Montana News & Analysis

  • Understanding immigration changes imposed during COVID pandemic

    Over the last few months, you may have read about major travel restrictions for foreign workers entering the United States. What key facts do employers need to know?

  • Uncertain enforceability of forum selection clauses in COVID-19 era

    A forum selection clause included in an employment contract permits the contracting parties to specify where a lawsuit must be filed and litigated in the event there's a dispute. Idaho federal courts regularly enforce forum selection clauses that specify a locale other than Idaho and transfer a case filed by an Idaho resident in Idaho federal court to the locale specified in a forum selection clause. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Idaho and Montana employers) recently held, however, forum selection clauses specifying a locale other than Idaho are unenforceable under state law.

  • Cybercriminals find chances to pry, pounce in your COVID-19 planning efforts

    As COVID-19 spreads around the globe, cybersecurity and data privacy risks are expanding for employers. Read on to learn some simple steps you can take to address and mitigate the dangers.

  • 3 ways to improve succession planning in your organization

    For many employers, risk management includes succession planning. One goal is to avoid or reduce business interruptions and maintain momentum toward achieving your objectives. Another goal is to avoid the unnecessary loss of knowledge and experience occurring when valuable personnel depart suddenly and unexpectedly. Planning for the next generation of leaders puts you a step ahead. Yet too many organizations focus only on the C-Suite leaders and ignore the greater wealth of information and experience lost every year because of exits by the rank and file. Here are three things you can do to improve your approach.

  • NLRB expands employer options for social media, nondisparagement rules

    Employees often believe anything goes when it comes to social media expression. But the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently provided clarity on the types of social media activity employers may regulate, giving them more latitude to discipline workers for conduct that violates company rules and threatens the brand.

  • 10th Circuit ruling shows Bostock case's impact on Title VII litigation

    In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which extended federal statutory protections to the LGBTQ community, many have wondered how the decision might affect other employment litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A recent decision by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals suggests that, following Bostock, courts may begin to recognize new claims or even reconsider previous limitations on Title VII's scope.

  • NM employers must immediately tell state about positive COVID-19 tests

    The state of New Mexico has issued an emergency amendment to its regulation requiring the reporting of workplace injuries. Employers must now immediately tell the state about employees who test positive for COVID-19.

  • You don't have to cross state lines to be involved in interstate commerce

    The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) states that most arbitration agreements are as valid and enforceable as any other contracts. One exemption relates to "seamen, railroad employees, [and] and other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce."

  • Despite recent court decisions, questions remain for religious employers

    The U.S. Supreme Court issued two decisions recently that were welcome news for religious organizations and other employers that rely on religious convictions as they conduct their business. One decision bolstered the "ministerial exception," a doctrine stemming from the First Amendment that prevents government interference in religious organizations' ability to hire and fire employees. The other decision says certain private employers with religious or moral objections to birth control can exclude contraception coverage in their employer-sponsored health plans even though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates such coverage for most employers.

  • Entering on another visa while awaiting H-1B approval OK, but no work permitted

    Q What should employers consider for H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrant workers if they are working in the United States?