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News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Uber will pay New York City drivers tens of millions of dollars after admitting to underpaying them for two-and-a-half years by taking a larger cut of drivers’ fares than it was entitled. Under the terms of service the ride-hailing company put in place in November 2014, Uber was supposed to take its percentage of the commission – ranging between 20% and 25% – after deducting sales tax and a local fee to fund benefits for injured drivers. Instead, the company calculated its commission on the gross fare, resulting in more money for Uber and less for drivers. The average payout-per-driver will be about $900, an Uber spokesperson said, and drivers will see their fares calculated correctly going forward. With tens of thousands of drivers eligible for a refund, the company will be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars. An Uber spokesperson said that the company discovered the mistake in recent weeks, as it was preparing to roll out a new pricing scheme. However, questions about Uber’s calculation of New York City commissions were raised nearly a year ago in a class-action lawsuit filed by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA). The suit, which was filed in federal court in New York in June 2016, alleged that Uber’s deduction of sales tax and the injured driver fee after the commission was calculated violated the terms of service and amounted to wage “theft”, as Bloomberg BNA reported at the time. This is the second time in recent months that Uber has admitted to underpaying US drivers. In March, the company paid refunds to UberBlack drivers in Philadelphia after charging them an extra 5% in commission for about 18 months. In January, Uber agreed to pay $20m to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission that it had tricked drivers with false promises of higher earnings. Uber has been accused of shortchanging drivers in numerous lawsuits, including a recent suit that alleges Uber’s “upfront” pricing scheme is designed to “defraud drivers”. “We are committed to paying every driver every penny they are owed – plus interest – as quickly as possible,” Rachel Holt, Uber’s regional general manager for the US and Canada, said in a statement. “We are working hard to regain driver trust, and that means being transparent, sticking to our word, and making the Uber experience better from end to end.” Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the NYTWA, said that while she welcomed Uber’s “progress”, her organization believes that it is unlawful for Uber to take the sales tax and fee from the driver’s fare in the first place. “Uber hasn’t just wrongly calculated its commission, it has been unlawfully taking the cost of sales tax and an injured worker surcharge right out of driver pay as opposed to charging it on top of the fare as the law requires,” Desai said in a statement. “This payout is an attempt by Uber to pull a fast one to avoid court oversight and shortchange drivers in the process,” she added. “Nice try. We’ll see you in court to win back all of the money drivers are owed, includ[ing] up to double damages.” The Independent Drivers Guild, an affiliate of the Machinists union that represents ride-hail drivers in New York, called for city regulators to launch an investigation into payment practices by ride-hail companies. “Uber’s theft of drivers’ hard-earned wages is the latest in a long history of underhanded tactics in this industry,” said Jim Conigliaro Jr, the founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, in a statement. “This is exactly why we have been calling for industry-wide pay protections to stop the exploitation of New York’s drivers once and for all.” Uber has long faced criticism over its treatment of drivers, which it considers independent contractors rather than employees. The classification of drivers as contractors allows Uber to avoid paying minimum wage or providing benefits such as workers’ compensation. In March, a video of Travis Kalanick berating an Uber driver went viral, prompting the CEO to apologize and seek “leadership help”. In the video, Kalanick responded to his Uber driver raising concerns about his livelihood by saying: “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else.” The embattled CEO has faced a slew of scandals this year, including allegations of widespread sexual harassment and gender discrimination and a costly intellectual property battle with Alphabet. In March, the New York Times reported that about 500,000 riders have deleted their accounts in protest of the company’s practices.


ARLINGTON, Va., May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bloomberg Law and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) announced today a strategic collaboration for Bloomberg Law to offer sponsored content, practice tools and editorial expertise to ACC members through a variety of unique...


