Wyatt Employment Law Report


High Deductible Health Plan – Helpful Guidance from the IPS

By Sherry Porter

Many employers sponsor high deductible health plans (HDHP) coupled with a health savings account (HSA) to provide group health insurance for their eligible employees.  In order to utilize an HSA, the individual must have coverage under a HDHP and have no disqualifying health coverage.  One issue that has arisen relates to the requirement that the HDHP generally cannot provide for any medical expense (except for preventive care) until the participant satisfies the minimum deductible for that year.  If the HDHP provided health care benefits for anything except preventive care prior to the individual meeting the deductible, then the individual is disqualified from having an HSA. This has created some interesting issues for participants with existing illnesses or chronic conditions.  The IRS has recently provided guidance that most employers (and participants) will find helpful. Continue reading


ICE On-Site Inspections: A New Concern for STEM OPT Employers

By Roger Morris

All STEM OPT employers need to be aware of reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has begun random on-site inspections of STEM OPT employers. It is becoming increasingly important for any business that employs STEM OPT students to plan and train staff for the day ICE comes knocking at your door.

“STEM OPT” is a reference to foreign graduates of U.S. universities who earned degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (“STEM”), who have been approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to receive post-graduation Optional Practical Training (“OPT”). Continue reading


New DHS “Public Charge” Rule Set to Take Effect This Month

By Glen Krebs.  Roger Morris, who recently passed the Kentucky Bar Exam, contributed to this article.

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published a final rule set to go into effect October 15, 2019 governing the Immigration and Nationality Act’s provisions on public charge grounds of inadmissibility. The final rule redefines “public charge” and is vastly more restrictive than current policy. Many expect the rule change to result in significantly higher denial rates of adjustment of status applications.

“Public charge” has been a part of American immigration law for over a century. When an individual is seeking to adjust his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident or seeking admission to the United States, the United States Customs and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) conducts an evaluation based on the likelihood of the individual becoming a “public charge.” Continue reading


DOL Releases Final Rule Raising Salary Minimum to $35,568, Effective January 1, 2020

By Sharon Gold

On September 27, 2019, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) published the much anticipated Final Rule that significantly raises the minimum salary for exempt workers from $23,660 to $35,568.  It is estimated that more than one million workers will either become eligible for overtime pay or have their salaries raised to meet the minimum.  The Final Rule is available here.

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Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission Will Not Enforce Nichols Decision Pending Appeal

By Courtney Samford

On June 25th , 2019, the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission (“Commission”) announced a formal response to the Kentucky Court of Appeals’ holding in Nichols v. Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission that determined employers must have attorney representation during appeal hearings and proceedings.  The Commission has taken the position that while the case is on appeal before the Kentucky Supreme Court, “there will be no changes to the current practice of allowing representation by non-attorneys in these administrative proceedings.​​”


Two Notice Requirements under the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act Take Effect this Week

By Courtney Samford

As we recently reported, the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act (the “Act”) takes effect on June 27, 2019. The Act, which applies to Kentucky employers with more than 15 employees, requires reasonable accommodations, including, but not limited to, the need to express breast milk, for employees with limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, unless it would pose an undue hardship on the employer.

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SCOTUS Declares Title VII Charge-Filing Requirement Is Not A Jurisdictional Prerequisite

By Noah Lewis, Wyatt Summer Associate

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that the Title VII charge-filing requirement is not a jurisdictional prerequisite, but a procedural prerequisite. In the June 3, 2019 decision, in the case of Fort Bend Cty., Texas v. Davis, 2019 WL 2331306 (2019), the Supreme Court addressed whether Title VII’s charge-filing precondition to suit is a jurisdictional requirement that can be raised at any stage of the proceeding, or if the precondition is a procedural prescription that is mandatory if timely raised but “subject to forfeiture if tardily asserted.” Davis, 2019 WL at 2. The Court held that the charge-filing precondition is “properly ranked among the array of claim-processing rules that must be timely raised to come into play.” Id.

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