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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new rule on January 31, 2019 that makes significant changes to the way in which DHS will administer the annual H-1B allocation (the H-1B cap). Starting in April 2019, DHS will change the order in which the agency allocates the available slots under the H-1B cap. In 2020, DHS will implement an electronic registration system that employers must use when seeking permission to file H-1B cap-subject cases.…
Private employers received good news this month when a federal court temporarily stopped the state of California from enforcing most of a new law that restricts an employer’s ability to cooperate with officers who enforce federal immigration laws. This new California law is known as Assembly Bill 450 or the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act”.  It became effective in January 2018.  As we explained in an earlier post, this new law prohibits an employer in…
With a new tax law and a booming American economy, mergers and acquisitions will occur at a busy pace in 2018.  In a prior post, we explained some of the employment authorization issues that may arise in such corporate transactions.  Here, we discuss another important issue that arises in mergers and acquisitions:  Form I-9 compliance.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently announced that it will quadruple worksite enforcement.  Some of ICE’s key tools…
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued yet another update to the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This new version becomes mandatory for use with new hires and reverifications as of September 18, 2017.  This is the thirteenth revision of Form I-9 in the thirty years since the form was first required. The good news for employers is that the 2017 changes are more modest than other recent revisions.…
American business experienced a near record number of mergers and acquisitions in 2016, and this trend is likely to continue in 2017. Such corporate transactions raise a number of legal issues, including employment issues.  During its due diligence review, the buyer considers whether the seller’s workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements, what benefits are offered, what policies are in place, and related matters.  The buyer, however, often fails to consider the immigration…
Monday we took a look at two important labor and employment questions for automotive employers and suggested next steps to consider during 2017. Today we’ll examine questions three and four. 3. Are you in compliance with Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification requirements and other compliance obligations under federal immigration laws?…
Just when employers were becoming more comfortable with the complex and lengthy Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification that was issued in 2013, the federal government has decided to turn up the heat. First, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice recently increased the penalties for I-9 violations. Second, DHS has announced that it will soon issue a new version of the Form I-9. These actions bring significant changes for employers.…
As of May 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expanded the time period during which a foreign student with a degree from a U.S. university in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field may work as a trainee. American companies sometimes struggle to fill specialty jobs requiring STEM degrees, and foreign students with these qualifications are frequently among the pool of job applicants. Foreign students, however, often present employment authorization challenges for…
Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently eased off of its record pace for commencing new I-9 inspections, employers can take no comfort. ICE continues to use these inspections as a key enforcement tool to build a “culture of compliance” among employers, as shown by a recent decision issued by an administrative law judge (ALJ) in the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer. This decision demonstrates the need to make I-9…
As employers continue to enroll in the E-Verify program at a high rate, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering various changes to this key program. Some of these changes place additional obligations on the employer. E-Verify is DHS’s internet-based system through which employers may electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. Employers do so by opening an E-Verify case and entering the information contained on the Form I-9,…