News Article | April 30, 2017
Site: www.forbes.com

It's a lot easier to kill jobs than to create them. It is much easier to kill innovation than to create it. Trump's Department of Energy, led by former Texas governor Rick Perry, seems to be taking the easy route. As reported in the journal Science this week (and first reported by Politico Pro), DOE has halted its process to award $70 million in new grants that its research agency, ARPA-E, had announced this past December. ARPA-E is the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, created to fund high-risk, high-reward new ideas about energy. Even more alarming is that DOE has imposed a gag order on the program managers, so that scientists have no idea why their funding is being delayed, or it if will ever arrive. According to the Science story: The move, which came with no warning, leaves many scientists, including young Ph.D.s just starting new jobs, suddenly without jobs. Bloomberg BNA was able to extract this tiny bit of explanation from an Energy Department spokesman: I'm sure that makes the unemployed scientists and struggling energy technology companies feel much better. Cutting funding that has already been awarded–and which used money that was already appropriated by Congress–is especially disruptive. How can anyone hire new scientific staff when the federal agency might yank away a grant that it had already announced? The Science story described a young Ph.D. plant biologist from Penn State, Molly Hanlon, who was due to start work next week on one of the new ARPA-e projects, but now she might not have any job at all. The 26 projects, all of them now on hold, were originally announced by DOE in December. Here are the states that are homes to the threatened projects: 15 of the 26 projects are led by companies, most of them small companies trying to creative innovative new technologies. The other 11 are housed at universities, including Energy Sec. Rick Perry's alma mater, Texas A&M (so at least we can't blame Perry for bias). And nine of these 19 states voted for Trump last November. This isn't even the whole story. Eight more projects under a different ARPA-E program, ENLITENED, were told in mid-March that they would be funded, Science reports. Just a week later, though, the press conference to announce the awards was cancelled, and the program now appears to be in danger of cancellation. I'm sure that all of these project teams invested many months in preparing their winning proposals. Leaders of the projects announced back in December were poised to begin their research until the sudden announcement this week, with no explanation, that everything was on hold.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - April 10, 2017) - BNA Solutions is a third year Consumer Choice Award winner in the category of Insolvency and Bankruptcy in the region of Southern Alberta. The company has been in business since 1997 and is Southern Alberta's leading Bankruptcy Trustee. Q: WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOUR COMPANY TO BE VOTED BY CONSUMERS AS YOUR CITY'S BEST? A: As a small privately owned business competing against multinational companies, it means a lot to know we were voted best in our category. We pride ourselves on our level of personalized service to our clients. Q: HOW WILL WINNING THIS AWARD AFFECT THE WORK YOU DO MOVING FORWARD? A: It will encourage us to continue doing our very best for each and everyone of our clients. We have worked very hard for our reputation over the past 20 years, and will continue to do so. Q: WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR COMPETITORS? A: We truly treat each of our clients with the respect they deserve. We don't judge or rush important decisions but take the time to explain the options and processes. Always here to listen. Q: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST RISK YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN IN BUSINESS? A: As an employee, I bought out the previous owner and believed in myself that I could make the company more successful based on hard work and reputation. Q: BUSINESSWISE, WHAT IS YOUR NEXT BIG STEP? A: We have just opened an Edmonton location and are in talks for another location. GETTING TO KNOW BARRY NYKYFORUK BUSINESS MOTTO... Treat people like you would want to be treated, and remember that bad things happen to good people. WHAT I LOVE IN MY JOB... Helping people everyday get their lives back. BIGGEST SUCCESS... Turning an average business into a Consumer Choice Award winner three years in a row. ONE WORD I WANT TO OWN IN MY CUSTOMERS' MIND...Trust DAILY, I TRY TO... Make my clients feel that I am here to help; no matter how busy I am I try to make time for them. DURING MY SPARE TIME I... LOL, I don't have much as I work long, long hours. IN MY IPOD... A very eclectic selection of music. From old school rock to country, easy listening, and current pop.


