Posts from April 2016.

On April 4, 2016, the Los Angeles City Council just voted on their support of increasing California’s allotment of paid sick days for employees to twice the amount given under California’s Paid Sick Leave Law. This means employees would be allowed to earn six paid sick days during the course of the year (as opposed to only 3 under California’s current law). The law still needs to be drafted, but if it is passed, larger employers will need to be in compliance by July of this year, smaller employers (25 or less) would have a year to get fully compliant.

This comes on the heels of LA’s ...

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2016, that it received significantly more H-1B petitions than allowed under the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering and computer programming. The number of petitions filed this year, 236,000, exceeded last year’s high of 233,000 petitions.

The USCIS began to issue receipt notices using the random, computer generated selection process or ...

Every employer offering a 401(k) plan is faced with the decision about what investment options to make available to participants through their plan. Investment options carry different risks as well as different costs. The amount of total assets in a 401(k) plan can affect the variety of investment options an employer can make available to participants. Typically, a greater variety is available to larger plans. Most employer/plan sponsors aim to provide a diverse offering in order to allow participants a wide variety of options in directing their own investments. In designing ...

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a Nebraska federal court’s decision ruling that to constitute an ADA impairment, obesity, even morbid obesity, must be the result of a physiological disorder or condition. In the case of Morriss v. BNSF Ry. Co, Case No. 14-3858 (8th Cir. April 5, 2016), the court held that a morbidly obese job applicant rejected for a position as a railroad machinist could not show he was regarded as disabled under the ADA.

Melvin Morriss applied for a machinist position with BNFS Railway Company in March 2011. He was extended a conditional ...

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced a $1.1M judgment in favor of employees in the Gruber Systems Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The department filed suit against Gruber Systems Inc., a California corporation, and its CEO in May of 2015 alleging they caused Gruber ESOP participants to lose money when the ESOP bought company stock at considerably more than fair market value. The DOL alleged that money used to fund stock purchases to shore up the company during financial troubles should have been used to fund the retirement accounts of Gruber employees. The ...

A recent decision from a NLRB Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) serves as yet another reminder that most private sector employers must allow employees some leeway to make work-related complaints, especially on social media. The employer in the case, Chipotle Services LLC, operates Chipotle restaurants nationwide. As readers likely are aware, Chipotle has received a great deal of negative press in recent months, but this recent decision was unrelated to food safety or illness issues.

Instead, this case arose after Chipotle management confronted an employee who used the ...

Back in November of last year, I wrote about Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, “one of five cases to watch” during the Supreme Court’s 2015 term according to Washington’s The Hill newspaper.

At the beginning of the term, many observers had anticipated that the Court’s conservative majority would use Friedrichs to overturn its 1977 opinion in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a case which upheld “fair share” provisions in public sector union contracts as dues properly exacted for “collective bargaining, contract administration ...

Welcome to the Labor and Employment Law Update where attorneys from SmithAmundsen blog about management side labor and employment issues. 

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