Wisconsin Evens the Score by Becoming the Twenty-Fifth Right-to-Work State — So What Happens Now?


Wisconsin’s Legislature passed a “right-to-work” (RTW) law on Friday, March 6, 2015, and Wisconsin Governor (and possible presidential candidate) Scott Walker promptly signed the bill into law today. Wisconsin has now become the nation’s twenty-fifth state to exercise the option to have a right-to-work law. This article provides a brief summary of the law and offers some thoughts about what may happen next. Continue reading this entry

Department of Labor Announces Expansion of FMLA Rights to Same-Sex Couples


The United States Department of Labor issued a groundbreaking rule change last week, granting couples in legal, same-sex marriages the same rights as those in opposite-sex marriages under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The FMLA, which was enacted in 1993, allows eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons, such as caring for a spouse suffering from a serious medical condition, with the continuation of the employee’s group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Continue reading this entry

USCIS Acts to Eliminate Employment Disruption for Professional Workers


Employers who seek to reduce disincentives that currently encourage H-1B non-immigrant employees to abandon adjustment to lawful permanent residence status will benefit from a new employment authorization rule announced on February 24, 2015, by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The new rule, effective May 26, 2015, will allow the spouses of H-1B employees to work in the United States during the period in which the H-1B worker awaits adjustment to permanent resident status. H-1B employees are those foreign national specialty occupation temporary workers who fulfill professional-level job duties in employment positions that mandate no less than a baccalaureate-level degree in education or equivalent work experience. The spouses of H-1B visa holders are derivative beneficiaries of their spouse’s H-1B status and are granted H-4 status during the period of their spouse’s temporary H-1B employment. Continue reading this entry

Congress Renews Its Battles Over Workplace Rights and Obligations


With Republicans now controlling both houses of Congress, we can expect to see the introduction — or reintroduction — of various pieces of legislation largely designed to advance the agenda of the majority party on issues affecting the American workplace, as well as blunt the ambitions of President Obama and the Democrats in that same arena. With the new Congress in session for less than two months, we have already seen proposed workplace legislation that gives a clear indication of where future battles will be fought. Continue reading this entry

Seek “Recent Graduates” for a Job Opening, Risk a Lawsuit


Employer job advertisements are, once again, coming under scrutiny. A few weeks ago, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made headlines when it filed a lawsuit against a restaurant chain over its job posting in which “only females would be considered” for summer positions in a Utah resort town. Last year, Facebook settled a lawsuit with a California agency over an advertisement that allegedly discriminated on the basis of age when it said, “Class of 2007 or 2008 preferred.” These are only a couple recent examples of a stepped-up focus by government agencies in combating perceived discrimination in hiring. Continue reading this entry