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What to Make of the DOL'S PAID Program

Franczek Radelet P.C • March 21, 2018
You may have read about the U.S. Department of Labor’s new “Payroll Audit Independent Determination” or “PAID’’ pilot program. Under this program, the DOL invites employers to voluntarily audit their payroll practices and disclose any “non-compliant practices” to the DOL. The DOL then reviews the employer’s records and calculations of what is owed to employees, and tells the employer what it thinks the employer should pay. The employer then pays its employees, and employees sign a release of any FLSA claims against the employer. Participating employers are not subject to civil monetary penalties and are not required to pay liquidated damages to employees. (Available details on the program are included in the DOL’s press release and a FAQ page on the DOL’s website.)

Hair Salons Want A Cut From The Gig Economy

Fisher Phillips • March 21, 2018
The gig economy continues to grow into all sectors of the modern world. By some accounts, on-demand workers are projected to comprise 43 percent of the United States workforce by 2020. If true, we can anticipate large groups of workers searching for non-traditional, more flexible work options in all industries. While the gig economy model is more pervasive in areas like the ride-sharing industry, we will no doubt continue to see growth in countless others. Could the beauty and grooming industry be up next?

Is the Pay Gap a Sickness in Your Healthcare Organization? How Healthcare Employers Can Tackle Gender Pay Disparities

Ogletree Deakins • March 21, 2018
In 2017, a number of cases were filed in federal court in various states by female doctors claiming their employers paid them less than allegedly comparable male doctors. At least one of these cases was conditionally certified as a collective action under the Equal Pay Act. These cases followed on the heels of recent studies showing that, on average, female doctors are paid less than male doctors. These studies indicated that such disparities exist even when accounting for relevant factors such as specialty practices, practice ownership, years of experience, and work hours. The studies reflect that the disparities grow bigger when race is brought into the equation.

USCIS Suspends Premium Processing on FY 2019 H-1B Cap Filings

Ogletree Deakins • March 21, 2018
On March 20, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the temporary suspension of the premium processing program for all fiscal year (FY) 2019 cap-subject H-1B cases. The premium processing program allows a petitioner to pay an additional government filing fee to USCIS in return for a guarantee that the agency will issue a decision on the case within 15 calendar days. This suspension only impacts new H-1B quota cases filed for FY 2019. H-1B petitions that are exempt from the annual quota (such as extensions of stay, requests to amend existing H-1B status, and requests for changes of employer) can continue to be submitted with requests for expedited processing under the premium processing program. USCIS noted that the suspension is expected to last until September 10, 2018.

What All Employers Need to Know About Protecting Employee Health Information

Ogletree Deakins • March 21, 2018
Employers obtain employee health information in a number of ways—most commonly, in relation to a work-related injury or when an employee requests medical leave or a disability accommodation. Most employers understand that such information is “confidential,” but may not fully understand what that means or what they should do to protect it.

Fringe Benefits Affected by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Ogletree Deakins • March 21, 2018
The enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on December 22, 2017, brought about the most sweeping overhaul of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) since 1986. Most of the changes took effect on January 1, 2018. This article covers the TCJA’s impact on employer-provided fringe benefits and offers insights, based on conversations with employers across the country, on how the changes may influence employers’ fringe benefit offerings in the years to come.

3 Ways Your Company May Be Engaging in Sex Discrimination

XpertHR • March 21, 2018
March is Women’s History Month, and it marks 55 years since the Equal Pay Act was enacted and 54 years since Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has been the law of the land. And yet women continue to experience discrimination, sexism and harassment in the workplace at alarming rates.

H-2B Visa Shortage and Other Immigration Issues Hold Up U.S. Budget as Deadline Nears

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 21, 2018
The H-2B visa shortage continues, impacting thousands of U.S. businesses around other country. H-2B visas are used widely in hospitality and tourism, landscaping and the construction industry to hire foreign workers for temporary nonagricultural work. There are 66,000 available annually – half for the winter season and half for the summer season.

FMLA And ADA Claims Put To Bed Where Employer Did Not Know Employee Had Sleep Apnea At The Time Her Employment Was Terminated.

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 21, 2018
Sometimes what you don’t know can help you. In Guzman v. Brown County, a 911 Dispatcher who was fired after being late repeatedly had her FMLA interference and retaliation claims sent to dreamland by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Appeals court held that the moribund claim should stay that way because the Dispatcher could not show that she suffered from sleep apnea at the time of her termination or that the supervisor who made the decision to terminate her employment knew of her claimed history of apnea when he reached that conclusion. The Court also declined to resurrect her ADA claims for the same reasons.

Puerto Rico Governor Announces Proposed Plan to Revamp the Labor Force

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 21, 2018
On March 21, 2018, the Governor of Puerto Rico announced his “Initiative to Reform the Labor Force,” with the express goal of increasing the employment rate. Standing alongside the presidents of the Senate and House of Representatives, the Governor anticipated this Initiative would include: elimination of the Christmas Bonus; implementation of a “Bonus for Work;” a tiered increase of the minimum wage; a reduction of sick and vacation leave; a reassurance that all recipients of the Nutritional Assistance Program (PAN, for its Spanish acronym) between the ages of 18 and 55 will join the labor force; and the repeal of Act 80 (indemnifying unjust dismissals). The Governor also intends to increase tax incentives and lower the current rates for individuals as well as corporations.

Washington Ban-the-Box Law Limits Criminal Background Inquiries

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 21, 2018
Effective June 6, 2018, Washington will be the next state to implement “ban the box” legislation restricting employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal background during the initial stages of the application process.

Beware the BOFE Investigation

Ogletree Deakins • March 21, 2018
Beware the Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE) investigation in 2018. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has ramped up investigations by its BOFE unit to enforce wage and hour compliance. The Bureau investigates complaints and takes enforcement actions that can include audits of a company’s payroll records and workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and the issuance of citations for violations of California Labor Code sections. From 2010 to 2016, the ratio of citations to inspections increased from 45 percent to 85 percent, and the assessed wages per inspection increased from around $2,400 to more than $15,000.
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Fisher Phillips | California | California Supreme Court Embraces Employee-Friendly Formula For Calculating OT Pay (March 05, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | FEHC Proposes Regulations to Implement California’s New “Ban the Box” and “New Parent Leave” Laws (March 04, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | Your Comprehensive Guide to 2018 Proposed California Legislation (February 28, 2018)

FordHarrison LLP | California | California Supreme Court's Recent Overtime Ruling Likely to Cause Payroll Problems (March 07, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | California Court of Appeals Holds Labor Code § 558 Claims Are Indivisible Claims and Not Arbitrable (February 28, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Calculating Overtime Value of Flat-Sum Bonus Must Be Based on Actual Non-Overtime Hours Worked, California High Court Holds (March 11, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | The Plot Thickens: Trump Administration Sues California Over New Immigration Laws, Including AB 450 (March 09, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Pending California Legislation Alert! Recently Introduced Bill Seeks to Protect Medicinal Marijuana Users from Employment Discrimination in California (February 27, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | California Transportation Industry Waives Goodbye to Enforcement of Federal Arbitration Act Provisions in Employment Contracts (March 07, 2018)

Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP | California | California Proposes New Regulations on Parent Leave and Criminal History Inquiries (March 14, 2018)