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Informed Employer: Indiana's Right "Twerk" Law Informed Employer: Indiana's Right "Twerk" Law

Informed Employer: Indiana's Right "Twerk" Law

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Obama Renews Call for Higher Minimum Wage, Equal Pay for Women
President Obama renewed his call to raise the federal minimum wage and to protect the right to equal pay for women as the midterm elections come into sight. Countering arguments that raising the minimum wage would reduce jobs, Mr. Obama said states that had not waited for the federal government to raise their wages had seen more job growth than those that had not raised their wages.
(Source: The Economic Times, 2014-09-01) Read the full article
While COBRA Notices Needn't Be in Writing, Court Encourages It
A court ruled that employer COBRA notices do not need to be in writing; however, brokers should still advise their clients to provide written notices to cover all their bases in satisfying COBRA notice requirements. In this particular case, an employee requested a reduced work schedule to accommodate her cancer treatment under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but her employment was instead terminated.
(Source:, 2014-09-03) Read the full article
Big Companies, States Urge High Court to Rule on Gay Marriage
Thirty prominent companies and 32 states urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage, adding to calls from both sides as the justices prepare in the coming weeks to say whether they will intervene. The companies include Deutsche Bank, eBay, Pfizer, Target and Viacom. In court papers, they said inconsistent state marriage laws posed a human-resources problem.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2014-09-05) Read the full article
Officials Continue Seeing Rise in 'Wage Theft' Complaints
Some federal and state officials assert that more companies are violating wage laws than ever before, pointing to the record number of enforcement actions they have pursued. They complain that more employers -- perhaps motivated by fierce competition or a desire for higher profits -- are flouting wage laws.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-08-31) Read the full article
EB-5 Visas for Wealthy Investors Maxed Out Until Next Year
Fueled by demand from wealthy Chinese nationals, an immigration program that exchanges visas for large investments in U.S. businesses has run out of its allotment of visas for the first time in its 24-year history. A State Department official said that no more EB-5 visas will be issued until the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year in October.
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 2014-08-29) Read the full article
Firms Continue to Increase Background Checks on Job Candidates
Advancements in technology have made it easier for small to midsize companies to conduct background investigations on job applicants -- and for larger ones to expand the scope of their background checking process. As a result, there has been an increase in background investigations, according to industry experts.
(Source: Workforce Management, 2014-09-05) Read the full article
Employers Planning to Give Average of 3 Percent Pay Raises in 2015
Next year, U.S. employers are planning to give pay raises averaging three percent, about par with the 2.9 percent average raise in 2014 and 2013, according to a survey of nearly 1,100 U.S. companies by compensation consultant Towers Watson. Inflation is currently running at about 2.1 percent.
(Source: USA Today, 2014-09-07) Read the full article
Employers Faced with Challenge of Testing for Synthetic Drugs
Manufacturers of synthetic drugs such as K-2 stay one step ahead of the law by changing the chemical makeup when one substance is banned. That isn't only a problem for law enforcement but also for employers as they strive to create safe workplace environments.
(Source: The Gazette, 2014-08-31) Read the full article
Marijuana Still Presents Conundrum for Employers, Workers
When it comes to marijuana, users are discovering that marijuana's recent strides toward the legal and cultural mainstream are running aground at the office. Even as 23 states allow medical or recreational marijuana, employment experts say that most businesses are keeping their drug-free policies, and the result is a clash between a culture that increasingly accepts marijuana and companies that will fire employees who use it.
(Source: Indiana Gazette, 2014-09-07) Read the full article
Temporary Employees Becoming More of Mainstay in Workplace
The work of temping has changed vastly -- today 42 percent of temporary workers labor in light industry or warehouses, and there are more of them. The number of workers employed through temp agencies has climbed to a new high -- 2.87 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- and they represent a record share of the nation's work force: two percent.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-08-31) Read the full article
Employers Taking Average of 25 Days to Hire for Vacant Jobs
U.S. employers are taking longer -- 25 working days, on average -- to fill vacant positions. That is a 13-year high, according to the Dice-DFH Vacancy Duration Measure, an index created by University of Chicago economist Steven Davis.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-09-01) Read the full article
Indiana's Right "Twerk" Law


Paul Sinclair



According to no less an authority than Wikipedia, the origin of the word "twerk" is likely a combination of the words "twist" and "jerk" and is used to describe a certain "dancing" style. The Oxford English Dictionary officially added "twerk" to its pages in 2013 (the year in which "twerk" was runner-up for word of the year, losing out to "selfie") and suggests the origin of the word is an alteration of the word "work." For our purposes, either etymology will suffice.

On September 2, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Indiana cases, struck down a union's federal court challenge to Indiana's "right-to-work" law. Two days later, on September 4, 2014, the Indiana State Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding a state court challenge to the same right-to-work law.

Read the full article here.


You Can't Win If You Don't Play! 2016 Green Card Lottery Program Beginning Soon

Each year the U.S. Department of State's Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery (or "Visa Lottery") makes available 50,000 immigrant visa numbers for foreign nationals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. The next program registration period (for the DV-2016 program) is expected to open during the month of October 2014 for approximately thirty days. More information regarding this registration period will be widely publicized soon at

Visa Lottery "winners" are randomly selected and are notified of their selection in the spring of the year following registration. Winners of each Visa Lottery are then eligible to apply for an immediately-available immigrant visa number. Even those foreign nationals with pending green card applications are welcome to apply, particularly those with retrogressed immigrant visa numbers under the EB-2 and EB-3 preference categories. If selected, those foreign nationals may benefit from faster green card processing.

There is no cost to apply for the Visa Lottery and registration is online (be on alert for Visa Lottery scams). In addition to being from a country with a low rate of immigration, the foreign national applicant also must have either a high school education (or its equivalent) or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience. A list of countries/areas by region with low rates of immigration that were selected during the most recent DV-2015 lottery program can be found here. This list of countries may or may not change during the upcoming DV-2016 program.

While filing and registration for last year's lottery (DV-2015 program) has already closed, the instructions for last year's lottery can be reviewed here here in anticipation of registering for this year's DV-2016 program. Once the DS-2016 program specifications are released, it will be important to very carefully review and follow the new instructions. The details of the instructions change each year and registrations which do not meet the requirements listed in the provided instructions will be automatically disqualified. Also, each person only can apply ONE time per year. Repeat registrations will be disqualified; however, a husband and a wife may each submit his/her own registration to increase the family's chances of being selected.

For more information regarding the Diversity Visa Lottery or other immigration matters, please contact Jenifer M. Brown or another member of the firm's immigration practice.


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