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Informed Employer: February 13, 2018 Informed Employer: February 13, 2018

Informed Employer: February 13, 2018

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In the news

Lawmakers Unveil Paycheck Fairness Act Challenging Gender Pay Gap
Ten years after President Barack Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, House Democrats rallied to renew the push towards equal pay for equal work, stressing that while there has been progress towards pay equality, women still earn just 80 cents to the dollar a man makes for the same work. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says every member of her caucus signed onto an effort reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, and with the partial government shutdown finally over, her new majority is pressing on with its agenda.
(Source: ABC News, 2019-01-30) Read the full article
Lawmakers Reintroduce Employer Participation in Repayment Act
The Employer Participation in Repayment Act was reintroduced by 101 members of Congress. The bill seeks to take some of the burden off employees who are struggling to manage their student loan debt.
(Source:, 2019-02-08) Read the full article
Lawmakers Introduce Bills Rejecting Per-Country Green Card Limits
Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives introduced matching bills that would throw out per-country limits on employment-based green cards. Current law caps the annual percentage of green card recipients from any one country at seven percent.
(Source: The Mercury News, 2019-02-07) Read the full article
California Bills Will Consider Definition of Gig Worker, Employee
Gig worker or employee? California will wrestle with that question this year with efforts under way in Sacramento to either codify or limit a groundbreaking state Supreme Court decision issued in April.
(Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 2019-02-04) Read the full article
Companies Vow to Consider Hiring Candidates with Criminal History
Top U.S. businesses and industry groups pledged to consider hiring candidates with criminal backgrounds, a campaign that comes ahead of the expected annual release of hundreds of thousands of previously incarcerated individuals due to a sweeping criminal justice bill President Trump signed into law last year. Companies including IBM and Walmart, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- which counts Caterpillar, Ford Motor Co. and American Airlines among its members -- signed on to the initiative led by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute.
(Source: Fox Business, 2019-02-05) Read the full article
Employers Didn't Drop Health Coverage Due to ACA, Study Finds
The prevalence of employer-based health insurance has been slowly shrinking for many years, but new research shows coverage options under the federal Affordable Care Act did not hasten the decline. While large employers have remained a relatively steady source of these benefits, small firms have been dropping out as costs increase, said Jean Abraham, a professor of health care administration at the University of Minnesota.
(Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2019-01-30) Read the full article
Millennials Changing Jobs in Search for Better Benefits
The search for better workplace benefits is among the three top reasons why younger employees change jobs, according to new data from LaSalle Network, a recruiting firm. In particular, millennials want help with their finances, including company matching contributions to any 401(k) savings programs and student loan assistance, according to LaSalle.
(Source: CNBC, 2019-02-07) Read the full article
Big Companies Looking to Boost Housing Initiatives for Employees
Recent moves by companies like tech giant Microsoft and health care provider Kaiser Permanente to invest in housing initiatives represent a form of "enlightened self-interest," Facebook development manager Lewis Knight said during the recent ULI Housing Opportunity 2019 conference in Newport Beach, California. "We know it's absolutely critical to ours and our competitors’ continued growth," Knight said.
(Source: Urban Land, 2019-02-08) Read the full article
Employers Falling Short in Offering Workers More Control of Time
Trendy offices with beanbag chairs and ping pong tables won't keep workers from quitting in a tight labor market. According to a new survey, the most coveted work perks let employees control their time -- and not all employers have caught up to the demand.
(Source: CNBC, 2019-02-10) Read the full article
Are These Workers Employees or Independent Contractors? It Depends Who is Asking and Why They Want to Know.

Paul Sinclair Jaren Hagler
Paul Sinclair and Jaren Hagler

Within one week, both the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and the Indiana Supreme Court revamped their definitions of “independent contractor,” in some ways clarifying and in some ways complicating, a complex area of the law. On January 23, 2019, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned an appellate court ruling to focus on the so-called “ABC” test to determine when a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Two days later, on January 25, 2019, the NLRB overturned a previous decision and revised its employment classification test to focus on the role of “entrepreneurial opportunity” in determining whether workers are properly characterized as employees or independent contractors. And those two recent decisions are only part of the puzzle for employers.

Read more here.


Another H-1B Cap Season and More Changes

Jenifer Brown Christl Glier
Jenifer Brown and Christl Glier

Beginning April 1, 2019, USCIS will begin accepting petitions for H-1B temporary workers for Fiscal Year 2020, and several important changes impacting this year’s lottery are described below. If approved, H-1B status will become effective no earlier than October 1, 2019. There are only 65,000 new H-1B visas available each fiscal year (“Regular cap”) and an additional 20,000 reserved for foreign nationals with a U.S. master's degree or higher (“Master’s cap”). The H-1B classification is widely utilized by U.S. companies on behalf of foreign engineers, physicians, professors, executives, managers and other professionals and is often the only available option for temporary employment in the U.S. Employers should immediately identify any current or prospective employees who will need new H-1B visas to work in the U.S. over the course of the next year.

Read more here.


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