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: scienceblogs.com

At Bloomberg BNA, Stephen Lee reports that with fears of deportation looming, undocumented immigrants are becoming afraid to access legal remedies when they’re injured on the job. The article notes that such immigrants are disproportionately employed in hazardous jobs and while they account for just 15 percent of the overall workforce, they account for 18 percent of occupational fatalities. Lee writes: Sofia, a Mexican fieldworker in Santa Rosa, Calif., has a workers’ compensation case in the works after hurting her arm and shoulder pulling vine roots, requiring surgery. But she says she’s reluctant to show up to her dates with the workers’ compensation administrative court—and even go to the doctor—because of the Trump administration’s tough stance. “My life has changed a lot,” Sofia told Bloomberg BNA through a translator. “I don’t go out. Everything you hear on the news tells you to be careful, because immigration agents will be there to grab you. I’m very afraid. I now live a life that is pretty much enclosed, indoors. I tell my husband every day to be careful when you drive, because you could get a ticket and that could be a pretense for them to arrest you.” Rosita, a 40-year old cleanup worker from Mexico who now lives in Suisun City, Calif., is going through the workers’ compensation system after hurting her hands and right arm while cleaning heavy equipment in 2014. But once she heals, she isn’t sure what she’ll do. “I’m afraid of returning to work,” Rosita told Bloomberg BNA, also through a translator. “I don’t feel confident enough to go back to work. With the new president and all the changes, I’m definitely afraid.” BuzzFeed News: Cora Lewis reports that women members of the Iron Workers Union will now get six months of paid maternity leave that they can take before giving birth. The benefit is believed to be a first of its kind for the building industry and was partly in response to so many women leaving the sector for other professions. The union is home to about 2,100 women workers. Lewis reports: “The numbers put maternity leave for iron-working women on par with corporate employees at tech companies like Etsy, Adobe, Spotify and Cisco. Netflix and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are among the only companies that offer workers more paid parental leave, according to data gathered by Care@Work, which specializes in family benefits.” CNN: Shefali Luthra reports that despite caring others’ health, many home health workers still lack health insurance coverage of their own. From 2010 to 2014, about 500,000 such workers got coverage through the Affordable Care Act, with most of those gains due to Medicaid expansions. Still, about one in every five home health workers don’t have insurance. Luthra writes: “The current air of uncertainty adds an extra layer of concern. Under the 2010 law, ‘at least we were on a path’ to addressing coverage and access concerns, said Elly Kugler, the federal policy director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a coalition that represents home care providers. If it goes away, she said, it’s not so clear how these workers will access health care.” San Francisco Examiner: In an opinion piece, Porfirio Quintano writes about the decision of his union — the National Union of Healthcare Workers — to declare itself a “sanctuary union” and protect its members against heightened deportation threats as well as defend them against management retaliation. The union is partnering with San Francisco-area immigration lawyers to represent members at risk of deportation as well as educating its members on their legal rights. Quintano writes: “During the union meeting I attended in San Francisco earlier this year, two members questioned becoming a sanctuary union, fearful that we would be ‘protecting criminals.’ It fell upon me and another member to explain that our goal wasn’t to hide our undocumented brothers and sisters, but to guarantee them due process. The right to representation is one principle all union members can rally around.” Minneapolis Star Tribune: Adam Belz reports that protestors are facing off on whether servers should be exempt from a Minneapolis minimum wage hike. The article reports that City Council member have signaled support for a $15 minimum wage without a tip carveout. Protestors on both sides of the carveout debate demonstrated outside a local restaurant earlier this week. Belz reports: “About 35 people protested what they said would be wage theft, and to argue that the Minneapolis City Council should enact a $15 minimum wage that does not exempt servers, bartenders and other tipped workers. They held banners and several wore the red shirts of the 15 Now coalition. Just after noon, about 50 people in the light green and blue of the Pathway to $15 coalition marched up University Avenue toward the other protesters, chanting ‘Whose tips? Our tips!’” Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for 15 years. Follow me on Twitter — @kkrisberg.


