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Informed Employer: No “I” in “Team” – Or Is There? Managers’ Individual Liability in FMLA Claims Informed Employer: No “I” in “Team” – Or Is There? Managers’ Individual Liability in FMLA Claims

Informed Employer: No “I” in “Team” – Or Is There? Managers’ Individual Liability in FMLA Claims

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High Court Ruling Over 401(k) Plans Could Prompt More Lawsuits
The possible conflicts of interest within the investment industry that the Labor Department's new rules are targeting also have caught the attention of another high authority: the U.S. Supreme Court. George Morgan, a former stockbroker and now a finance instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said the court's 9-0 ruling in 2015 essentially says many American workers are being overcharged on management fees and expenses by their 401(k) retirement plans.
(Source: Omaha World-Herald, 2016-04-07) Read the full article
Facing Tie, High Court Seeks Compromise in Birth Control Lawsuit
Facing the distinct possibility of a 4-4 tie in the contraception coverage case before the Supreme Court, justices issued a rare order directing each side to submit briefs outlining a potential compromise. Opening arguments for Zubik v. Burwell began in a case that will decide whether the government's exemptions to the Affordable Care Act's birth control coverage mandate for religiously affiliated organizations are still a violation of a decades-old religious freedom law.
(Source: Fierce Health Payer, 2016-03-30) Read the full article
Grad Students Ask Regulator to Consider Whether They're Employees
Graduate students at private universities are asking regulators to consider these questions: Are we employees, or not? Can we join a union? The National Labor Relations Board recently decided to review its previous position, reigniting debate within the ivory tower.
(Source: NPR, 2016-04-07) Read the full article
Workers Without Paid Sick Leave More Likely to Postpone Care
Workers who lack paid sick leave are more likely to delay or reject medical treatment than workers who have paid sick leave, according to a study from Florida Atlantic University. Researchers examined data of nearly 19,000 working adults – about 10,500 of whom had paid sick leave – from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey.
(Source: Safety + Health, 2016-03-14) Read the full article
California Governor Signs Bill Raising Minimum Wage to $15
Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, placing the state at the center of a closely watched economics experiment. The bill was previously approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.
(Source: The New York Times, 2016-04-04) Read the full article
Large Corporations Pool Employees' Health Care Data to Cut Costs
This year, 20 enterprise level corporations intend to work together to determine whether they can crack the tough nut of controlling health care costs. The Health Transformation Alliance founders decided that by examining health data from their combined 4 million covered employees, answers will begin to emerge.
(Source: BenefitsPro, 2016-04-04) Read the full article
Firms Grapple with Allowing Employees to Bring Kids to Workplace
Employers and workers have become more conscious of the need to maintain work-life balance, whether by turning off work mobile devices at home, taking more vacation time or working from home. Yet one possibility of helping that balance, at least for parents, has remained relatively taboo: bringing kids into the workplace.
(Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2016-04-04) Read the full article
'Bridge Employment' Changing What Retirement Really Means
Today, the journey toward complete withdrawal from the labor force can last many years. Economists refer to the transition period as "bridge employment," and as more and more Americans either choose or are forced into bridge employment, the expectation of what retirement actually means is rapidly changing.
(Source: Tampa Tribune, 2016-03-30) Read the full article
No “I” in “Team” – Or Is There? Managers’ Individual Liability in FMLA Claims

Justin Spack

Sophisticated and savvy employers are constantly performing risk-benefit analyses in all aspects of their business, including legal exposure. Often, a company must determine whether the risks – both practical and legal – justify the potential benefit of any given action. While this risk assessment process is nothing new to most managers or company officials, the risk analyzed is generally limited to what liability the company might face. A recent decision from a federal court of appeal highlights that managers want to be thinking about his or her own personal exposure if the manager unlawfully denies an employee benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Read more here.


H-1B Cap and F-1 STEM OPT Update

Christl Glier & Jenifer Brown

As expected, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced last week that the H-1B quota for fiscal year 2017 has been reached. The immediate exhaustion of available H-1B visas, which has now been the case for four consecutive years, results in a computer-generated “lottery” to select the cases which will be processed. USCIS’ announcement on the timeline for that lottery and number of total applications received is expected soon. As only 85,000 new H-1B visa petitions can be approved under the quota (65,000 under the regular H-1B “cap” and 20,000 under the Master’s degree exemption), hundreds of thousands of foreign national professionals will likely be left searching for other options.

Read more here.


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