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Business Immigration Now: DOJ Issues Guidance on Citizenship/Immigration Status and National Origin Discrimination in Employment

The Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under this law, employers discriminate when they treat workers differently in the hiring and firing process because a worker is or is not a U.S. citizen, because of a worker’s particular immigration status, or because of where a worker is from or appears to be from. Additionally, employers may not treat workers differently for these reasons when completing the Form I-9 and E-Verify process.

Lesser Known DOL Regulations: "Bona Fide" Terminations for H-1B Workers

It probably falls into the category of cult classic, but one of my favorite movies is 2000’s “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” starring George Clooney. To me, it is the Coen brothers at their finest. Loosely based on Homer’s “Odyssey,” the movie follows Everett McGill (Clooney) and his companions Delmar and Pete in 1930s Mississippi. At one point later in the movie, Everett finds his ex-wife and their kids. His daughter explains that her mom’s new beau is “bona fide:”

New J-1 Waiver Procedures Announced for International Physicians in Minnesota

On August 8, 2014, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), through the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, announced new procedures for health care facilities wishing to apply for a J-1 waiver on behalf of prospective international physician employees through the Conrad 30 program.

U.S. State Department Updates Information Regarding Delays in Visa and Passport Processing

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has published updated information regarding the performance issues with the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD). As discussed in our July 24, 2014 Alert, a computer glitch caused the CCD to crash, resulting in world-wide delays in visa and passport processing. The DOS has stated that it has made significant progress and has eliminated most of the worldwide backlog of nonimmigrant visa cases. It will continue to prioritize immigrant visas, adoption cases and emergency nonimmigrant visas. According to the DOS, visa applicants may still experience delays of up to a week in addition to normal processing times.

Department of State Technical Problems May Delay Issuance of Visas

The Department of State (“DOS”) has announced that it has been experiencing technical operational issues with its visa issuance system. The issues affect DOS’ ability to print nonimmigrant visas, commonly known as visa stamps. The issues began on July 20 and, as of July 31, have impacted about half of the individuals seeking nonimmigrant visas abroad. From July 20 through July 28, slightly more than 220,000 nonimmigrant visas were issued globally. DOS stated that it normally issues closer to 425,000 nonimmigrant visas for the same time frame. The issues appear to impact all U.S. Embassies and Consular posts worldwide.

Business Immigration Now: Employers Should Get Ready – President Obama Apparently Planning Steps To Address Immigration Reform

The Associated Press recently reported that White House officials are apparently making plans to act this summer to address immigration reform and possibly grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are currently in the United States without government authorization. President Obama apparently may act to allow undocumented aliens to stay in the United States without threat of deportation, according to advocates and lawmakers with close ties to the administration.

Immigration eAuthority (August 1, 2014)

Immigration Update: State Department Announces Longer Delay in Visa Processing Times; August 2014 Visa Bulletin: Advancement of EB-3 China and EB-2 India Cut-off Dates; TCN Visa Processing in Canada “Extremely Limited” Over the Summer; Compliance Corner; Beware of H-1B Wage Law Violations: Company to be Debarred, Ordered to Pay Over $120,000 in Penalties and Back Pay for H-1B/LCA Violations; Settlement Highlights Need for Compliance with U.S. Export Control Rules When Sponsoring Foreign Workers; New Law Signed Modifying California’s Anti-Retaliation Protections; Discrimination Enforcement: Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim.

USCIS Policy Memo Provides Guidance on use of H-1B Petitions for Nursing Positions

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the United States is projected to experience a nurse shortage as a generation of Americans age and the need for healthcare increases. This shortage in nurses could potentially be a problem for healthcare employers, but thanks to a new policy memorandum recently issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 11, 2014, healthcare employers may have a solution: the H1-B Petition.

Global Visa Delays Follow Technical Difficulties with State Department System

Last week, the U.S. Department of State’s visa processing database, which controls the issuance of visas and passports at the U.S. consulates abroad, experienced system performance issues (including outages) leading to worldwide delays in visa issuances for individuals seeking entry into the United States. The malfunction in the Consular Consolidated Database stalled the processing of U.S. visas for foreign nationals at consulates around the world, and was not limited to one consulate or country.

Jackson Lewis Employers' Immigration Update

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the publication of two proposed rules, one to extend employment authorization to spouses of certain H-1B workers and the other to enhance opportunities for certain groups of highly skilled workers by removing obstacles to their remaining in the United States.

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | California | California Court of Appeal Issues Expansive Expense Reimbursement Ruling (August 27, 2014)

Franczek Radelet P.C | Illinois | Employer Must Defend Against A Wrongful Death Lawsuit For Not Monitoring Employee Computer Use (August 25, 2014)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | California | California Employers Catch a Break From Unmanageable Wage and Hour Class Actions (August 26, 2014)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | Colorado | Major Changes to Colorado Discrimination Law Will Negatively Impact Employers Large and Small (May 24, 2013)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | Maryland | Maryland Employers Can Be Liable for up to Treble Damages for Misclassification "Overtime Pay" Claims Under State Law (August 18, 2014)

Ogletree Deakins | Massachusetts | Massachusetts Legislature Fails to Pass Bill to Ban Noncompetes and Adopt the UTSA (August 18, 2014)

Shaw Valenza LLP | California | CA Governor Signs Two Wage-Hour Bills (August 20, 2014)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | California | California Repeals 60-Day Limit on Health Insurance Waiting Periods (August 22, 2014)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | New York | Final Rules Adopted Clarifying Employers’ Obligations under the New York City Earned Sick Time Act (August 25, 2014)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | D.C. | Private Sector Employers in the District of Columbia Will Soon Be Required to Comply with a New Law Restricting Their Ability to Rely on Criminal Records for Employment Purposes (August 25, 2014)