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Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield

March 7, 2014
By Larry Cary

Last week I spoke at Labor Press’s healthcare conference about the challenges posed by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to union health and welfare funds.  They are significant, in part, because in writing the law almost no thought was given to the unique character and needs of multi-employer union health plans.  Indeed, one of the chief criticisms of the new law is that it was drafted with the heavy involvement of the private insurance industry.

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September 3, 2013
By Larry Cary

Couples to be considered legally married regardless of whether state of residence recognizes the marriage..

The Internal Revenue Service just announced that Federal tax law treatment of same-sex married couples will disregard whether the state of a couple's residence legally recognizes the same-sex marriage. Instead, federal tax law will look to the state or the country where the marriage took place to determine whether the couple is to be treated as married for federal tax purposes. In other words, once legally married by state or country, a same-sex married couple will be treated as married even if they reside in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

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January 31, 2014
By Larry Cary

The New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”), which amends the New York City Human Rights Law, went into effect on January 30, 2014.  

The PWFA prohibits discrimination against pregnant employees and new mothers making it unlawful for an employer to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.  An employer can only deny an employee’s request for an accommodation if such a request would cause an “undue hardship” or if the employee cannot, with reasonable accommodation, satisfy the “essential requisites” of her job. The employer has the burden of proving that the employee’s request for an accommodation would create an undue hardship.

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August 1, 2013
By Larry Cary

With this week’s confirmation by the U.S. Senate of all five of President Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board, the Labor Board has a full complement of confirmed members for the first time in a decade.  Republican resistance to President Obama’s nominees was finally overcome when Senate Democrats threatened to change the Senate’s rules and permit confirmations by majority vote rather than the 60 now presently required.  Additionally, President Obama agreed to withdraw two of his original nominees.

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September 5, 2013
By Larry Cary

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision in State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition v. Rowland, finding that Connecticut violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution when it reduced the state’s unionized workforce in 2003 after the unions rejected the government’s demand that it agree to significant cuts in employee benefits. 

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July 12, 2013
By Larry Cary, Esq.*


“Here’s looking at You, Kid” Government Surveillance and the Constitution

Whatever you think about Edward Snowden leaking top secret information about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program, if Snowden is telling the truth your right to privacy and the quality of our democracy is being eroded.  According to Snowden, an infrastructure analyst employed by Booz Allen Hamilton, a private corporation under contract to provide services to the NSA, the government “specifically targets the communications of everyone.”  It collects information about your telephone calls and internet use, including your emails and the websites you visit.

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