Legislative Updates for the Month of May 2014

Rules Governing Overtime, Reportable "Persuader" Information, to be Released this Year According to Federal Spring 2014 Regulatory Agendas

Once again, federal agencies quietly released their semi-annual regulatory agendas on the eve of a long holiday weekend, and on the same day President Obama announced his nomination of Shaun Donovan to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Twice a year, agencies set forth all rulemaking items under development, along with target completion dates. While these dates are often aspirational, they do provide some insight into which rules will be released sooner rather than later, and which items have been placed on the backburner. Read the full post here. (May 27, 2014)

OSHA and NLRB Join Forces to Keep Whistleblower Claims Alive

During a Senate subcommittee hearing on whistleblowing last month, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Assistant Secretary David Michaels lamented the relatively short 30-day statute of limitations for filing a whistleblower claim under section 11(c) of the OSH Act. According to Michaels, the agency dismisses hundreds of merit cases each year solely on the statute of limitations issue. His oral and written testimony suggested a number of ways to give teeth to what he claimed was the most widely-used whistleblower statute.  One suggestion he did not make during the hearing – which is now in operation – is a “claim referral program” where OSHA intake investigators notify all complainants who file an untimely whistleblower charge of their right to file a charge with the National Labor Relations Board. Read the full post here. (May 21, 2014)

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Exemption to Affordable Care Act for Expatriate Insurance Plans

For multinational corporations, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has raised some uncertainty as to ACA's impact on expatriate workforces.  Indeed, domestic insurance providers have complained that they suffer a disadvantage in the expatriate market on account of having to comply with ACA requirements, such as by providing free preventive care and a ban on lifetime coverage limits. This is because there has been no exemption from the ACA for U.S. expatriate coverage. On April 29, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (H.R. 4414) to exempt health insurance plans sold to expatriate workers from the ACA requirements.  Read the full post here.  (May 6, 2014)

Immigration Updates for the Month of May 2014

DHS Proposes Rule Changes Benefitting Spouses of H-1B Workers and Other Highly Skilled Immigrants

On May 6, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its plans to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants through two proposed rule changes. The proposed rule changes would allow employment authorization for certain spouses of H-1B workers, and would make it easier for highly skilled workers to remain in the United States. Read the full post here. (May 13, 2014) 

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.