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When Does Criticism Become Concerted Action?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Employers have always had to deal delicately with criticism and insubordination by employees. On one hand, it is important for employees to feel they have an outlet for identifying problems in the company and suggesting ways that it can improve. However, when such criticism is pervasive and unconstructive, it can destroy morale, decrease productivity… Read More »

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What Is an S Corporation and Why Would You Want One?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

S corporation is a bit of a misnomer — it is not actually a distinct type of business entity. Rather, it is a tax option available under the Internal Revenue Code for certain domestic business corporations validly organized under state law. Typically, it is an option for relatively small domestic corporations. What’s more, the… Read More »

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SCOTUS May Consider Circuit Split on Retirement Plan Vesting

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

As more and more employers in the United States are shying away from providing permanently vested benefits to their employees and retirees, a circuit split has erupted regarding the interpretation of ambiguous provisions governing collectively bargained retiree health care benefits. As is often the case when two U.S. courts of appeal reach conflicting answers… Read More »

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Government Moves to Raise Minimum Wage for Government Workers

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

While efforts in Congress to raise the national minimum wage — currently $7.25 per hour — have received resistance from employers and a lukewarm reception for legislators, the Obama Administration’s decision to raise the minimum wage for government contractors across the board could have an impact on many employers that do business with the… Read More »

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USCIS Reaches Fiscal Year Cap for H-1B Visas

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Non-immigrant employment visas give U.S. employers a valuable opportunity to procure the talent and skills they need from around the globe. However, U.S. immigration policy strongly favors the use of domestic labor and strictly regulates the qualifications for receiving an employment visa as well as the overall number of visas available. On April 7th,… Read More »

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What Northwestern’s Football Player Union Could Mean

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

On April 25, 2014, 76 student athletes from Northwestern University cast their votes on whether the players should certify a union to bargain on their behalves under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). While the results of the election may not be known for some time — and are certain to have significant ramifications… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Severance Payments are Considered Wages

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Quality Stores was in financial trouble in 2001 when it began offering its employees severance packages. The question presented in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. was whether severance payments from employers to employees constitute “wages” under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). FICA is a mandatory federal payroll tax imposed on employers and… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Determines Scope of Whistleblower Protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

In Lawson v. FMR LLC, whistleblowers worked for mutual fund advisers, rather than the public company mutual funds. The Court of Appeals determined they did not fall within the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Court of Appeals held that the protections only applied to employees of public companies, not those… Read More »

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Issues H-1B Visa Timetable

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Many U.S. technology companies use the H-1B visa program to hire foreign workers with highly specialized knowledge in fields like science and engineering. On April 1, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began to accept H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2015 cap. According to a USCIS press release, the… Read More »

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When Business Partners Go Their Separate Ways

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Some business partnerships — like marriages — do not last forever. How you manage the split can mean the difference between exiting as friends or losing money, clients, resources and assets. Protect your interests and investment to come out as whole as possible at the end of the process. Severing a business partnership Business… Read More »

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