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The NLRB Goes Back to the Future

XpertHR • January 17, 2018
It did not come as a shock to many when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took advantage of its narrow window with a Republican-majority in late 2017 and overturned many controversial Obama-era NLRB rulings.

2018 Withholding Tables Reflect Tax Reform Law

XpertHR • January 17, 2018
The IRS issued the 2018 income tax withholding tables reflecting the changes made by the tax reform law enacted by President Donald Trump in December, 2017. The withholding tables reflect changes in the tax rates and brackets, the repeal of personal deductions and the increase in the standard deduction. Employers may begin incorporating the changes into their payroll systems while they wait for the IRS to issue IRS Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide, for 2018.

Workplace Violence, Indoor Heat, Cannabis Regulations on Cal/OSHA 2018 Schedule

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 17, 2018
Starting the year with a bang, the Cal/OSHA Division said it intends to finalize several new standards this year, including on indoor heat illness prevention. It also intends to release new workplace violence prevention for general industries regulations and new regulations to affect the Cannabis industry. The agency has scheduled three advisory meetings within the next month.

Supreme Court to Decide Who Can Appoint ALJs

Ogletree Deakins • January 17, 2018
The Supreme Court of the United States, on Friday, January 12, 2018, agreed to decide whether the former practice of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of having its chief judge appoint administrative law judges (ALJs) comports with the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Court granted certiorari in Lucia v. SEC, in which an equally-divided D.C. Circuit sitting en banc upheld the SEC’s practice, disagreeing with a Tenth Circuit decision.

Justice Department reverses course on marijuana enforcement: What it means for employers

Nexsen Pruet • January 17, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently issued a guidance memorandum rescinding several Obama-era Justice Department memoranda regarding federal marijuana enforcement.

Gig U: California College Begins Offering Gig Economy Classes

Fisher Phillips • January 17, 2018
With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly evident that the gig economy is here to stay. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that institutions of higher education have begun thinking of ways to educate students about the gig economy.

USCIS to Resume Accepting Applications to Renew DACA

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 17, 2018
On January 13, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would formally end the DACA program.

Labor Department Adopts ‘Primary Beneficiary’ Test for Determining Employee Status of Interns, Students

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 17, 2018
The Department of Labor has decided to align its analysis under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of the intern-vs.-employee determination with that of the majority of federal appellate courts to have addressed the issue, abandoning the stricter Obama-era analysis. The agency announced on January 5, 2018, that it was adopting the “primary beneficiary” test to determine the employee status of interns and students.

Maryland Paid Sick Leave Law Passed Over Governor's Veto

XpertHR • January 17, 2018
The Maryland General Assembly has voted to override Governor Larry Hogan's veto of a 2017 bill to enact the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HWFA). The governor had vetoed the bill at the end of the 2017 legislative session, stating that its one-size-fits-all approach would harm small businesses.

New Jersey Bars State Agencies from Seeking Applicants’ Wage Histories

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 17, 2018
In his first official act upon taking office, newly elected Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order barring state agencies from asking job applicants about wage history. Former Governor Chris Christie previously vetoed legislation that would have prohibited employers from requesting salary history information from prospective employees.

Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury Announces 2018 Limits on Qualified Retirement Plans

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 17, 2018
On December 15, 2017, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (the “PR Treasury”) issued Tax Policy Circular Letter No. 17-02 (“CL 7-02”) announcing the 2018 applicable contribution limits for qualified retirement plans. Pursuant to Section 1081.01(h) of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 2011, as amended (the “PR Code”), the Secretary of the Treasury is required, before the beginning of each taxable year, to provide notice of the applicable limits under the U.S. Code, which are incorporated by reference into the PR Code limits (e.g., annual compensation, annual benefit/contribution limits).

Plan Sponsors and Service Providers Must be Aware of Changes Made to Rules Pertaining to Puerto Rico Qualified Retirement Plans

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 17, 2018
Recent changes to Puerto Rico’s tax treatment of certain retirement plans have taken effect. Act No. 106 of August 23, 2017 (“Act 106”) amended Section 1081.01 of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code as amended, (the “PR Code”), to reflect changes in the rules governing Puerto Rico qualified retirement plans. Employee benefit practitioners, service providers, as well as the Pension Plan Section at the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (the “PR Treasury”) were taken by surprise by these amendments, as they revised legislation designed to guarantee payment to government retirees and to establish a new defined contribution plan for government employees.

Maryland Becomes the Latest State to Require Paid Sick and Safe Leave

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 17, 2018
On January 12, 2018, the Maryland legislature overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s (R) 2017 veto of the Healthy Working Families Act, Maryland HB 1 (“the Act”), enacting legislation that requires Maryland businesses to provide covered employees with sick and safe leave. The Act says it preempts local sick and safe leave laws that were enacted on or after January 1, 2017, which may include the Prince George’s County law.1 However, Montgomery County’s law will remain in effect.2 The Act is scheduled to become effective on February 11, 2018.

Maryland Paid Sick Leave Effective February 12

Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 17, 2018
Certain Maryland employers must begin offering paid sick and safe leave to their employees under the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act beginning February 12, 2018.
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