News Article | March 21, 2017
Site: scienceblogs.com

At the Sacramento Bee, Ryan Lillis and Jose Luis Villegas report on the effects that Trump’s immigration crackdown is having on California farms, writing that fear of deportation is spreading throughout the state’s farming communities. While many farmworkers believe immigration raids are inevitable, farm operators, many who voted for Trump, hope the president will bring more water to the region and keep immigration officials off their fields. Lillis and Villegas write: Fear is everywhere. The night before, the local school board became one of the first in California to declare its campuses a “safe haven” for students and families, meaning it won’t ask about students’ immigration status or allow federal immigration authorities onto school property. That anxiety stretches throughout the southern San Joaquin Valley, among the most fertile and productive agricultural regions on Earth. As the spring picking season approaches, farmworkers are convinced the fields will be raided by federal agents intent on rounding up undocumented immigrants and shipping them back to Mexico or Central America. With many fearing the authorities will also set up checkpoints on the highways, the United Farm Workers union said the labor flow has already been cut in half at some farms. “If they don’t need us here to work the fields, who’s going to do the work?” said a 54-year-old farmworker named Metorio, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico and a father of three. The Sacramento Bee is only using his first name because he fears deportation. “The workers who do this work are the Mexicans, the Latinos,” he said. “I hope President Trump will see how much the farmers need us.” To read the full article, visit the Sacramento Bee. Toronto Star: Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on the “epidemic of violence” that Ontario’s nurses and other health care workers face on the job – experiences that Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, recently wrote about in a letter to Ontario’s minister of labor. In that letter, Hurley said the threat of violence that health care workers face goes “unacknowledged, dismissed or tolerated by administrators and regulators.” Within the Canadian province, health care workers experience the second-highest number of reported injuries, ahead of industries such as construction, mining and manufacturing. Mojtehedzadeh writes: “Dianne Paulin, a registered practical nurse from North Bay with 25 years of job experience, says she would have been spared her life-changing injures if the psychiatric ward she worked on had implemented common sense policies like bolting down furniture. Instead, she was assaulted by a patient who pinned her against his room door with a chair and repeatedly punched her, leaving her with a bulging neck disc, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks.” Charleston Gazette-Mail: Ken Ward Jr. reports that the West Virginia Senate is now considering an industry-backed bill that would dismantle the state’s miner safety laws. Among the changes proposed: state safety inspectors wouldn’t inspect mines anymore, they would conduct “compliance visits and education”; violators of health and safety standards wouldn’t receive fines, but “compliance assistance visit notices”; and state regulators wouldn’t have the authority to write safety and health regulations, but could only focus on improving compliance assistance. Ward Jr. writes: “One thing that is clear is that the bill would maintain and encourage the use of ‘individual personal assessments,’ which target specific mine employees — rather than mine operators or coal companies — for violations, fines and, possibly, revocation of certifications or licenses needed to work in the industry.” In related news, the New York Times Editorial Board recently published an opinion arguing that Trump’s promise to resurrect coal’s “heyday” is prompting the health and safety onslaught in state legislatures. Bloomberg BNA: Sam Pearson reports that industry groups, along with House Republicans, are pushing for an infinite delay of OSHA’s updated beryllium standard. In a letter to OSHA, Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., said the agency had made a mistake by issuing standards for construction and shipyards, as its 2015 proposed rule only applied to general industry. Pearson writes: “In public comments, Sammy Almashat and Emily Gardner of Public Citizen countered that the postponement was ‘simply the latest in a 16-year-long series of delays of a rule that the entire scientific community agrees is urgently necessary to save thousands of workers from the risk of needless suffering and death.’” BuzzFeed: Cora Lewis reports that nearly 350,000 service workers nationwide plan to strike on May 1, with tens of thousands of California SEIU members joining the protest. The strike is being driven by organized labor, but an overriding goal is to use the gathering to highlight “alt-labor” groups, such as worker centers. Lewis writes: “The Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) United, a food industry worker advocacy group, will also be participating in the strike, according to Saru Jayaraman, its co-director. ROC United and its network of restaurant owners and workers were instrumental in organizing the recent Day Without Immigrants protest, which shuttered hundreds of restaurants in cities across the country. America’s last major general strike was the first such Day Without Immigrants, in 2006, in which more than a million workers struck.” Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for 15 years.


