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January 20, 2017; A Historical Day

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 18, 2017
This is another article in our series addressing the continued deterioration and downward spiral of multi-employer defined benefit pension funds and the resulting impact upon participants, unions and most importantly on employers.

DOL Nominee Puzder To Withdraw?

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 18, 2017
Andrew Puzder, President-elect Trump’s choice to head the Department of Labor, may ask that his nomination be withdrawn, according to reports in New York magazine and Politico, quoting a Republican source close to the Trump transition team. Puzder has disputed the story, tweeting on Monday “I am looking forward to my hearing,” which will take place on February 2. Puzder’s nomination has been roundly criticized by Democrats and labor unions.

State Plaintiffs Urge Fifth Circuit to Affirm Nationwide Injunction Blocking DOL Overtime Rule

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 18, 2017
In the latest round in the litigation between 21 States, led by the State of Nevada, and the Department of Labor regarding the Final Rule, the State Plaintiffs filed their appeal brief today with the Fifth Circuit, urging the Court to affirm the district court’s order, which issued a nationwide injunction blocking the rule.

WHD Provides Long-Awaited Garnishment Guidance on the Meaning of “Earnings” Under the CCPA

Ogletree Deakins • January 18, 2017
A rare and interesting thing in the world of federal garnishment law has just occurred: the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) updated its published position concerning the meaning of “earnings” pursuant to the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). This is important because the Department of Labor has issued very little regulation interpreting the CCPA and none define what the CCPA means by “earnings.” And, while there are several opinion letters from the years directly after the CCPA was adopted, only one such letter has been issued since 1972. Keep in mind that the federal decision concerning what is or is not CCPA-earnings (such as disability payments, tips and lump sum bonus payments, which are addressed herein) is critical because if the funds are not CCPA-protected earnings then states decide whether to garnish those funds and how much, if any, of those funds to protect from garnishment.

Mind the (Pay) Gap: Retailers May Want to Prep for Pay Equity Inquiries From Investors

Ogletree Deakins • January 18, 2017
In 2016, several technology companies received or responded to proposals from investors that requested shareholder votes regarding whether the companies should be required to prepare reports addressing their policies and goals to reduce the gender pay gap. This year, shareholder activists are turning their sights on the retail industry, citing concerns with pay gaps across gender and racial lines. According to a January 10, 2017 report in Bloomberg News, pay equity-related shareholder resolutions have been submitted to several major retailers.

Practical Implications of the High-Skilled Workers Regulation

Ogletree Deakins • January 18, 2017
In a previous article, we summarized the key provisions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” which went into effect on January 17, 2017. In this article, we analyze the key provisions and the practical implications for employers and employees in further detail.

California Court Declines to Issue DTSA Seizure Order

Ogletree Deakins • January 18, 2017
On January 6, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued one of its first decisions interpreting the ex parte seizure provisions found in the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA).

States Argue That Texas Court Properly Blocked Overtime Rule

Ogletree Deakins • January 18, 2017
In a legal brief filed on January 17, 2017, the 21 states that obtained a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocks the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing its revisions to overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to uphold that injunction.

Dodging Disparate Impact Claims

Fisher Phillips • January 18, 2017
There has been significant buzz lately regarding the risk of discrimination in the sharing economy. Not only has the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its intent to prioritize protections in the on-demand economy in its recently published Strategic Enforcement Plan, but sharing economy businesses have faced additional scrutiny surrounding response times to customers of different races.

Employers Must Use the New Form I-9 Starting January 22, 2017

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 18, 2017
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rolled out a new Form I-9 in November 2016. Starting January 22, 2017, all employers must use the new Form I-9, which is dated November 14, 2016 (the edition date is on the bottom of the Form I-9). Employers that do not use the new Form I-9 starting January 22, 2017 could face civil penalties.

Increasing Ransomware Attacks in Higher Education

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 18, 2017
Malicious “ransomware” attacks — where a hacker takes control of the victim’s information systems and encrypts data, preventing the owner from accessing it until the victim pays a sum of money — are on the rise against colleges and universities. Higher education institutions are well-advised to increase their efforts to defend against this particularly damaging form of hacking.

Expansive New Rule for Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

FordHarrison LLP • January 18, 2017
Effective today, January 17, 2017, a new USCIS rule seeks to improve multiple employment-based temporary nonimmigrant and immigrant visa (“green card”) programs. The new regulations are designed to help U.S. employers hire and retain high-skilled foreign workers who are waiting to become lawful permanent residents, and to help those foreign workers continue to advance professionally even as wait times for employment-based green cards grow ever longer. The final rule clarifies and builds upon numerous longstanding USCIS policies adopted since the enactment of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21) in 2000 and the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) in 1998.

New York Toughens Equal Pay Laws: State Contractors Must Disclose Salary Data, State Agencies Cannot Ask Applicants for Salary History

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 18, 2017
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed two executive orders: one requiring state contractors to regularly disclose employee job title and salary data and the other prohibiting state agencies from making pre-job offer inquiries about candidates’ prior or current salary. The executive orders are aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap and strengthening equal pay protection in New York.

Texas Court Enjoins Enforcement of Regulation that Would Forbid Discrimination in Healthcare on the Basis of Gender Identity and Termination of Pregnancy

FordHarrison LLP • January 18, 2017
Executive Summary: As LGBTQ rights have taken center stage in political and social issues, FordHarrison has been following ground-breaking litigation related to LGBTQ rights and providing updates. In the latest decision, a federal judge in Texas instituted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the enforcement of a regulation promulgated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the authority of Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that the plaintiffs argued would have required health care providers to perform, and health insurance companies to cover, gender transition procedures and abortion effective January 1, 2017. See Franciscan Alliance v. Burwell (December 31, 2016).
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