The Washington Post Quotes Jeff Belkin on Obama Order on Contractor Workplace Violations

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On August 31, Alston & Bird Construction & Government Contracts partner Jeff Belkin was quoted in the Washington Post article “Obama Order on Contractor Workplace Violations Takes Effect Soon, Despite Objections.” The article discusses some of the issues surrounding the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order that will compel potential government contractors to report violations covering 14 workplace protections from the previous three years. As indicated by Belkin, the new regulations could turn into a “blacklisting rule” that may shut out “many highly capable, ethical and [...]Read more

Corporate Counsel Quotes Clare Draper on Final “Blacklisting” Rule for Government Contractors

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On August 25, Alston & Bird Labor & Employment partner Clare Draper was quoted in the Corporate Counsel article “New ‘Blacklisting’ Rules for Contractors Add Compliance Burden for Companies.” The article explains what the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, or so-called “blacklisting rule,” would do and examines some of the anticipated effects. Draper was quoted as saying the firm expects the regulations “to bring about complex compliance issues on a variety of levels to both large and small companies, leaving them increasingly vulnerable to risk.” To learn [...]Read more

Circuit Court Signals Potential Impacts of Escobar

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Lower courts have begun grappling with the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar. In U.S. ex rel. Sheet Metal Workers International Association v. Horning Investments, LLC, a union filed a qui tam lawsuit against Horning Investments, LLC. Horning, a roofing company, was acting as a subcontractor for a construction project for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The union claimed that Horning violated the False Claims Act by failing to pay union workers in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act. Under the Davis-Bacon [...]Read more

Law360 Publishes Article on Kingdomware by Jeff Belkin and Breana Ware

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On June 21, 2016, Law360 published the article “High Court Boosts Veterans Contracts in Kingdomware” written by Jeff Belkin and Breana Ware. In this article, Jeff and Breana discuss the issues at hand in the recent unanimous decision for the U.S. Supreme Court in Kingdomware Technologies Inc. v. United States, No. 14-916. As indicated by Jeff and Breana, this ruling will have a significant impact on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ procurement process; on current and future protests before the Government Accountability Office regarding the VA’s use, or nonuse, of the Rule of Two; [...]Read more

The Supreme Court Weighs In on the Implied Certification Theory of False Claims Act Liability

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The Supreme Court has handed the Department of Justice and qui tam relators a bigger hammer to wield against government contractors with its opinion in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, confirming the viability of the implied certification theory of False Claims Act (FCA) liability. In this case, the relators filed a qui tam action alleging that a provider of mental-health services in Massachusetts violated the FCA when it submitted Medicaid reimbursement claims that included representations about the services provided, but failed to disclose that the service [...]Read more

OFCCP Announces Final Rule Regarding Gender Equality in the Government Contracts Workplace

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On June 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced a Final Rule setting forth the requirements that covered federal contractors and subcontractors must meet to fulfill their obligations under Executive Order 11246 to ensure nondiscrimination in employment on the basis of sex. The new rule updates prior, outdated guidelines to bring the requirements in line with case law interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s current interpretation of the statute (which sometimes [...]Read more

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Significant False Claims Act Case

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Our colleagues Jackie Baratian and Jason Popp summarize here the oral argument for Universal Health Services v. United Sates ex rel. Escobar heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 19th, laying out the various arguments presented by counsel and addressed by the Justices.  As they note, much of the argument focused on the Restatement of Contracts, as a source of “fraud” in contracting common law, to help draw a distinction between an implied promise and an immaterial unspoken performance detail.  The Justices also took note of the decision in Halper, in which the Supreme Court in [...]Read more

Law360 Quotes Chris Roux on Florida I-4 Ultimate Project

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Alston & Bird Construction & Government Contracts partner Chris Roux was quoted on federal funding for Florida’s $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate Project in conjunction with traditional public-private partnerships.  As indicated by Roux, a notable aspect of the project is the inclusion of two TIFIA loans and construction loans with Societe Generale as the syndication agent, CIBC as the documentation agent and BTMU as the administrative agent.  Roux said that the TIFIA loans, at approximately $950 million, were the largest ever TIFIA loans to a P3 project. To read more about Roux’s comments [...]Read more

Is the False Claims Act Becoming a Catch-All Penalty for Any and Every Contractual Breach?

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A recent Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement announcement suggests that the government intends to continue to use the False Claims Act (FCA), rather than more traditional breach of contract or tort claims or regulatory authority, to administer its contracts. On March 7, 2016, the DOJ announced its $3 million settlement with ArmorSource LLC to resolve FCA allegations against the company. ArmorSource contracted with the U.S. Army in 2006 to provide ballistic helmets for combat. In 2010, the Army recalled the helmets after rounds of failed ballistic safety tests. The government alleged that from [...]Read more

Supreme Court to Rule on the Implied Certification Theory

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The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in a case that will have significant implications for cases brought under the False Claims Act (FCA). In Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar, No. 15-7, the Court will hear argument on two important questions. First, whether the “implied certification” theory of legal falsity is viable under the FCA, a question on which the circuit courts of appeal are divided. If the Court concludes the implied certification theory is viable, then the second issue it will consider is whether government contractors’ reimbursement claims [...]Read more