Our sister blog, Privacy and Security Matters, has released an alert entitled, EU-US Privacy Shield to Launch August 1, Replacing Safe Harbor, which provides an overview of the new Privacy Shield requirements. Privacy Shield replaces Safe Harbor and provides a legal mechanism for transferring personal information from the EU to the US. In addition to summarizing key points of the Privacy Shield documents, the alert is also a guide for companies interested in certifying compliance with Privacy Shield.

Did you know that the world is now inhabited by creatures called Pokémon?  (Or maybe they’ve always been there?)  Some run across the plains; others fly through the skies; and some live in the mountains….and some, yes, some, are located right in your workplace.  Pokeman WorkplaceThrough the magic of downloading Pokémon Go to your smartphone, you too can see these creatures and catch them for some apparently critical scientific testing.

Employers not familiar with Pikachu, Charizard, and Lucario can rest assured – your employees are.  In less than one week, Pokémon Go became the most downloaded smartphone videogame ever, and employers are clamoring for advice on how to deal with a workforce that already seems sufficiently and consistently distracted.

Continue Reading Pokémon Go in the Workplace: Oh Look There’s a Pikachu!

The obligation to accommodate a disabled employee is an ongoing one; a doctor’s note may not be a prerequisite to engage in the interactive process – those are two important lessons that employers should take away from a recent decision by a California Federal district court.

Continue Reading California Federal Court Reminds Employers That They Must Carefully Navigate Disability Accommodation Process

This post continues our examination of the Department of Labor’s suite of final fiduciary and conflict of interest regulations. Our previous posts discussed the newly expanded definition of “investment advice fiduciary”; the “best interest contract” (or BIC) exemption; and the new class exemption for principal transactions. Collectively, these rules vastly expand the definition of an “investment advice fiduciary” while at the same time providing new prohibited transaction class exemptions intended to preserve many of the commission-based compensation arrangements that would otherwise be imperiled under the new fiduciary standard. In this and the next three posts, we will examine how the Department has amended certain existing Prohibited Transaction Exemptions to come into alignment with its new fiduciary and conflict of interest standards.

This post explains the changes to Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 84-24 relating to insurance agents and brokers.

Continue Reading The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations: Amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 for Transactions Involving Insurance Agents and Brokers (and Others)

From:             Ned Help

To:                  Carrie Counselor

Date:              July 13, 2016

Subject:         It’s been great working with you!

Carrie:

I’m writing to inform you that I am being transferred to our Rio de Janeiro office next month for a twelve month assignment. It’s a bit daunting, but I am confident that the help you have provided me in establishing policies and practices will serve my interests and the interests of the company.

Over the last five months, you have provided legal and practical insights into issues arising when an employer sends employees abroad on business or for a work assignment. I have repeatedly asked for your help regarding situations involving employment, immigration and privacy issues.  I’ve shared these best practices with our Human Resources team so they are better able to anticipate and manage the challenges of doing business in an increasingly global economy.

Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Employer Considerations When Sending Employees on International Assignments or Business Travel

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service recently issued comprehensive proposed regulations governing nonqualified plans subject to tax under Internal Revenue Code § 457. Code § 457 prescribes the tax rules that apply to “eligible” and “ineligible” nonqualified deferred compensation plans. Code § 457(b) defines the requirements to be an “eligible” nonqualified plan; a deferred compensation plan that does not satisfy the requirements of Code § 457(b) is an “ineligible” plan under Code § 457(f). Eligible and ineligible plans may be maintained only by state or local governments or organizations exempt from tax under Code § 501(c). The proposed regulations make the following changes:

Continue Reading The Impact of Recently Proposed Regulations on Ineligible Nonqualified Plans Under Internal Revenue Code § 457(f)

By Julie Cox, Steve Baddour, Dan Connelly, and Hari Patel

On Wednesday, June 29th, the House passed H. 4434: An Act relative to the judicial enforcement of noncompetition agreements, which includes a number of provisions that have long been discussed as the necessary components of non-compete reform.

Continue Reading Massachusetts House Passes Noncompete Reform

My colleague Alta Ray, was quoted in a Business Insurance article entitled, Injury Records Rule May Lead to More Citations in which she provides steps for employers to avoid retaliation against employees who report workplace injuries.  The article examines the new anti-retaliation provisions to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s electronic record-keeping rule and the challenges the provisions pose to employers.

 

From:             Ned Help

To:                  Carrie Counselor

Date:              June 29, 2016

Subject:         Benefit and Compensation Considerations

Carrie:

I appreciate the guidance you have provided regarding the documents the company needs to have in place when sending an employee on an assignment abroad.

Now I have a related question about immigration risks and responsibilities: where do we draw the line between the company’s obligations and assumption of risks in these scenarios and the employees’ obligations and assumptions of risks with respect to securing and maintaining visas and work permit approvals for our employees?

Thanks for helping me think through this thorny issue.

Ned

Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Creating a Company’s Global Mobility & Immigration Policy

My colleagues Alden Bianchi and Alta Ray wrote a Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal article entitled, The “The Emerging Contours of The Rules Concerning Wellness Programs Under (Conflicting) Federal Tax, Benefits and Employment Laws,” in which they outline the development of workplace wellness programs and the regulation of these programs. The article examines the impact of key federal laws, such as the ACA, HIPAA, GINA and the ADA, on workplace wellness programs and analyzes recent EEOC rules and emerging trends relating to third-party wellness programs and vendors.