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Showing 14 posts in Employment.

How does the "Hire American" portion of the "Buy American, Hire American" Executive Order impact H-1B visa applicants and start-up businesses?

Visa ApplicationMuch ado has been made about the Trump administration's stance on immigration issues. Throughout the 2016 campaign and into the first months of the new presidency, immigration has been a hot-button issue that has consistently garnered media attention. Last month, the administration took one of its first major swings at immigration reform in putting into effect an Executive Order titled "Buy American and Hire American" (the "Executive Order.") The "Hire American" portion of this Executive Order focuses on the H-1B visa program, a program that is used to give skilled foreign workers a temporary visa, granting them work authorization to utilize their skills in the United States. This blog post will analyze the impact of the proposed reforms, and in particular, the impact of those reforms on startup businesses. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News, Startup, Venture Capital/Funding

Border Searches May Compromise the Privacy and Security of Company Technology

International FlightRecently, international travelers have noticed US Customs and Border Protection agents with increased interest in searching cell phones, laptops, and other portable technology. Employers should be aware that this trend increases the risk that an unauthorized individual will access sensitive company information, which could result in an inadvertent data breach.

Some international travelers have been asked by border agents to unlock cell phones or provide a password needed to unlock the device. One report included a customs agent threatening to seize a travelers' phone if he did not unlock his cellphone. Employers are rightfully concerned that these searches may allow unauthorized individuals to access sensitive company information. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News, Privacy

Fiduciary Rule update: the beginning of the end?

Shortly after our first article on the DOL Fiduciary Rule the White House issued an Executive Order that requires the Department of Labor (the "DOL") to revisit the Fiduciary Rule (the "Fiduciary Rule" or the "Rule") and the Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (the "PTEs") that were amended alongside it. President Trump's Executive Order requires the DOL to determine if the rule will adversely affect retirement investors or financial firms. If the answer is yes, the expectation is that the Fiduciary Rule and the related PTEs will not survive as currently written, and the DOL will rescind or revise the Rule. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News

The New Fiduciary Rule and its Future

Financial advisingWith a sea of political change in Washington this year, many are speculating on what regulatory reforms the Trump administration and a Republican Congress will make in 2017. One reform in particular is commonly mentioned: a repeal, delay, or revision of the new Department of Labor ("DOL") fiduciary rule (the "Fiduciary Rule"). Given that the Trump administration is widely seen as anti-regulation, and the Fiduciary Rule is one of the most sweeping pieces of regulation regarding retirement investors and the financial industry since the implementation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") in 1974, speculation about the Fiduciary Rule's impending review and revision are not unfounded. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News

Lawsuits Encouraged by Sixth Circuit Decision Where Customer and Employee Sensitive Data Breached

Cyber SecurityA recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (the “Sixth Circuit”) may make it easier for plaintiffs to bring costly lawsuits against companies that allow sensitive data to fall into the wrong hands. Most troubling from a company's perspective, the Sixth Circuit used language that some states legally require in data breach notification letters to justify allowing the case to move forward. Read more about this case here.

Categories: Employment, News, Technology

Employers Should Audit and Update Employment-Related Policies and Agreements in Light of New “Defend Trade Secrets Act”

employment-related policiesPresident Obama recently signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (the “Act”) into law. The Act creates a new cause of action - which became effective immediately - for trade secret misappropriation.

Prior to the Act, civil claims for trade secret misappropriation were primarily governed by state law. The Act creates federal jurisdiction for claims brought under the Act, which provides plaintiffs with the option to sue in federal court. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets

Unpaid Internships Give Rise to Government Enforcement and Class Actions Against Employers

class actionsThe misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a common and serious issue affecting employers and workers in the technology sector. We recently touched on the legal challenges facing “on demand” technology companies such as Uber and Lyft due to their classification of drivers as independent contractors.

But employee vs. independent contractor is not the only classification issue that technology companies and investors must grapple with. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Fenox Venture Capital, recently agreed to pay $331,269 in back wages after the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) found the company misclassified 56 workers as unpaid interns. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Startup

Uber Pays $100 Million to Settle “Employee or Independent Contractor?” Class Action Case

independent contractorIn January we updated you on the numerous legal battles Uber was fighting across the country related to its classification of its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Uber, the on-demand car service, recently put one of those battles behind it by settling a class action lawsuit covering 385,000 drivers in California and Massachusetts for $100 million.

Under the terms of the settlement Uber will continue to be able to classify its drivers as contractors. The company also made concessions allowing drivers to receive tips, and to form an association - although not a union - to discuss grievances with the company. Read More ›

Categories: Employment

Employee or Independent Contractor? Uber Wages Battles to Answer Critical Question for On-Demand Economy Companies and Their Workers

Employee or independent contractor? It’s a question many businesses grapple with, and the answer has significant legal and financial implications. Employee vs. independent contractor classification is becoming an increasingly important issue for many “on demand” technology companies such as Uber doing business in the fast growing “gig” or “sharing” economy.

Uber has been involved in a number of legal battles being waged over its practice of classifying its drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees. California has been a hotspot for litigation.  Read More ›

Categories: Employment

Remedying Past Employee/Independent Contract Misclassification Through IRS’s Voluntary Settlement Program

voluntary settlement programEmployee or independent contractor? It’s a legal distinction that has significant implication for both workers and employers. Take ride-sharing service Uber, for example. It’s now defending a class action lawsuit filed by its drivers who claim they are misclassified as independent contractors. Should plaintiffs be successful, they may be entitled to damages including reimbursement for expenses they incur, such as gas and vehicle maintenance. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Tax