California has implemented new regulations, effective October 1, 2023, that significantly change the employer criminal background check process for California applicants and employees. The following answers to ten frequently asked questions provide an explanation of how California’s new regulations will expand the California Fair Chance Act.
On September 28, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued updated guidance for employers that have adopted or are considering leave-based programs that allow employees to donate sick, vacation, or personal leave to their employers to make donations to charitable organizations helping those affected by the 2023 Hawaii wildfires.
Another federal government shutdown appears imminent as lawmakers reportedly remain deadlocked along partisan lines on an agreement to extend funding ahead of a 12:00 a.m. October 1, 2023 deadline. A government shutdown would result in tens of thousands of federal employees being furloughed and would bring federal agencies charged with enforcing federal labor and employment laws to a standstill.
On September 19, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) submitted proposed regulations for federal review entitled “Modernizing H-1B Requirements and Oversight and Providing Flexibility in the F-1 Program.” These proposed regulations, currently under review with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), would amend governing rules regarding H-1B specialty occupation workers and F-1 students who are the beneficiaries of timely filed H-1B cap-subject petitions.
On September 12, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its official policy manual chapters on employment-based first-preference (EB-1) immigrant petitions in the Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Professor and Researcher classifications.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the elimination of the $85 biometric services fee for all Form I-539 applications to extend/change nonimmigrant status, beginning October 1, 2023.
On September 14, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Employee Retention Credit (ERC) guidance placing a moratorium on processing new ERC claims due to a surge in questionable claim submissions.
On the heels of the U.S. Department of Labor’s announcing plans to revise its H-2A program, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing amendments to its H-2A and H-2B regulations. The proposed changes would “ensure the integrity of the H-2 programs and enhance protections for workers.”
The October 2023 Visa Bulletin has been released by the U.S. Department of State and shows some encouraging movement forward from last month, with the exception of the filing date for EB-3 worldwide, which will retrogress four months.
A recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in a restrictive covenant case, Ascend Learning, LLC v. Bryan and SPIN-Learning, LLC, No. 22-cv-11978 (August 16, 2023), has implications for the “material change” doctrine under Massachusetts law, the state’s prohibition against noncompetition covenants for registered nurses, and personal jurisdiction over corporate entities.
Just days before New York State’s pay transparency law went into effect, the state labor department unveiled new proposed regulations that seek to clarify employers’ obligations under the new law.
The U.S. Department of State recently announced that it is developing the capability to issue digital visa authorizations (DVA) instead of the traditional visas that are printed and placed in applicants’ passports. This development would streamline the travel authorization process by automating the transfer of data from visa application, to airline verification, to border inspection, and U.S. admission.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia recently rejected a school principal’s argument that remote work was a reasonable accommodation for her asthma and restrictive lung disease that she claimed were exacerbated by the poor condition of the school building in which she worked.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it is working to update and improve the protections available to H-2A workers. The proposed changes would include both worker protection measures and compliance and enforcement enhancements.
All receipts for payment of Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fees issued prior to October 1, 2022, are set to expire on September 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of State recently announced.
On September 6, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that prohibits employers from requiring employees to attend employer-sponsored meetings the “primary purpose” of which is to communicate the employer’s opinions on religious or political matters, including relating to joining a labor organization. The new law, which took immediate effect, comes amid a wider push against so-called “captive audience” meetings.
The impact of a federal government shutdown come October 1, 2023, will vary among agencies, including those responsible for immigration-related matters, based on whether the agencies are fee generating (among other factors), though it is expected that certain government functions would continue.
The New York state law requiring employers to disclose expected compensation ranges in advertisements for jobs, promotions, and transfers takes effect on September 17, 2023. The law requires employers with four or more employees to disclose the minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly wage in advertisements for jobs, promotions, and transfers, including in electronic job postings.
On August 14, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a decision—Marcus v. American Contract Bridge League—clarifying and applying the standards for determining whether an employee qualifies for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) administrative exemption, and thus whether the employee is entitled to overtime payments under the FLSA.
Luis Rubiales resigned as the president of the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) amid controversy over his kissing a women’s national team player without her consent following the team’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup win. The situation has sent shockwaves across the sports world and may serve as a reminder for employers in the United States of the persistent dangers of ignoring sexual harassment in the workplace.
A New Jersey federal court has ruled that a company’s self-disclosure of potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations did not render the company a state actor, allowing evidence obtained by its internal investigation to be used against two former employees alleged to have engaged in misconduct.
California is one step closer to becoming the first state to enact legislation banning caste-based discrimination. Senate Bill No. 403 adds caste to the list of characteristics protected by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the California Education Code.
On August 25, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued an Office of Management and Budget-approved, revised Supply and Service Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing, which is effective through August 31, 2026. OFCCP also issued a new round of Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters for 1,000 federal contractors two weeks later on September 8, 2023.
Many employers with at least fifty employees in the six-county Chicago area will have to provide their full-time employees with pre-tax public transit benefits starting January 1, 2024, under a new Illinois law.
On August 30, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released two decisions that will make it more difficult for employers to implement past practices during a break in bargaining or at an impasse, opening the door for unions to hold employers hostage by dragging out collective bargaining.
The city of Evanston, Illinois, recently enacted the Fair Workweek Ordinance (24-O-23), expanding hourly workers’ rights to predictable scheduling across multiple industries, including hospitality, food service and restaurants, retail, warehouse services, manufacturing, and building services.