Category:

Regulation

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, …
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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.

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.

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. 

Updates to Autorenewal Regulations and Enforcement

In the age of online consumerism, many companies utilize automatic renewal programs to deliver their products and services to customers on a recurring basis for a monthly or annual charge. Recently, autorenewal programs have seen an increase in consumer protection through legislation at both the state and federal level along with enforcement actions brought by private plaintiffs, state attorney generals, and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). Organizations that utilize automatic renewal should be aware of the uptick in autorenewal program enforcement and look to strengthen and update their policies where appropriate.

New Illinois Prejudgment Bill Could Affect Hospitals and Health Care Providers

On March 25, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker vetoed HB 3360, which would have allowed plaintiffs to recover prejudgment interest, at a rate of nine percent, on all damages related to personal injuries or wrongful death. The governor believed this bill was too burdensome on hospitals and healthcare providers since most Illinois hospitals are self-insured, making them directly responsible for paying the costs of this legislation. However, the governor’s veto letter expressed a willingness to pass prejudgment interest legislation if problems with the current bill, including more robust protections for health care providers, were addressed. That same day, the Illinois House and Senate passed SB 72, which addressed some of the governor’s concerns.

Lawmakers and Regulators Call for Action After Archegos Meltdown

Last week, the finance industry watched one of the biggest implosions of an investment firm since the 2008 financial crisis. Archegos Capital Management rocked the industry when it was forced to liquidate huge positions in blue-chip companies after some risky investment strategies went south. The financial instruments used in this risky investment strategy are called total return swaps. The Archegos meltdown has lead lawmakers and regulators to call for increased scrutiny of the swaps.