The National Labor Relations Board has once again clarified whether certain types of employee handbook policies will violate federal labor law. Employers should take note of these two new guidance memoranda, as they can help employers maximize the protection they afford to their confidential information, brands, equipment, and other important matters. Continue Reading
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the reinstatement of premium processing service for H-1B nonimmigrant petitions, with an exception. Premium processing permits an employer to pay an extra fee (currently $1410) to receive expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions. If requested, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing or it will refund the premium processing service fee.On March 11, 2019, USCIS announced it would resume accepting requests for premium processing for all H-1B petitions, pending and newly filed, as of March 12th. Previously, this service was only available for limited categories of H-1B petitions which did not include H-1B transfers (change of employer) petitions. Without premium processing, USCIS can take 3 to 14 months to perform the initial adjudication of an H-1B petition.
On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), Wage and Hour Division, released an opinion letter, FMLA2019-1-A, stating that employers cannot delay the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave or designate more than 12 weeks of leave (or 26 weeks of military caregiver leave) as FMLA leave. Continue Reading
On March 4, 2019, a federal court issued an order lifting the stay implemented by the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) regarding the pay data collection component of the EEO-1 report, holding that the OMB failed to demonstrate good cause for the stay.
As we previously reported here, in 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) changed the pay data reporting requirements under the EEO-1 report, requiring employers with 100 or more employees to annually report employees’ IRS Form W-2 compensation information and hours worked. However, in 2017, following President Trump’s election, the OMB indefinitely stayed the deadline for employers to comply with the Obama-era revisions to the EEO-1 form, pending review of the potential burdens of such data collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act. (See our prior post here). Continue Reading
From April 2020, IR35 will make end-user businesses liable to deduct income tax and National Insurance on payments to personal service contractor companies where, if you took away the company, the individual whose services are supplied would be their employee. A key factor in that question is the obligation of personal service on the individual – in other words, when you contract with J Soap Limited for the provision of a particular service, are you doing so because Joe Soap himself will be doing the work? Such that if Mr Soap were not willing to do it, you would not enter or continue your contract with J Soap Limited?
Minimum Wage Updates
On January 17, 2019, New Jersey’s governor and state legislators agreed to a deal that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15.00 by 2024. The current minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.85 an hour. Under the new law, the state’s minimum wage will increase to $10.00 an hour on July 1, 2019, and to $11.00 on January 1, 2020, with a steady one-dollar increase occurring every January 1 until 2024.
In addition, on February 19, 2019, Illinois’s governor signed a law that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15.00 by 2025. The current minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 an hour, but under the new law it will increase to $9.25 an hour on January 1, 2020, and $10.00 on July 1, 2020. The minimum wage will then increase by one dollar per year every January 1 until 2025. Continue Reading
On March 8, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will publish its revised version of Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and a new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Continue Reading
Group of 10 reaches agreement on employment conditions
In the very early morning of 26 February, the Belgian social partners in the so-called Group of 10 (the main representatives of employers’ federations and trade unions) reached the bones of an agreement on employment conditions for 2019-2020.
In this draft agreement, the margin for increases in Belgian salaries is set at 1.1%. This means that in addition to indexation salaries may be increased by up to 1.1% over the next two years without that increase being considered as exceeding the wage norm. This cap is designed to ensure that the cost of employment in Belgium remains competitive in relation to neighbouring countries.
Over the following months, it is intended that this margin of 1.1% will be further implemented at an industry-specific level, where it will be determined how individual sector employers should transpose this increase. Continue Reading
For years – spanning two Presidential administrations – employers have been awaiting long-anticipated updates to the overtime exemption regulations to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Since 2004, to be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime compensation requirements under the so-called “white collar” exemptions (e.g., executive, administrative, professional employees), employees must be paid on a salary basis at least $455/week as well as perform specific, defined exempt duties. In 2016, during the latter stages of the Obama administration, the Department of Labor announced that it was implementing new regulations that would raise the salary threshold requirement to $913/week, a substantial increase that would have resulted in as many as four million exempt workers being reclassified to non-exempt overnight. But on November 22, 2016, shortly after the Presidential election, a federal district court judge in Texas enjoined the new salary threshold rule and, despite some further (and still ongoing) appellate skirmishing, effectively invalidated its implementation. Continue Reading
Regulation 7(1) of TUPE usually makes a dismissal automatically unfair if it is for a reason connected with the business transfer. But what if the reason for the dismissal is actually good old personal dislike and the transfer is just the context in which it surfaced?