Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Changes You Should Know

By: Elizabeth Coonan | 09.14.2020

  A decision out of New York prompted the Department of Labor (DOL) to issue a revised rule on the FFCRA which is scheduled to take effect 9/16/2020. The revisions cover five main areas: The Department reaffirms that paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave may be taken only if the employee has Read…

USCIS Conducts Second H-1B Lottery

By: Elizabeth Coonan | 08.24.2020

  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has conducted a second H-1B lottery to select additional FY 2021 H-1B Cap cases. BrownWinick first reported the conclusion of the H-1B lottery selection in April; however, employers began to receive notifications of case selection late last week.  This second lottery is in an effort to fill the Read…

Department of Homeland Security Issues Guidance on Exemptions to Travel Bans

By: BrownWinick |

  The Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance on exemptions to travel bans, specifically detailing exemptions to Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052, which together suspend the entry of certain immigrant visa applicants, and foreign nationals who present a risk to the U.S. economic recovery efforts in the wake of COVID-19, until December 31, 2020 Read…

Court Reaffirms Employees Complaining about Sexual Harassment Must Prove They Were Actually Offended

By: Michael Dee | 07.15.2020

  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Iowa and other Midwestern states, recently affirmed the dismissal of a sexual harassment lawsuit because the plaintiff could not establish she was actually offended by the alleged harassing conduct.  Although this requirement seems like common sense – that a complaining employee must actually be offended by Read…

BrownWinick Wins Ruling Resulting in Substantial Impact on the Livestock Production Industry

By: BrownWinick | 07.08.2020

On July 6, BrownWinick attorney, Danielle Smid, and Texas attorney, Shawn Twing, obtained a ruling with potential for broad impact on the livestock production industry. In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, the Court held that an Animal Care Auditor for a swine production system was an agricultural employee and, Read…

SCOTUS Rules Gay and Transgender Employees Protected by Title VII

By: BrownWinick | 06.23.2020

  In a highly anticipated decision, the United States Supreme Court declared that employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the “Act”). The decision was handed down in the consolidated case Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia on Monday, June Read…

Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 Becomes Law, Easing Restrictions on Loan Forgiveness

By: Tess Pocock | 06.05.2020

  Today, President Trump signed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (“PPPFA”). The new law amends provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) specifically related to forgiveness of the loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). The legislation saw overwhelming bipartisan support, passing by a vote Read…

DOL Issues Final Rule On Retail or Service Establishment Commissioned Sales Exemption

By: Megan Erickson Moritz | 05.28.2020

  The United States Department of Labor issued a final rule to simplify application of the commissioned sales exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Under that exemption, an employee may be treated as exempt from the FLSA overtime requirement if:  (1) the employee works in a “retail or service” establishment, (2) earns a Read…

Returning Employees to the Workplace? We’ve Got You Covered.

By: BrownWinick |

  Eight members of our Employment Practice Group have prepared a “Return to Work Playbook” to assist employers in returning employees to the workplace during this unusual and unprecedented time. The people contributing to this effort include Beth Coonan, Megan Moritz, Danielle Smid, Caitlin Klingenberg, Tess Pocock, and Ryan Shellady. The “Return to Work Playbook” Read…

Training During Downtime – Ways to Connect, Engage, and Develop Your Workforce

By: BrownWinick | 05.06.2020

  With decreased business, employers have some supervisors and employees with extra time. This would be an excellent time to catch supervisors and employees up on important workplace training. While training sessions are usually conducted in person, all meetings – personal and professional – are now being handled virtually. One of the key issues with Read…