Border Searches of Your Electronic Devices — What Rights Do You Have?

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

Federal Courts Block New Travel Ban Executive Order

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

President Trump Issues New Travel Ban Executive Order

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

USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for ALL H-1B Petitions

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

New IRS Memo Concludes Benefits Paid by Fixed-Indemnity Health Plans May Be Taxable Income

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

Another Executive Order on Immigration Expected

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

Travel Alert Under President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order

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

Massachusetts Minimum Wage Increases Effective January 1, 2017

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

Federal Court Blocks New Overtime Rule

On November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction preventing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing its new overtime rule. The rule – which would have raised the salary threshold below which employees must be paid overtime to $47,476/year – was scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016. (The firm’s previous client alert on the rule can be found here.) As a result,… More

Massachusetts Enacts New Pay Equity Law

Decorative Scales of JusticeOn August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Pay Equity Act (the “Act”) into law. The Act, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018, is designed to close the wage gap between men and women. Although Massachusetts already had a pay parity law that prohibits wage discrimination, the Act provides greater clarity on what constitutes unlawful pay discrimination and imposes new rules and restrictions on employers.… More