Important Policies Information Bulletin – August 12, 2022 | Seyfarth Shaw LLP

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Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. After the so-called “vote-a-rama”, which lasted all night and into the morning of last Saturday / Sunday, the Senate finally voted to pass the law by reconciliation, by a margin of 51 votes against 50 with only a democratic “yes” vote. The official passage of the measure in the Senate came after it was watered down more than once by amendment. The measure now returns to the House, where it will almost certainly pass, probably today, and make its way to the Speaker’s office.

The legislative journey from the measure, particularly in the Senate, to the final product is fascinating, and we’ll probably touch on the politics that led to this and what it may portend for future legislation, but for now, let’s get into in the heart of the matter of this transformation legislation:

  • Earmarks $369 billion for energy security and climate change programs (much of these credits are tied to certain labor markers);
  • Allocates $64 billion to extend ACA grants through 2024;
  • Allocates $78.9 billion to the IRS to strengthen law enforcement;
  • Allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices and caps disbursements at $2,000;
  • Establishes a minimum alternative tax of 15% on corporations that report an average of at least $1 billion in revenue over three years; and
  • Imposes a new 1% excise tax on stock redemptions

Immediately prior to the bill’s passage, the Senate passed two amendments that (1) exempt privately-owned businesses from the new minimum corporate tax and expand existing limits on how certain businesses can write off their losses for another two years (State and Local Tax deductions); and (2) replaced previous language that would have eliminated the deferred interest exemption and replaced it with a new 1% excise tax on stock redemptions.

Notably, much of the funding for clean energy tax credits is structured in tiers, with greater credit being offered if prevailing wages are paid and apprenticeship requirements are met. As expected, pro-labour groups have praised work-oriented tax incentives, while the business lobby strongly opposes them.

As we discuss this legislation here as we approach the President’s office, we would be remiss if we did not also mention the recent signing of the flea law and the PACTE law (both involved their own political intrigue). It’s been quite a month for this administration. The former is investing more than $200 billion over the next five years in manufacturing semiconductor chips. The latter facilitates the access of veterans exposed to combustion sites to health care and disability benefits.

Website Accessibility and the ADA. Website accessibility and its relationship to ADA Title III has been an important topic for some time. Interestingly, however, as noted by Seyfarth hereWhile Title III accessibility lawsuits skyrocketed in 2021, 2022 has seen a steep drop in the number of similar lawsuits filed.

One of the most salient issues in the accessibility space is the accessibility of websites for people with disabilities, especially when it comes to eye disability. Recently, however, as Seyfarth’s Title III team summarized herethe California Court of Appeals at Martinez v, Cot’n Wash, Incin accordance with the 9eCircuit, recently ruled that lawsuits brought against online-only businesses are subject to dismissal because those websites are not “public hosting” covered by ADA Title III. As such, the creation and maintenance of an inaccessible website cannot constitute intentional discrimination under the Unruh law in California (a violation of Title III of the ADA is considered a violation of the Unruh law in California). California).

Speaking of accessibility and the ADA, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice recently released Tips for telehealth accessibility, which Seyfarth summarized here. The Guide also provides specific examples of actions that health care providers may need to take to ensure that health care offered via telehealth is accessible, as well as resources for providers and patients on telehealth. and the protection of civil rights.

On August 16, 2022, Seyfarth will host a webinar entitled: “ADA Title III Disability Access: Hot Issues and Litigation Trends in the Food and Beverage Industry”. Interested persons can register here.

Florida ban on corporate “wake-ups” and some instruction in public classrooms. Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation aimed at what the Governor calls “the awakening of enterprises”. The so-called Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act prohibits the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in K-12 schools and prohibits certain corporate diversity and inclusion training. Specifically, the measure provides that any training that endorses certain concepts related to racism, sexism, privilege, and merit-based advancement constitutes discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, or national origin.” , the Florida government said.handout» summarizing the provisions of the STOP WOKE law

Around the same time, Governor DeSantis signed what opponents called the “Don’t Say Gay Bill”, or the “Parental Rights in Education Actas defined by the Florida Legislature. The new law provides that “[c]classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties about sexual orientation or gender identity may not take place in kindergarten through grade 3 or in any manner that is not appropriate for the age or development of the students in accordance with state standards. The measure also allows parents to sue the school district for lessons they don’t like, and the district will be required to pay for it.

The two acts are currently facing constitutional challenges in Federal To research in Florida. Stay tuned!

The new EEOC nomination portends more new policies. During the end of the Donald Trump administration and the start of the pandemic, this space often mentioned the EEOC. Lately, however, news from The Agency has come at a more drip-like pace. Well, this spring, President Biden appointed Kalpana Kotagal will be the next commissioner of the EEOC, whose confirmation would likely result in additional policies being promulgated by the agency. Kotagal is a partner at the law firm Cohen Milstein, a member of the firm’s Civil Rights and Employment Practice Group, and chair of the firm’s Hiring and Diversity Committee. In her practice, she specializes in employment law generally and issues related to Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act, in particular. His confirmation to the Agency would be a dramatic shift from Republican control of the commission to Democratic control. Conservative groups are pressuring Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to vote against his nomination. Whether these efforts will achieve that goal remains to be seen – stay tuned.

This time, the NLRB signs the information sharing with the DOJ. As we noted in the last iteration of this newsletterthe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have partnered Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining expectations to improve coordination”[t]o Better eradicate practices that harm workers in the gig economy and other labor markets. The NLRB is also in the process of entering into agreements with other federal agencies. This timeNLRB General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo and Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter signed a new PE create a formal partnership between the two agencies to better protect free and fair labor markets and ensure that workers can freely exercise their rights under national labor relations law. According to the NLRB, “[t]Through greater coordination in information sharing, enforcement activities, and training, agencies will maximize enforcement of federal laws, including the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), under the jurisdiction of the NLRB and the antitrust laws enforced by the DOJ. Employers in the gig economy need to beware!

Speaking of gig workers: legislation would create a new hybrid classification. Recently, Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Michelle Steel (R-CA) presented the Worker Flexibility and Choice Act (WFCA). The legislation establishes a new work regime intended to combine the flexibility of self-employment with certain workplace protections and the possibility of additional benefits. The measure would allow workers to enter into voluntary “worker flexibility agreements”, which aim to allow the worker to retain their independence while allowing the employer to offer benefits to the independent contractor without breaching the Worker Act. Fair Labor Standards (FLSA). Rep. Cuellar posted a helpful fact sheet summarizing the measurement layout. For example, the measure would supersede state and local wage/hour and tax laws that would otherwise require the individual to be treated as an employee, and any obligations that come with that classification. The measure was introduced and referred to the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. No follow-up was given to the measure. Stay tuned.

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