Utah News & Analysis

  • Utah employers should take note of newly enacted laws in 2019

    The Utah Legislature has closed its 2019 session, during which lawmakers enacted several new laws. Most of the new laws go into effect in May 2019. Here's a summary of some of the new legislation Utah employers should be aware of.

  • Employee must be unable to perform essential job duties to get SSDI benefits

    Many of us recall the story of "The Little Engine That Could" from our childhood. The tale chronicles the triumph of a small train engine asked to pull several cars over a mountain. The little engine seems inadequate for the job, but it agrees to try. Repeating the refrain "I think I can," the engine successfully pulls the heavy load over the mountain. The story shows how a belief in self, determination, and hard work can help someone overcome obstacles.

  • Walmart greeter fiasco provides important employment lessons

    Have you ever walked into a Walmart and been greeted by an employee—frequently disabled or elderly—who seemed to have no responsibilities other than to welcome customers to the store? Did you ever wonder what the point of the position was or why a corporation the size of Walmart would pay so many people to do it?

  • Do you like to play Lotto?

    It's that time of year again when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) begins processing its annual H-1B visa lottery. At press time, USCIS has completed its random selection of 85,000 H-1B visa petitions. A few things are different this year. First, USCIS prioritized the selection of petitions filed for employees with a U.S. master's degree by reversing the order in which it conducted the random selection (a.k.a. the lottery).

  • Taking FMLA leave to care for daughter with childbirth complications

    Q One of our employees is caring for her daughter after she experienced complications from childbirth. Does providing care for a child older than 18 qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

  • Transportation wage lawsuit trucks along despite arbitration clause

    Employers frequently elect to have their contractual disputes decided by an arbitrator. In an attempt to ensure that happens, some employers include arbitration clauses in their employment and independent contractor agreements. However, courts will not always go along with an agreement to arbitrate because certain employment arrangements are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act's (FAA) requirement that courts honor arbitration agreements. Recently, a dispute over whether independent contractors fell under that FAA exemption was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Read on to learn how the Court settled the latest dispute over mandatory arbitration provisions.

  • Changing policies and practices may open the door to unionization

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt is credited with saying, "If I went to work in a factory, the first thing I'd do is join a union." Since the 1935 passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) during Roosevelt's presidency, the power of unions in the United States has waxed and waned. Although several states have recently limited their power, unions remain a vital, active force, and employers are well served to ensure they're familiar with labor law, including which employees are entitled to join unions. One employer recently discovered how changes in policies and practices over time can unexpectedly expand the ability of employees to seek union representation.

  • CSRA prohibits many claims against federal employers

    The stories of Robin Hood include a tale that demonstrates the outlaw's unparalleled skill as an archer. According to legend, Robin Hood snuck into an archery tournament. His opponent made an amazing shot, landing his arrow right in the center of the target. It appeared nearly impossible for anyone to top the shot and emerge victorious. But Robin Hood took aim and shot an arrow with such accuracy that it split his opponent's arrow in two, assuring him the victory.

  • OSHA reverses course on electronic reporting requirements

    In what has become a familiar refrain for anyone paying attention, the Trump administration has once again pulled back employment-related regulations that had been established or expanded during the Obama administration. This time, the regulations at issue required establishments that are subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) record-keeping requirements to submit information about work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA electronically. To understand the significance of the change, a quick review of the nature and history of the agency's reporting requirements may be helpful.

  • When will H-4 authorization disappear?

    Perhaps the biggest news in employment-based immigration right now is the impending doom of H-4 spousal work authorization. Spouses of H-1B workers who meet certain criteria have been authorized to work in the United States since May 2015, when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the "Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses" rule. When it introduced the rule, the DHS said its purpose was to support the goals of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers and bring U.S. law in line with the laws of other countries that compete for the same high-skilled foreign worker talent.