Massachusetts Legislature Passes Non-Compete Reform Bill

After many years of debate, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a comprehensive non-compete reform bill. If Governor Baker signs the bill into law (as is expected), the new law would prohibit employers from requiring that certain types of employees sign non-competition agreements and would establish minimum requirements – largely consistent with existing case law – that non-competition agreements must meet to be enforceable. If signed by the governor, the law will take effect on October 1,… More

Massachusetts Establishes Paid Family Leave and Raises Minimum Wage

Last week, Governor Charlie Baker signed a landmark bill establishing a paid family and medical leave program for Massachusetts workers and gradually increasing the state minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Described as a “grand bargain,” the bill reflects a compromise between legislators, labor and community groups, and business groups, and is intended to keep proposed ballot questions concerning paid leave, minimum wage, and a sales tax reduction off the November 2018 ballot.… More

Supreme Court Delivers Major Blow to Public Sector Unions

On June 27, 2018, in a 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the United States Supreme Court overruled longstanding precedent and held that public employees who are not members of a union elected to be their collective bargaining agent could not be required to pay so-called “agency fees” to that union.  The decision is expected to have significant impact on organized labor, which relies on such fees to fund their activities.… More

NLRB General Counsel Adopts Less Restrictive Policy on Employee Handbook Rules

On June 6, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel issued a guidance on the agency’s new position on employee handbook rules. Reflecting recent changes in Board law, the guidance issued by NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb indicates that his office has abandoned the broad prohibition on certain workplace rules adopted by his predecessor during the Obama administration and, more broadly, signals that the new General Counsel will take a more employer-friendly approach in interpreting federal labor law.… More

Worksite Enforcement Investigations on the Rise

Nearly Double as Compared to Previous Year

Acting Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) Derek N. Benner stated in a May 14, 2018 press release that “Employers need to understand that the integrity of their employment records is just as important to the federal government as the integrity of their tax files and banking records. All industries, regardless of size, location and type are expected to comply with the law.”

U.S.… More

Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Arbitration Waivers

On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision addressing whether employers can include class action waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements that employers often require their employees to sign as a condition of employment. Such waivers require employees to arbitrate employment claims against the employer individually, rather than as a class action or other joint arbitration. Such waivers had been challenged as violating employees’ right to engage in concerted activities under federal labor law.… More

Massachusetts Places Further Restrictions on Criminal Background Checks

In 2010, Massachusetts became one of the first states to pass so-called “ban the box” legislation, which barred employers from asking prospective employees about their criminal histories on their initial employment applications. Now, eight years later, Governor Charlie Baker has signed a sweeping criminal justice reform bill into law that places new restrictions on employer inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history. The new restrictions go into effect on October 13,… More

What Do F-1 Students Need to Know As They Await The Fate of Their H-1B Cap Petition?

As reported on April 6, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received more H-1B cap petitions than the statutory available visas for both the general cap of 65,000 available H-1B visas and the additional 20,000 for U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the “master’s cap.” We understand how stressful it is for both the H-1B employers and the foreign national candidate as they await the results of the H-1B lottery (“work by lottery” program).… More

Federal Judge Issues Decision That Can Determine DACA’s Fate

On April 24, 2018, a district judge for the District of D.C. ruled that the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. In his opinion, Judge John Bates said the administration failed to provide reasoning to adequately explain its conclusion that DACA was unlawful. “Neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by DHS to support its rescission decision is sufficient to sustain termination of the DACA program.”

This decision is the first to reinstate DACA in its entirety,… More

Are You Ready for USCIS H-1B Site Visits or Department of Labor Audits?

Now that the FY 2019 H-1B cap has been reached, make sure you have a strong immigration compliance programs in place, particularly when it comes to Department of Homeland Security’s H-1B Site Visit program and Department of Labor H-1B/Labor Condition Application Audit program. As reported earlier this year, the government plans to step up targeted site visits and audits for H-1B cases in 2018.… More