Informed Employer:  To E or not to E…. Is E-Verify right for your business? Informed Employer:  To E or not to E…. Is E-Verify right for your business?

Informed Employer: To E or not to E…. Is E-Verify right for your business?

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Private Firms Don't Have to Cover Birth Control, Supreme Court Finds
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama's healthcare law that requires closely held companies to provide health insurance that covers birth control. The court held on a 5-4 vote on ideological lines that such companies can seek an exemption from the so-called birth control mandate of the healthcare law.
(Source: Reuters, 2014-06-30) Read the full article
High Court Rules for Bank Employees in Retirement Funds Suit
The Supreme Court sided with bank employees in a lawsuit against Fifth Third Bancorp that accused management of irresponsibly investing employee retirement money in the bank's then-failing stock. The unanimous ruling came in a case involving a retirement fund invested primarily in the bank's stock.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-06-25) Read the full article
High Court Rules Home Care Workers Don't Have to Pay Union Dues
The Supreme Court dealt a setback to the union movement, ruling that personal home-care employees cannot be forced to pay dues to a union. In a 5-4 ruling written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., the court said these employees, some of whom care for their disabled children at home, have a constitutional right not to support a union they oppose.
(Source: Los Angeles Times, 2014-06-30) Read the full article
Obama Announces Intention to Fix Immigration Without Senate
At a hastily scheduled Rose Garden appearance, Obama said the top House Republican -- Speaker John Boehner -- told him that the chamber's GOP majority will continue blocking a vote on a Senate-passed immigration bill. In response, Obama said he was starting "a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress."
(Source:, 2014-06-30) Read the full article
NLRB Struggles to Handle Decisions After Invalidated Appointments
The Supreme Court ruling that invalidated three appointments made by President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board has thrown hundreds of the board's decisions into question. The board that rules on labor disputes is now scrambling to determine the impact of the high court decision.
(Source: Fox News, 2014-06-27) Read the full article
DOL Examining Valuation in Employee-Stock Ownership Plans
The federal government is stepping up scrutiny of how U.S. companies are valued for employee-stock-ownership plans, a vital source of retirement savings for millions of workers. Some owners are selling stakes in their companies to employee-stock-ownership plans at inflated prices, the government says, jeopardizing those savings.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-06-22) Read the full article
Obama Calls for Better Parental Leave, Flexibility Policies
President Obama shared his own family's experiences and drew on those of others as part of a resounding call for parental leave, workplace flexibility, and overall improvement in U.S. workplace policies in his remarks at a White House Summit on Working Families. The bulk of his remarks focused on paid leave for parents and those who serve as a family member's caretaker, and workplace flexibility policies that would allow employees to better cope with the demands of parenting and caretaking -- provisions which, he said, "are not frills, they are basic needs" that should be "part of our bottom line as a society."
(Source:, 2014-06-24) Read the full article
Advocates Not Pleased With First Workplace Bullying Legislation
Last month, after a decade of stalled progress in 26 states, advocates of workplace bullying legislation scored their first victory. But they're not entirely pleased.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-06-20) Read the full article
After DOMA, 34% More Employers Offer Benefits to Same-Sex Couples
One year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 34 percent more employers are offering benefits to couples in same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships than did prior to the ruling. The source of this information, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, said 80 percent of employers who offer benefits to workers now offer coverage to such couples.
(Source: BenefitsPro, 2014-06-26) Read the full article
Job Posts Seeking New Graduates May Be Discriminatory
Young tech workers fill office parks and corporate cafeterias across Silicon Valley with few if any grey-haired colleagues in sight. It's a widely accepted reality within the technology industry that youth rules, but at least part of the extreme age imbalance can be traced back to advertisements for open positions that government regulators say may illegally discriminate against older applicants.
(Source: Fortune, 2014-06-19) Read the full article
To E or not to E…. Is E-Verify right for your business?
Linda Gemind

As a tool to assist employers in confirming an employee's authorization to work in the US, the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security developed the E-Verify system. E-Verify is a free, internet-based system that allows employers to determine the eligibility of prospective employees to work legally in the US. E-Verify identifies work authorization of prospective employees by comparing information from an employee's Form I-9 to data from SSA and DHS records to confirm employment eligibility, verifying this data against millions of government records and providing instant results in many cases. Because E-Verify is administered by the federal government, it would seem the most risk-free way for employers to ensure a legal workforce.

Read full article HERE.


President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board

Last week's Supreme Court decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning et al. invalidated President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The Court found that the President could only exercise recess appointment power during recesses lasting 10 or more days. Further, the President cannot exercise his recess appointment power “routinely to avoid the need for Senate confirmation.”

The Supreme Court did not directly address the validity of the Board’s decisions involving recess appointees between January 31, 2012 and July 16, 2013. The Board issued a total of 436 decisions in contested cases during this time period, many of which were disfavored by employers.

The Board’s current membership makes it likely that if these cases were heard now, the decisions would be the same. Therefore, employers who are looking for guidance from these prior Board decisions would be prudent to act as if they are still good law. The Board’s regional offices will likely review cases and look for new opportunities to bring these same issues before the Board again. – Paul Bittner, Partner, Ice Miller LLP


Improving Outcomes for Injured Workers

Studies from the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) identified predictors for injured workers’ ultimate return to work. The studies found trust in the work place to be one of the more important predictors relative to expediting an injured worker's return. Specifically, workers who are concerned about being fired, experience slower return to work time frames than employees without those concerns. The studies also identified workers with specific co-morbid medical conditions that are associated with prolonged disability. Workers with hypertension experienced higher rates of disability than workers without hypertension. Similar extended periods of disability occurred with workers experiencing heart problems and diabetes.

Put simply, employers should focus their messaging toward enhancing the employee’s level of trust in the work relationship. Also, a work force that is healthy physically and psychologically enhances performance. Thus, attention to employee wellness programs will benefit employers and employees alike.

To learn more, please contact an attorney in Ice Miller’s Workers Compensation Group.


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