sessions covering trends and changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act, followed by a happy hour and networking event. For details, contact Marty Heller.


On Thursday, October 13 from 2-3 PM, FMG host Part II of its 2016 Local Government Webinar Series, Top Ten Employment Issues Facing Public Employers. This webinar will explore the key hot-button employment issues facing public employers.  Among the topics are first amendment free speech and association rights of public employees, including lawful political patronage restrictions, FLSA and other wage and hour developments, new EEOC guidelines on LBGT issues, and due process rights regarding employee discipline and/or termination.


On October 27-28Mike Bruyere will be speaking at the ACI's 2nd Medical Liability Conference at the Andaz Wall Street in New York City on the topic "Mitigating Exposure to Rising Healthcare Batch Claims, and Defending Against Batch Claims Once They Are Brought."


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About Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP

Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP is a leading national litigation firm, serving clients through its practice groups in CGL and Business Liability, Commercial and Complex Litigation, Construction and Design Law, Financial Services and Transactions, Government Law, Government Relations, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith, Labor and Employment Law, and Professional Liability. With offices in Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Florida, FMG attorneys serve as trusted counsel to corporations and governments throughout the country, providing practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for legal issues. For more information about FMG, visit www.fmglaw.com.


Information conveyed in this presentation should not be construed as legal advice or represent any specific or binding policy or procedure of any organization. Information provided in this presentation is for educational purposes only. These materials are written in a general format and not intended to be advice applicable to any specific circumstance. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual distinctions. All rights reserved. No part of this presentation may be reproduced, published or posted without the written permission of Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP.
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