Last year, we heard the federal government announce that it would increase the number of raids and site inspections to ensure businesses were going through the proper procedures to hire employment-authorized workers.  Well, we are beginning to see the government live up to its word.

On January 10, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents visited

One of President Trump’s chief agenda items has been immigration enforcement.  While the President’s intent may be to keep out terrorists, remove undocumented foreign nationals, and eliminate fraudulent visa practices, these efforts can also have a tremendous impact on U.S. employers.  One of the ways this administration has ramped up its immigration enforcement efforts has

By now, you have undoubtedly heard about the current administration’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and about the proposed travel ban against foreign nationals from certain countries (which continues to be vigorously contested in court). Most recently, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS or the Immigration Service) announced its plan to combat fraud and abuse in the H-1B Visa Program.  The H-1B Visa is a highly popular nonimmigrant visa available to foreign nationals who are being offered a “specialty occupation” position as defined by immigration statutes and regulations.  The Immigration Service has a unit dedicated to preventing fraudulent use of this visa.  (If your company has ever filed an H-1B petition on behalf of an employee, you may recall paying a $500 fraud prevention fee – that fee is used to fund the Immigration Service’s site visits, interviews, and investigations). 
Continue Reading Immigration Service to Increase H-1B Site Visits to Combat Fraud and Abuse

As we approach the filing deadline for FY 2018 H-1B cap petitions, there are a couple of updates of which you need to be aware.

First, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has just announced that starting April 3, 2017, it will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions.
Continue Reading Two Immigration Law Updates: Premium Processing for H-1B Temporarily Suspended, and New Handbook for Employers Issued

Last month, we wrote about the new I-9 Form employers must use for all employees starting January 22, 2017.  Today, our Immigration attorneys issued an Advisory to offer some additional guidance and clarification for employers in transitioning from the old I-9 Form to this new Form, and addressing some questions that may come up related to the Form and the use of E-Verify to confirm an employee’s legal status to work in the United States.  This Advisory is based on some information just provided by the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee, and our Immigration experts wisely wanted to pass along the advice right away.
Continue Reading Update on New I-9 Form and Important Advisory

The most current version of the I-9 form is now available (www.uscis.gov) and employers must use only this version beginning on January 22, 2017.  Some of the key changes to the form include the following:

  • Section 1 – Now asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used”
  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator


Continue Reading The New I-9 Form Is Now Available

Listen up, employers:  On August 1 — that’s two days ago! — the Department of Homeland Security increased the Form I-9 violation fines by approximately 96%.  Specifically, the range of fines for violations went from $110-$1,100 per Form I-9 to $216 -$2,156 per Form I-9.  This could be particularly problematic for larger companies, as an untrained staff person completing numerous I-9s incorrectly can lead to an exorbitant amount in fines.  On the other hand, smaller companies have less in volume but sometimes they can commit more substantive errors which can lead to fines on the higher-side of the range.  Both are bad results that your business should want to avoid.
Continue Reading I-9 Violation Fines Increased!

If you work in Human Resources, you are surely familiar with the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (“Form I-9”), and depending on the size of your company’s workforce, you might complete new I-9s on a regular basis.  But have you ever gone back to do an internal audit of the already completed Forms I-9?  Do you know the most common mistakes found on I-9s?
Continue Reading Conducting an Internal Audit of Your Company’s I-9 Forms

National_Labor_Relations_Board_logo_-_colorEarlier this year, on March 18, 2015, NLRB General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr. issued a report covering recent cases on employee handbook rules that encroached on employees’ Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act.  Griffin’s report (GC Memo 15-04) stated that the vast majority of handbook violations are due to employers’ failure to comply with the first prong of the Lutheran Heritage test.  The report also provides timely guidance to employers in light of a recent NLRB decision against a fast-food restaurant’s finding Section 7 violations in its employee handbook.
Continue Reading “Good” and “Bad” Employee Handbook Rules in Light of Increasing Section 7 Violations: The NLRB GC’s Report