On March 14, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration and the EPA announced a proposed rule for regulating public drinking water called the PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR). If finalized, this rule would be the “first-ever national drinking water standard” by regulating chemicals in drinking water. Although many supporters praise the proposed rule, critics wonder whether the federal government is providing public water systems and municipal utilities with enough resources to implement the rule and succeed.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently took several steps to strengthen its fight against white-collar crime. In its attempt to promote corporate compliance, the DOJ announced last September that it would focus on two policies: (1) voluntary self-disclosure and (2) compensation incentives with the use of clawbacks. Since then, every U.S. Attorney’s Office has adopted the first policy, a voluntary self-disclosure program. For consistent application of the policy throughout the nation, all the voluntary self-disclosure programs have a common basis: where a company has voluntarily self-disclosed a violation, cooperated, and remediated the issue without other aggravating factors, the DOJ will not seek a guilty plea. Now, on March 2, 2023, U.S. Deputy Attorney General, Lisa Monaco, announced that the DOJ is ready to launch its second policy through a Compensation Incentives and Clawbacks Program (CICP). This pilot program shifts the responsibility of corporate violations from shareholders onto individual wrongdoers, but it is unclear how effective it will be at promoting compliance.
Since 2019, TikTok and ByteDance, its parent company, officials have been negotiating with the Committee on Foreign Investment of the United States (CFIUS) regarding required technical safeguards they will need to adopt to be in compliance with US national security concerns. The popular social media app, which gained traction during the beginning of 2020 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, has been scrutinized by many officials regarding concerns for user privacy. Currently, the Biden administration has been working to encourage TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell their investment in the app or face a potential national ban in the U.S.. However, Tiktok representatives argue this will not alleviate concerns about user data privacy.
On February 21, 2023, the Seattle City Council added caste to the city’s anti-discrimination laws, becoming the first U.S. city to ban caste discrimination and the first in the world to pass such a law outside South Asia. While the law seemingly only impacts employment practices in Seattle, employers outside of Seattle with large South Asian populations among their workforces should take note as other jurisdictions have begun to follow Seattle’s lead.
Sophie Shapiro Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2024 Over the past few months, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun an investigation against Twitter, specifically into Elon Musk’s personal role in various high-profile decisions including massive layoffs, rapid changes to Twitter’s features and the sharing of internal company records with journalists.
On February 3, 2023, the Department of Justice (DOJ) formally withdrew its support for three policies that created longstanding safe harbors from antitrust enforcement, relied upon by the healthcare industry for nearly thirty years. Assistant Attorney General, Jonathan Kanter, of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division stated that these changes were “long overdue”, and that the, “[DOJ] will continue to work to ensure that its enforcement efforts reflect modern market realities.” In striking these guidelines, the DOJ notably left no new guidelines in its place, leaving many healthcare providers and purchasers uncertain of whether they will face litigation or even criminal prosecution under the Sherman Act.
The Justice Department introduced a new pilot program last week that encourages companies to center their compensation policies around rewarding good behavior and punishing those partaking in criminal activity. Deputy Attorney General, Lisa Monaco, previewed the program at an American Bar Association conference in Miami.
Over the past year, the nation has been concerned over an infant formula shortage that has become a crisis for many families in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for offering support and relief to families affected by this shortage in any way they can. Accordingly, the FDA loosened infant formula regulations. Specifically, the FDA allowed for an increased supply of infant formula by the announcement to infant formula manufacturers of the agency’s intention to temporarily exercise enforcement discretion. Enforcement was on a case-by-case basis, for specific infant formula requirements. This went into effect from May 16, 2022, through November 14, 2022, and was specifically designed to protect infants’ health. Essentially, selective enforcement would allow the FDA to grant permission for formulas despite not meeting all the regulations.
On February 3, 2023, Ohio was suddenly and unexpectedly rocked by an accident whose long-term consequences are still unfolding. A Norfolk Southern-operated freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in the village of East Palestine. This accident, which poses severe threats to the environment and safety of the local community, has raised significant concerns about the environmental implications of train accidents and the safety of transporting hazardous materials through residential areas.
Taelor Thornton Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2024 The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) complaints and breaches increased from 2017 to 2021, yet the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS OCR) stated that they did not perform any audits due to financial resources in …