The Louisiana Court of Appeal, First Circuit, in DiVittorio v. Seale & Ross, PLC, affirmed a trial court’s judgment in favor of associate attorneys, granting them certain bonus compensation but denying another bonus claim. The appellate court held that the trial court had correctly ruled that the former associate attorneys earned their production bonuses, which were improperly withheld in bad faith.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2024 H-1B cap will open on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at noon ET, and will end on Friday, March 17, 2023, at noon ET. It is only during this period that employers or their representatives can register potential H-1B beneficiaries through a myUSCIS online account.
The California Civil Rights Division (CRD) recently released updated guidance in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the 2022 California pay data reports, which covered employers must submit via the CRD’s pay data portal by May 10, 2023.
On January 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the national union membership rate declined from 10.3 percent in 2021 to 10.1 percent in 2022.
Late on January 26, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a press release concerning a significant change in long-standing policy related to instance-by-instance issuance of citations that will become effective in sixty days and radically alter the landscape of certain inspections. The stated purpose of the policy change is “to make [OSHA’s] penalties more effective in stopping employers from repeatedly exposing workers to life-threatening hazards or failing to comply with certain workplace safety and health requirements.”
On January 26, 2023, in the long-awaited opinion in Mothering Justice v. Attorney General, a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled, in a 3–0 opinion, that the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) and Michigan Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, as implemented in March 2019, will remain in place.
As we move deeper into the new year, the U.S. government continues to try to resolve the challenges facing the immigration system due to the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting processing backlogs. These challenges may still continue, but new changes and updates have already taken effect—and more will likely come in 2023, impacting employers and the decisions they make with regard to their foreign national employees.
On January 17, 2023, a New York trial court judge struck down the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, ruling that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) acted outside its authority and noting that “the COVID-19 shots do not prevent transmission.”
Is the time during which employees were scheduled to be at work but could not be due to poor weather conditions compensable? That depends.
Included in the defense spending bill signed by President Biden in December 2022 is a section with key provisions for financial institutions that will ease restrictions on hiring candidates with criminal records. Section 5705 in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023, titled “Fair Hiring in Banking,” further narrows convictions that would constitute a bar to employment under Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (Section 19) absent a written waiver by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
On January 20, 2023, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) identifying 500 establishments of federal supply and service contractors and subcontractors for compliance reviews.
On January 23, 2023, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection held a public hearing on updated proposed rules to implement the city’s automated employment decision tools law (Local Law 144).
After months of suspense and intrigue on whether SECURE 2.0 would make it to the finish line and become law, the U.S. Congress ended the suspense by attaching SECURE 2.0 to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 funding bill on December 23, 2022. President Biden made it official on December 29, 2022, by signing the appropriations bill into law (Public Law No. 117-328).
In accordance with its quadrennial obligation to evaluate the impact of New York State’s Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy in the workplace, on January 12, 2023, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), in consultation with the New York State Division of Human Rights, published a proposed updated model sexual harassment prevention policy.
On January 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reached a settlement in Edakunni v. Mayorkas, which restructures U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ adjudication policies for H-4 and L-2 dependents, including applicable employment authorization documents.
Employers that provide 401(k) plans on documents that have been “pre-approved” by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) beware: there is yet another annual notice requirement that may need to be added to your compliance list.
On January 20, 2023, San Francisco Mayor London Breed approved a city ordinance that will require large, private employers to provide differential paid leave for military reservists called up to active duty. The “Military Leave Pay Protection Act” adds Article 33Q to the city Police Code, and will make San Francisco the first major city in the United States to require that private employers provide differential paid leave to employees who are members of the military while they perform military service, the sponsor of the ordinance said when introducing it last year.
On January 10, 2023, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock approved an ordinance (File No. 22-1614) passed by the Denver City Council that will provide new avenues for workers in the City and County of Denver to pursue claims for wage theft.
Beginning January 30, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers E-13 (EB-1C) multinational executive and manager petitions and E21 (EB-2) National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions.
Employers in Albany County, New York, will soon be required to disclose expected pay ranges in job postings under a new pay transparency law. The law, which is expected to go into effect on March 9, 2023, adds Albany County to the growing list of jurisdictions across New York State with similar pay transparency requirements.
On January 12, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld most of a district court’s injunction blocking the federal contractor vaccine mandate in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
Connecticut employers have seen a significant increase in legislation affecting their businesses over the last few years. The Connecticut General Assembly does not show any signs of slowing down. A slew of labor and employment bills have been proposed in the 2023 legislative session.
Connecticut recently proposed legislation (Proposed H.B. No. 5243) that would “require employers to disclose salary ranges in all job postings.” In 2021, Connecticut was one of the first states to enact a pay transparency law requiring employers to disclose to applicants and employees the salary ranges for their positions. The proposed legislation would expand the existing law.
New York City is considering a bill known as the “Secure Jobs Act,” which would prohibit employers from discharging employees without “just cause” and advanced notice in most cases. Introduced on December 7, 2022, Int 0837-2022 would further restrict employers’ use of electronic monitoring and biometric data in making discharge and disciplinary decisions, and provide other protections for workers.
This year, as has been the case the past six years, January brings two items from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that almost all employers will want to keep in mind. One is an adjustment to the penalties OSHA can impose for a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and the other is a requirement to post injury and illness records.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) recently released the 2023 Publication and Yearly Calculation of Adjusted Labor Compensation Order (2023 PAY CALC Order). The 2023 PAY CALC Order has increased the compensation thresholds applicable to a variety of Colorado wage-and-hour and workplace requirements.
For many employers, a new year is a new opportunity to update policies, procedures, and agreements—including restrictive covenants. In addition to ensuring compliance with applicable state requirements as to timing, consideration, and restrictions, companies need to be aware of applicable compensation minimums for employees being asked to sign noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements. With the start of the new year, many states have increased minimum compensation floors for such employees.
On January 4, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would increase fees for specific immigration and naturalization benefit requests. The department’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cited the expansion of humanitarian programs, federally mandated pay raises, additional staffing requirements, and the need for essential investments as reasons for the proposed increases.