On June 5, 2023, the Connecticut Legislature passed Public Act No. 23-97, “An Act Concerning Health and Wellness for Connecticut Residents” (“the Act”). Sections 13 through 15 of the Act make important changes to Connecticut law governing physician, physician assistant (PA), and advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) non-compete agreements. These changes are summarized below and scheduled to take effect July 1, 2023. Governor Lamont is expected to sign the Act but has not done so as of the date of this publication.
Stephen Aronson concentrates his practice on employment litigation and employer counseling. He has particular expertise in the health care industry, regularly defending hospitals, health care systems, and physician groups from discrimination, wage and hour, whistleblower retaliation, and free speech claims as well as compliance actions. He also works with senior management on implementing best practices, risk avoidance, investigations, and litigation oversight. Mr. Aronson also handles hearings on injunctions in noncompete cases for both former employers and new employers, including related claims such as misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duties, and employee theft. Read his full rc.com bio here.
In Stevens v. Rite Aid Corp., No. 15-277 (March 21, 2017), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a jury award of almost $2 million that had been awarded in favor of a pharmacist who had a fear of needles and could not comply with Rite Aid’s new policy that required pharmacists to administer immunization injections to customers.
In 2011, in an effort to fill a vaccination void in the healthcare market, Rite Aid imposed a new requirement that all pharmacists must administer immunizations. Rite Aid revised its job description, requiring pharmacists to obtain valid immunization certificates and establishing immunizations as a part of the pharmacist’s essential job functions.
The plaintiff had worked for Rite Aid for 34 years. After receiving notice of the new requirement, he presented Rite Aid with a note from his treating physician stating that he suffered from trypanophobia, a fear of needles. His condition caused him to become lightheaded, pale, and feeling that he might faint. The physician stated that the plaintiff could not safely administer an injection since the likelihood that he would faint would be unsafe for both the patient and the plaintiff. Due to his trypanophobia, the plaintiff requested that Rite Aid provide him with a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. A short time later, Rite Aid terminated his employment.
Continue Reading Appeals Court Reverses ADA Jury Verdict for Pharmacist with Fear of Needles
In Wollschlaeger v. Florida, No. 12-14009 (Feb. 16, 2017), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit invalidated provisions of the Florida Firearms Owners’ Privacy Act that prohibited physicians from (i) asking patients if they (or their family members) own firearms or ammunition, (ii) documenting firearm ownership in patient medical records, and (iii) harassing patients about firearm ownership during examinations. The appellate court did not invalidate the Act’s antidiscrimination provision that prohibits physicians from discriminating against patients based solely on firearm ownership. Physicians who violated the Act were subject to disciplinary action by the Florida Board of Medicine, which promulgated regulations in 2014 and 2016 setting forth mandatory penalties for violations.
Continue Reading 11th Circuit Invalidates Key Provisions in Florida Law Prohibiting Physician Inquiries About Patient Firearm Ownership