New York Labor And Employment Law Report

New York Labor And Employment Law Report

Travel Ban 3.0: A No-Go (for now)

Posted in Immigration, Travel Ban

Two federal judges have blocked President Trump’s third try at implementing a nationwide travel ban.

The first ruling blocking the administration from enforcing the September 24th Presidential Proclamation, which restricts travel into the U.S. by foreign nationals from eight countries, came from the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, just hours before the travel ban was scheduled to go into effect. The Hawaii District Court issued a temporary restraining order (“TRO”), basing its decision on the same analysis used by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals when it set aside the earlier version of the travel ban – that is, that President Trump exceeded his authority under statutory federal immigration law. As a result of the TRO, nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen are exempt from the travel ban, but nationals from North Korea and Venezuela remain subject to the travel restrictions set forth in the Presidential Proclamation.

In his decision, Judge Watson noted that the latest travel ban is being challenged in part because the original travel ban, issued back in January of this year, was an attempt to create a “Muslim Ban”, and President Trump “has never renounced or repudiated his calls for a ban on Muslim immigration.” He wrote that the third iteration of the ban “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor”, and that it “plainly discriminates based on nationality” in a way that is opposed to federal law.

The second ruling, issuing a preliminary injunction blocking the ban from being enforced, came from the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on Wednesday, October 18, 2017. In a narrower decision, Judge Chuang blocked the administration only from enforcing the travel ban against travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Chad with a “bona fide relationship” with people or institutions in the U.S. Judge Chuang found that the Presidential Proclamation violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause since it is aimed at Muslims.

In response to the injunctions, the Justice Department has stated that it plans to appeal the Hawaii District Court’s ruling. We anticipate that the Maryland District Court ruling will also be appealed. In the meantime, the TRO and preliminary injunction are intended to maintain the status quo.

We will continue to apprise clients regarding any developments as they unfold.

New York State Releases Paid Family Leave Certification Forms

Posted in New York Law, Paid Family Leave

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (“WCB”) has just released the long-awaited Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) forms. There is a general application form (PFL-1), as well as various certification forms depending on the type of leave requested:

  1. To apply for PFL to bond with a newborn or a newly adopted or fostered child, the WCB has developed the PFL-1 form and PFL-2 (a bonding certification form) https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/bonding.pdf
  2. To apply for PFL to care for a family member with a serious health condition, the WCB has developed the PFL-1 form, as well as PFL-3 (a release of personal health information form) and PFL-4 (a health care provider certification form) https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/careforfamilymember.pdf
  3. To apply for PFL for a qualifying exigency arising from service of a family member in the U.S. Armed Forces, the WCB has developed the PFL-1 form and PFL-5 (a form to certify the military qualifying event) https://www.ny.gov/sites/ny.gov/files/atoms/files/military.pdf

As we mentioned in a previous blog post, the WCB has already released the waiver form (PFL-Waiver) and two forms regarding voluntary coverage (PFL-135 and PFL-136).  We will continue to provide additional updates on PFL as they become available.

Help Us (and the Code) Help You! Helping Employees/Co-Workers in a Crisis

Posted in Employee Benefits

In response to disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, the general community comes together to assist those in need — donating our blood, time, money, and belongings.  We respond similarly when one of our co-workers experiences an illness, death, accident, fire, or other severe financial hardship.  Employers often ask us:  “What can we do?”

Helping your employees and co-workers can be as easy as 1-2-3, once you crack the Code.  The Internal Revenue Code, that is.  If you know where to look, you can find some real win-win options. Continue Reading

New York State Releases Waiver and Voluntary Coverage Forms

Posted in New York Law

The New York Workers’ Compensation Board recently released three key forms associated with Paid Family Leave (“PFL”):

  1. PFL-Waiver:  “Employee Opt-Out of Paid Family Leave Benefits”
  2. PFL-135:  “Employer’s Application for Voluntary Coverage” (No Employee Contribution)
  3. PFL-136:  “Employer’s Application for Voluntary Coverage” (Employee Contribution Required)

These are the first forms that the WCB has formally published in connection with PFL, which will become effective on January 1, 2018.  We are still waiting for the WCB to provide the requisite PFL certification forms and will provide additional updates as they become available.

Travel Ban 3.0: Trump’s New Proclamation Broadens Travel Ban, Provides Different Levels of Travel Restrictions

Posted in Immigration, Travel Ban

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a new Presidential Proclamation entitled, “Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Process for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats.”  The Proclamation serves as a replacement for the travel ban implemented via Executive Order 13780, which was issued by President Trump on March 6, 2017.  The travel ban components of Executive Order 13780 expired on the same date as the Proclamation’s release. Continue Reading

Revised EEO-1 Pay Reporting Requirements Suspended Until Further Review

Posted in Employment Discrimination

On August 29, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) suspended the implementation of the new EEO-1 form, pending a review of the effectiveness of those aspects of the EEO-1 form that were revised on September 29, 2016.  The revisions to the EEO-1 form, which were scheduled to take effect in March 2018, included:

  • A modification of the “snapshot” data collection period for reporting to October 1 through December 31;
  • A requirement that employers who have a reporting obligation (employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees) submit detailed information on compensation and hours worked; and
  • A change in the EEO-1 filing deadline for 2017 to March 31, 2018.

Continue Reading

“Extreme Vetting” Comes to Fruition as USCIS Plans to Interview Employment-Based Permanent Residence Applicants

Posted in Immigration

Last week, a spokesperson for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed that in-person interviews will now be required for employment-based nonimmigrant visa holders (e.g., H-1B, O-1, etc.) applying to adjust their status to permanent residents (“green card” holders).  Information currently available from the USCIS indicates that this interview requirement is expected to take effect on October 1, 2017.  This mandate appears to be a result of the Trump administration’s plan to apply “extreme vetting” to immigrants and visitors traveling to the U.S.

Traditionally, employment-based adjustment of status applicants have not been interviewed as part of the process, unless deemed necessary by the government. The interview mandate will most likely lengthen the processing times for green card applications as approximately 130,000 employment-based applications are filed annually with the USCIS.  Currently, the USCIS is taking more than 6 months to process employment-based green card applications at its various service centers throughout the United States.

There is no word on where the USCIS intends to conduct interviews pursuant to this mandate. We will provide updates as additional information becomes available.

Paid Family Leave: Week 3 of Q&As

Posted in New York Law

So here is Week 3 of Bond’s New York Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) Q&As.  This week we are focusing on which employers are and are not covered.  We also answer your questions about what certain exempt employers (i.e., those who are not required to have PFL coverage) must do in order to opt in for voluntary PFL coverage.  In fact, certain exempt employers have an obligation to make a decision by December 1, 2017, as to whether to opt in for PFL coverage and will be required to report their decision to the NYS Workers Compensation Board (“WCB”). Continue Reading