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A new state law in Maryland now prohibits employers from requiring low-wage employees to enter into noncompete agreements. Maryland Senate Bill 328, which took effect on October 1, 2019, prohibits employers from obligating any employee who earns less than $15.00 per hour or $31,200 per year from entering into an agreement that restricts the employee’s ability to work with a new employer in the same or similar business. The statute provides that entry into…
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a new fee schedule designed to mitigate an approximate $1.3 billion shortfall in the annual budget of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). According to DHS, immigration fees would increase by a weighted average of 21 percent across the board. In reality, however, the fee changes would not affect all immigration benefits equally. Fees for some commonly used classifications are set to go up significantly. Fees for…
On November 14, 2019, the Oregon Court of Appeals in Maza v. Waterford Operations, LLC, 300 Or. App. 471 (2019), addressed the question of whether an employer can be found strictly liable under Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 839-020-0050(2) when an hourly employee takes less than the entire duty-free, 30-minute lunch break to which the employee is otherwise entitled, regardless of the circumstances. Background OAR 839-020-050(2)(a) requires employers to provide hourly nonexempt employees with “a…
DACA at SCOTUS. On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in a series of cases challenging President Donald Trump’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017. DACA, which began in 2012, provides work authorization and protection from deportation to individuals brought to the United States as children. A coalition of 143 trade associations and individual companies filed an amicus brief emphasizing the…
In Simpson v. Temple University, et al., the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment to the defendants on the plaintiff’s claims of interference and retaliation under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The decision illustrates the practical significance of documenting performance issues and termination decisions as soon as possible. Such a practice can help employers reduce the risk of liability for retaliation under the FMLA. Background The…
On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument on the legality of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program that provides work authorization and protection from deportation to young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The roughly 80-minute session focused on two primary questions: whether the Court had the authority to review DHS’s…
Women make up the majority of employees in the healthcare industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, 75 percent of hospital staff and nearly 80 percent of the staff of other health services were composed of women. In part due to the prevalence of female employees in the healthcare setting, the healthcare industry has moved to address lactation accommodation laws and implement lactation policies at a faster pace than other industries.…
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it will automatically extend the validity of temporary protected status (TPS) documents and work authorization for qualified beneficiaries from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras and Nepal. The secretary of homeland security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent people from returning safely or, in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the…
Ogletree Deakins’ Cross-Border Practice Group is pleased to announce the publication of the latest issue of its international newsletter, the International Employment Update, which updates employers on key employment law changes and other significant developments in the countries in which they have employees. In this edition, we have more evidence of a clear trend of countries restricting the ability of employers to use fixed-term employment contracts inappropriately. This time it is court decisions in…
On September 30, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California legislation—Senate Bill (SB) 206—that would permit college student athletes to benefit financially (for example, from endorsement deals) from their names, images, and likenesses while still in school. Governor Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) sponsored, with much fanfare, alongside a high-profile professional basketball player and several former college student athletes. The new…