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The federal government just announced that all travelers returning to the United States soon must present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. This CDC order, announced yesterday and effective January 26, requires all airlines to confirm the negative test results or recent recovery for all passengers prior to boarding. Airlines may deny travelers that do not present the required documentation.

The Mexican Senate recently voted to approve an amendment to the Federal Labor Law that reforms its provisions on teleworking, which will require employers to enter into written contracts with each remote worker, among other things. Although Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has the power to return the bill to Congress with suggested changes, he is expected to sign it and send it to be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation. What do Mexican employers need to know about this development? 

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently released a new, simplified process for deducting home office expenses for the 2020 tax year, which will require employers to be prepared to work with those employees seeking to take advantage of the changes. The revisions, announced on December 15, were brought about by the dramatic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on typical working life. For millions of Canadians, this is the first year in which they will be able to deduct certain expenses related to working from home. For the 2020 tax year only, employees who have worked from home for at least one month due to COVID-19 may deduct home office expenses using either the Temporary Flat-Rate Method or the New Detailed Method.

The president recently signed yet another Presidential Proclamation that extends the ability of certain foreign nationals from being able to enter into the U.S. until March 31, 2021. This move tacks several months onto the earlier Presidential Proclamations signed into effect in 2020 (both PP 10014 and 10052). What do employers need to know about this new proclamation signed on December 31, 2020, especially in light of the impending change in White House leadership?

As previously reported, USCIS has relaxed its rules regarding the in-person inspection of employee documents when filling out a Form I-9 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency recently announced that these “relaxed” rules have been extended until January 31, 2021.   

The Danish Government has called for its political parties to negotiate and enact laws to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace as it seeks to comply with the EU Whistleblower Directive that took effect on December 16, 2019. While the EU Directive requires Member States to enact national whistleblower protection laws by December 17, 2021, the government’s new initiatives include expanding the implementation of the EU Directive to include reports of sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Due to the rapid spread of a new strain of coronavirus in the UK, several countries have barred travelers from Britain. Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, and Belgium announced on Sunday, December 20 that they would suspend air travel from the UK. 

The Department of Homeland Security recently proposed changes to the H-1B Cap system that would significantly impact the existing process. The proposed rule, entitled “Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions” and revealed on November 2, aims to replace the current random selection process with a new salary-based ranking system that prioritizes selections to applicants that have received offers corresponding to the highest wage levels. This would be a dramatic change to the existing system, which has always been based on a random lottery process. If the rule goes through, it will be implemented in next year’s H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2022.

Japan has implemented new measures to allow foreign nationals with short-stay visas to obtain part-time work. It is estimated that approximately 21,000 individuals are eligible.

A federal judge recently struck down the Trump administration’s recent efforts to significantly restrict the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides protection from deportation for approximately 700,000 young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and no longer have lawful immigration status. However, federal immigration officials have not yet begun complying with the decision, leaving the country in a state of temporary limbo. What do employers need to know about this development?

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