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.
Posted October 13, 2020 with Tags Product Liability/Mass Tort
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
Minneapolis-based law firm Nilan Johnson Lewis is pleased to announce the hire of Chelsea Vilchis, who will be joining the firm’s product liability/mass tort, business litigation, and labor and employment practices.
Posted October 12, 2020 with Tags Corporate Immigration
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 Labor and Employment
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.
Posted October 5, 2020
Known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, this lottery provides a maximum of up to 55,000 Diversity Visas (DV) each fiscal year to be made available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Those granted a DV visa become permanent residents of the United States.
With just days before a sweeping fee increase set to take place, a California federal judge stayed the implementation and the effective date of USCIS Immigration Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements.
America’s immigration system is based on a quota system. This means that there is a limited number of permanent resident visas available each year, with limits per category and per country. This article will focus on the employment-based categories only.
Posted September 9, 2020
Duty of Care for Non-Academic, Student Disciplinary Matters at Private Colleges & Universities Reversed by Eighth Circuit
Recently, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a favorable decision to NJL’s client, the University of St. Thomas, that has broad application to all private colleges and universities in the state of Minnesota. Not only did the Court affirm the District Court decision in favor of St. Thomas, but it also eliminated a new and problematic duty of care created by the District Court that would have applied to student discipline for non-academic misconduct.
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 Immigration Law
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.
Posted August 5, 2020 with Tags Immigration Law
The new DHS fee rule, which goes into effect on October 2, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will change the filing fees for the vast majority of employment-based petitions and applications filed with that agency.
The Minnesota Supreme Court concluded that an unpaid student intern working at a local nonprofit was entitled to the same protection against discrimination found in the Minnesota Human Rights Act as paid employees.
Posted August 3, 2020 with Tags Health Care
The Minnesota Supreme Court issued an opinion* that reverses the long-held common-law understanding in Minnesota that hospitals are not liable for the actions of their physician independent contractors.
While the ordinance does not directly affect the increasingly complicated and ever-changing analysis of when an individual is properly utilized as an independent contractor (as opposed to being treated like an employee), Minneapolis businesses should be cautious when preparing the written agreement required under the ordinance.
Youth sports organizations are often run by people who are volunteers. Sometimes one volunteer within the group opens a bank account in the name of the sports organization, so fees can be deposited and expenses paid. Many times, a member of the group will suggest that the organization should formalize itself and set up a 501(c)(3) or an LLC to run the programs. What do these terms mean and when would it benefit a youth sports organization to formally organize as a 501(c)(3) or an LLC? Heidi Christianson explains.
The current administration has sought to expand the types of benefits that would give cause to believe that an individual is primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, and, thus, inadmissible under U.S. immigration law.
More than four months after Gov. Tim Walz declared a peacetime emergency in Minnesota, many employers are eager to return to normal (to the extent possible). But two recent developments in Minnesota that have further pushed back the timeline for returning to “business as usual.”
Posted July 27, 2020 with Tags NJL News
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