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This summer I wrote about the dangers of English-only policies in this age of multiculturalism (for more, click here). These policies tend to emerge more frequently in the healthcare workplace, the reason being – the provision of quality care is the utmost goal and sometimes that requires everyone to speak the same language. But, what happens when it is the patient who is culturally diverse from the workforce? What must healthcare providers do in response? The Department of Health and Human Services has the answer: covered entities must provide language services to people whose primary language is not English in a more robust way than ever before.

On December 10th, France’s National Assembly published a new law on transparency and anti-corruption. As a result France is expected to begin instituting newer and stronger protections for whistleblowers under the updated regime. This is expected to unify the country’s disparate whistleblower protection rules and procedures.

On November 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued its long-awaited rule seeking to improve certain aspects of the employment-based immigration system.  The new rule, which becomes effective on January 17, 2017, clarifies several agency policies and procedures that affect U.S. employers who sponsor high-skilled nonimmigrant workers. The rule is intended to increase consistency among agency adjudicators and provide greater stability and job flexibility for certain foreign workers.

Tags: H-1B

With Thanksgiving and the holidays right around the corner, Fisher Phillips would like to remind our clients to be extra careful when driving home after a night out. In addition to the criminal and financial ramifications of drunk driving, there are other consequences for foreign nationals on nonimmigrant visas who are arrested or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). Since the implementation of a new policy in November of 2015, consular officers have been required to prudentially revoke nonimmigrant visas upon notification of a DUI arrest or conviction, even if that individual is in the United States.

On November 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its final rule in the Federal Register which addresses the retention and portability of high-skilled foreign workers. The new regulations, which take effect January 17, 2017, allow greater flexibility to certain foreign workers subject to long green card quota backlogs to change employers without negatively affecting their pending green card applications. The new regulations also codify many agency interpretations that exist as agency guidance memorandums and nonbinding agency communications.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is increasing filing fees for many immigration applications and petitions by an average of 21% beginning on December 23, 2016. While the filing fees for some applications and petitions will remain the same, others will see significant increases.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the new form I-9 dated November 14, 2016.  Although you may accept the prior version of the Form I-9 for the next two months, you will be required to use this new form starting January 21, 2017.

Tags: I-9

Public comment to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (USDHS) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking creating a new "parole" immigration benefit for certain International Entrepreneurs is due to the agency by October 17, 2016.  Once the comment period ends, the agency is required to consider all of the submitted comments before implementing a final rule. No applications will be accepted for this new immigration benefit until after a final rule is published.

August 1, 2016, marks the date that increased penalties for various immigration-related violations go into effect. The increases are the result of separate rules recently published by the Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice. According to the agencies, the increased amounts are required adjustments for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index.

On June 23, 2016, in a hotly contested referendum, British voters chose to leave the European Union in a contest dubbed “Brexit” (for “British exit”). It will take some time before the full implications of this decision become apparent to employers with operations in the UK.

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