News Article | June 21, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

The portfolio provides an in-depth analysis of the issues that arise in health care joint ventures and how they apply to different types of joint ventures, including those between competing hospitals and those between hospitals and physicians, either acting individually or as physician groups. Antitrust and tax-exemption considerations as well as fraud and abuse issues are examined in detail and Health Care Joint Ventures concludes with insightful discussions of additional joint ventures types, contractual joint ventures, group purchasing organizations, and independent practice associations. "Joint ventures give hospitals and physicians opportunities to expand their businesses, enhance their reputations and grow their patient bases; however, they are also fraught with legal risk," said Hall Render attorney David A. Lips. "This portfolio addresses those risks by the type of joint venture and by the kind of participants who choose to partner in this way. It was a privilege to author this portfolio and also to add annotations to transaction documents for practical guidance on Bloomberg Law's Health Care Practice Center." "With health care reform front and center, industry participants continue to pursue partnerships and alliances such as joint ventures and this portfolio provides a detailed roadmap for navigating these very complex transactions," said Scott Falk, Vice President and General Manager, Health Care & Litigation, Bloomberg Law.  "We are grateful for the efforts of David Lips who has authored a portfolio that gives attorneys an appreciation for some of the key factors for establishing health care joint ventures — and a better eye for recognizing obstacles to be addressed that could become serious issues if not addressed proactively." Bloomberg Law portfolios are written by expert practitioners and feature deep-dive analysis and practice tools, such as checklists, sample client letters, forms and other supporting material, on a wide range of key legal topics. For information on the full range of health care resources available on Bloomberg Law, including practical guidance on health care joint ventures, visit http://on.bna.com/GrJP30cKaNX. Bloomberg Law will be exhibiting at the American Health Lawyers Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco, June 25 – 28, 2017. About Bloomberg BNA Bloomberg BNA provides legal, tax and compliance professionals with critical information, practical guidance and workflow solutions. We leverage leading technology and a global network of experts to deliver a unique combination of news and authoritative analysis, comprehensive research solutions, innovative practice tools, and proprietary business data and analytics.  Bloomberg BNA is an affiliate of Bloomberg L.P., the global business, financial information and news leader.  For more information, visit www.bna.com. About Bloomberg Law Bloomberg Law helps legal professionals provide world-class counsel with access to actionable legal intelligence in a business context.  Bloomberg Law delivers a unique combination of practical guidance, comprehensive primary and secondary source material, trusted content from Bloomberg BNA, news, time-saving practice tools, market data and business intelligence. For more information, visit www.bna.com/bloomberglaw. About Hall Render As the nation's largest health care-focused law firm, Hall Render is distinguished by its attorneys' extensive knowledge and experience.  More than 200 health attorneys in 12 offices across the country provide the nation's best health systems, hospitals, physician organizations and other health care industry partners with legal and strategic counsel on all aspects of health care regulatory, business, compliance, litigation and operational matters.  Commitment and experience complement the firm's understanding of the evolving landscape of today's health care industry, distinguishing Hall Render as one of the nation's preeminent health care law firms.  Learn more at: www.hallrender.com To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bloomberg-law-and-hall-render-publish-portfolio-on-health-care-joint-ventures-300477551.html


News Article | June 21, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

ARLINGTON, Va., June 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Bloomberg Law's Big Law Business and Catalyst today announced that they will be hosting a complimentary event focused on how in-house counsel are moving control of litigation in-house and leveraging technology to actively manage legal...


Patent
BNA Inc | Date: 2015-08-05

Provided is a convenient and economical testing method capable of detecting a detection target nucleic acid (e.g., mutation type gene) with high sensitivity and high accuracy. A method including selectively amplifying a detection target nucleic acid by inhibiting amplification of a detection non-target nucleic acid (e.g., wild-type gene) in a test sample by using, in a nucleic acid amplification reaction, an oligonucleotide analog containing one or more kinds of one or more unit structures of various nucleoside analogs represented by the following formula (I):


Patent
BNA Inc | Date: 2013-09-27

The invention provides a method of selectively amplifying a detection target nucleic acid by inhibiting amplification of a detection non-target nucleic acid (e.g., wild-type gene) in a test sample by using, in a nucleic acid amplification reaction, an oligonucleotide analog containing one or more kinds of one or more unit structures of various nucleoside analogs represented by the following formula (I): wherein the symbols are as defined in the DESCRIPTION, and the like, or a salt thereof, as a clamp nucleic acid, and detecting the amplified nucleic acid.

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