On March 14, 2014, the New Jersey Supreme Court granted certification in Lippman v. Ethicon, Inc., 432 N.J. Super. 378 (App. Div. 2013), agreeing to review whether “watchdog” employees, i.e., employees responsible for monitoring and reporting employer compliance with relevant laws and regulations, are protected whistleblowers under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) by virtue of performing their day-to-day watchdog job duties. N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 et seq. In the underlying action, the Vice President of Clinical Trials alleged wrongful termination under CEPA because he advocated for the recall of products he deemed dangerous to the public. Ethicon argued that the vice president’s actions did not constitute whistleblowing activities because they fell wholly within the sphere of his job-related duties and thus were not protected acts under CEPA. The Appellate Division reversed, establishing a new test under which “watchdog” employees could establish protection under CEPA for their work-related conduct. The New Jersey Supreme Court will now settle this question.
On April 12, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the H-1B “cap” count, indicating that it received approximately 236,000 petitions for H-1B work visas for fiscal year 2017. This means that U.S. employers filed approximately 236,000 petitions during the short five-day window of opportunity that opened on April 1, 2016, and closed on April 7, 2016.
A final reminder to employers – the filing period for “new” H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (the “H-1B cap”) for Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011) begins on April 1, 2010. Since H-1B petition preparation commonly takes a minimum of one to two weeks, primarily due to processing times for the
On March 23, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the first of two interrelated bills that together will embody Congress’s comprehensive health care reform legislation. The second piece of the legislative package is H.R. 4872, entitled the “Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010.” The Senate will take up that bill as early March 24.