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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

22 Jan Immigration: Take Action Now on H-1B Applications – Changes on the Horizon

Authored by Mercedes Badia-Tavas, and Jeff Papa.   President Donald Trump’s executive order in April 2017 entitled “Buy American and Hire American” (BAHA) is leading to proposed regulatory changes by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which will affect U.S. employers intending to hire and sponsor qualified foreign nationals in specialty occupations for the H-1B visa.   Given these expected changes may occur with little advance notice, planning by human resource and legal departments at U.S. companies is key to maintaining lawful global talent in the U.S….

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22 Jan SCOTUS Declines to Consider Whether Tribal Courts Have Jurisdiction to Adjudicate Employment Claims

  The question of tribal jurisdiction arose when a group of current and former employees of two Arizona public school districts filed complaints with the Navajo Nation Labor Commission.   The districts operate schools on land leased from the Navajo Nation and most of the districts’ employees are members of that tribal nation. Among various complaints before the commission, the employees alleged that the districts owed them merit pay under Arizona law and others alleged that the districts violated their rights under the Navajo Preference…

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19 Jan The Death of PAGA Claims at the Hand of Individual Settlements

  Employers who are facing wage and hour lawsuits which include a Private Attorney General Act[1] (PAGA) claim would be happy to know that on December 29, 2017, an appellate panel determined that any plaintiff who settled his/her individual claims is subsequently barred from continuing with a claim under PAGA.   A three-judge panel for the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed a 2016 ruling issued by Judge Kenneth R. Freeman of Los Angeles Superior Court that awarded summary judgment to…

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18 Jan Settlement in Flu Shot Case Provides Lessons for Mandatory Vaccine Programs

  Just as the flu has gone viral throughout the United States this winter, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has resolved a religious accommodation lawsuit against a hospital that had implemented a mandatory influenza vaccine program for its employees.   The case centered on the use of a staff immunization policy at Mission Hospital in North Carolina, which the EEOC alleged did not provide sufficient safeguards for employees who wished to seek an exemption from mandatory flu shots on the basis of their sincerely…

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16 Jan What’s Old Is New Again: DOL Resurrects Advisory Opinion Letters

  Employers can expect to benefit from real-life answers to some real-employer wage-and-hour questions now that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reinstituted 17 Advisory Opinion Letters that had been originally issued in 2009, but subsequently withdrawn during the Obama administration.   Such opinion letters provide formal, detailed analysis and answers to employers who pose FLSA compliance questions to the DOL. The opinion letters are published on the DOL website, thus any employer who happens to have the same or a similar compliance issue can…

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