H-1B Lottery Concluded – Petitions May Be Filed Beginning April 1

By: Caitlin Klingenberg | 04.03.2020

  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced earlier this week that the H-1B electronic registration process and the FY2021 lottery has concluded. Employers are now eligible to file a FY2021 H-1B cap-subject petition — provided they electronically registered the beneficiary in the H-1B registration process, and the registration was selected in the lottery.  The Read…

DOL Issues Much Anticipated Guidance for FFCRA Paid Leave Requirements

By: Megan Erickson Moritz | 04.01.2020

  Today, the US Department of Labor announced its much anticipated temporary rule, providing regulations to implement the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  These temporary paid leave laws are intended to help workers forced to grapple with challenges Read…

What Would a Shelter-in-Place Order Look Like for Iowa?

By: Ingrid Johnson | 03.31.2020

  As of today, Iowa is not under a shelter-in-place order.  Governor Kim Reynolds has declined to issue a shelter-in-place order, but it may be coming. Cedar Rapids Mayor, Brad Hart, has urged Governor Reynolds to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order and has contemplated issuing a local order and Des Moines Mayor, Frank Cownie, has Read…

Small Business Exemption to FFCRA

By: Megan Erickson Moritz |

  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) contains a potential exemption for certain small employers who cannot afford to provide the childcare-related paid leave requirements under the FFCRA. Although we are still waiting on the official regulations to be issued by the DOL, there has been additional guidance issued by the DOL in the Read…

Are You Exposing Your Business to the Risk of Coronavirus-Related Litigation?

By: Ingrid Johnson |

  We’re in the midst of dealing with COVID-19 and if you’re like many Iowa businesses, you’re just trying to keep up with the daily changes and problems the pandemic is bringing.  But what about after the pandemic?   Will there be a wave of Coronavirus-related litigation?  How do you know if you’re exposing yourself now Read…

COVID-19 and Essential Service Personnel Guidance

By: Catherine Cownie |

  The Iowa Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) provided guidance last week related to COVID-19 isolation requirements for essential service personnel.  Essential services personnel include: Healthcare providers; Law enforcement; Fire & EMS personnel; Long-Term Care personnel; Residential Support Facility personnel; and Public Health & Emergency Management personnel. The guidance provides information about when essential services Read…

Iowa Workforce Development Changes Policy on Unemployment Benefits and PTO

By: Elizabeth Coonan | 03.30.2020

  Iowa Workforce Development announced today that effective immediately, employees who are or will be laid off, or are unable to work for COVID-19-related reasons, will not be required to use all available paid leave before becoming eligible to receive Iowa unemployment benefits. This change is not retroactive and claims will not be backdated. This Read…

Intermittent Leave and Non-Enforcement Period

By: Ann Holden Kendell | 03.28.2020

  More Answers Regarding Paid Leaves for Employees Intermittent Leave Allowed The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided an update to its “Questions and Answers” document regarding intermittent paid leave found here: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers Under “normal” FMLA leaves, intermittent leave is only Read…

No Work, No Paid Leave — Answers to Questions Plaguing Employers

By: Ann Holden Kendell |

  Employers have — finally — gotten some guidance from the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on important questions affecting the serious decisions they are facing. There are still no regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, but the WHD has been continually updating information it has Read…

Employers May Apply for the Voluntary Shared Work Program

By: Ann Holden Kendell | 03.26.2020

  Employers may apply for the Voluntary Shared Work Program which permits employers to seek an alternative to layoffs — retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with unemployment insurance benefits. Employees who remain employed, even part time, under this program, would not be required to exhaust Read…