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Informed Employer: September 12, 2018 Informed Employer: September 12, 2018

Informed Employer: September 12, 2018

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Secretly Recording Workplace Conversations is Making a Big Splash
A pair of recent, high-profile news stories are highlighting the way workplace lawsuits and culture increasingly are influenced by surreptitious recordings. The idea is that recordings might help unearth truth, but experts say they also can foster mistrust, undermine workplace culture and raise a host of thorny issues -- from legality and ethics to trade secret violations and, in some cases, national security.
(Source: NPR, 2018-08-29) Read the full article
Appeals Court Rules Law Banning Age Bias Covers Retirees
A U.S. appeals court ruled that the federal law banning age discrimination in the workplace provides protections to retirees and not just current employees. A unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to any "individual employed by an employer," and that term includes workers who were previously "employed" and have retired.
(Source: Reuters, 2018-09-05) Read the full article
DOL Allows Family Leave to Include Taking Time to Donate an Organ
If taking leave from work is your main barrier to donating a kidney or part of your liver, there's good news from the U.S. Department of Labor. The department issued a new opinion letter that states a healthy organ donor can use medical leave, as it's laid out in the Family and Medical Leave Act.
(Source: USA Today, 2018-08-31) Read the full article
Study Says 35% of Employees Have Experienced Workplace Harassment
More than one-third (35 percent) of employees in the U.S. feel they've experienced workplace harassment, and half of them believe it was due to their gender. A study released by specialty insurer Hiscox also found that 78 percent of those who were harassed said it was perpetrated by a male, and 73 percent said their harasser was in a senior position.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2018-09-05) Read the full article
Trump Will Sign Executive Order to Help Raise Retirement Savings
President Donald Trump will sign an executive order aimed at boosting retirement savings, giving Americans more time to keep their money in tax-deferred accounts and allowing small businesses to band together to offer 401(k)s. The order will call on the Treasury Department to review its rules for mandatory withdrawals from 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts, administration officials told reporters.
(Source: Politico, 2018-08-30) Read the full article
Some Companies Paying Unhappy Workers to Leave Quietly
Some companies are making it easier to part ways, paying unhappy workers to bow out gracefully. Why would a company pay somebody to quit? Because it can be in the employer's best interest, too.
(Source:, 2018-09-06) Read the full article
Older Workers Want to Remain in Workforce, But Face Challenges
A growing share of baby boomers is opting to work well into what traditionally would be their retirement years, but the challenges of remaining employed or reentering the workforce at an older age, even in today's tight labor market, haven't necessarily eased. And even as Labor Department data show more people 55 and older are employed than ever before and have a lower jobless rate -- 3.1 percent, compared with 3.9 percent for all workers -- they remain out of work longer than their younger peers when they lose a job.
(Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, 2018-09-03) Read the full article
Hotel Industry Addresses Employee Harassment with Panic Buttons
After countless complaints of hotel workers enduring sexual harassment, the industry is finally responding by introducing increased measures to better protect its employees, including a portable panic button. The announcement is the largest step taken by hotel operators to address harassment and improve safety, and is being made in conjunction with the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
(Source: CNBC, 2018-09-06) Read the full article
Transportation Apps Helping Employers Address Longer Commutes
A surge of new transportation apps aims to address a modern workplace conundrum: longer and more expensive commutes. As commuting costs rise, companies are making it a priority to offer more money-saving benefits, such as carpooling or telecommuting.
(Source: Employee Benefit Adviser, 2018-09-07) Read the full article
'Ghost' Employees Can Cost Employers Millions of Dollars
No one likes to get spooked … especially an employer that is being haunted by "ghost" employees, who can bleed an organization of thousands -- or even millions -- of dollars. Ghost workers are employees on paper only, are deceased but still on the payroll or are real people who are not employed at the organization that's doling out paychecks to them.
(Source: SHRMOnline, 2018-09-06) Read the full article
Yes, the Customer Can be Wrong

Michael Blickman​

How should an organization handle harassment of its employees by non-employees, including clients and customers?

Case in point: An Illinois federal jury in 2016 awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages to a Costco part-time employee who alleged she was harassed by a customer for more than a year. The lawsuit against Costco was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—known as the EEOC—on behalf of the employee.

Read more here.


Build a Better Workplace

At Ice Miller, we believe when a workplace is inclusive, engaged and focused on compliance, employees are able to perform at their best and many issues that could result in workplace disputes can be avoided. However, when disputes do occur, Ice Miller's Labor, Employment and Immigration professionals will be your strong advocates.

Click here to learn about our Labor, Employment and Immigration Team.


Premium Processing Suspended and Fee Increase

Jenifer Brown, Christl Glier and Kristin Kelley

On August 28, 2018, USCIS published an announcement that it is extending the premium processing suspension for FY2019 H-1B cap petitions and also is expanding this suspension to include other types of H-1B petitions, most notably H-1B Change of Employer Petitions, as well as Amended H-1B Petitions. Premium processing will still be available for petitions filed by Cap-Exempt employers. It is also still available for employers filing H-1B petitions to continue the same employment without change. The expanded suspension program took effect beginning September 11, 2018, and the Service expects the program to be in place until February 19, 2019.

Read more here.


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