On June 25, 2012, the Assembly approved an amended bill (A2878) that would, among other things, prohibit employers from requiring current or prospective employees to disclose their user names or passwords for their personal social networking sites (such as Facebook and Twitter). The bill (originally discussed in the May 2012 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority) now clarifies that the law is intended to relate only to an employee’s or applicant’s “personal account,” which it now defines as “any account, service or profile on a social networking website that is used . . . exclusively for personal communications unrelated to any business purpose of the employer.” Explicitly excluded from the definition is “any account, service, or profile created, maintained, used or accessed by a current or prospective employee for business purposes of the employer or to engage in business related communications.” It is unclear whether this “business-related” exclusion would encompass accounts on LinkedIn, a professional networking site where members post requests to be contacted for, among other things, “business deals.” The amended bill also contains new language providing that: 1) it shall not prevent an employer from complying with any other state or federal statutes, rules, regulations, case law, or rules of self-regulatory organizations; and 2) it shall not prevent an employer from implementing and enforcing a policy pertaining to the use of an employer-issued electronic communications device. The bill now awaits Senate consideration.
New Guidance Imposes Finding of Misrepresentation for Conduct Inconsistent With Visa Within 90 Days of Entry
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued new guidance establishing a presumption of willful misrepresentation when a foreign national, within 90 days of entry into the United States, engages in conduct that violates the terms of his or her nonimmigrant status.
On October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the cost-of-living adjustments impacting tax-qualified pension plans for 2017. The increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that triggered adjustments in some of the general pension limitations, including the limit on annual compensation. However, the individual limits on elective deferrals and catch-up contributions will not change for 2017.
On June 24, the Texas Supreme Court further relaxed the requirements of covenants not to compete in Texas, moving further from the technical questions of contractual enforceability and emphasizing the core question of whether the scope of such covenants are reasonable. In Marsh USA Inc. v. Cook, the court held that an employer may obtain a covenant not to compete in return for an employee’s acceptance of a stock option grant, so long as the covenant is reasonable in time, scope and geography.