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
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
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?
We are living in uncertain and quickly changing times. Most recently, on January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order that suspends entry into the US for 90 days of certain aliens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. For more information, read here. For US multinational employers, this latest Executive Order immediately begs the question: What action must, or should, a US employer take with respect to its mobile workforce, managers and business leaders?
As you know, on Friday, January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) suspending entry into the United States of aliens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The suspension will be in place for 90 days and applies to both immigrants and nonimmigrants. Specifically excluded from the EO are foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-4 visas. The EO also grants authority to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to continue issuing visas and other immigration benefits to nationals of otherwise blocked countries, if doing so is deemed to be in the national interest. Such determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.
While no one knows exactly how Donald Trump’s election as President will impact labor and employment laws in the country, it is a safe bet that there will be changes. Because Trump was virtually silent on the campaign trail regarding the specifics of any employment law policies, we are left to speculate on any upcoming changes. We provide a brief overview of our best educated guesses on what changes could be in store given the election results. Given Trump’s position on government enforcement and his pro-business stance, there is an expectation of changes to several employment-related laws. Continue Reading What Trump’s Election Means for Employment Laws
On October 20, 2016, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued antitrust guidance for human resource (HR) professionals and others involved in hiring and compensation decisions. The guidance warns of criminal prosecution against companies, HR professionals and other individuals, for formal and informal wage-fixing or no-poaching agreements between companies. The agencies also encourage companies, HR professionals and other individuals to quickly report antitrust violations to the DOJ under its Corporate and Individual Leniency Policies.
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Catch ’em all! Pokémon Go is a mobile game that uses “augmented” reality to create a virtual scavenger hunt. In the quest to catch ’em all, over 15 million people have downloaded the Pokémon Go game since its recent release. Employers have grappled with employees’ personal use of electronic devices during work hours since gaming fads such as Candy Crush and Draw Something were released. However, beyond creating a simple distraction in the workplace, the explosion of Pokémon Go subjects employers to potentially costly risks, including worker safety issues, lost productivity, data breach possibilities, and misuse of company resources.