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OFCCP Creates New Online “School” for Federal Contractors

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 23, 2020
As of today, federal contractors have a new tool for understanding a variety of compliance obligations enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”). The Agency has launched a Contractor Compliance Institute (“CCI”) where contractors can take free, on-demand courses on a variety of OFCCP-related topics.

Handling Difficult Conversations: Five important steps to improving that skill.

Ogletree Deakins • February 23, 2020
No one looks forward to having a difficult conversation. Whether you’re conducting or responding to a performance evaluation at work, comforting a bereaved friend, or discussing a behavioral issue with a family member, there are five steps that can help to change these “confrontations” into “communication.”

H-1B Cap Registration Update

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 23, 2020
In late 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would implement the registration process for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap. The H-1B visa is used by businesses that want to employ foreign nationals to work in a specialty occupation requiring theoretical or technical expertise. The initial registration period for the 2021 cap will open at 12 p.m. ET on March 1, 2020 and run through 12 p.m. ET on March 20, 2020. USCIS will use the myUSCIS online portal to conduct the electronic H-1B registration process. Prospective petitioners may begin to designate themselves as H-1B registrants on the myUSCIS accounts beginning February 24, 2020. The following information will be required for the registration process:

Panic Buttons Mandated for Sacramento Hotels

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 23, 2020
As the #metoo movement strengthened in 2018, the State of California worked quickly to enact legislation requiring harassment prevention training, not just for supervisors, but for all employees. At the same time, California attempted to address the unique issues facing hotel workers, particularly housekeeping staff, through legislation that would have required hotel employers to provide their employees with “panic buttons” – portable devices that employees can quickly and easily activate to summon help if they are harassed or threatened. However, that legislation failed to pass.

Puerto Rico Department of Treasury Grants Tax Exemptions for Employer-Provided Payments and Certain Benefits to Employees and Independent Contractors Related to the Recent Earthquakes

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 23, 2020
On February 20, 2020, the Puerto Rico Treasury Department (PR Treasury) issued Internal Revenue Circular Letter No. 20-08 (CC RI 20-08) granting employers temporary income tax exemptions over payments and certain benefits made to their employees and/or independent contractors for relief due to the recent and continued earthquakes that have affected the Island since January 6, 2020. These employer-provided payments must be considered “Qualified Payments Made for Disaster Assistance” and meet certain other requirements to be tax-exempt.

Puerto Rico Treasury Department Issues Post-Earthquake Rules for Qualified Retirement Plan and IRA Distributions and Loans

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 23, 2020
On February 20, 2020, the Puerto Rico Treasury Department (PR Treasury) issued Internal Revenue Circular Letter Number 20-09 (CC RI 20-09) to provide special rules and procedures applicable to distributions from qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) following the recent earthquakes. The following is a summary of the most significant provisions of CC RI 20-09.

New York Adopts New Data Security and Privacy Regulations for Schools and Their Vendors

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 23, 2020
We observed in a post on this blog that government agencies, businesses, hospitals, universities and school districts are frequent targets of data breaches that can affect millions of individuals. Cyberattacks on school districts continue to appear in the news. In January, students in the Pittsburg Unified School District (California) were left without internet access as a result of a ransomware attack, which compromised the schools’ servers and email. The Richmond Community Schools in Michigan suffered a similar cyber attack when threat actors infiltrated and locked down the schools’ servers and demanded a $10,000 ransom to return control of those servers.

California Appeals Preliminary Injunction Against State Ban on Employment Arbitration Agreements

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 23, 2020
The State of California has filed a notice of appeal of the district court’s decision granting a preliminary injunction enjoining the State from enforcing Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) against employment arbitration agreements governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).

Do Summer Babies Get More Snuggle Time? Insight from Oral Argument in Dynak Case

Franczek Radelet P.C • February 23, 2020
The Illinois Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in a case addressing restrictions on school district employee sick leave for the birth of a child under Section 24-6 of the Illinois School Code. As we explained in our earlier Franczek alert on the case, Dynak v. Board of Education of Wood Dale School District 7, 2019 IL App (2d) 180551, addresses whether a school district properly measured a teacher’s use of sick leave for the birth of a child when the leave was interrupted by summer break.
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