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4/4/2017 - Ted Solley's article, "Encryption: So Easy a Lawyer Can Do It," originally published in the Georgia Bar Journal, is featured in the January 2017 edition of The Computer & Internet Lawyer magazine. The article highlights ethical challenges and technological options facing lawyers in a world of email hacks and leaks.
1/1/2017 - Happy New Year! Do not forget that effective January 1, 2017, higher minimum wages go into effect in 19 states and several municipalities. The states include: AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, HI, MA, ME, MI, MO, MT, NJ, NY, OH, SD, VT and WA. The highest statewide minimum wages are Connecticut and Massachusetts at $11/hour. The largest increase is in Arizona, which jumps from $8.05 to $10/hour. This is a good time for clients to confirm all systems put in place for the increases are working for the first payroll.
12/10/2016 - Starting January 1, 2017, new employment agreements with employees who “primarily reside and work in California” generally must apply California law and provide for dispute resolution in California. The new law does not apply retroactively to existing agreements, but California employees signing new employment agreements cannot be subjected to choice of law or venue provisions that take the matter outside of California.
12/1/2016 - Several new leave laws and ordinances go into effect January 1, 2017, including: Illinois Employee Sick Leave, Vermont Sick Leave, San Francisco Parental Leave, and Morristown, NJ Paid Sick Leave. There are also changes to San Francisco’s Paid Sick Leave. Contact us for specifics and practical policy solutions.
11/23/2016 - Just a week before its effective date, the new overtime rule (doubling the salary threshold for exempt employees) is at least temporarily on hold as of late yesterday, when a district court in Texas granted a preliminary injuction blocking it. This is not likely to be the final word - stay tuned.
11/21/2016 - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a new version of the I-9 form. Employers can start using the new form immediately. Employers can use the previous version, dated 3/8/2013, until January 22, 2017.
10/20/16 - Ted Solley's new article, "Encryption: So Easy a Lawyer Can Do It," is featured in this month's Georgia Bar Journal. The article highlights some ethical challenges and technological option facing lawyers in a world full of email hacks and leaks.
6/3/2016 - Today, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated that it is soliciting public comment on new enforcement guidance regarding national origin discrimination under Title VII. The proposed guidance addresses workplace “English only” rules, language or citizenship requirements, hiring and recruitment practices, and accent discrimination. Before July 1, 2016, Employers should work with in house or outside counsel to understand the proposed guidance, review current practices for compliance, and consider providing anonymous input to the EEOC.
5/18/2016 - For employers, the government gives and the government takes away. After recent “wins” for employers with the Defend Trade Secrets Act and new guidance on wellness programs, on May 18 the Department of Labor hit employers with a big “loss” – raising the salary threshold for overtime-exempt employees over 200%, from $23,660 to $47,476. Effective December 1, 2016, employers must address this major change through some combination of paying more overtime, raising salaries, or limiting workers’ hours. Moser Law Co. has been working with clients for months to anticipate and plan for this change.
5/16/2016 - Employee wellness programs can boost employee health and morale while (hopefully) helping control healthcare costs for employers and employees alike. Many employers, however, have been justifiably nervous that wellness programs could create significant legal liability under the ADA and GINA as well as HIPPA and the Affordable Care Act. On May 16, the EEOC provided some welcome relief, releasing a set of new rules (effective January 1, 2017) and guidance. The new rules apply to all wellness programs that require employees to answer disability-related questions or to undergo medical examinations in order to earn a reward or avoid a penalty. Contact us to discuss your employee wellness programs.
5/11/2016 – President Obama gave businesses a win today when he signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act. Effective immediately, the law avails businesses of a uniform nationwide system (as well as access to federal courts) to protect their innovations, confidential information, and intellectual property. The DTSA is a tool, however, and companies must take steps before issues arise. To utilize all the protections of the DTSA, companies should use this as an opportunity to update relevant policies and contracts so that they will be enforceable when needed.
5/10/2016 – After leaving employers in suspense for over four years, the EEOC just released new guidance on leave as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. While acknowledging that indefinite or unlimited leave would constitute an undue hardship for employers, the EEOC counsels that the reasonable accommodation standard may require employers to make exceptions to policies, such as those that cut off the amount of leave available or require use of a particular type of leave. Employers should not require employees to wait to return to work until able to do so without restrictions. Additional details about the interplay between the ADA and other leave laws as well as the definition of undue hardship are also provided. Employers should review current policies and become educated before engaging in an accommodation discussion.
5/9/2016 – Moser Law Co. updates clients on new leave laws in San Francisco, Santa Monica, Utah, Wisconsin, and Vermont. Contact us for a current 50-state survey of all leave laws.
4/27/2016 - To help employers navigate the minefield of Family and Medical Leave, the DOL recently published an Employer’s Guide to the FMLA. The guide covers the basics of complicated topics such as determining qualifying reasons for leave, requiring medical certification, and an employer’s obligations during and after FMLA leave. Coming soon: an updated FMLA poster for workplaces.
3/23/2016 - On April 1, 2016, amendments to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act regulations will become effective. Some of the amendments will be no surprise since they bring the regulations into compliance with various recent statutory changes and case law interpretations. Employers should not overlook that they also contain several new requirements that impact mandatory employer policies, trainings, and notices.
10/9/2015 - Theresia Moser speaks to the Kettering Executive Network - "Taking Care of (Your) Business: Negotiating Executive Contracts." Here is her guidance to executives negotiating their contracts.
10/5/2015 - Effective immediately, Governor Brown signed AB 1506 on October 2, 2015 to amend California’s Private Attorneys General Act to give employers a right to cure certain wage statement violations. Under the amended rule, an employer may cure a violation of Labor Code section 226(a), which obligates an employer to provide employees with the inclusive dates of the pay period and the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer. An employer may take advantage of this provision only once for the same violation of the statute during each 12-month period.
9/26/2015 - Moser Law Co. hosts reception for Emory Law School homecoming.
9/15/2015 - Escalating minimum wages and onerous scheduling requirements cripple operations of affected California employers, particularly restaurants. Write us for a summary of the current landscape and feasible solutions.
8/31/2015 - Companies with California employees forced to deal with the California Fair Pay Act, the most sweeping gender pay equity law in the country. Here is a concise CFPA summary with practical steps to compliance.
7/15/2015 - Passage of DOL's proposed amendments would be a games changer for employers that rely on "white collar" exceptions to overtime requirements. By more than doubling the pay threshold, employers paying less than $50,440/year must adjust pay to comply or pay overtime. Write us for a bottom-line summary with realistic guidance.