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Informed Employer: To Quarantine or Not to Quarantine: What Employers Should Do Now About Infectious Informed Employer: To Quarantine or Not to Quarantine: What Employers Should Do Now About Infectious

Informed Employer: To Quarantine or Not to Quarantine: What Employers Should Do Now About Infectious Diseases

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Minimum-Wage Increase Going on Ballot in Many States
In state after state, labor unions and community groups have pushed lawmakers to raise the minimum wage, but those efforts have faltered in many places where Republicans control the legislature. Frustrated by this, workers' advocates have bypassed the legislature and placed a minimum-wage increase on the ballot in several red states -- and they are confident that voters will approve those measures.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-11-03) Read the full article
Apple CEO's Coming-Out Makes Statement to Corporate World
When Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, the largest publically traded company in the world, came out as gay, it sent a pretty powerful message to business owners around the globe: Openness and inclusion of diversity are key drivers of innovation and productivity. And for any startup, or small business, that wants the best from its workforce, you'd do well to follow Cook's lead.
(Source: Inc., 2014-10-31) Read the full article
Companies Urged to Take Steps to Prevent Employee Theft
Screening of prospective employees and putting security measures in writing are among the tools that employers can use to reduce the most common types of employee theft, according to a report by the Hanover Insurance Group. Employee theft costs businesses hundreds of billions of dollars a year, the insurer says, with inflated expense reports, check tampering, payroll scams and fake invoices being particular problems.
(Source:, 2014-10-24) Read the full article
More Employers Take Steps to Find Out if Workers Are a Threat
Companies are trying to get better at spotting rogue or unstable employees who could put money, data or co-workers at risk. Of course, most employers would prefer not to hire such people in the first place, but after a rash of cybersecurity breaches and an FBI warning that disgruntled or ex-employees could "pose a significant cyber threat," bosses are stepping up screening and using new technology to root out any bad apples.
(Source: MarketWatch, 2014-10-24) Read the full article
CDC 'Obesity Cost Calculator' Criticized for Causing Fat Bias
A CDC campaign that gives U.S. bosses an "obesity cost calculator" to tally the financial losses linked to their overweight employees is being criticized as spurring workplace discrimination -- and perhaps enticing companies to fire fat people. LEAN Works!, a program offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states on its website that "many organizations realize the need to assess the costs of obesity as it relates to their bottom line," and reports that the annual health care cost of obesity exceeds $140 billion.
(Source:, 2014-11-03) Read the full article
Small Companies Use ACA to Stop Offering Workers Health Plans
U.S. small businesses are dropping health insurance for their workers, as Obamacare lets them send employees to new marketplaces where they can often get subsidies from the government to buy coverage. Business owners are dropping coverage they previously bought through WellPoint and other insurers, and instead sending employees to shop for it on the government exchanges created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2014-10-29) Read the full article
CEO, CFO Compensation Rising as Economy Rebounds
Top executives are benefiting from the economic recovery, with CEOs of companies in eight industries enjoying a 12.6 percent hike in compensation in fiscal 2013 and pay for CFOs increasing 8.2 percent during the same period, according to a new salary study. On average, CEOs and CFOs at the largest companies ($650 million to $1 billion in revenue) still receive the highest total direct compensation, but the consulting firm BDO USA found in a survey of proxy statements that executives in the smallest revenue category experienced the largest increases in pay.
(Source:, 2014-10-30) Read the full article
Companies Prepare for Rising Number of Multigenerational Workers
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2020, 22.6 percent of Americans over 65 will be working. People are living and working longer, and as a result, it's now possible to have an unprecedented five generations in the workplace simultaneously: veterans/traditionalists, baby boomers, Gen Xers, millennials/Generation Y and the next generation.
(Source: The Tennessean, 2014-11-04) Read the full article
Americans Leaving $52.4 Billion a Year in Paid Vacation Unused
Americans are leaving $52.4 billion on the table by not taking all of their paid vacation, new research finds. U.S. workers are forfeiting 4.9 out of 21 days of paid vacation annually, totaling 169 million days across the workforce, a report concluded.
(Source: MarketWatch, 2014-10-23) Read the full article
Some Companies Try Offering Mini-Sabbatical Programs
Companies want workers to get out of the office. As they try to stand out in the hiring market and show they care about employee burnout, some employers are trying out new sabbatical programs.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-10-28) Read the full article
To Quarantine or Not to Quarantine: What Employers Should Do Now About Infectious Diseases


Sue Porter

While both federal and state governments struggle to decide how best to stop the spread of Ebola, employers once again need to go back to basics and review their infectious disease policy or, if they do not have a policy, to think about what they plan to do regarding the impact of an infectious disease on the workplace. Ebola is the latest, and possibly the deadliest (depending on where you live and work), of a number of infectious diseases that have caused employers to consider implementing policies to address these issues. Those of us who have been in the human resources area for a while may also remember when employees were concerned about catching HIV while at work or whether they should travel to Asia (or Toronto) during a SARS outbreak. It is interesting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that since 2004, there have not been any known cases of SARS reported anywhere in the world. So, while the infectious disease may change, employers need to have a plan on what they should do if there is an outbreak that impacts their workplace.

Read full article here.


When should an Employer Initiate Green Card Sponsorship for an Employee?

In today's market, employers often consider foreign national job applicants in their search for the most qualified candidate. Most foreign national employees begin working in the United States on an employer-sponsored non-immigrant or temporary visa (i.e., TN, H-1B, L-1, etc.); however, those visa categories are subject to limitations on stay and longer term solutions must be considered. Most employers recognize that the principal solution to long term stay in the United States is employment-sponsored permanent residency or "green card." Employers often inquire as to WHEN that green card sponsorship should begin.

Of course, employers are not required to sponsor for green card but it's often something that is considered early on in the employment relationship given the limitations associated with temporary visa categories and the employee's urgency to begin. Generally speaking, we recommend initiating the green card discussion following at least one evaluation cycle (usually after the first year of employment) and no later than two years prior to the maximum period of stay permitted by the non-immigrant category. Naturally, many employees are already within two years of exhausting their maximum period of stay at the time of their hire and waiting to evaluate the employee's performance is not an option. In this situation, an employer may need to initiate green card before the employee even commences employment with the sponsoring employer and timing for this could be discussed prior to the employer extending an offer in an effort to fully understand and vet the scope of immigration needs.

For clients with numerous foreign national employees, maintaining uniformity and retaining internal control is important and establishing clearly defined benchmarks for when the company will initiate green card sponsorship may be the best approach. However, such a policy must remain flexible to account for foreign nationals that have immediate green card needs. Exceptions to this formal policy will be required from time to time.

To discuss strategy related to initiation of green card on behalf of a current or prospective employee or to discuss developing an internal immigration policy, please contact Jenifer M. Brown, Lindsay C. Ramsey or another member of the firm's immigration practice.


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