Feb 26, 2020

NLRB Finalizes New Joint Employer Rule

Joint Employer Rule

On February 25, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) revealed the final version of its new rule for determining joint-employer status (the “Rule”). The Rule reinstates a test that was in place for decades prior to the current test being adopted in 2015 and will go into effect on April 27, 2020. Under the Rule, a business must exercise “substantial direct and immediate control over essential terms and conditions of employment” to be considered a joint employer. These “essential terms and conditions” include “wages, benefits, hours of work, hiring, discharge, discipline, supervision, and direction.” Furthermore, the Rule clarifies that… Read more

Feb 11, 2020

The SECURE Act: What Does it Mean For You?


If you own an IRA or are a participant in a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k), and if your retirement benefits are a factor in your estate planning then the SECURE Act can have a significant impact on how your beneficiaries receive those benefits.  Every dollar paid out of the IRA or retirement plan to your beneficiary is subject to income tax just as you are subject to income tax when you receive a distribution during your lifetime.  The SECURE Act, which applies to IRA and most retirement plan distributions to beneficiaries of decedents dying after December 31,… Read more

Feb 10, 2020

Employer-Friendly Amendment to Illinois Cannabis Act: What Employers Should Know

Cannabis in workplace

On June 25, 2019, Illinois became the eleventh state to legalize recreational cannabis with the enactment of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Cannabis Act”).  Yet despite legalizing recreational cannabis use, the Cannabis Act specifically allows for reasonable, non-discriminatory zero tolerance or drug free workplace polices.  This created potential tension with the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act (the “Right to Privacy Act”) that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for their use of “lawful products off the premises of the employer during nonworking and non-call hours” such as cannabis. Due to the tension between these… Read more

Feb 3, 2020

Alert for Employers: New Form I-9 Required

On January 31, 2020, US. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers may continue using the prior version of the form (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) until April 30, 2020. After that date, employers can only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form. Changes are minimal and include: Instructions: Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer Updated USCIS website addresses Provided clarifications on acceptable documents for Form I-9 Updated the process… Read more

Jan 23, 2020

New Jersey Passes Legislation Requiring Increased Notice and Severance Pay

New Law for Severance Pay

On January 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill making New Jersey the first state in the nation to require employers to provide severance to employees who lose their job in a mass reduction in force.  Senate Bill No. 3170 was first introduced in November 2018 and passed by the state legislature on January 13, 2020. The new law significantly expands employers’ notice and severance pay obligations in the event of a covered mass layoff or plant closing. Currently, the New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Loss Job Notification Act (“NJ WARN Act”), which is modeled after… Read more

Jan 15, 2020

Final Rule on Joint Employer Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

On January 12, 2020, the Department of Labor issued a final rule updating its interpretation of “joint employer” status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires covered employers to pay their non-exempt employees at least the federal minimum wage and overtime.  Under the FLSA, an employee may have, in addition to his or her employer, one or more joint employers, i.e., additional individuals or entities who are jointly and severally liable with the employer for the employee’s required minimum wage and overtime pay. The final rule provides guidance for determining when individuals or entities are considered joint… Read more

Jan 10, 2020

USCIS Implements Electronic Registration Process for FY 2021 H-1B Cap Season

USCI Immigration Photo with USA Flag

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) formally announced the implementation of the H-1B registration process for Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions today. The initial registration period will be open from March 1 through March 20, 2020, for the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations. During this initial registration period, prospective petitioners or their authorized representatives, must electronically submit a separate registration naming each foreign worker for whom they seek to file an H-1B cap subject petition and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each submission. If a sufficient number of registrations are received, USCIS will randomly select the… Read more

Dec 23, 2019

Early Gifts for Employers: NLRB Changes Course Regarding “Quickie Elections”, Deducting Dues from Expired Labor Contracts, Discussing Ongoing Investigations, and Restricting Employees From Using Employer’s E-mail System

Alert_NLRB Change Course

On December 13, 2019, the NLRB announced modified representation case procedures that reverse some of the onerous requirements that went into effect in April 2015. This new rule will take effect 120 days from the announcement. Three of the significant changes in the rule include: ▪           Notice of Petition for Election:  Employers will now have five business days, instead of two business days, to post and distribute the Notice of Petition for Election. ▪           Pre-Election Hearing:  The pre-election hearing will now be scheduled 14 business days from the service of the notice of hearing, instead of the current up to… Read more

Dec 20, 2019

Congress Permanently Repeals ACA Taxes and Passes SECURE Act

Photo of signing legislation

On Thursday, December 19, 2019, Congress passed a last-minute appropriations bill (“Appropriations Bill”) that, among other tax code changes, repeals two controversial Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) taxes and enacts the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (“SECURE Act”), which contains several retirement plan changes. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law later today, December 20, to avoid a partial government shutdown. The Cadillac Tax – a 40% excise tax on high-cost health insurance – has been unpopular since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, with both Republicans and Democrats united in opposition. Originally… Read more

Dec 19, 2019

Fifth Circuit Rules the ACA’s Individual Mandate Unconstitutional, Asks Lower Court to Decide on the Rest

courthouse photo

Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) requirement that individuals either purchase health insurance or pay a tax (the “individual mandate”). The court held that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and remanded the case to the district court to reconsider whether the remainder of the ACA remains valid. Democrats defending the constitutionality of the ACA have indicated they intend to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit’s decision. However, it is uncertain whether the Supreme Court will do so, or wait for further rulings from the district court and Fifth… Read more