Utah News & Analysis

  • Wages were due to employee even though source of salary dried up

    In a very rudimentary sense, conditional statements are often used to direct a computer or other electronic processing device to take actions based on varying inputs. A particular input would result in a set result. That is often expressed, "If X is input, then Y is the result." Achieving the result "Y" would be conditional on the required input. A different input would result in a different outcome. Only if the condition is met does the particular response result. Otherwise, a different product is achieved. In other words, the result is always contingent on whether a certain condition is met.

  • All state and local governments are subject to the ADEA

    A T-shirt sold in a souvenir shop contained two nearly identical statements. The first provided "Let's eat, grandma!" The second used exactly the same words, but the comma was removed, completely changing the meaning—"Let's eat grandma!" Under these two contrasting statements, the T-shirt comically declared "Punctuation Saves Lives." The addition of a single mark, in this case a comma, completely altered the message. The first statement with the comma called grandma to dinner. In contrast, the second had more, shall we say, cannibalistic overtones.

  • Earning employee trust can reduce your legal liabilities

    "Trust" is a slippery concept. What does it mean for your employees to "trust" you or "distrust" you? And why should you care?

  • Minimum wage increases heat up the competition for hourly workers

    It's no news to most anyone with experience in federal wage and hour laws that they tend to lag far behind the times. The federal minimum wage—which has stood at $7.25 going on 10 years now—certainly falls into that category. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator, today's equivalent of the 1978 minimum wage (which was $2.65) would be $10.72. According to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, if the rate had risen at an appropriate pace since 1968, it would be close to $20.

  • Proposed H-1B changes are in the works

    Last month, we reviewed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notice of proposed rulemaking on the H-1B visa allocation process, often referred to as the "H-1B lottery." The proposed rule would make two major changes to the H-1B process. First, employers would register their intention to file an H-1B petition. The annual lottery would be conducted on those registrations rather than on fully prepared and filed H-1B petitions. Second, USCIS would run the lottery on all registrations first, selecting up to 65,000 registrations without regard to whether the prospective employee had a U.S. master's degree, and then run a second lottery on registrations for employees with U.S. master's degrees. The hope is that running the lottery in the reverse will increase the likelihood of candidates with U.S. master's degrees being selected in the lottery.

  • Don't be the biggest loser by sponsoring pay-to-play weight-loss challenge

    Q We are interested in having a Biggest Loser competition in the workplace, and employees who want to participate would have to pay an enrollment fee. All money will go to the winner. Are there any legal issues we may run into?

  • UT employers must understand impact of legalized medical marijuana

    Medical marijuana has arrived in Utah. On November 6, 2018, Utah voters passed Proposition 2, which legalized the use of marijuana for various medical conditions. The measure was approved by approximately 53 percent of the electorate. It was designed to go into effect quickly, and it became effective Saturday, December 1.

  • Do we really have to be nice? Incivility may lead to liability

    "The year has flown by—I can't believe it's already Christmas." As each year winds to a close, we often hear others or lament ourselves how quickly time flies. At other times of the year, it's not uncommon to hear someone gripe, "There aren't enough hours in the day." Whether it's the result of our ubiquitous use of computers or smartphones, a belief that there will always be another tomorrow, or a fear that slowing down will lead us straight to the poorhouse, our society chews through the seconds. In the hurly-burly of it all, simple values like kindness, gentleness, and concern for others taught by our parents and kindergarten teachers often seem trite and antiquated.

  • Wellness programs are about more than health insurance costs

    When attorneys talk or write about wellness programs, it's almost always from a highly legal perspective. We could talk all day about the convoluted and overlapping requirements of the various laws that apply to such programs. But this month, we want to take a different approach and look at wellness programs from more of a business perspective.

  • Big changes for H-1B visa planning proposed

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been talking for some time about making changes to the H-1B program. We recently got a glimpse of some of those changes.