You have probably heard the term “blockchain,” most likely in the context of Bitcoin. You have also probably seen splashy headlines suggesting that blockchain is the next game-changing technology that will upend the business world. This article will demystify blockchain technology and identify some of its potential applications for human resources (HR).
On March 25, 2019, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a list of contractors and subcontractors identified for a potential compliance evaluation in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 (which will end on September 30, 2019) on its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Library. The FY 2019 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter (CSAL) List is the first to be posted exclusively online, rather than sent through the United States mail.
On March 6, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided Fox v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, eliminating any uncertainty concerning whether an employee can assert a hostile work environment claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
There are about 2.4 million domestic employees in Mexico, 95 percent of whom are women and do not have social security benefits. The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice recently held that it is not legal to exclude domestic employees from the country’s social security system, which is administered by the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that a group of directional driller consultants were independent contractors, not employees, in large part due to their highly specialized skills, degree of control over their own projects, and ability to control their profits and analyzed losses.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a breakdown of the top 10 reasons it issued requests for evidence (RFEs) for H-1B petitions in fiscal year (FY) 2018.
Slightly more than two weeks after it announced its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the part 541 overtime exemption regulations, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published the NPRM in the Federal Register (84 Fed. Reg. 10900) on March 22, 2019.
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published a bulletin highlighting the H-1B notice and posting procedures with which employers must comply if they elect to provide electronic notice of their intent to hire H-1B nonimmigrant workers. The bulletin places particular emphasis on compliance issues when third-party worksites are involved.
On March 18, 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 121 (S121), which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) in two important respects, effective immediately.
The Arizona legislature recently passed a bill that would amend Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-1574 to change how writs of garnishments can be issued and served on garnishees, including employers. House Bill (HB) 2230 went to Governor Doug Ducey for signature on March 19, 2019, and he is expected to sign it soon.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion on March 18, 2019, that will undoubtedly become a pivotal Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) case in the context of higher education.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that premium processing will be available for the H-1B cap filing season for Fiscal Year (2020).
On February 19, 2019, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Eplee v. City of Lansing, clarifying that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) does not create “an independent right protecting the medical use of marijuana in all circumstances, nor does it create a protected class for users of medical marijuana.”
Behavioral health claims administrators and plan sponsors alike may be looking more closely at their care guidelines—and how they are applied—after a federal court ruled in a California class action that a claims administrator had breached its fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) by applying standards of care that were more restrictive than generally accepted standards and by improperly prioritizing cost savings.
The 2018 EEO-1 Survey Site officially opened on Monday, March 18, 2019. While there was some confusion about this year’s filing requirement due to the recent court decision reinstating the pay data component, the current filing format is the same as last year, with no pay data required.
The New York City Council recently passed two bills addressing lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission is back in business as it will soon have a quorum again to decide cases. The Commission plays an important role in mine safety and health law. The Commission establishes precedential case law when it decides appeals of administrative law judge decisions in Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) cases, including citation contests and discrimination cases.
On March 14, 2019, Keith Sonderling, the acting administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter clarifying the DOL’s position on designating and taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and placing the department at odds with the Ninth Circuit’s Escriba decision.
On March 14, 2019, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued two new opinion letters addressing compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
On February 22, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to update and amend procedural regulations to fully digitize the EEOC’s charge processing and records systems, clarify the meaning and significance of a “no cause” determination, and delegate the issuance of dismissals to lower-level EEOC employees.
On February 27, 2019, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on House Resolution 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, introduced by Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT).
In February 2019, President Trump signed an executive order titled “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence,” also known as the American AI Initiative, that aims to increase the use of artificial intelligence (AI) nationwide.
Part one of this two-part series outlined common considerations related to temporary work visas employers may have during the due diligence process of a merger, acquisition, or other corporate restructuring. Part two will cover key considerations for employers during a pre-close assessment of impacted foreign national workers—this time, regarding green card processing.
The Netherlands is one of the few places in the world where dismissing an employee requires prior authorization from the government (unless it is done summarily for urgent cause).
On March 12, 2019, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral argument in United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union v. Mine Safety and Health Administration, USCA Case No. 18-1116.
Given that a variety of qualified retirement deadlines are approaching, we thought a refresher on the subject would be helpful, especially for plans that utilize a calendar plan year. This article is intended to alert plan sponsors about applicable major qualified retirement plan deadlines that fall in the first half of 2019.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a fraud alert notifying the public of an ongoing phone scam whereby scammers dupe their victims into providing personal information and money.
Effective immediately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions.