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Category: Legal Insights

Newsroom image for the post Not Biden His Time: Biden Administration Announces Intentions to Make Immigration Reform a Top Administrative Priority

Posted January 26, 2021 with Tags , ,

Not Biden His Time: Biden Administration Announces Intentions to Make Immigration Reform a Top Administrative Priority

Immediately after President Joe Biden took office, his administration unveiled a series of Executive Actions and legislative proposals designed to signal its top priorities. The actions taken within his first week include reversing Executive Orders issued by the Trump Administration, withdrawing certain pending regulations, delaying the implementation of regulations made by the Trump Administration post-election, and pushing forward a legislative overhaul of the current immigration system. These actions and proposals signal that modernizing the current immigration system will be one of the top priorities of the new administration.

Newsroom image for the post Employer Incentivization of COVID-19 Vaccination

Posted January 19, 2021 with Tags ,

Employer Incentivization of COVID-19 Vaccination

Many employers are seeking ways to encourage their employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19. For those wishing to stop short of making it mandatory, incentivizing voluntary vaccination is an option, but one that comes with its own set of potential legal pitfalls employers should be aware of.

Newsroom image for the post Backlog to the Future: Lingering Questions about the Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Wait Times Under H.R. 1044/S. 386

Posted December 16, 2020 with Tags ,

Backlog to the Future: Lingering Questions about the Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Wait Times Under H.R. 1044/S. 386

As currently drafted, the bills would eliminate the 7% per-country ceiling for all employment-based visa categories by October 1, 2022. However, the bill would not eliminate the numerical cap for immigrant visas that could be issued per year. Instead, it would distribute the backlog across all countries by changing the visa allocation process to be a first-come, first-served process.

Newsroom image for the post DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status Benefits for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal Nationals

Posted December 10, 2020 with Tags ,

DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status Benefits for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal Nationals

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on December 9, 2020, an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal through October 4, 2021. TPS is a temporary status that allows nationals of designated countries to remain and, in some cases, work in the United States until it is considered safe to return to their home country.

Newsroom image for the post Before In-Person Trials Halted, Three NJL Women Led (and Earned) Successful Defense Verdicts

Posted December 7, 2020

Before In-Person Trials Halted, Three NJL Women Led (and Earned) Successful Defense Verdicts

During the small window when trials briefly went live this fall, three Nilan Johnson Lewis women not only led the few pieces of pandemic litigation, but all three garnered full defense verdicts within three days of each other. This is significant when you consider nearly 97 percent of civil cases are resolved before going to trial in a typical year without a pandemic.

Newsroom image for the post Federal Judge Strikes Down Two Rules that Impose Restrictions on U.S. Employers who Sponsor Foreign Workers

Posted December 1, 2020 with Tags , ,

Federal Judge Strikes Down Two Rules that Impose Restrictions on U.S. Employers who Sponsor Foreign Workers

At issue was whether or not the Administration was justified in its determination that the COVID-19 pandemic provided a good cause exception to Section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires a proper public notice and comment period before a rule can be implemented. The court decided that it was not.

Newsroom image for the post Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law Regulations: Final Rules Issued

Posted November 25, 2020

Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law Regulations: Final Rules Issued

On November 20, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published two final rules that aim to reduce regulatory barriers to care coordination and accelerate the transformation of the healthcare system to value-based care. The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued the final rule “Revisions to the Safe Harbors Under the Anti-Kickback Statute and Civil Monetary Penalty Rules Regarding Beneficiary Inducements,” and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule “Modernizing and Clarifying the Physician Self-Referral Regulations.” The regulations are effective on January 19, 2021.

Posted November 6, 2020 with Tags , ,

The Premium Processing Roller Coaster: What is the Fee Now, and Has it Been Expanded to Other Types of Immigration Benefit Requests?

The short answer is that the premium processing fee increased to $2,500 effective October 20, 2020, for all eligible I-129 and I-140 filings (except for H-2B and R-1 requests that increased to $1500), based on the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act that was part of the Continuing Appropriations Act 2021 and Other Extensions Act signed into law on October 1. Although the Act gives U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) authority to expand premium processing to other types of benefit requests, the agency recently said it is not yet taking that action. In other words, USCIS has not yet applied premium processing to I-765, I-539, or the other new benefit requests.

Posted November 6, 2020 with Tags

Minnesota Assisted Living License Update

While the details have yet to be finalized, Assisted Living Facilities in Minnesota will need to transition to a new combined Assisted Living License by August 1, 2021.

Posted October 21, 2020 with Tags ,

Politics in the Workplace: When Political Speech Goes Against Employer Policies

With the presidential election looming, discussions about politics are happening in the workplace now more than ever. In the current political environment, these conversations may be disruptive and may not align with Equal Employment Opportunity and Harassment-Free Workplace Policies, diversity and inclusion goals, and organizational brands. This means that HR professionals and other supervisors walk a very fine line as they draw distinctions between what violates or contradicts employment policies versus free speech.

Newsroom image for the post Reducing Liability for Concussion-Related Lawsuits: Document Your Training and Education

Posted October 13, 2020 with Tags

Reducing Liability for Concussion-Related Lawsuits: Document Your Training and Education

Anyone paying attention to the sports world in the past several years is well aware of the spotlight focused on concussions and head trauma.  Much of the attention has come from high-profile, class-action lawsuits against major sports leagues like the NFL, NHL, and NCAA.  But as these cases run their course and the pool of major sports leagues that can be sued dwindles, plaintiffs’ attorneys have turned their attention to other groups that might be held liable for concussion-related injuries, including manufacturers of helmets and other sports equipment, as well as amateur and youth sports leagues.

Posted October 12, 2020 with Tags

October Surprise: Major Changes for Employers who Sponsor Foreign Workers

During the first week of October and just days into the new fiscal year, the Trump Administration announced two significant changes for employers who wish to sponsor foreign workers. The first of these announcements affects changes to the prevailing wage that employers must pay foreign workers, while the second imposes changes to the H-1B process for employers who wish to sponsor foreign professionals.

Posted October 8, 2020 with Tags

Federal Contractors and Diversity Initiatives: Understanding the Executive Order on Implicit Bias Training and the Department of Labor’s Newest Enforcement Actions

In recent weeks, the federal government has increased its attention on diversity and inclusion initiatives undertaken by federal contractors. First, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) that appears—on its face—to prohibit implicit and unconscious bias trainings. Then the Department of Labor (DOL) opened a new hotline to receive complaints regarding discrimination by federal contractors. Since opening the hotline just days ago, the DOL has already commenced investigations into multiple federal contractors’ diversity initiatives, and not only trainings addressed by the EO.

Newsroom image for the post The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act and What USCIS Furloughs Could Mean for U.S. Businesses

Posted August 25, 2020 with Tags ,

The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act and What USCIS Furloughs Could Mean for U.S. Businesses

On Saturday, August 22, 2020, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8089, the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, in an attempt to forestall the impending U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) furlough of about 13,400 employees that is slated for August 30, 2020. The bill will now go before the Senate, where its sponsor and co-sponsors hope for a quick passage soon.

Posted August 20, 2020 with Tags

USCIS Temporarily Adds Document to I-9 List of Acceptable Documents

As a result of delays in the issuance of Employment Authorization Documents (or EAD cards), the agency announced that employees may use—and employers must accept—form I-797 Notice of Action that indicates the approval of Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization Document) in lieu of the actual EAD card, provided that the I-797 is dated between December 1, 2019, and August 20, 2020.

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