Informed Employer: April 12, 2017 Informed Employer: April 12, 2017

Informed Employer: April 12, 2017

Ice Miller website
 
Headlines
 
 


Lawsuit Could Hold Employers Negligent for Sexual Harassment
An appeals court has restored a civil lawsuit that blames Home Depot for not firing a supervisor with a history of sexual harassment who ended up strangling a 21-year-old pregnant subordinate -- in a civil case focused on the liability of companies when supervisors use their authority to hurt co-workers away from work. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a lower court decision that threw out the suit, which stems from the 2012 killing of Alisha Bromfield and her fetus by her then 37-year-old supervisor, Brian Cooper, while they attended a wedding.
(Source: Chicago Tribune, 2017-03-28) Read the full article
Senate Votes to Reverse DOL IRA Auto-Enrollment Rule
By a single vote, the Senate gave final approval to a measure to block cities and counties from organizing retirement savings accounts for workers who have no access to employer-sponsored plans. The vote reverses a Labor Department rule that allows local governments to automatically enroll private-sector workers in retirement plans unless they opt out.
(Source: The New York Times, 2017-03-31) Read the full article
Senate Considers New Bill for College Loan Repayment by Employers
The Senate introduced a new version of the bill entitled the Employer Participation in Repayment Act. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and John Thune (R-SD), is likely to put the new regulation on the fast track. This regulation would function under the IRS, similar to employee tuition assistance laws.
(Source: HR Dive, 2017-04-03) Read the full article
Bill Easing Employee Injury Reporting Signed by Trump
Donald Trump signed a resolution overturning the Volks rule, which authorized the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to extend its enforcement authority of recordkeeping violations from six months to five years. Companies must still maintain logs of injuries and illnesses for the previous five years but now cannot be cited by OSHA for incidents beyond the six-month mark.
(Source: Construction Dive, 2017-04-04) Read the full article
Study Finds Benefits Customization Key to Retaining Employees
With the appeal of the gig economy posing a real threat to employers, a new study by MetLife finds that effective and customizable benefits programs remain essential to employee retention. This perk is especially important to Millennials, who currently make up the largest segment of the American workforce.
(Source: Plan Sponsor, 2017-04-04) Read the full article
USCIS to Require H-1B Programmers to Have Specialized Skills
The U.S. government is taking action that will likely increase the visa denial rates of H-1B programmers, a move that could help U.S. nationals, both in terms of wages and jobs. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service wants only programmers who offer skills that are specialized or unique, which means that firms seeking to hire programmers at entry-level wages may see their H-1B visa requests denied.
(Source: Computerworld, 2017-04-06) Read the full article
More Employees Showing Interest in Contract Work
Gig workers are redefining the workplace and influencing 9-to-5 staffers according to a new study from MetLife. The 15th Annual U.S. Employee Benefits Trend Study found that more than half of employees surveyed (51 percent) said they're interested in freelance or contract work and the flexibility of a work-at-home opportunity and varied assignments that come with gig work.
(Source: HR Dive, 2017-04-04) Read the full article
U.S. Encouraging People to File H-1B Abuse Complaints
The federal government is doing something it has never done before: it's encouraging people to file H-1B abuse complaints. The U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Labor each posted information about how to file a complaint against suspected H-1B abuse.
(Source: Computerworld, 2017-04-05) Read the full article
OSHA Postpones Construction Industry Silica Safety Standard
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to the construction industry. The rule, on which OSHA first sought comment in 1974, was finalized in March 2016 by the Obama Administration and scheduled to go into effect June 23, 2017. But enforcement will now be postponed until Sept. 23, 2017.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2017-04-07) Read the full article
 
 
 
Headlines
Are the Requirements for H-1B Visa Status Changing?


Jenifer Brown & Christl Glier

In addition to announcing that the numerical quota for new H-1B visas has been exhausted for fiscal year 2018 (which begins October 1, 2017), the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other federal agencies are also announcing warnings and reminders to protect American workers from fraud, abuse and potential discrimination related to the H-1B visa program. U.S. employers rely upon the H-1B visa category to temporarily hire foreign workers for “specialty occupations” and are subject to various regulations affecting their employment. For the last several years, U.S. employers have sought H-1B status approvals in numbers that have far exceeded the congressional limit of 85,000 visas for new H-1B workers. Employers of H-1B workers must meet minimum prevailing wage obligations, provide notice at the place(s) of employment, maintain a public access file describing terms and conditions of employment and make certain attestations to the Department of Labor (DOL) that employment of the H-1B worker will not adversely affect the working conditions of similarly employed (U.S.) workers. The following recent announcements by these federal agencies confirm an enhanced focus on ensuring compliance with the H-1B program.

Read more here.

 

Update on Immigration Webinar

​Please join Ice Miller attorneys Jenifer Brown and Christl Glier as they explore how current and proposed changes to the immigration system are affecting U.S. employers as we approach the President's first 100 days in office. They will discuss the H-1B and L-1 visa programs, green card sponsorship, I-9 employment verification and Executive Orders on immigration.

The webinar will be on April 26 from 1:30-2:30 EST. Register here.

 

 
 
View Full Site View Mobile Optimized