Stronger Health Regulations in the Fracking Industry Benefit the Industry and Workers Alike

Daniel Bourgault Associate Editor Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, JD 2022 As a compliance deadline set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) for the fracking industry approaches on June 23, 2021, both the industry and the workers employed by it are seeing benefits. Created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, …
Read more

Exploring COVID-19 Vaccine Authorization by the FDA   

As of April 22, 2021, 218,947,643 million people have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Before or during the appointment, your provider directs you to a fact sheet for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or  Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. On the fact sheet, there were a couple of sentences that caught my eye “The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is a vaccine and may prevent you from getting COVID-19. There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.”  When I read this, I wanted more information about the difference is between being authorized or approved. Like many people, one can become hesitant when a product is not adequately tested; in fact, a Kaiser research project shows about 30% of people probably or definitely not get the vaccine.

The Votes Are In . . . or Are They?

On Friday, April 9th, Amazon successfully withstood the largest push for unionization yet for its U.S. workers when its Bessemer, Ala. warehouse employees voted ‘no’ to unionizing. The final tally of ballots showed only 738 votes in favor of joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (“RWDSU”) compared to 1,798 votes against it. After a tally, any party may file objections to the conduct of the election or to conduct affecting the election’s results—and the RWDSU is doing just that.

COVID-19 Vaccine Passports and Privacy Concerns

As businesses begin to reopen and resume operations after the pandemic, there are discussions surrounding possible vaccine passports and the concerns protecting individuals’ personal health information. COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more available within the country and more Americans feel safe to resume their normal lives. Many states and businesses are contemplating the idea of making vaccine passports a requirement for travel and large events. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) was created to protect personal health information. As other countries are beginning to require proof of vaccination, many are contemplating whether vaccine passports are permitted by HIPAA or if the requirement will actually violate the federal health privacy law.

Reining in Tax Havens

Shortly after Bristol Myers Squibb filed to create an offshore subsidiary in Ireland, the IRS took notice. The large drug manufacturer’s actions would now allow them to attribute some of its patent rights and medications to the subsidiary, and therefore subject to a twelve and a half percent Irish corporate tax rate, which is far less than the current twenty one percent rate in the United States. Additionally, while Bristol Myers had maximized the write offs and deductions for their products in the United States, the Irish deductions would now offset the U.S. taxes.

The Aircraft Certification Process under the Federal Aviation Administration

Though the idea of a plane crash or any other incident with air travel is extremely unsettling, only about one accident per 2.5 million flights is fatal. Additionally, plane crashes also have about a ninety-five percent survivability rate. The regulations behind aviation are designed to implement the highest safety standards in all aircraft to prevent injury from occurring. The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) that manages commercial and general aviation flights with a mission to provide safe air travel. The FAA is a crucial part of what makes air travel safe.

Together we go … to the White House?: The Cybersecurity Risks of Peloton

Peloton has a coined the term “together we go far” as their company slogan, and over the course of this year that is exactly what this company has done. Since the company launched in 2012, Peloton has gone far and wide delivering their fitness technology to millions of people across the globe. Peloton is an international company that designs at-home gym equipment and produces virtual workout classes for their customers to live-stream or watch on-demand through their Peloton products. Peloton provides an outlet for fitness and competition while building a positive and inclusive community for their members across the United States and the world. Of the millions of members in the Peloton community, one is our leading man in office President Joe Biden.

Crypto Confusion Leads to Legislative Action: Multiple Bills Introduced to Clarify Federal Regulation of Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have often been associated with illegal activities due to the fact that they allow users to remain relatively anonymous. This anonymity is possible because, when transacting with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you can see where funds are being sent but not who sent or received them. However, there are signs that the use of crypto for unlawful purposes may be falling with illicit activity accounting for just 0.34% of all crypto transactions last year – down from roughly 2% a year earlier. Despite this improvement, cryptocurrency regulation appears to remain a top priority for federal lawmakers. One such example of this is the proposal of an anti-money laundering rule which would require people who hold their cryptocurrency in a private digital wallet to undergo identity checks if they make transactions of $3,000 or more. But Congress does not appear to be stopping there. As cryptocurrencies surged in value in recent days, lawmakers jumped to introduce two new bills aimed at advancing regulation of these precarious digital assets.

Breaking Up the Monopoly on Antitrust

Antitrust laws regulate the concentration of economic power, the core of which was passed under the Sherman Act in 1890 and remain central to antitrust today.  However, the laws are not applied today the way they were in their heyday of antitrust regulation – in the 1970s and 1980s, the Chicago School of Economics took hold over the courts’ antitrust jurisprudence, and since then the courts have been far more amiable to market concentration.  The Chicago School’s economic analysis of law argued that big firms were not a threat to growth and prosperity and have successfully argued for a hands-off approach to monopolies and mergers outside of a narrow focus on consumer welfare. 

It’s Not Too Early to Start Worrying About Discriminatory Algorithms in Your Code: A Practical Approach to Self-Regulation

There’s no doubt that remote work, brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, will accelerate the digital revolution already underway. Consumers’ growing appetite to conduct their business online, rather than in-person, has fueled the proliferation of digitally accessible products and services. For instance, movie theaters have closed their doors while content streaming services have experienced exponential growth. And while the restaurant industry, as a whole, has suffered, ‘virtual’ kitchens and grocery delivery apps have picked up steam. A critical question that arises from these trends is “what can be done to eliminate biases in the algorithms that drive these digital transactions?”