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Cross Border Employer Blog

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration continues to install stringent measures that will impact employers hiring foreign national temporary workers.

On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, the Council of the European Union announced its list of “safe countries” from which the EU will allow entry by business and tourism travelers. The list will be reviewed every two weeks and may be updated if the coronavirus situation in other countries improves or worsens, the E.U. statement said. 

As some European Union countries begin to open up to visitors from other EU countries and the border-free Schengen zone, the EU is now developing plans for opening up to business and pleasure travelers from around the world – but with a few notable exceptions. According to widespread media reports, the EU is strongly considering continuing its ban for travelers from the United States, Brazil, and Russia.

It is no secret that President Trump’s ongoing immigration enforcement efforts include dramatic increases in I-9 inspections and worksite investigations. In his most recent budget proposal, President Trump requested funds for 4,600 new ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) personnel. But his proposal also contains funding for new computer systems – including one called HAWke – designed to help ICE and HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) automate the I-9 inspection process. These developments mean it is virtually guaranteed that ICE will be going after employers’ I-9s this year at a level never seen before.

In response to increasing media reports of “karoshi” (employee death due to overwork), Japan has made some major changes to its Labor Standards Act of 1947. Under a recent amendment to the Act, which goes into effect for large employers in April 2019 and a year later for small- and medium-sized companies, overtime for most employees will be capped at less than 100 hours per month, and less than a total of 720 hours per year. 

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