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Biden Immigration Activity on Day One: Taking Down the Walls (US)

With the stroke of a pen, President Biden immediately commenced the deconstruction of the Southern Border wall and several other immigration policies of the prior administration, including the pre-Covid travel bans. Here is a summary of the President’s immigration-related executive actions issued during his first days in office. Revoking the Pre-Covid Travel Bans Entitled Presidential … Continue Reading

President Biden Ousts NLRB General Counsel; Changes NLRB Chairman (US)

UPDATE (1/21/21): Less than 24 hours after firing the top lawyer at the National Labor Relations Board, President Biden fired Alice Stock, the number two lawyer at the agency, who had been designated as the Acting General Counsel after the President fired Peter Robb, the Senate-confirmed General Counsel, on Inauguration Day. Prior to joining the … Continue Reading

Federal Court Decision On WARN Act And COVID-19 Could Signal Problems For Larger Employers (US)

UPDATE: On January 21, 2021, the defendants filed a motion with the district court for permission to take an interlocutory appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on the following question: “What causal standard is required to establish that a plant closing or mass layoff is “due to any form of natural disaster” under … Continue Reading

Dynamex is Retroactive Says the California Supreme Court  – The Independent Contractor Law Now Looks Back and Forward (US)

The range of employers who may be liable for the misclassification of workers just got bigger. On January 14, 2021, the California Supreme Court decided that the decision in  Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (Dynamex) applies retroactively to all non-final cases that predate the April 2018 Dynamex decision. Dynamex … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Releases Final Rule Clarifying Standard for Independent Contractor Versus Employee Determination Under FLSA (US)

On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a final rule clarifying the standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor versus an employee. This distinction in critical under the FLSA, as employers must comply with its minimum wage and overtime requirements for employees, … Continue Reading

DHS Doubles Down On H-1Bs: Publishes Rule Implementing Wage-Based Changes to the Annual H-1B Lottery (US)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Final Rule, which, if left intact, will implement major changes to the H-1B visa program. The new rule would do away with the random lottery system currently used to issue the annual quota of 85,000 new H-1B visas and replace it with a selection system weighted to … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends the Availability of Student Loan Forgiveness (US)

Section 2206 of the CARES Act allowed an exclusion of up to $5,250 from an employee’s gross income, if an employer paid principal or interest on an employee’s “Qualified Education Loan”. Section 2206 of the CARES Act was only designed to be in effect for calendar year 2020. However, The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the … Continue Reading

Qualified Disaster Tax Relief – Retirement Plans and Employee Retention Credits (US)

Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has also had its share of other disasters, including hurricanes, floods and fires. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “CAA”) has provisions that are designed to provide tax relief for individuals and employers who have been adversely affected by one of the numerous federally declared “Qualified Disasters”. These provisions of … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends the Availability of Employee Retention Credits (US)

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “CAA”) extends through June 30, 2021, the Employee Retention Credit provisions of Section 2301 of the CARES Act. It also favorably modifies the rules for claiming the Employee Retention Credits. These changes are generally effective as of January 1, 2021. These provisions of the CAA are found in Sections … Continue Reading

President Trump Extends his Visa “Pause” Through March 2021 (US)

Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052 have been extended through March 31, 2021.  The two proclamations, which suspend U.S. entry and visa issuance for many immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants outside the U.S., were set to end after December 31, 2020.  Possible extensions were the subject of internal deliberations at the White House leading up to … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends Tax Credits for Paid Coronavirus Leave, But Not FFCRA Paid Leave Framework Itself (US)

On Monday, December 21, Congress unveiled the nearly 5,600-page text of the latest COVID-19 relief package. If signed into law by the President, the omnibus spending and stimulus relief package will provide direct cash payments to many adults in the U.S., extend unemployment benefits, reopen the Paycheck Protection Program, and provide wide-ranging rental and educational … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year End Edition – PART TWO (Illinois – Washington, D.C.) (US)

