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Government Shutdown Ends, E-Verify Back Up

The partial shutdown of the Federal Government has ended after 35 days, and about 800,000 federal employees are going back to work with backpay (or in some cases staying at work and getting paid for the the time they worked without pay). One of the many government programs now back up and running is E-Verify, the program under which employers may check out an employee’s ability to work legally in the United States.  The program’s website, e-verify.gov, warned that there…

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Supreme Court Refuses to Order Trucker to Arbitration

In an unusual development, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of a worker in an arbitration case, ending a string of wins for employers in arbitration cases before the Court. In the case, New Prime, Inc. v. Olveira, a truck driver classified by a company as an independent contractor sued for wage and hour violations, and the company asked the court to order him to submit his claims to arbitration instead.  The driver claimed he did not have…

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San Antonio Sick Leave Ordinance Takes Effect, But….

On January 1, 2019, San Antonio’s mandatory sick leave ordinance went into effect, except for Section 2 of the law, which contains the heart of the law, including the requirement that employers of various sizes to start providing paid sick leave to employees as early as August 1, 2019. San Antonio passed its sick leave ordinance in August 2018, months after Austin passed a similar ordinance.  Austin’s ordinance has been challenged by organizations like the Texas Association of Business as…

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E-Verify System Down During Government Shutdown

One of the casualties of the current shutdown of much of the Federal Government is the E-Verify system, which enables employers to check the eligibility of employees to work in the United States.  Use of E-Verify is optional for most employers, but those who have been using it cannot now do so while the shutdown is in effect. The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S.C.I.S. has relaxed some requirements for employers during the shutdown, but employers must still complete Form I-9’s for all…

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Justice Kavanaugh Takes Seat on Supreme Court

After a historically bruising confirmation battle, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in and has taken his seat as Justice Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court.  This week he took part in his first oral arguments, asking questions of both sides. Justice Kavanaugh’s years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has been extensively analyzed by commentators, and his history of opinions on various areas of the law dissected.  Writing for the influential SCOTUSblog, Charlotte Garden summarized…

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EEOC Touts Sexual Harassment Efforts

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just released preliminary data on sexual harassment lawsuits and charges for Fiscal Year 2018, “highlighting its significant work this past year to address the pervasive problem of workplace harassment.” Expressing pride in the EEOC staff who “stepped up to the heightened demand of the #MeToo movement, the Commission announced it had filed 41 sexual harassment lawsuits, 50% more than in the previous fiscal year, and accepted 12% more sexual harassment charges than in the…

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After a Good Term for Employers, U.S. Supreme Court Starts New Term

The U.S. Supreme Court started a new term on Monday, October 1st, with only eight justices, following the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy and the delayed confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  The Court will have to make do with eight for the moment, but it has a lot of experience with that, having operated for months with eight justices after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. The previous term, covering October 2017 to June 2018, was a good…

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Employers May Want Inclement Weather and Emergency Policies

As San Antonio remains largely shut down as it experiences another winter weather event (ice and freezing temps), some employers are probably thinking, “We could have used an inclement weather policy.”  They were likely thinking the same thing on December 7th when it snowed, the previous February when tornadoes hit San Antonio, or the April before that when part of San Antonio was hit by a vicious hail storm. We never know when inclement weather (or an emergency like the…

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Employers Must Start Using New I-9 Form

From September 18th, employers must start using a new Form I-9 with a revision date of 07/17/17.  As you might guess, the new form was issued on July 17th, by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The new form can be downloaded from the USCIS site, uscis.gov. Employers can and, indeed, must continue using existing storage and retention rules for I-9s, which are also on the USCIS site.  I-9 compliance is a priority for the USCIS, and non-compliance is a…

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Trump Administration Begins to End DACA

On September 5th, the Trump administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), and announced a six-month process for winding down the program.  Guidance is available from the Department of Homeland Security, dhs.gov, in a number of press releases issued on Sep. 5th. The Obama administration initiated DACA in 2012 for “Dreamers,” children brought into the USA illegally by their parents, allowing them to apply for a two-year, renewable deferred action on deportation and a work permit, called…

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