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January 2015 Newsletter

In an 11th hour attempt to avoid a government shutdown, the House of Representatives narrowly approved in a 219-206 vote a measure that would fund the federal government through September 20, 2015, with the exception of funding for immigration enforcement, which receives shorter-term “continuing resolution” funding. The Senate is expected to do the same. Part continuing resolution and part omnibus appropriations bill, the final "cromnibus"...
A recent class action alleging discriminatory hiring practices against beneficiaries of the Department of Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) deserves attention in light of President Obama’s recent directive to defer action for as many as five million individuals.  The suit was filed this past July in the Southern District of New York and is currently pending before Judge Katherine Forrest. The named...
In the past, we’ve explained the DOL’s test for whether employers must pay their interns. Put simply, public employers and qualifying not-for-profit entities do not have to pay their interns. I hope that our more recent discussions of lawsuits that demonstrate the ever-narrowing segment of lawful unpaid internships have spurred some discussions and re-examination among readers of this blog who have internship programs. Judging by some of the...
This one is a real headache. Sam oversees a storage area for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and during certain times of the year, his position requires a fairly extensive amount of overtime. For years, Sam has suffered from “cluster headaches,” which are far worse than migraines and can last for days.  Sam’s physician tinkered with medication over the years, but nothing helped. Sam’s doctor later determined that Sam’...
For many employers, the effective date of the Affordable Care Act's "play-or-pay" mandate is only weeks away. The impending deadline comes amid questions about the future—and perhaps viability—of the law itself. Entering 2015, the ACA faces challenges both in a new Republican-controlled Congress and in the Supreme Court. Yet, the political and legal uncertainty surrounding the ACA should not deter employers from ensuring they are prepared for...
Both houses of Congress recently passed and President Obama recently signed comprehensive spending legislation that includes an amendment with the provisions of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) along with a number of other pension related provisions. Much attention has been given to a controversial provision in the MPRA that allows multiemployer pension fund trustees to reduce vested benefits for active workers as well as...
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