Informed Employer: March 29, 2017 Informed Employer: March 29, 2017

Informed Employer: March 29, 2017

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Judge Tosses H-1B Lawsuit, Leaving Distribution System Intact
A lawsuit that challenged the fairness and legality of the H-1B lottery system, describing it as a "never ending game of chance," has been thrown out by a federal judge. The case was heard by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon in Oregon. In a 31-page opinion, Simon said that the government's random visa distribution method does not violate the law, meaning there will be no changes to the H-1B distribution system this year.
(Source: Computerworld, 2017-03-23) Read the full article
USCIS Says It Has Already Reached Cap on H-2B Visas
Just six weeks after reaching the cap for the first half of 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service it has received another 33,000 visa requests and reached the legal limit for H-2B visas. USCIS reached the first half of the 2017 cap in late January, much earlier than last year.
(Source: Nursery Management, 2017-03-17) Read the full article
EEOC Says Sexual Harassment Still a Top Priority for Agency
An Equal Employment Opportunity commissioner said sexual harassment remains a top priority at the agency. Speaking at the SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference, Chai Feldblum, Georgetown University Law Center professor, said sexual harassment claims account for a third of all complaints referred to the EEOC.
(Source: HR Dive, 2017-03-16) Read the full article
Older Employees Want to Keep Working, but Face Age Bias in Hiring
Most baby boomers say that they plan to keep working past conventional retirement age, but to do that they have to get hired first. New research shows that can be harder when you're older.
(Source: NPR, 2017-03-24) Read the full article
More Americans Failing Drug Tests, Leaving Jobs Open for Refugees
The percentage of American workers testing positive for illegal drugs has climbed steadily over the last three years to its highest level in a decade, according to Quest Diagnostics, which performed more than 10 million employment drug screenings last year. Which is why refugees, despite some language barriers, are quickly snapping up jobs.
(Source:, 2017-03-27) Read the full article
Support for Paid Family, Medical Leave Strong, But Access Varies
Americans generally support paid family and medical leave, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. But relatively few workers have access to paid leave, and access varies considerably by industry and by the type and size of the employer.
(Source: Pew Research Center, 2017-03-23) Read the full article
Retiring Baby Boomers Have Employers Looking at Eldercare Options
As baby boomers age out of the workforce, their Gen X children will look to offset expensive long-term care costs for their parents. Adding their parents to their employee benefit policies and using HSAs for services could be two solutions for young and middle-aged workers as this trend grows.
(Source: WGRZ, 2017-03-22) Read the full article
Tight Labor Market Leads to Better Travel Perks for Top Talent
With the unemployment rate low and competition for top talent rising, travel perks are increasingly coming into play as a bargaining chip in recruitment. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 17 percent of American companies in 2016 offered first-class or business-class flights for employees traveling internationally, up four percentage points from five years earlier.
(Source: The New York Times, 2017-03-13) Read the full article
Uber and Lyft Lawsuits Reflect Seismic Nature of Independent Contractor v. Employee Battle

David Carr

Earlier this month, a California court indicated it would approve a $27 million settlement of claims that app-based, ride-sharing service Lyft incorrectly categorized its drivers as independent contractors. This follows on the heels of Uber settlements on both coasts of the same types of claims for over $100 million.
What is going on?
Turns out the 21st century apparently will be serving as the battleground in the U.S. for an epic struggle over the nature of employment. In one corner stands traditional law, where working for someone means being their employee.

Read more here.


Have Your Data Breach Reporting Obligations Been Heightened?

Stephen Reynolds & Sam Gardner

Companies storing personal information related to residents of California, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada, Rhode Island, or Wyoming beware—your data breach reporting obligations are increasing. As cyber security risks continue to grow, so too do state data privacy and notification laws.

Read more here.


Ice Miller Labor & Employment Webinars

Ice Miller's Labor, Employment, and Immigration group is proud to host a series of webinars aimed at keeping our clients and industries well-informed of legislation impacting labor and employment. While our webinars are free, they require registration, so please register if you are interested!

Register for Labor and Employment webinars here. Today’s webinar, “60 Day Check-in,” begins at 1:30 EST. Our next webinar, "Update on Immigration," is on April 26.



Workers' Compensation and FMLA

Jennifer McDaniel

You are entitled to run FMLA leave concurrently with time off for worker's compensation. Employers should designate this leave as FMLA qualifying leave and give notice of the leave designation to the employee. If you do so, make sure it is in your written FMLA policy.


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