Beginning on October 31, 2017, questions about a job applicant’s previous compensation, and an employer’s reliance on that information in determining an applicant’s compensation, will constitute unlawful discrimination under the New York City Human Rights Law.… More
Last week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously passed the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.3680). If the bill becomes law, it will expand employment protections for pregnant workers in Massachusetts, most significantly by requiring that Massachusetts employers provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations.
Massachusetts already prohibits discrimination against pregnant employees, as Massachusetts courts have recognized that pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Massachusetts’s anti-discrimination statute,… More
The United States government has reported that border searches of electronic devices in the U.S. increased from 4,764 in 2015 to 23,877 in 2016. Because electronic devices have immense data storage capacity and can hold confidential information, trade secrets and data otherwise protected by attorney-client privilege, these searches have raised alarm for individuals, and the companies that employ them, when traveling. Adding social media and cloud storage into the mix,… More
On March 15, 2017, federal courts in Maryland, Hawaii and Washington heard arguments on motions to preliminarily enjoin the New Executive Order (“New EO”), which was issued by President Trump on March 6, 2017. Judge Derrick K. Watson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii was the first to issue such an order (as described below), which essentially prevents implementation of the New EO’s travel and refugee restrictions.… More
On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued a new Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (the “New EO”). The New EO expressly “revok[es]” and “replac[es]” the President’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order of the same name (the “Original EO”). As described below, the New EO effectively bans the issuance of new visas to nationals of six countries for at least 90 days.… More
Late Friday, March 3, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it was indefinitely suspending premium processing for ALL H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. This suspension would mean that no FY 2018 cap-subject H-1B petitions could be filed under premium processing. The same exclusion would apply to H-1B extension petitions, H-1B Change of Employer amendment/extension petitions, and H-1B Cap exempt petitions filed on or after April 3.… More
On January 20, 2017, the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a Memorandum on the tax treatment of benefits paid by fixed-indemnity health plans. In the Memorandum, the OCC concludes that payments from fixed-indemnity health plans that are not included in the employee’s compensation, such as those that were paid for either by the employer or through salary reduction as part of a section 125 cafeteria plan,… More
Within the next week, President Trump is expected to issue another Executive Order (“EO”) concerning high-skilled workers and foreign students, most likely to be titled “Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Workers Visa Programs.” Unlike the EO that was signed last Friday, which imposed an immediate travel ban on foreign nationals from seven countries, it appears that this new EO is not expected to immediately terminate any individual’s work authorization or visa status,… More
On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” relating to visa issuance, screening procedures, and refugees coming to the U.S. The implementation of this Order in the first 48 hours caused confusion at airports across the country. It was understood that Section 3 of the Order “suspends” for 90 days the admission of both permanent resident green card holders and nonimmigrant temporary visa holders (H-1B,… More
A reminder for Massachusetts employers: effective January 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is increasing from $10.00 to $11.00 per hour.
The minimum rate for tipped service employees is also increasing, from $3.35 to $3.75 per hour. This “service rate” only applies to workers who provide services to customers and regularly receive more than $20 in tips per month. Additionally, their average hourly tips plus the minimum service rate must equal or exceed the $11.00 per hour minimum wage. … More