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.
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.
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.
Congratulations to Nilan Johnson Lewis’ team of Dave Schooler, Ellen Brinkman, Erin Conlin, and Dan Supalla for garnishing two favorable results on behalf of U.S. Bank in the month of October. Both cases involved age bias claims.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.