The days of the “one size fits all” job application may soon be coming to an end. As federal, state, and local governments increasingly heighten employer hiring process requirements, national employers must be diligent to avoid getting tripped up by the varying rules across different locations. This post will discuss three hiring requirements that are increasingly leaving companies exposed to risk.

Continue Reading Does Your Job Application Need a Check-Up? Three Costly Compliance Blunders to Avoid

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced in a June 7, 2017 press release that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has withdrawn two of its recent administrator’s interpretations. One of the administrator’s interpretations, issued in 2015, focused on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and indicated that the DOL would be more closely scrutinizing independent contractor classifications. The other administrator’s interpretation, issued in 2016, examined joint employment relationships under the FLSA. Both interpretations were widely considered to be an attempt by the DOL to expand the coverage and enforcement of the FLSA. The withdrawal of the guidance documents likely indicates a shift in enforcement focus of the DOL under the Trump administration.

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After a contentious confirmation process, on April 7, 2017, the Senate confirmed Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat that has been vacant since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. On April 10, 2017, Gorsuch, a former clerk of current Justice Anthony Kennedy, was sworn in by Kennedy. Now that Gorsuch has taken his oath, he is ready to participate in the Supreme Court’s next round of oral arguments, which are set to begin on April 17. Continue Reading Neil Gorsuch Fills Vacant Supreme Court Seat

Last Tuesday, in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over the courts in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) became the first federal circuit to explicitly rule that sexual orientation is covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In so doing, the Seventh Circuit created a split with every other court of appeals that has addressed the issue to date, thereby teeing the issue up for a possible showdown in the US Supreme Court.

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Before taking office, President Trump vowed to revoke “all illegal and overreaching executive orders.” On March 27, he made good on that vow when he revoked former President Obama’s Executive Order 13673, the Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces rule (“EO”), known by many as the “Blacklisting EO”. Continue Reading Obama’s “Blacklisting” Executive Order Is DOA

The Transportation Security Administration has announced that by 3 AM EDT on March 25, 2017, passengers on flights to the United States from 10 specific airports will be required to check any electronic devices larger than a smartphone. The affected airports are all in North Africa and the Middle East, and include some of the most frequently used airports among international business travelers.  As a result, employees who might otherwise plan to work on the plane will be limited to those tasks that can be performed either from their phones or on paper.  Employers should communicate these restrictions to employees who travel internationally so they can be better prepared. Continue Reading Travel Warning: TSA Bans Large Electronic Devices on Certain Flights to the US

After the NLRB’s aggressive pro-union stance during President Obama’s term, the Board is poised for change under President Trump. On January 23, 2017, President Trump named Philip A. Miscimarra—the sole Republican of three current Board Members—Acting Chairman of the Board. Further, as the Board traditionally has five Members, President Trump will nominate two Members to fill the current vacancies. Assuming President Trump nominates two Republicans as expected, the Board will have a Republican majority for the first time in over nine years. Although it is unclear how far the Board will shift from its recent pro-union stance, three key decisions could be overturned by a Republican-controlled Board. Continue Reading Is a More Business-Friendly NLRB Coming? What it Could Mean for Employers

In recent weeks, the developing landscape on immigration enforcement has dominated the media. In a quick refresh of an internet page, headlines alert us to new reports of potential immigration crackdowns, increases in deportations, confusion at ports of entry, legal challenges to the Executive Orders issued last month, and additional Executive Orders to potentially follow. On February 20, 2017, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly issued two Memoranda (“Implementing the President’s Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvement Policies” and “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest”) that outline how DHS plans to implement the Executive Orders on border security and interior immigration enforcement signed by President Trump on January 25, 2017. While the DHS Memoranda (or guidelines) do not speak directly to the integrity of foreign worker visa programs, they may prove a harbinger to US multinational employers of aggressive enforcement directives that may underpin the business-related aspects of the current administration’s overarching immigration policy.

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But wait there’s more. While President Trump’s Executive Order temporarily banning certain foreign nationals from entry into the United States is dominating the headlines these days, employers now have something else to worry about. Under a 2015 law, Section 7345 of the Internal Revenue Code, the State Department has the right to revoke a US citizen’s passport for nonpayment of delinquent Federal taxes. The Internal Revenue Service recently posted guidance on its website to provide an understanding of how the law may apply in practice. In general, if the IRS assesses a taxpayer for unpaid federal US taxes, and the taxpayer does not take steps to address the problem, the State Department may revoke, deny or limit that person’s passport. Just imagine the administrative headache and threat to the business if the employee is on assignment to a foreign country when the revocation occurs, or travels frequently to other countries on business, or is planning to take an overseas posting in the near future. Employers beware!

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On January 31, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the Supreme Court seat previously held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.  Judge Gorsuch is known as a conservative, a textualist, and a talented writer—much like Justice Scalia.  So, what effect would a Justice Gorsuch have on employers? Continue Reading What Does Gorsuch Supreme Court Nomination Mean for Employers?