Mexico’s Ministry of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación) has determined that all Brazilian nationals who intend to travel to Mexico as visitors without permission to perform remunerated activities (tourism/business) must obtain stamped visas in their passports prior to their travel.
On August 4, 2022, the Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. The declaration follows the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration last month of monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern.
Earlier this year, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) issued proposed regulations to allow employers to satisfy the state’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Family Leave Act (NJFLA) poster requirements via an internet or intranet site rather than a conventional bulletin board in the workplace. The proposed regulations also imposed a new annual LAD and NJFLA notice distribution requirement. Those regulations became final on August 1, 2022.
On August 5, 2022, new Pennsylvania state wage-and-hour regulations for tipped and salaried nonexempt workers under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) go into effect.
On July 26, 2022, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law “An Act Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Natural and Protective Hairstyles,” also known as the Massachusetts CROWN Act.
On September 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will continue the long and arduous journey to establish COVID-19 safety measures in the workplace. Since the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) initial ETS took effect in November 2020, the Standards Board has addressed the evolving workplace safety challenges with a series of updates.
For the second time in six months, frequently asked question (FAQ) guidance from federal regulators is calling attention to the requirement that employer-sponsored health plans provide coverage for women, without any cost sharing, for the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently announced that it is implementing a silica enforcement initiative focused on reducing exposures to respirable crystalline silica.
Every six years, all preapproved defined contribution retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans) must be restated in new plan documents that have fresh approval from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The deadline to adopt the newest preapproved documents was July 31, 2022.
E-Verify is phasing out a policy instituted at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic that had granted employees additional time to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to resolve discrepancies with their E-Verify submissions.
Earlier today, the Michigan Court of Claims issued a stay of its July 19, 2022, decision in Mothering Justice v. Nessel that had reinstated ballot initiatives that would have drastically changed the state’s paid medical leave and minimum wage laws. The stay is in place until February 19, 2023. This means that the adopted and amended versions of these laws will remain in place for now.
The World Health Organization (WHO) director general declared the current outbreak of monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Similarly, San Francisco declared a public health emergency due to the increase in monkeypox cases and the state of New York declared the spread of the virus an “imminent threat to public health.”
In a decision that further clarifies Massachusetts law with regard to employee classification, the Massachusetts Appeals Court recently held that home inspectors working on behalf of an inspectional services company were independent contractors (and not employees) under the ABC test for determining employment status, and, therefore, ineligible for unemployment benefits.
The 2022 Louisiana legislative session included two bills focusing on workplace violence in the healthcare industry—Act No. 461 and Act No. 129—that Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law earlier this summer.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated its policy guidance related to O-1A nonimmigrants of extraordinary ability in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Notably, the guidance states that evidence establishing that a beneficiary is named on a competitive government grant or stipend for STEM research may be “a positive factor indicating [the] beneficiary is among the small percentage at the top of the beneficiary’s field.”
With the first six months of 2022 completed, this is a good time to review a busy government reporting season.
On July 19, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of a statewide confidential hotline for complaints of workplace sexual harassment. The hotline was provided under Senate Bill No. S812B, which Governor Hochul signed into law on March 16, 2022, as part of a legislative package enacted to address sexual harassment in the workplace.
On June 16, 2022, the government of Canada tabled a bill that would make significant changes to privacy laws impacting employers in the federal jurisdiction. The new legislation, the Digital Charter Implementation Act (Bill C-27) would replace Part 1 of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and would create three pieces of legislation in its place, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA), the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act (PIDPTA), and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA).
On July 25, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an extension of flexibility periods for responding to USCIS requests and for filing forms I-290B and N-336 through October 23, 2022.
The 2022 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature was a busy one, although there were only two new notable employment laws.
There is a new, but not entirely unexpected, front in the continuing war over California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims. On July 20, 2022, the California Supreme Court granted review in Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc., opening the door for a ruling that potentially may complicate the relief provided to employers by the recent decision from the Supreme Court of the United States in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana.
Maine recently joined the list of states—including California, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington, and others—with laws restricting employers’ use of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality terms in settlement, separation, and severance agreements.
A growing number of states and municipalities are restricting the types of inquiries employers can make during hiring, creating concerns with what employers can include or must include on job applications and job postings.
As early as December 2019, the European Union’s Directive (EU) RL 2019/1937 (colloquially called the “Whistleblower Directive”) was adopted at the European level. This directive aims to strengthen the protection of persons who report possible legal violations committed by companies or authorities.
On July 19, 2022, the Michigan Court of Claims reinstated Michigan’s original (2018) voter-initiated versions of the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA) and the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA). This reversion immediately increases Michigan’s minimum wage rate to $12 per hour and significantly expands the paid sick leave employers must provide to eligible employees.
Compliance with state wage and hour laws is on the forefront of the mind of just about every employer, particularly as employees are looking for more flexibility in their work schedules since the pandemic. Ogletree Deakins’ recent survey report, Strategies and Benchmarks for the Workplace: Ogletree’s Survey of Key Decision-Makers, revealed that state wage and hour laws are the second most challenging area of multi-jurisdictional compliance.
On July 15, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that a female employee who crawled into a male coworker’s bed while “sleepwalking” and was subsequently discharged failed to establish disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA).