For the first time since November 2010, the filing fees for many of the petitions and applications filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase, effective December 23, 2016. All applications or petitions mailed, postmarked, or otherwise filed with USCIS on or after that date must include the new fee. Continue Reading
Today, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction preventing the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing its regulations revising the white collar exemptions. Therefore, the increase in the minimum salary level to $913.00 per week that was expected to go into effect on December 1 will not occur on that date. Continue Reading
As we previously reported, 21 states filed a lawsuit on September 20 against the U.S. Department of Labor in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, challenging the USDOL’s revisions to the white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. On that same day, several business groups filed their own lawsuit in the same Court, also challenging the USDOL’s white collar exemption regulations. As we quickly approach the effective date of the new regulations (December 1), many employers are wondering: what is the status of those lawsuits and how do those lawsuits affect our plans to communicate with our employees about changes that will be made? Continue Reading
You read that right — not to be outdone by its federal counterpart — the New York Department of Labor recently proposed significant changes to the salary threshold applicable to exempt executive and administrative employees in New York State — changes all New York employers should be aware of. Continue Reading
New York’s Election Leave Law requires employers to post a voting leave notice at least ten (10) working days before “every election.” This year, the general election will be held on November 8, 2016. Therefore, employers must, if they have not already done so, post a notice no later than today, October 25, 2016. Continue Reading
On October 4, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a press release and announced that it was proposing changes to 18 separate regulations “as part of an ongoing effort to revise provisions in its standards that may be confusing, outdated or unnecessary.” A summary of the proposed changes can be accessed here. The proposals run across a wide spectrum from the technical (i.e., allowing ex-rays to be maintained in digital format); to the procedural (i.e., making the process safety management standard the same for construction and general industry); to the completely understandable (i.e., eliminating any uses of employee social security numbers in exposure monitoring); to the somewhat odd (i.e., eliminating feral cats from the definition of “vermin” in the shipyard equipment regulation). On the last point, the agency press release noted that “OSHA recognizes that feral cats pose a minor, if any, threat, and tend to avoid human contact, and OSHA proposes to remove the term ‘feral cats’ from the definition of vermin in the standard.” The deadline for submitting comments to any of the proposals is December 5, 2016.
Since 1989, the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act has required covered employers to give written notice in advance of certain workforce reductions affecting at least 50 employees. Twenty years later, a New York law expanded the coverage to reductions potentially affecting as few as 25 employees.
If your business is planning or considering downsizing at these levels, then a review of the WARN Act needs to be undertaken early in the process. Continue Reading
On September 29, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the issuance of its final rule implementing Executive Order 13706, which requires certain Federal contractors to provide at least 56 hours of paid sick leave per year to all employees (both hourly and salaried employees) working on Federal contracts. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on September 30 and applies to new or replacement contracts that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2017 (or are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2017). Continue Reading
On August 25, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its final “Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues.” Along with the final guidance, the EEOC issued a Q&A publication and a Small Business Fact Sheet.
Since 1998, the Supreme Court and lower courts have issued a number of significant rulings regarding employment related retaliation. The guidance illustrates where the EEOC is in agreement with lower court rulings and, significantly, where the EEOC’s interpretation of the law differs from that of the courts. It should come as no surprise that the EEOC takes a broad view of the protections afforded by the anti-retaliation provisions of the EEO laws it enforces. The final guidance offers employers insight into how the EEOC will handle retaliation charges and suggests “promising practices” for employers to follow to avoid such charges. Some issues of note include: Continue Reading
On September 20, 21 states filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, challenging the USDOL’s revisions to the white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In the lawsuit, the states are seeking a declaratory judgment that the USDOL violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by promulgating the new regulations, and an injunction preventing the USDOL from implementing the new regulations. Continue Reading