September 17, 2020
Updates to USCIS Policy on New Forms, Premium Processing, and Filing Fee Increases Take Effect on October 2, 2020
As previously reported in Epstein Becker Green’s August 2020 Immigration Alert, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will increase filing fees effective October 2, 2020. In line with the announcement, USCIS has updated its Policy Manual and the Federal Register with the following changes:
September 14, 2020
As we have previously highlighted, many countries have introduced creative new approaches to address the economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. As employees continue to work from home and employers reconsider whether employees must return to the workplace at all, some jurisdictions are implementing measures to accommodate the needs and interests of both employers and employees in the ever-changing and evolving employment environment. Luxembourg is yet another example of a country that has sought to develop solutions with its neighboring nations to ease the economic burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers.
September 11, 2020
On September 8, 2020, a federal district court struck down the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule on joint employer liability, concluding that the Rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) by impermissibly narrowing the definition of joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), departing from the DOL’s prior interpretations on joint employment without adequate explanation, and otherwise being arbitrary and capricious. We previously blogged about the details of the Final Rule here. The DOL published the Final Rule in the Federal Register on January 16, 2020 with an effective date of March 16, 2020.
September 11, 2020
On September 8, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released updates to its What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws Technical Assistance Questions and Answers (“FAQs”), addressing questions largely focused on return-to-work questions and concerns such as permissible and impermissible inquiries, reasonable accommodation and confidentiality of employee health information.
September 10, 2020
Many employers with operations in California may already be familiar with Frlekin v. Apple, Inc. The heavily litigated case, first filed in 2013, involves claims that Apple retail employees are entitled to compensation for time spent waiting for and undergoing mandatory exit searches.
The Ninth Circuit has now concluded that those employees are entitled to be paid for that time, holding that they are entitled to an award of summary judgment in their favor. That is a far cry from the original 2015 ruling in the case in which United States District Court Judge William Alsup denied the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and granted summary judgment to Apple, concluding that such time did not qualify as “hours worked” under California law because the searches were peripheral to the employees’ job duties, and could be avoided if the employees chose not to bring bags to work.
September 10, 2020
In this installment of Epstein Becker Green’s “Class Action Avoidance” webinar series, attorney Paul DeCamp discusses wage and hour issues that could arise from transitioning out of the work-from-home reality so many businesses have faced and into the return-to-work phase.
Employers across the country should focus on creating a safe working environment. Certain states and localities have required that employers bringing employees back to the workspace provide or pay for any mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE), including thermometers, gloves, and masks. Additionally, employers should be aware of the time employees take for self-screening and employer-provided screening, such as temperature checks, questionnaires, and handwashing upon arrival.
September 8, 2020
We have written frequently here about AB5, California’s controversial law that creates an “ABC” test that must be satisfied in order for a worker to be treated as an independent contractor. As we explained here, AB5 codified and expanded the “ABC” test adopted by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court for determining whether workers in California should be classified as employees or as independent contractors.
While the statute was unambiguously aimed at ride share and food delivery companies that treat drivers as independent contractors, it was broadly written and was passed with little discussion. Confusingly, it contained a mishmash of last-minute exemptions from the “ABC” test that, from a distance, seemed to be based on little more than which industry groups were able to get legislators’ ears in the hours before the statute was passed.
September 4, 2020
In this installment of Epstein Becker Green’s “Class Action Avoidance” webinar series, attorney Michael S. Kun addresses potential wage and hour class actions related to expense reimbursement for employees working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many employers may have employees working from home for the first time—or at least have employees in certain job categories doing so for the first time. Even employees who sometimes worked from home previously may be doing so for much more time now and, arguably, incurring greater expenses as a result.
September 3, 2020
As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: Employers are reevaluating plans after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversals, and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) offers clarification on wage and hour issues related to the pandemic.
September 3, 2020
Part 4 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19.
We have said this before, but we will say it again: in the workplace, there should be no touching – ever. The COVID-19 pandemic just provides another reason to follow the advice we give in the anti-harassment context, that employees should maintain distance and not touch others.