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ten most recent federal employment law articles Ten Most Recent Federal Articles

Beware: 11 Employment Policies on the NLRB’s Radar

XpertHR • May 26, 2015
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues its aggressive enforcement actions against work rules and policies it deems overbroad and infringing on an employee’s rights to engage in activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

USCIS to Halt Premium Processing Service for H-1B Extensions

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 26, 2015
On May 19, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will temporarily halt acceptance of premium processing requests for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions from May 26, 2015 through July 27, 2015.

Spring Regulatory Agenda Sets Forth New Deadlines, Proposals

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 26, 2015
In keeping with past practice, federal agencies released their spring regulatory agendas on the eve of a holiday weekend. These semiannual reports list all of the federal agency regulations currently under development or review. Notably, these reports include anticipated release dates for proposed or final regulations. While often aspirational, these dates provide some insight into the agencies' priorities for the next six months. The following highlights some key pending regulatory actions from the spring agenda.

ERISA Fiduciaries Must Continuously Monitor Plan Investments

XpertHR • May 22, 2015
The US Supreme Court has confirmed that plan fiduciaries have a continuing obligation to monitor investments in a plan under § 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). In a unanimous decision in Tibble v. Edison International, the Court held that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires that a plan fiduciary exercise prudence not only in selecting plan investments at the outset, but also in monitoring those investments. Employers who maintain 401(k) plans should continuously monitor mutual funds for excessive fees - especially when a lower-cost institutional fee is available.

Probability, manipulation, and random drug testing

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP • May 22, 2015
Is that “random” drug test selection really random?

Female lawyer plays the "V" card, wins $500 sanction

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP • May 22, 2015
Male attorneys, it’s not a good idea to use the “V” word when referring to your female adversaries, and you might even be sanctioned for it.

Airline Industry Alert: OT Class Action Against Southwest Airlines Fails to Take Off

FordHarrison LLP • May 22, 2015
Executive Summary: Airlines achieved a major victory on May 19, 2015, with an order from the Central District of California granting Southwest Airlines Co.'s motion to dismiss in McKinley v. Southwest Airlines Co., United States District Court, Central District of California Case No. 2:15-cv-02939-AB-JPR, finding the plaintiff's overtime claims to be preempted by the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Significantly, McKinley makes clear that when an employee's claims focus on or require extensive analysis of the terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the appropriate course for a court is to divest itself of jurisdiction in order to avoid creating inconsistent interpretations regarding the terms of the CBA.

Third Circuit Upholds the Motor Carrier Exemption for Drivers Who Did Not, But Reasonably Could Have Been Expected to, Cross State Lines

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 21, 2015
Are drivers of a motor carrier who rarely or never drive the carrier's interstate routes covered by the motor carrier exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act? Yes, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Resch v. Krapf's Coaches, Inc., Case No. 14-3679 (3d Cir. May 12, 2015).

USCIS Publishes Long-Awaited Filing Guidance for H-4 EAD Applications

Ogletree Deakins • May 21, 2015
On May 20, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published long-awaited information to help eligible H-4 dependent spouses apply for employment authorization documents (commonly known as “EAD cards”) under the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses final rule. Under this rule, which goes into effect on May 26, 2015, an H-4 dependent spouse is eligible to apply for an EAD card if the principal H-1B status holder is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition or has already been granted H-1B status under the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act of 2000 (AC21) Sections 106(a) and (b). AC21 permits extensions of H-1B status beyond the usual six-year maximum period when the H-1B holder is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 employment-based immigrant petition or 365 days or more have passed since the filing of an I-140 immigrant visa petition or PERM (ETA Form 9089) labor certification application on behalf of that beneficiary.

Changes to Insurance Requirements for J-1 Visa Exchange Programs

Ogletree Deakins • May 21, 2015
In October of 2014, the U.S. Department of State revised Subpart A of the exchange visitor regulations. Changes to the reporting and English language proficiency requirements for exchange programs went into effect on January 5, 2015. Another major change that will take effect on May 15, 2015, involves increases to the required health insurance levels for all exchange visitors coming in on J-1 or J-2 visas. For programs beginning on or after May 15, the following insurance levels will be required