In Part One of our year-end State Law Roundup, we covered national minimum wage developments and developments in states at the beginning of the alphabet: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, and Hawaii.  In Part Two below, we look at developments in the rest of the states (and localities), from Illinois to Washington D.C. Illinois: Illinois employers … Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Guidance on Employer Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies (US)

Last month we discussed whether employers will be able to require employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of returning to, or remaining in, the workplace. We noted at that time that the conditions for and lawfulness of mandatory vaccination policies was unclear, but that guidance was anticipated from the US Equal Employment … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year End Edition – PART ONE (California – Hawaii) (US)

As we (thankfully) reach the end of 2020, we wanted to provide a year-end update on recent and upcoming state law developments.  Despite the fact that state and local governments had their hands full with the COVID-19 pandemic (and passed many laws relating to that topic, which we will not cover here), they managed to … Continue Reading

Planning Ahead for the End (For Now) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

Throughout 2020, we have provided updates on the adoption of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), its implementing regulations, and its amended regulations. In these updates, we have noted that the FFCRA – which provides emergency paid sick leave and paid emergency family leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons to public sector employees and employees … Continue Reading

EEOC Announces Intent to Provide Official Agency Interpretations of Federal Employment Discrimination Laws In Response to Public Requests (US)

Except for a brief hiatus between 2010 and 2017 (see here), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has for decades issued formal opinion letters in response to requests from employers, employees, and others for the DOL’s official interpretation of novel or complex issues relating to the application of the minimum wage and overtime compensation provisions … Continue Reading

CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance to Include Alternatives to 14-Day Quarantine Recommendation (US)

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been one of the primary resources providing the public with recommendations on all aspects of the virus, and it has closely monitored the evolving science for information that would warrant reconsideration of its  recommendations. As a result of those ongoing efforts, … Continue Reading

Court OKs EEOC’s Lawsuit Against Employer Notwithstanding Lengthy Delay (US)  

It’s a not-so-uncommon scenario for employers. An employer terminates an employee. The employee files a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging her termination was the motivated by unlawful discrimination. The EEOC asks the employer to provide a comprehensive response to the charge, supplemented with voluminous documents requested by the agency in … Continue Reading

An Update Concerning Employer Mandatory Vaccination Policies – COVID-19 (US)

With news reports emerging this week that two companies each have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is more than 90% effective and carries few side effects, and that mass immunizations may begin as early as December 2020, when more than 20 million doses of the vaccines are predicted to be available, employers will soon confront … Continue Reading

Arizona and Three More States Approve Recreational Marijuana Use: Hashing Out What This Means for Employers (US)

For citizens of Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, 11/3 may become another 4/20, as on Election Day, voters in those states approved initiatives to joining 11 other US states that previously decriminalized recreational adult use of marijuana.[1] Employers in those states however may not be as enthusiastic, since approval of recreational marijuana use … Continue Reading

WEBINAR – November 5 – Healthcare Employers’ COVID-19 Update: A Practical Discussion of Recent Employment Law Developments Relating to COVID-19 (US)

As part of Squire Patton Boggs’ ongoing focus on COVID-19 pandemic challenges and opportunities, on November 5, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, William J. Kishman and Laura Lawless of the firms’ Labor & Employment Practice Group will host an hour-long discussion aimed at healthcare employers that will focus on some of the key issues that are front … Continue Reading

Feeling Lucky?: DHS Proposes Wage-Based Changes to its Annual H-1B Lottery (US)

On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced another proposed change to the H-1B visa program.  The new rule would do away with the random lottery system currently used to issue the annual quota of 85,000 H-1B visas and replace it with a new lottery system weighted to favor applications with … Continue Reading

WEBINAR – October 30: What the US Election Means for Labor and Employment Legislation (US)

While it is impossible to predict the outcome of the November 2020 presidential and congressional elections, there is no doubt that it will significantly influence the direction of various labor and employment laws. Join partner Traci L. Martinez, principal David Stewart and associate Dylan J. Yépez on October 30 at 1 p.m. Eastern for an insightful … Continue Reading
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