On March 15, 2011 Governor Gary Herbert signed the Immigration Accountability and Enforcement Amendments Act. The ceremony took place at the state capitol in Salt Lake City.
Under the new Utah immigration law, undocumented workers would pay $2.500 for a guest worker permit that allows them to be employed in Utah. Undocumented workers could also apply for a family permit, which would allow all members of the immediate family to work in Utah.
The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2013.Implementation is complex, because currently the guest worker and his employer would still be in violation of federal immigration laws, including the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act or IRCA of 1986. That law imposes penalties on any employer (more…)
The Wall Street reform act offers strong protection from retaliation to employees who are whistle-blowers, according to Tennessee attorney Cynthia Gibson. The law applies to all corporations, not just Wall Street traders.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provides extensive protection of whistle-blowers when they report violations of SEC regulations. Employees on foreign soil as well as within the U.S. are protected when they file a good-faith complaint. So are employees of subsidiaries or affiliates of publicly traded companies.
The Dodd-Frank Act specifically prohibits an employer from using an arbitration agreement to resolve retaliation complaints.
The financial rewards provide an incentive for an employee to go straight to the SEC with complaints, rather than addressing them with the employer first. Attorney Gibson suggests that corporations may want to offer monetary (more…)
The New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act imposes severe penalties on employers who do not comply.
In the past, section 195 of the New York Labor Law required employers to notify new employees of their pay rate overtime rate and payday. The new act greatly expands that requirement. It also requires that employees be given written notice of any change in terms of wages at least seven days in advance. In addition, it increases the damages for unpaid wages from 25% to 100% and imposes fines of up to $20,000 on employers for wage violations. Apr
Starting on April 9, 2011, New York employers will be required to provide notices to current employees each year. Even more restrictive, the state requires that the notices be in English and in any language that the employee designates as his or her primary language. Apparently, that means if an employee claims Navaho or Klingon is his primary language, the employer must furnish a copy in Navaho or Klingon.
Those notices must include:
· Whether the employee’s wages are based on the hour, week, shift, day, commission, piece rate or salary basis – or another basis.
· The employee’s (more…)
The California legislature is considering several bills that would impact employers, including a minimum wage increase and extension of family leave rights. Another bill would protect employees who smoke medical marijuana.
Minimum Wage Increase
The California Assembly is considering AB 10, a bill that would increase the state minimum wage from $8.00 to $8.50 per hour. Even more importantly, the bill includes a provision to increase the minimum wage each year based on inflation.
Currently at $8.00 per hour, the California minimum wage is tied with Massachusetts for the seventh highest in the nation, after Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada and Vermont. About a dozen states have annual cost-of-living increases to the minimum wage, including Florida, Arizona and Colorado.
Expanded Family Leave
If passed, the expanded CFRA would permit employees to take time off to care for an adult son or daughter, a mother- or father-in-law, grandparent, sister or brother, grandson or granddaughter, or a domestic partner with a serious health condition.
The Hawaii Civil Union Law, signed by Governor Neil Abercrombie on February 23, 2011 goes into effect on January 1, 2012. It permits same-sex or opposite-sex couples to enter into civil unions. The Hawaii Civil Unions provide many of the same benefits as marriage under state law, although they are not recognized by federal law.
Although specifics on the bill are sketchy, it appears that employers will have to extend the same benefits to civil partners as to spouses of employees in Hawaii.