HR Legalist

HR Legalist

Employment Law Updates
& Best Practices for Employers

New Blanket L Form Reflects Heightened Scrutiny of Outsourcing Companies

Posted in Immigration

In recent years the L-1 Intra-Company transfer visa program has come under scrutiny. Critics of the program, which allows a multinational company to transfer an executive, manager, or worker with “special knowledge” from a foreign affiliate to one of its U.S. offices, complain that the program has caused the displacement of American workers and is used as a “job shop” to transfer workers to third party entities in violation of U.S. employment law. In a partial attempt to cut down on abuse and heighten government scrutiny, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has introduced a revised version of Form I-129S, which is used when seeking an L-1 visa under the Blanket L program. Continue Reading

The Rio Olympics and the Zika Virus: Guidance for Employers

Posted in OSHA, Workplace Policies

The Olympics in Rio have been a huge success for American athletes, but the games have also brought some hazards.  U.S. Swimmer, Ryan Lochte, was mugged at gunpoint and other athletes have dealt with any number of gastro-intestinal problems associated with travel to tropical climates.  Among the more frightening hazards is the Zika virus, which can cause major concerns, especially for pregnant women.

In addition, Zika virus has officially spread to the United States, with at least 30 cases reported in Miami, and is spreading between states as health officials in Texas announced Monday that a resident contracted Zika in Florida and brought it home.  In this week’s blog, HRLegalist addresses the Zika virus and its implications regarding travel for employers. Continue Reading

DHS Announces Changes to Benefit Undocumented Immigrants

Posted in Immigration

On July 29, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security announced a final rule that expands eligibility or a provisional waiver of unlawful presence, (‘‘provisional waiver’’).  For readers who are unfamiliar with the provisional waiver, here’s a brief summary of a very complicated process and the modifications announced by DHS: Continue Reading

In Limbo: Fate of New OSHA Anti-Retaliation Rules Still Uncertain

Posted in OSHA

As reported by HR Legalist, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a set of new recordkeeping and reporting rules in May 2016.  A central provision of the new rules, which requires employers of a certain size, or in certain industries deemed high-risk, to submit injury and illness data to OSHA for publication on the agency’s website, will take effect next year, with most impacted employers being required to submit 2016 forms by July 1, 2017. Continue Reading

Pokémon No! A Strategy Guide on Handling the Latest Smartphone Craze in the Workplace

Posted in Discrimination, Uncategorized

Playing The Pokemon Go with blur background

Although Pokémon Go is only 21 days young, over 30 million users have downloaded and played the augmented reality game on their smartphones.  In the latest release of the pocket monster franchise, your mission is to capture and train pokémon—facsimiles of real and fictional creatures ranging from caterpillars and pigeons to electric mice and water dragons.  Unlike previous renditions, players must get off their couches and amble through their neighborhoods—picking up important in-game items at pokéstops and battling other players’ pokémon to take over gyms along the way.  The game is now bigger than both Twitter and Tinder, and while millennial nostalgia has contributed to its success, people of all ages are venturing into the world to “catch them all.”  Continue Reading

The Great Debate: Policing Politics in the Office

Posted in Labor Relations, Workplace Policies

With the Republican National Convention well underway and the Democratic National Convention set to begin in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016, the workplace is abuzz with political discussions, a flood of political memes and impassioned debates about this year’s election cycle. As the presidential election heats up—employers have found themselves trying to manage and minimize divisive political debates in the workplace. In a recent survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), 75% of HR professionals indicated that their organizations discouraged employees from engaging in political activities while at work. Although politics may be a taboo subject, employers must be careful when it comes to policing politics in the office to avoiding “feeling the Bern” of litigation. Continue Reading

CHRISTMAS IN JULY: THE NLRB DELIVERS ANOTHER GIFT TO HELP UNIONS ORGANIZE EMPLOYEES

Posted in NLRB

Union Worker 02762745The National Labor Relations Board has once again delivered a blow to employers by overturning a decision (and standard) that required the consent of a regular employer and the employer of temporary staff to allow both sets of employees to be part of a single unit for the purpose of collective bargaining.  Miller & Anderson, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 39 (July 11, 2016)  The ruling is not all that surprising considering that the standard has flip-flopped when it was changed by the NLRB under President Clinton and changed back under President Bush. Continue Reading

Employers Beware: DOJ Nearly Doubles Civil Penalties for IRCA Violations

Posted in Immigration, IRCA

judge gavel and old law booksOn June 30th The Department of Justice (DOJ) published an Interim Final Rule adjusting civil monetary penalties for immigration related employment violations set forth in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). IRCA provides civil and criminal penalties for employers who knowingly hire workers who are not authorized to work in the United States.  The law also creates protections for foreign workers against discrimination based on national origin. In order to enforce the provisions of IRCA, the Form I-9 was created, which requires documentation of employment authorization for all employees, not just those who are, or who appear to be, foreign workers.  Improper completion and retention of I-9 forms and unfair immigration-related employment practices can cost employers thousands of dollars in fines based on IRCA violations. Continue Reading

Don’t Mess With Texas: Lubbock District Court Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Blocking DOL’s Changes to the “Persuader” Rule

Posted in Labor Relations

Employers and trade associations breathed a collective sigh of relief today after Lubbock District Court Judge Sam R. Cummings entered a nationwide injunction preventing the DOL from enforcing its changes to the “persuader” rule. As previously reported by HR Legalist, the Department of Labor recently published a controversial final rule requiring employers and their attorneys (and/or advisors/consultants) to file public reports disclosing their relationship and fee agreements relating to “persuader” activity. “Persuader” activity is defined as advice or counseling for the purpose of persuading employees with respect to union organizing or collective bargaining. The final rule would have applied to all relationships and fee agreements entered into after July 1, 2016. Continue Reading

Supreme Court Criticizes Labor Department for Arbitrary Overtime Regulations

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act, Wage & Hour

United States Supreme Court Building and American FlagThe Supreme Court ruled on June 20, 2016, that the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) 2011 regulation removing a long-standing exemption to overtime pay  for auto service advisors was “procedurally defective.”  In a 6-2 opinion, the Court stated the DOL failed to follow the correct procedures in issuing a regulation by not giving adequate reasons for its decision. Continue Reading