Federal Employment Law Update – December 2018

Federal

Proposed Rule: H1-B Cap Petitions

On December 3, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to first electronically register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a designated registration period. Under the proposed rule, USCIS would also reverse the order by which it selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B cap and the advanced degree exemption.

Currently, in years when the H-1B cap and the advanced degree exemption are both reached within the first five days that H-1B cap petitions may be filed, the advanced degree exemption is selected prior to the H-1B cap. The proposed rule would reverse the selection order and count all registrations or petitions towards the number projected as needed to reach the H-1B cap first. Once a sufficient number of registrations or petitions have been selected for the H-1B cap, USCIS would then select registrations or petitions towards the advanced degree exemption. The proposed process would result in an estimated increase of up to 16 percent (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected H-1B beneficiaries.

Public comments may be submitted starting Monday, December 3, when the proposed rule publishes in the Federal Register, and must be received on or before January 2, 2019.

Read the proposed rule

IRS Extends Form 1095 Distribution Deadline to March 4

On November 29, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2018-94 extending the due date for employers to furnish 2018 Form 1095-C or 1095-B under the Affordable Care Act’s employer reporting requirement, as follows:

  • The deadline for furnishing 2018 Form 1095-C, or Form 1095-B, if applicable, to employees and individuals is March 4, 2019 (extended from January 31, 2019).
  • The deadline for filing copies of the 2018 Forms 1095-C, along with transmittal Form 1094-C (or copies of Forms 1095-B with transmittal Form 1094-B), if applicable, remains unchanged:
    • If filing by paper, February 28, 2019.
    • If filing electronically, April 1, 2019.

The extended due date applies automatically so employers do not need to make individual requests for the extension. The notice also extends transitional good-faith relief from certain penalties to the 2018 employer reporting requirements.

Read the notice and our blog post

Configuration of Multi-Line Telephone Systems for Direct Dialing of 911

On February 16, 2018, President Trump signed legislation (H.R. 582) requiring multi-line telephone systems to have a configuration that permits users to directly initiate a call to 911 without dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, and for other purposes.

As a required safety measure, this law directly impacts employers with multi-line phone systems in the workplace that are installed after February 16, 2020.

Read US H.R. 582