Monday, October 17, 2016

Big Labor Attacks Idaho’s Right to Work Law

by Skip Sperry, Esq

A big labor case filed in Idaho’s federal district court continues to progress. The case, entitled International Union of Operating Engineers Local 370 v. Wasden, Case No. 4:15-cv-00500, was filed on October 22, 2015. The complaint alleges that Idaho’s Right to Work (“RTW”) statute is unconstitutional based upon the 5th Amendment prohibition against takings of private property for public use without paying just compensation.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Has Illinois Taken Leave Of Its Senses?

By David G. Lubben, Esq.

Leave program managers have a tough job. The federal FMLA is complex and has hundreds of pages of detailed regulations. New state laws from Illinois will make the leave administrator’s job even tougher in this State.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

I-9 Compliance for Employers: Significantly Increased Fines for Employers

by John R. LaBar, Esq.

To aid in the enforcement of the obligation on employers to hire only individuals authorized to work, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (the “IRCA”) requires employers to verify the employment eligibility of all new employees at the time they are hired. Every employee hired to perform labor or services in return for wages or other remuneration must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9). The most recent version of Form I-9 has an issuance date of March 8, 2013 with an expiration date of March 31, 2016; however, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has directed that employees should, until further notice, continuing using the current Form until a new form is issued. 

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

The ACA Makes My Head Hurt!

by Norma Shirk, Esq.

Imagine the following scenario:

Stephanie is the HR Director for her company and she's spent years trying to figure out how to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements for large employers. She works for a company that provides janitorial services to businesses.

The company has issued as many as 700 W-2's in one year but it has a core group of 300 employees who work varying schedules. Turnover is high because few people like working low-paying janitorial jobs. Janitorial jobs are also risky, as when employees slip on newly mopped floors or wrench their backs emptying trashcans. Stephanie fortifies herself with extra coffee to get through the weekly safety meetings reporting injuries.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Federal Court Blocks DOL's New Persuader Rule

by Amanda S. Smith, Esq.

On March 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued the final version of its "Persuader Rule." According to the DOL, the Persuader Rule "realigns the [DOL's] regulations with the text of a law passed by Congress, the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA)."

The rule requires employers, third-party lawyers and other labor consultants (collectively referred to as "consultants") to disclose to the DOL any arrangement to persuade employees directly (consultants talking to workers) or indirectly (consultants scripting what managers and supervisors say to workers) concerning the right to organize or bargain collectively.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Now What? Drug Testing in the Wake of Medical Marijuana

by Elizabeth Crosby, Esq.

Earlier this month, Ohio legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, fueling concerns over the extent to which Ohio employees are now legally permitted to report to work under the influence of marijuana. Ohio is now one of 25 states that permit the use of marijuana for pain management and treatment of various medical conditions. The law does not permit recreational use of marijuana and the law, as written, places significant restraints on how marijuana can be ingested for medical benefits.

Many of the details concerning how medical marijuana will be grown, packaged and distributed legally have yet to be determined. However, doctors can begin prescribing medical marijuana in September, at which time it will be legal for those patients to access medical marijuana in the states where it is currently legally available.

The law imposes certain important restrictions on how medical marijuana can be ingested and by whom. It remains illegal to smoke marijuana—even with a prescription.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

The Whys and Hows of Education and/or Experience Evaluations in the Context of H-1B Visa Preparation and Filing

by David H. Nachman, Esq.; Michael Phulwani, Esq.; and Rabindra K. Singh, Esq.

Most of the prospective H-1B employees and H-1B employers begin with either of the following two thoughts:

"I would like to work in the U.S. using an H-1B visa, but am not sure if I qualify" or
"I want to hire a foreign worker but not sure if the individual qualifies for an H-1B visa."

In order to successfully obtain an H-1B visa, it is mandatory that not only the prospective H-1B employee but both the proffered position and prospective employee should qualify for the H-1B visa. This article will explore the importance of educational and/or experience evaluations, and explain certain precautions that an employer and/or prospective H-1B employee can take in order to avoid a potential Request for Evidence (RFE) and/or denial of the H-1B nonimmigrant petition.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Not Every Degree Qualifies Foreign Nationals for H-1B Master’s Cap

by David H. Nachman, Esq.; Michael Phulwani, Esq.; and Rabindra K. Singh, Esq.

Many foreign nationals holding an F-1 nonimmigrant status in the United States, especially those who are engaged in Optional Practical Training (OPT), often intend to change their nonimmigrant status to become a professional specialty workers (H-1B workers). Most foreign nationals seeking H-1B nonimmigrant classification are subject to the 58,200 annual cap.[1] There are an additional 20,000 H-1B visas which are reserved specifically for foreign nationals who receive a master's degree (or a higher degree) from a United States college or university.[2]

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Now Is the Time to Think About Your H-1B Back-Up Plan

by David H. Nachman, Esq.; Michael Phulwani, Esq.; and Rabindra K. Singh, Esq.

On April 7, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.

USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 9, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption.

With uncertainty looming large as to who may or may not get selected in the H-1B lottery, it is time that H-1B visa hopefuls (and their prospective H-1B employers) start to explore other nonimmigrant work visa options to allow them to work and live in the United States on a temporary basis.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Updating Overtime Regulations

by Salvatore Gangemi, Esq.

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) issued its Final Rule modifying overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The Final Rule makes material changes to the application of overtime exemptions, and will take effect on December 1, 2016.

In 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to simplify and modernize the overtime rules to make them easier for employees and employers to understand and apply.

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