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International Entrepreneur Rule from DHS Encourages Start-Ups

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 23, 2017
In six months, on July 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security’s final rule to improve the nation’s economy by making it possible for certain promising start-up founders/entrepreneurs to begin growing their companies in the United States will become effective.

Edward Hugler Named Acting Secretary of Labor

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 23, 2017
According to an announcement on the Department of Labor’s website, Edward Hugler is Acting Secretary of Labor.

Form I-9 Changes: What Employers Need to Know

XpertHR • January 23, 2017
Ready or not, the time has come for all employers to use the new Form I-9. While employers were still permitted to use the prior form until January 21, 2017, the new form must now be used to verify the identity and work eligibility of all new hires. If an employer does not use the new form it could be subject to penalties ranging from $216 to $2,156 per violation. While certain parts of the Form I-9 remain unchanged, such as the lists of acceptable documents, there are six key changes of which employers should be aware.

Federal Contractors Must Provide Privacy Training

Fisher Phillips • January 23, 2017
Effective immediately, federal contractors will need to comply with privacy training rules intended to ensure that their workforces protect personally identifiable information. As of January 19, 2017, federal contractors will need to follow a five-step plan to comply with the new rules issued by the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Who decides whether a job function is “essential” for purposes of the ADA?

Fisher Phillips • January 23, 2017
In a recent unpublished opinion, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a carefully considered and well-structured instruction for those who want to further understand the concept of “essential functions” of a position in cases under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Bagwell v. Morgan County Commission, No. 15-15274 (11th Cir., January 18, 2017). There, the Court made it clear that an employer sets the essential functions of a position, based on business needs.

MSHA Publishes the New Workplace Examination Final Rule

Ogletree Deakins • January 23, 2017
On January 23, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will publish in the Federal Register a Final Rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines, amending 30 C.F.R. § 56.18002 (Surface) and § 57.18002 (Underground). The final rule contains major amendments to the existing standards that will impose substantial administrative burdens on mine operators and create new risks of heightened enforcement against operators and supervisors.

Federal Contractors Must Provide Privacy Training: Follow The 5-Step Plan To Ensure Compliance

Fisher Phillips • January 23, 2017
Effective immediately, federal contractors will need to comply with privacy training rules intended to ensure that their workforces protect personally identifiable information. As of January 19, 2017, federal contractors will need to follow a five-step plan to comply with the new rules issued by the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Affordable Care Act is Target of Trump Executive Order on Inauguration Day

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 23, 2017
In one of his first actions in office, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to “Minimize the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.” In a few short paragraphs, President Trump has given a very broad directive to federal agency heads, including the Department of Health and Human Services, to take steps to grant waivers, exemptions, and delay provisions of the ACA that impose costs on states or individuals.

Dear Littler: Can A Boss Fire Someone for Off-Duty Political Activities?

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 23, 2017
Dear Littler: I saw one of my employees on the local news the other night participating in a political rally over the weekend. We try to maintain a tension-free workplace. Can I discipline him for this conduct? Can I at least institute a policy prohibiting this kind of behavior going forward?

New Administration Orders Freeze of Pending Regulations, Takes Aim at the Affordable Care Act

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 23, 2017
One of the first acts of the new Administration on Inauguration Day was to issue a memorandum putting the brakes—at least temporarily—on federal regulations that have not yet taken effect, and to release an executive order authorizing agencies and departments to "minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens" of the Affordable Care Act. These two actions are the first of several presidential orders and memoranda expected in the days and weeks to come.

The Race to File H-1B Work Visas on April 1, 2017

FordHarrison LLP • January 23, 2017
Executive Summary: We are releasing this Alert to remind employers of the fast-approaching April 1, 2017, opening date for filing H-1B work visa petitions on behalf of foreign employees who need sponsorship for work authorization in the U.S. Since April 1, 2017, falls on a Saturday this year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting H-1B petitions on Monday, April 3, 2017.

OSHA Mandates That Certain Employers Report Accidents Electronically

Goldberg Segalla LLP • January 23, 2017
Effective January 1, 2017, OSHA requires that establishments with 20 to 249 employees in certain high-risk industries, including construction, manufacturing and building material and supplies dealers, submit their injury and illness summary (Form 300A) data to it electronically. Their 2016 Form 300A must be submitted by July 1, 2017 and their 2017 Form 300A must be submitted by July 1, 2018. Establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the record keeping regulation also must submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017. These same employers will be required to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300 and 301) by July 1, 2018.

Are You on Top of Your COBRA Obligations? You Better Be – $110 a Day for COBRA Violations Adds Up Fast!

Brody and Associates, LLC • January 23, 2017
Employers have long been required to provide continuation of health care coverage when an employee leaves the company under most circumstances. However, the nitty gritty on what paperwork has to be provided and when is not always on the top of the to-do list when an employment relationship begins or ends. However, it should be because the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), a federal law, has strict time requirements and stiff penalties for non-compliance.

Asking About an Applicant’s Former Salary – a Dangerous Proposition

Brody and Associates, LLC • January 23, 2017
Recently, the Governor of Massachusetts signed a new pay equity law that will prohibit employers from inquiring into applicants’ prior salaries. The law goes into effect in July 2018 and it makes Massachusetts the first state in the country to have this type of law.
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