On December 1, Judge Jeffrey White of the US District Court for the Northern District of California invalidated two new regulations that raised prevailing wages and eligibility criteria for foreign workers to receive H-1B visas. "This decision ensures the continued viability of the H-1B program, which supplies work authorization to more than 580,000 individuals in the United States," Paul Hughes, partner at McDermott Will & Emery, said in a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management. Access the article.
Some estimates have upwards of 10 million Americans living abroad; three-fifths of them are working in some fashion, according to a 2017 survey by the expatriate support organization InterNations. And even if a much smaller number are working for US employers, a substantial portion have spent much of 2020 navigating the challenges of visa, benefits, taxes and work status. Beyond that, the challenges that come along with remote work—Zoom fatigue, balancing caregiver roles with job tasks and more—are exacerbated by working across a long stretch of time zones. In a recent article by Evolve, McDermott partner Brian Cousin outlines the importance of employers staying engaged with their employees working abroad—and staying on top of shifting employment circumstances and restrictions. Access the article.
UK employees "working from anywhere" face fines or investigations from foreign tax authorities if they stay too long, become a resident in a foreign country for tax purposes and fail to declare their UK incomes. In some cases, they could also be hit with double taxation on the same earnings. In a recent article in The Daily Telegraph, McDermott partner Simon Goldring advises employees to consider the tax implications of extended "work from home" abroad. Access the article.
Leadership’s responsibility for assuring gender equality within the workplace just received an important, highly public “push.” In a recent article in Forbes, McDermott partner Michael Peregrine analyzes a crucial study by McKinsey and LeanIn.org, which concluded that women have born an outsized workplace-related burden during the COVID-19 economy. Access the article.
Employers are contending with how to respond to telecommuters dressing down during the pandemic. Companies also are considering how to ensure dress codes don't unlawfully discriminate or violate National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) rights. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott Employment associate Philip Shecter advises employers to be mindful of these rights, which may arise in the context of attire in favor of social justice movements. Access the article.
As the US election cycle begins to wind down, labor stakeholders say one thing is clear: Labor relations across the nation could see big changes under Democratic president-elect Joe Biden. In a recent article by the Daily Journal, McDermott partners Ron Holland and Chris Foster discuss the impacts a Biden presidency could have on the National Labor Relations Board and the state of labor relations in the United States. Access the article.
Even though a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 isn't available yet, it's not too early for employers to start considering whether they will require employees to get the vaccination when it is ready. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott partners Michelle Strowhiro and Sandy DiVarco highlighted some of the factors, considerations and accommodations that may be necessary once a vaccine is ready. Access the article.
Employees gathering with friends, expressing their political views and posting about these things on social media have created for employers an increasingly urgent question: When the people engaging in unsafe or politically charged behavior are your employees, and the conduct happens off the clock, is it appropriate or even possible to discipline them? Access the article.
President Releases Executive Order Prohibiting Training for Contractors and Federal Grant Recipients
On September 22, 2020, US President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order, which prohibits federal contractors and recipients of federal grants from conducting certain workplace training on race and sex stereotyping. This Executive Order is likely to be challenged on various grounds, including First Amendment grounds, but all employers may wish to review their workplace training materials in anticipation of future Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) action for reverse discrimination. Access the article.
On September 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 1159 into law, which is effective immediately for all employers. Among other things, the law creates a “disputable presumption” under workers’ compensation statutes for certain employees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and establishes reporting requirements on confirmed cases and number of employees. Access the article.