The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday easily passed a bipartisan budget agreement to fund the government for two years and avert a possible government shutdown after current spending resolutions expire Jan. 15.
The Federal Insurance Office's long-awaited modernization report, released Thursday, recommends a modest role for the federal government in insurance regulation, one that will develop gradually and is likely to be most pronounced in the international arena.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked medical device manufacturers on Wednesday to consider joining a pilot program that allows them to self-audit for quality system violations and other issues that do not raise imminent public health concerns.
Five of the nation's leading wireless carriers have agreed to make it easier for consumers to "unlock" their cellphones and tablets and use them on competing networks, bowing to pressure from the public, lawmakers and the Federal Communications Commission, a telecommunications trade group revealed Thursday.
Tougher discrimination and whistleblower protections for employees, worker-friendly guidance on release agreements, and a minimum wage hike made 2013 a big year for employment law changes in New Jersey, and recent developments in areas including leave time suggest the trend is expected to continue in the new year, experts say.
Former Sen. Judd A. Gregg, R-N.H., has stepped down as CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Wall Street's biggest lobbying group, less than seven months after taking on the role, SIFMA said Thursday.
A group of 25 Democratic lawmakers on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to delay the release of an environmental assessment for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, citing an ongoing review into alleged conflicts of interest by the contractor who prepared the assessment.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday signed a controversial bill that gives landlords the authority to dispose of evicted tenants’ belongings without any notice and evict a tenant if a crime occurs on the property and the tenant was in a position to prevent it.
Consumers with pre-existing conditions can stay enrolled a month longer in a federal program that assists them while they find other options on the health insurance marketplace, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday.
A New Jersey Senate committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would put a referendum before voters on the state’s re-entry into a regional cap-and-trade pact from which Gov. Chris Christie withdrew New Jersey after calling it ineffective.
The Spanish government this week made changes to its environmental rules, speeding up the project review process and specifically addressing shale drilling for the first time, which experts say will lead to a flurry of hydraulic fracturing activity in a country developers have previously been hesitant to explore.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that rollbacks of motor vehicle taxes will make up about $400 million of the $500 million in tax cuts he has pledged to include in his 2014-15 budget and made a central theme of his re-election campaign.
The head of the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said she would continue to seek greater enforcement authority for the agency, including the power to impose civil penalties on companies arising from alleged data breach violations.
A petition by Internet privacy advocacy group The Center for Democracy & Technology on Thursday reached the support threshold it needs for the White House to respond to its call to reform a decades-old law allowing authorities, including the National Security Agency, to spy on civilian communications.
DLA Piper LLP came under fire Thursday from Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, for nearly $2.4 million worth of legal work completed for Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration as part of a stalled plan to hire a private management firm for the state lottery.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., released two reports Thursday from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General highlighting the EPA's mismanagement in allowing a former senior employee to steal nearly $900,000 in government funds while posing as a Central Intelligence Agency agent.
Europe's insurance watchdog on Thursday called for closer supervision of the insurance-linked securities market, which has enjoyed explosive growth.
Europe's Parliament urged the EU's regulatory arm on Thursday to consider retaliating against Russia if it violates World Trade Organization rules by exerting pressure on Ukraine and other potential European trading partners.
A pair of bills aimed at scrapping Medicare's sustainable growth rate advanced out of U.S. Senate and House committees with overwhelming bipartisan support Thursday, signaling increased momentum in Congress to repeal the widely unpopular and little-enforced physician payment formula.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, on Thursday introduced a bill barring the federal government from denying tax-exempt status, contracts, employment or other benefits to religious groups or individuals based on their support for so-called traditional marriage, citing a need to protect these groups from federal discrimination.
The CEO and the factory worker are not competing for the same job, but rather competing in separate labor markets across firms and sometimes industries. It is thus meaningless to compare executive and worker pay as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission would require. Let firms decide for themselves how much their labor is worth, says Korok Ray, assistant professor of accounting at the George Washington School of Business.
To comply with California's new privacy law — which goes into effect Jan. 14 — online businesses must make sure their privacy policies clearly and accurately reflect their practices, and those of any third parties they have contracted with, concerning collection and tracking of personally identifiable information. Unless a business bars California residents from visiting its website, it will need to address the law’s requirements, says Jane Hils Shea of Frost Brown Todd LLC.
To date, it does not appear that any litigation has arisen regarding the use of polyacrylamide flocculent in frac sand mining, but considering the growing public opposition to these operations, especially in the Midwest, such litigation can be reasonably expected in the future, says Joseph Russell of von Briesen & Roper SC.
While existing risk management protocols and alternative investment compliance policies may be sufficient to integrate Bitcoin, financial services firms should nevertheless keep abreast of regulatory developments, including those in money transmission laws. With Bitcoin's global reach, foreign exchange regulations may become more relevant than before, say attorneys with Reyhani Nemirovsky LLP and investment analyst Daniel Gallancy.
We offer help with some insight on the more significant new employment-related legislation that, if not already addressed, should be given some thought prior to year-end. For instance, in light of California’s mid-year minimum wage increase, the thing to be careful about now is budgeting for the salary level of your lower-level exempt employees, say attorneys with Greenberg Traurig LLP.
While the revisions to the EU merger rules are meant to reduce the administrative burden and cost for business, they will increase the burden imposed on companies when a close review of the transaction is required in order to assess potential competitive effects. This increased burden may outweigh the benefits of the revision package, say Svajune Sakalyte and Jens Hackl of Morrison & Foerster LLP.
While new Small Business Administration regulations will likely increase General Services Administration Federal Supply Schedule set-aside opportunities and prove to be quite beneficial to small businesses, they fail to address a key question that many large and small businesses are grappling with regarding recertification of size status under multiple award contracts, say Todd Overman and Marta Thompson of Hogan Lovells LLP.
The U.S. Supreme Court will have no shortage of issues to address concerning the rights of religious for-profit corporations in Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Specialties Inc. v. Sebelius. Their answers will likely fracture the court — as they have the federal appellate courts — and could potentially lead to surprising results, say Darren Nadel and William Trachman at Littler Mendelson PC.
With a close decision on the question of cap and trade auctions as a tax and at least one appeal of the recent Sacramento Superior Court judgment likely, the fight over the California cap and trade program is far from over. Other states are closely observing legal challenges to California's sweeping AB 32 program and assessing its effectiveness and economic impact, say attorneys at Stoel Rives LLP.
While some fear the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would bring an uptick in discrimination-related litigation, companies such as Apple, Accenture, Bank of America, Capital One, Citigroup, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and many others have expressed support for the proposed law, says Katharine Parker of Proskauer Rose LLP.